Inspired By An Unusual Material

On May 17th 2006 I blogged about the gift of some frog skins that I have kept, admiring them every now and then and not quite sure what I could do with them; wanting to do something interesting and special, but just waiting for the right inspiration.

Frog skins, ~5-10cm x ~10-12cm

About a month ago I realised pieces of this leather would be lovely to applique by hand, but I couldn’t find them. I knew they were safely together in a protective plastic file or folder, and turned the likely places upside down. It seems, though, that all the time they were in the archeological layers at the end of my cutting table anyway, as this morning I walked around to the other side of it and there was the folder on the floor, in the zone between the huge windows and that back edge of the table where Dulce The Dog stations herself there to oversee activity out on the street below.

This fine leather unfortunately only comes in small pieces! One thing that was slightly bothering me was how to use the frilly bits from the top of the leg where it meets the main part of the body. However now I have tested one of the frills with an iron and found it does smoothe out beautifully, that makes it all potentially useful. I see segments of the leather somehow being appliqued with overstitching, as I’ve been doing lately, perhaps on a black background.

Pins leave little holes in leather so I need to be careful there… perhaps I could punch a few tiny holes… either way, I will need to plan before cutting into this stuff, as I’m not sure I can get more. But my next move will be to contact the person who gave it to me and ask where I can buy some.

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4 Responses to “Inspired By An Unusual Material”

  1. Franchi says:

    Hi, Alison, I’ve been following your blog for awhile and so enjoy your creativity! I have a question that I can’t find in your archives. I seem to remember that you had one about Kiwanis Quilts. I’m interested in making one. Was I wrong?

  2. Alison says:

    Dear Franchi – I’m sorry, I can’t help you; I have no idea what a kiwani quilt is, and think you must be confusing me with someone else.

  3. Franchi says:

    Alison, thanks for your response. I think the computer “corrected” my spelling. I meant to ask about Kiwandi quilts.

  4. Alison says:

    Even though I’m not at all familiar with the corrected word, either 🙂 I thought I should look up your correction, and googling took me on an interesting journey, including this website in which handstitched applique to an improvisational scheme using scraps of fabric, and found they’re a group in the collection at the International Quilt Museum. I found the same kind of thing googling here, and then going to images a whole page of improvisational probably utilitarian quilts. Many countries have a tradition of utilitarian hand quilted bed coverings made from recycled textile scrap pieces – boro in Japan, britchy quilts USA Australian waggas and more, even here in Uruguay.

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