One of my colleagues gave me this wreck of a violin blanket recently. It was in a nineteenth century violin case. It’s hand embroidered, probably on a silk/cotton fabric. The warp threads are intact but the weft threads, probably the silk, have almost totally disintegrated, held together only by the embroidery.
This blanket is a reminder of the time long before television when evenings were long and nobody liked to be idle, so needlework was a good way of filling the time. I guess I grew up in the very last throes of this; my parents’ generation liked to knit or sew whilst watching television; it went against the grain just to watch with empty hands. I learnt to sew and embroider as a child, and still sew when I can find time to this day.
I thought it would be nice to recreate this blanket in some way, but as my evenings are often filled with emails, cello practice and all sorts of sewing projects, I didn’t imagine I’d find the time to make the whole blanket, so instead I copied the motif from the widest part, embroidered that and then appliquéd it onto the top of a rectangular blanket. I’ve been reading about Japanese gardens recently, and admiring some of the stunning temple gardens which are sometimes viewed through round windows, so as a nod to that, my recreated motif is in a round window too.