The Codex Patchwork Bag

For practical purposes, the Embroidered Codex need to be stored, carried & displayed. For these reasons, I decided to make a large portfolio-style carrying case. Slightly oversize of the book (ie. 60cm x 40cm), it was also padded & lined with a zippered edge (along 3 bag edges) that would allow the case to fully open.

Made of black & white cotton ticking (in keeping with wartime fabrics but not original) with carpet tape handles, it had one side that would visually represent 'Make-Do-and-Mend'. Chosen to be stitched in a variety of machine utility stitches (to symbolise the 'Utility' symbol), a series of small rectangular pieces of ticking were stitched together with bias binding of different widths to represent the 'uniformed rank bands' of the allied forces.

Positioned around a central large motif of London's St. Paul's cathedral (a similar image to the one used in the front of the book), it too was symbolically positioned amidst the linear patchworked bandings (ie. the bindings & the stitched rows) to demonstrate how London (& other parts of the country) were 'in pieces' after the Blitz. From photos & films, this notable building also came to be recognised as a central monument for wartime London - in fact several personal accounts (from people interviewed), had informed me that if St. Paul's could not be seen, London would 'have fallen into enemy hands'. I was also using this representational image so that I too could see it at a distance (in my workroom or classroom environment) when everything occasionally got in a mess!

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