Saturday, May 01, 2010

Plaid/Tartan: A New Idea for a Project!

As I say often, some of my best ideas originate when looking at the beautiful blogs of the textile artists - art quilters especially.

Allison Aller was showing some crazy quilt blocks she's finished, and one had a "Millenium Ribbon" on it, which was a gift from a friend. As it is tartan, I had to ask for more information, and was told that her friend (link to this is on the blog) purchased it in Scotland in 1999.

Allie graciously sent me a close-up picture of it. I spent some time on the internet looking for "millenium" ribbons, but this is the only one I found - and it came from a store in Insch, Aberdeen. It's stated on that web page that it has been registered, as tartans must, to be "official."

Anyway, as always, I had to go cruising to find other tartan ribbons, as I didn't know they existed - and found buried treasure!! I found the Royal Stewart tartan in ribbon form, and also the "dress tartan," which substitutes a white background for the red - but is otherwise the same.

Incidentally, I discovered that the spelling for this tartan is STEWART, and not STUART, as I had always thought. The reason is that Mary Queen of Scots, who was raised in France, spelled her name as "Stuart," as there is no W in the French language.
When Queen Elizabeth adopted it as her official tartan, the English version of the name was used. Very interesting trivia. I'm showing the Buchanan tartan here just because I like it - and have always wanted to do something with it.
The Anderson tartan is my own, but it has seven colors, and is so complicated that I've never used it - it would be rug sized to include all the elements in needlepoint. I've already started playing around a bit on canvas with the Millenium tartan/plaid, and will do a few others as well. I'll show from beginning to end how to do this.
I've already discovered that in order to get in all the elements in their proper proportions, the ribbon will be 2 1/2" wide - so to my surprise, that's perfect for a picture frame or for a pillow to frame a monogram or initial!! I'm using the term "tartan" here because that is correct - although in this country only we use the word "plaid." This is explained in a previous post I did after some research into terminology. Just do a "search" at the top right (type in "plaid.")
Stay tuned for a How-To as it goes along. I never would have figured out doing these strips on my own, as the individual setts make it confusing.

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