Another project completed, Another one newly begun! I started cross-stitching these matryoshka dolls from my Red Book at Christmas time and finished it two weeks ago. Monochrome red Russian nesting dolls on linen, I was a bit stumped with what to do next – finish it into a pillow, frame it to hang on the wall? I settled on making it into a tote bag, the front pieced together like a quilt, the back and lining made with matching fabric, the bottom finished with 7-inch gussets.
I find that the mixed and matched fabrics, all different, yet all coordinating, go well with the feel of the typically colorful matryoshka dolls. Russian textiles are often rich with colour, with vibrant, busy, and boisterous prints and I wanted to mimic that feeling…
In contrast, the back of the bag is of just one fabric, of one print yet still in harmony with the overall ambiance. The lining, matching three pieces of fabric on the front, is also made with one fabric/ print.
I really love the way this bag turned out. I think it rightly reflects my personality – which is also a patchwork piece, mixed and matched by my experiences of having lived in different countries on different continents. I collect dolls from around the world and own two sets of nesting dolls. The dolls also echo my personality – with the many layers that make up my background. Each doll representing a change, a move, a new experinces, a connection to other people and places. Just as the dolls fit into each other, I too fit in nicely to different surrondings, cultures, and languages. These colorful experiences, of different size, different importance, repeating and connected, have become my routine, my habit, my security.