Friday, October 16, 2020

Literary Sewing Circle: Inspiration!


This week's Inspiration post is taking a look at some of the imagery and colours in this novel as a way to spark project ideas. There are so many actual references to clothing in this book, which we talked about in our last inspiration post, but we're going more abstract this week. 

As always in the Literary Sewing Circle, inspiration can be a spark of an idea. If you have even a sentence that explains your inspiration, go ahead with the project! 

Some of the imagery that stood out for me as potential inspiration will be matched up with fabric ideas this week.

When Thomas is working his shift as Night Watchman at the jewel bearing plant, an owl flies up to window and entices him outside. This owl is a strong image that spooks LaBatte when Thomas mentions it the next day. This might appear in your project via some owl print fabric -- there is a lot to choose from.

Go Owl Out from the appropriately named online shop OwlBeSewing

Art Gallery's Nightfall Owls, found at
funky monkey fabrics

The jewel bearing plant itself is an interesting place -- Erdrich compares the gears, the disks, to the grinding of time itself. And the jewels, the tiny specks of jewel components that must be set in, are what provide a job and income to Pixie and her family. 

This Encrusted Gems fabric at Spoonflower might be perfect!

Or perhaps something a little bolder, also
at Spoonflower

When Patrice goes to the city looking for Vera, she finds herself in the strange lumberjack themed bar, with a very unusual job. While you might not want to evoke this, there are possibilities in the woodsy theme! 

You could go with the classic Buffalo Plaid, or any
other plaid really
-- this one found at Len's Mills

Or for something more quirky, check out this
Burly Beavers print from Robert Kaufman

Even the small scene where Patrice discovers she needs glasses, and gets assigned the basic thick black framed glasses that everyone gets, might provide some inspiration!

Stof Fabrics of Denmark, found on Etsy

If we look at other characters like Millie, there are settings to play with there as well. The library that Millie is working comfortably in, or her satisfaction at being able to type her own work, are both great places to start when thinking about what to make. 

You might like this print in the Literary series by 
Heather Givens
at Windham Fabrics

This typewriter font cotton found at Joanns is pretty cute

Then there are all the natural settings that are so key to the book. The lake with a fishing boat on it, when Pixie swims out to Thomas' boat to escape Bucky -- the snowy woods and the setting sun that Pixie and Wood Mountain walk home in after getting her glasses -- the night sky full of stars that many characters mention, and Thomas experiences as star people dancing -- the cedar and pine that Zhaanat uses for her teas -- there are endless beautiful and evocative moments described in this story. 

Constellation print found at FabricsGalore

Pine cone batik at Spool & Spindle

Snowy woods in French Terry at L'Oiseau Fabrics

Finally, if you want to create some patchwork in your project, don't forget about the loving description of the quilt that Thomas naps under in the old house when he gets home from work as everyone else is starting the day. 
"It was a quilt of patches left over from the woolen coats that had passed through the family. Here was his mother's navy were the boys' padded plaid wool jackets, ripped and worn...Here was Rose's coat from the early days of their marriage, blue-gray and thin now... his own double-breasted camel coat...his last conscious thoughts on his father's old coat, brown and quiet."
I hope you are enjoying the read, and that something from either of these inspiration posts, or something else from the novel has given you a great idea for your own project. Feel free to share any ideas you might have so far!

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