"Cotton is a crop that always brings evil with it -- the rawest,
crudest exploitation, brutalizing anyone & everyone involved in it."
— Dorothea Lange
I love cotton, the fabric - I love its 'hand', the way it takes color with dyes and paints, the way it cuts and creases, the way it feels when pressed or washed or quilted. I have spent most of my life playing with and wearing cotton fabrics. I've never grown or harvested it (not yet, anyway:). I know a bit about the genetics of the species and the work done to create organic and self-colored varieties. I have read (but never experienced, thanks be to God) about the way it was cultivated, harvested, prepared and traded in the past - both here in North America and historically. I think the history and contemporary situation in the cotton industry - with all the ancillary industries based on cotton production and consumption - is complex and filled with contrasting ideas.
Have you ever seen it growing in the field? If you click on the photo of commercial cotton production shown above, you can go read some interesting facts about cotton (presented by the growers association). When I was a kid in middle and high school, our American history classes included a fair bit of detail about the growing and industrial processing of cotton because of the social structure required to produce it a la southern America. Long and complex history.
Today I played with some of my favorite positive aspects of using cotton by way of starting on a new handwork project. As usual, my modern buddies had a Zoom meeting this afternoon and I decided to let my medallion project rest while I started something limited in scope and new. I bought the Tula Pink themed Quilty Box offered recently and dug into the included project today.
Along with a charm square (5" squares) set of all the prints in the new TP collection, there was a complete set of the EPP papers for a nicely designed pillow top using those fabrics, a nifty seam allowance cutter for EPP with 1/4" and 3/8" sides, some 50 weight Aurifil thread, a lovely Renaissance ribbon motif of a TP Bernina sewing machine, etc.
I like to glue baste so I dug out my pouch of hand sewing tools (which included a glue stick) and went to town while we chatted on the Zoom meeting. I managed to piece the center of my pillow during the meeting (back sewing is my new experiment):
I almost never use the same print in different colors with each other - but I decided to use them together for this center. As you can see, maybe, from the sketch of the finished design, this will be a sizable pillow when finished. :) I chose a patterned background print instead of the white shown in the sketch - it has small orange and green dots and curving lines. I am eager to see how it works up with the Tula prints - hopefully it will be more interesting than white while still managing to be demure. :)
Other than sew (for three hours!), I did some reading and did manage to cook dinner for us tonight (easy chili) - which was tasty, if I do say so myself. :)
Tomorrow is another Zoom meeting (Sew&Tell) and, with luck, more hand sewing.