Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

Marrakesh for Island Batik

Marrakesh.  New life from the past.

Hubbard Hall(HHP) is an 1878 Opera House in Cambridge, NY.  It was the home theatre for my professional Modern dance company, Margaret Wagner & Dancers, in the 1980's.

Beginning in 1975, HHP was being re-loved and re-visioned.  The theatre hall boasted exquisite architectural gems like etched brass door knobs, stenciled walls, ceiling and proscenium arch, a painted canvas front curtain that rolled up and down, and a raked, splintery wood stage complete with Magician's trap door.  The hall was envisioned to be the center of the Cambridge community, giving a place for the arts in Washington County to flourish.

Stencil on wall near proscenium arch. Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, NY.

Stencil on wall near proscenium arch. Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, NY.

I returned this summer(2014) to celebrate this beautiful old theatres' 35th anniversary as a community center and an arts presenting organization.  Much had been updated and re-furbished.  Yet pieces of the old, untouched, well-loved and damaged designs were still in evidence. I took lots of pictures of these touches of old world elegance that I love.

It is from just such a remaining old section of stencil work that I took the inspiration for the Marrakesh table runner design developed for Island Batik as a pattern designer.

The design had several titles before finding its name. While drawing and working with Will, my graphic designer at Mail N Copy in Greeley, it was simply called "tablerunner2015".  Very original, don't you think? Not! But practical. 

As I started viewing and dreaming while looking at the digital fabric swatches from Island Batik, Spring 2015 collection,  I kept being drawn to reds and gold.  The next idea was "Turkish Delight". A better title, but not quite right.  Finally I chose my fabrics.  I looked at Google images of interior design from Turkey and Morocco, and I was reminded of Morocco. Though I never lived there, my parents and older siblings lived in French Morocco.  I remember the red Fez they brought back that was in our costume drawer by time I came along. As I pondered the design and the colors I chose, I kept hearing the word Marrakesh in my head. I liked the sound of that.  And so, a new pattern is born.

Marrakesh is a 20" x 60" table runner that can be created by hand or machine reverse applique.  Follow along as the table runner comes alive in living color.