Emergency Blankets: Work-In-Progress Part 2

This is the second post in a series documenting the creation of my new work Emergency Blankets for the MAPBM event ‘Carnivale Catastrophe’ (curated by Dr Fiona Davies) as part of Cementa22. ‘Carnivale Catastrophe’ is supported by Festivals Australia and NAB and Emergency Blankets is additionally supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

In this first post I discussed the process involved in creating test quilts for the wagga. In this installment I will provide some insight into the creation of the wagga itself.

The first difficulty we ran into with the creation of the wagga was a relatively minor quibble about the colour of thread. The hessian from my late grandfather’s estate is old and had a number of holes which we planned to patch with red felt. My mum suggested we use a Japanese mending technique called boro. When she showed me what it looked like I was really pleased with the effect, but not as pleased with the colour of the thread. We tried a few different colours before we settled on a woolen thread that was perfect:

The second difficulty that we ran into was a bit more serious. Despite making two test quilts with hessian and mylar, we hadn’t accounted for the different size and weight of the wagga and how this would affect the mylar backing. Despite Mum’s best efforts, the mylar wouldn’t feed through the sewing machine properly and eventually it started shredding. In the end Mum had to remove all the stitching and we started again with a different type of mylar:

This led to the third and final difficulty, which (thankfully) was relatively minor in the scheme of things. Before the ill-fated first attempt to sew the mylar to the hessian we had discussed different ways to remove the folds from the mylar. The most-effective way, it turned out, was to use an iron. We discovered, however, that this did not work so well with the new mylar! Luckily the new mylar blanket was much bigger than the old mylar blanket and we were able to trim off the melted section:

The finished wagga will be exhibited in ‘Carnivale Catastrophe’ as part of Cementa22. I hope you can come along and check it out!

In the next installment of this series I will be showing the process involved so far in the making of the second quilt.

Emergency Blankets is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.