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The Peruvian Lliclla -New Quilt Inspiration

My Peruvian Lliclla (a traditional hand woven shawl that goes around a woman’s shoulders) has been giving me ideas for a new project and I’m feeling quite excited!

Peru Sketchbook inspiration. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Colour in a sketchbook

I haven’t felt like this for a while, so I got out a sketchbook – and not just a sketchbook but my watercolours as well, and started to put down some ideas for a quilt. It’s interesting how inspiration can seem to come out of the blue; I mean a Peruvian Lliclla – where did that come from?! Random.

Well, perhaps not as random as you’d think…

Peruvian woman wearing a Lliclla around her shoulders (photo by Peter van der Sluijs via Wikimedia Commons [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Peruvian woman wearing a Lliclla around her shoulders (photo by Peter van der Sluijs via Wikimedia Commons

A creative idea often comes via a meandering thought process

and this Peruvian quilt inspiration was no exception. Come for a short ride on my not so random journey and I’ll tell you how I ended up at destination Peruvian Lliclla!

I’ve been fascinated by the hand weaving that Victoria’s been doing over at The silly BooDilly and one of her posts The Loom really stuck in my mind. She describes her loom and how it works and all the fantastic names of the components. Then I read another inspiring post on hand weaving Harris Tweed on the Trakke website (so much atmosphere in a wild and windswept place). I just love the simple connection to an ancient craft, and that by doing something relatively basic you end up with cloth – it’s magical.

I’ve also been thinking about Peru. Next month it’ll be 10 years since I travelled there to trek the Inca Trail and as it was probably one of the most memorable (and significant) experiences of my life I want to mark it in a tangible way.

I’m not planning on taking up weaving (well not yet!), but it all reminded me that I have a much treasured hand woven antique textile from…Peru!!!  Yes, my Peruvian Lliclla, which is in the picture below.

My Peruvian Lliclla

Peruvian Lliclla - textile inspiration for a patchwork quilt. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Peruvian textile inspiration – the hand woven Lliclla

I bought the textile from a market in Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire. I love the natural colours that remind me of the landscape there. I love the rough texture of the hand weaving. And I love the pattern and it’s associations. All of these things remind me of a treasured experience and the beauty of a place I was privileged to visit. I want to capture that in a textile of my own.

Inspiration for a patchwork quilt inspired by Peru. Peruvian Manta and embroidered circles. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Embroidery on the Lliclla/manta where two strips of weaving are joined


I started playing about with bits of fabric yesterday, thinking about a quilt; a hanging perhaps. I love this part of the process, when you have, well, not a clear idea, more a feeling of what you want to make. It’s a time of endless opportunities and potential – and very exciting!  I love the research stage: looking at images and videos like the one below; reading; remembering; drawing and collecting.

I spent a couple of hours browsing the Threads of Peru website yesterday, which run a project with traditional weavers in the Sacred Valley. The website’s fantastic if you want to find out a little about traditional natural dying, spinning and weaving in the area. And if you love colour as much as I do you’ll get a great big hit!

I’m ready to carry on working through ideas and gathering more quilt inspiration, but I’d love to know how you come up with your designs, what gets you excited?

Hasta la próxima!

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

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