The most interesting of all my UFO's is my Korak sampler.
The first time I came across Korak, was when one of the Guild members brought in a patchwork she was working on, but I was intrigued by the method she was using to stitch what looked like a quilt top.
She was working from a book by a Swiss author Ruth Tschudy, which she came across on her holidays in Germany. Eventually I managed to find this book on Amazon. It is a very interesting book, showing some old Koraks, and also some of Ruth's own work and projects to make with instructions.
The text inside the book is in both German and English.
Korak is thought to be one of the most ancient form of patchwork in the world. They were produced in the areas along the Silk Route, mainly in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Koraks were used mainly as floor and wall coverings by the nomads living in the area, sometimes pressed into still soft mud walls of their new huts. Because they were made along the Silk Route, where the caravans were bringing fabrics from different parts of the world, Koraks were made with all sorts of fabrics, cottons, silks, brocade, velvet ...
Ruth Tschudy's book explains the significance of shapes and colours used, mainly the triangle.
The Koraks are stitched onto a foundation fabric like old cottons, linen etc. I used a piece of calico. A lot of work goes into the preparation, making templates and cutting out the fabric shapes.
You start with drawing a grid onto the foundation fabric, whatever design you want to stitch. Then you lay and pin on the shapes, starting at the bottom, working upwards, overlapping the raw edges as you go along.
All the stitching is done by hand, on the right side, using the straight hem stitch, again starting from the bottom, removing the pins as you sew. Koraks are not backed or quilted.
My sampler is about 40 x 36 cm. I made it only as an exercise, not really thinking ahead what I am going to do with it. Later I decided it could be made into a wall hanging, so I stared to embellish it. I think that at that point I did run out of ideas and it ended up in the draw. May be it is time to resurrect it!