Sun, 28 July | Opendrawer

Traveller's Blanket with Dijanne Cevaal

This 2 day class will explore hand stitching and the creation of fragments of memory with fabric and stitch
Booking is Closed
Traveller's Blanket with Dijanne Cevaal

Time & Location

28 July 2019, 10:00 am – 11 Aug 2019, 4:00 pm
Opendrawer, 1158 Toorak Rd, Camberwell VIC 3124, Australia

About This Workshop

This class explores hand stitching and creating fragments of memory with fabric and stitch. It is inspired by the idea of the silk road and the great travellers, like Marco Polo who travelled the road in order to source silk, eastern spices and other treasure. If you travelled that road and you could not write but wanted to keep memories of the fabrics and silks you encountered, wanted to remember the patterns and stitches, and wanted to keep warm at the same time, what better way than to sew fragments onto a blanket - a visual aide de memoire.

The texture is created with simple running stitch and the embroidery on the fragments of fabric likewise employ simple stitches. This piece is about the rhythm of the stitching and the creation of decorative effects while keeping things easy. Any type of story can be incorporated - you may wish to use scraps of fabric that belong to family; you may use fabrics that have been given to you; you may use findings from the beach and create stitching around that; you may choose a favourite motif. You can use square shapes or round shapes or any other shape that you feel drawn to. You can use the motif in the appliquéd fabric to inspire your embroidery. You will find the blanket starts to dictate the story to you and that is part of the fun of the process.

Date: Sunday 28 July and Sunday 11 August 2019, 10am-4:00pm

Cost: $320 

What to bring 

  • Paper and Pen/Pencil
  • Lots of different coloured threads - weight is not important, just threads you like to work with. You can use DMC, Aurifil Lana, or normal embroidery threads. I prefer to use Perle 8 weight threads as it gives you good lines and the stitching shows up well.
  • A good embroidery needle- you may need more than one as there is a lot of stitching in this project
  • Scissors
  • Scraps of precious fabrics - the type of fabric is not so important but fabrics that provide an opportunity to embellish with stitch and tell your story. You can also use just plain fabrics. But my motto is let the fabric do a lot of the work! So patterned fabrics already do some of the work for you and when you add stitch they become more interesting.  You may want to use scraps from your mother’s sewing box or any other types of fabric that help create the story. 
  • Main Fabric Requirements. The following are suggestions only - you can work smaller or larger if you wish (just adjust the fabric amounts):
  1. 0.5-1  metre of a lightweight fabric , for example voile, raki, true muslin (not quilters’ muslin) or khadi cloth - it needs to be soft and with quite a loose weave for ease of stitching
  2. 0.5-1 metre of backing fabric (this can be dyed or you can use the fabric as is) again it needs to be soft. I have in the past used true muslin and khadi
  3. For the Wadding - 0.5-1metre of  flannel or other light batting (not polyester as it is harder to stitch). This is used because it is soft and so gives a lovely drape to the finished blanket; it is warm; the folds in the fabric are just beautiful. You could use a lightweight cotton wadding but the drape would not be quite the same. Make sure the flannelette or flannel is washed before use as there will be quite a lot of shrinkage.

For those of you who don’t have the materials required for this workshop, I will have a selection of eco dyed, vintage and other collected fabrics and threads for sale. Opendrawer also has a variety of new and vintage fabrics, threads and embellishments for sale. The choice is yours to bring your own or buy as much or as little as you like.

Tutor: Dijanne Cevaal

Dianne is a noted Australian Textile artist who teaches around the world. In her own words: “I love to dye and print fabrics and assemble them into quilts with lots of stitching both by hand and machine. I also create my own linocuts for printing on fabric”. She is the author of a book “Musing in Textile: France”. Examples of Dijanne’s work can be viewed on Instagram (Origidij) and on her website

Photo and Work: Dijanne Cevaal

  • Travellers Blanket

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