This bold design using the Chain Stitch for a small makeup case was designed and stitched exclusively for our SEVENTEENTH
FREE VIVA ZIVA ! Newsletter #1517.
Subscribe now to ZIVA’s free newsletter ... to be released at the end of April, 2015 and stitch this avant-garde motif called
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement at the turn of the 20th century.
He pushed his controversial paintings towards abstraction by filling a lot of them with patterns with flat shapes and bold colours, incorporating mosaic-like patterns, Byzantine imagery, folk art, geometric and architectural motifs, and floral repeats.
This pattern-making in his paintings has a very exotic and sensual allure still today.
Throughout his life, Klimt designed in many media, including textiles, ornamental murals, and decoration, true to the Secessionists’ credo of blurring the distinction between fine and applied arts through their concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk—the cross-disciplinary “total work of art.”
In 1905, the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), founded by architect Josef Hoffmann, began producing printed and woven textiles, many designed by fine artists such as Klimt. It created a wide range of well-designed, often handmade products for a sophisticated audience.
The Workshop was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, characterised by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh whose decorative style also reached a mass appeal.
I wanted to develop a free needlepoint design based on Gustav Klimt’s spirals and also integrate some of his other textile designs to create a layered textural effect that you see in his paintings.
But of course we added a twist! The design should also suit today’s tastes and styles.
To me, that means accenting a mix of Klimt’s patterns asymmetrically at one end of the tapestry only, and featuring the spirals throughout to create a more minimalist effect.
The colours have also been updated… the primary colours in the multi-pattern section are offset with cool grey spirals on a black background.
So, what is the best stitch to show off these spiral shapes? ...
The chain stitch lends itself perfectly to all the twists and swirls that Klimt's design demands!
It stitches fairly quickly over 2 or 3 threads depending on the size of the spiral required. We used a stranded cotton thread on the chain stitch.
The chain stitch would also look stunning in silk, to give an extra sheen to the chains!
We will provide a chart and stitching instructions on how to do the chain stitch in the VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter.
We have created one long stitched tapestry approximately 4” x 11” (10 cm x 28 cm) which can be folded and made-up to suit its use….
We have folded the tapestry twice to create an approximate 4” (10cm) square case which includes a front 3” (7 cm) flap.
Sew a few seams, line it, and add a Velcro tab or snap (to close the flap) to carry a small (3” diameter (7 cm) ) mirror or powder compact case for your handbag! STUNNING!
Folding it once creates a striking makeup case at approximately 4” x 5.5” (10 cm x 14 cm)… a perfect size for lipstick, small mirror, and a few makeup pencils.
You could have the opening at the end or along the side… your choice.
I randomly added Klimt’s small triangles in primary colours to add some ‘va-va-voom’ to the larger case.
Sew a few seams, line it and add a zipper or a strip of velcro at the opening, and it’s ready to use!
Full instructions and charts on how to create this ‘Klimt’s Chains’ design, are included in the next VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter.
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