Pocket Handkerchiefs

What do you do when you have a voucher to have some fabric digitally
printed? Design some handkerchiefs of course. This is an idea that has been
niggling at my mind for some time.

The colour circles share the same DNA as my ‘Colour of Place’ screenprints, but whereas in the prints many of the colours arise from the overlapping of layers of ink, in these circles each colour is pulled directly from a photograph of a specific place. The example I am showing in this post comes from a walk to the Wainstones in Yorkshire, I have also made a second handkerchief based on a walk to Maes Knoll Tump, to the South of Bristol.

The idea of making a handkerchief comes from wanting to make a memory of a walk that you could keep with you, a way of remembering and sharing colours. Also a handkerchief can be a keepsake, a treasured gift, a token to give to a loved one – it’s a lot of responsibility to put on a small square of fabric.

When my fabric arrived I admired it in its entirety for about a week before being brave enough to cut it into squares.

I wanted my handkerchiefs to be large and flamboyant, so they are based on the size of the largest man’s handkerchiefs I could find online – coincidently this means they have ended up approximately 42cm square, a number that pleases me immensely.

An unwillingness to lug my very heavy sewing machine downstairs led to my
hand sewing the hem of the first handkerchief, and what a revelation that was!
I was expecting to find it annoying and frustrating, and instead found it relaxing, therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyable. The handkerchiefs seemed to demand that I committed the time to it.  To wiz along the hem with a sewing machine would seem totally out of keeping with the whole idea.

I am not sure how my handkerchiefs will progress. So far I have sent them as gifts to those who have helped me get through the last year. I think I want to work them into some sort of project, but what, I currently do not know. Rather than calming the niggle in my mind, they have started other thoughts clammering. This is a good thing.