Does the mention of smocking bring to mind the complicated stitches and pleats that look so beautiful when finished? How about the other equipment: ‘plates’, pleating tool, and various other things needed in English Smocking?
Not for me. Much as I admired the skill this is one needle and thread activity I didn’t attempt. Then I stumbled on a video on YouTube on Canadian Smocking. WOW! This wasn’t new! According to sources, this was a popular art along the time I was in college so I would have been focused on studies…and um…the male population. Not another needle craft.
The video I found was by a British TV presenter, Debbie Shore. With fabric, a ruler, marking pen, needle and thread, you can create a beautiful pillow or other project. I was fascinated. Think…distraction activity…as mentioned in another post. But how does Canadian Smocking relate to writing except to take you away from your work?
With a few tools you can draw a grid [or use gingham fabric] and create a pillow. Same as in writing when you start with an idea or premise and create a story. Also your project is simple as in KISS…keep it simple, says the experts. Keep your goal in focus.
|Wrong side...aka...inner journey|
And here’s another fact that caught my attention. Many of the designs are as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. Are you thinking story goal and inner journey? Look at this perfectly plain piece of gingham. Add a few stitches and you have these flowers on the backside. With a few pearls sewn in the center, or using Satin fabric, the flower is beautiful. And on the front side…simple red and white checks become dramatic. Makes me think of Christmas and peppermint candy, and gives us another reminder that characters should always change.
|Right side...aka...story goal|
One of my favorite designs was on a video by a Brazilian TV presenter. The guest on multiple shows was the same talented artist. I don’t speak the language but after watching the British TV host multiple times I was able to mute the sound and pick up the design by watching. This too relates to our writing. Our stories should have a Universal Theme…a message that reaches across language barriers.
Canadian Smocking can add texture and design to an ordinary piece of fabric. Let your story turn ordinary characters into people we want to spend time with and get to know.
Do you remember seeing pillows made by Canadian Smocking or North American Smocking as some sources label it?