A folk art tradition from Chile and Peru, arpilleras are brightly colored patchwork pictures. The technique to make an arpillera requires much creativity, attention to detail, and dedication to recycling as each quilt is made of sometimes hundreds of tiny fabric scraps. Each fabric scrap is cut just so and hand-stitched into place with extra embroidery to create a three-dimensional work of art.
In this arpillera by Leonor Quispe the fabric applique becomes a detailed harvest scene, with a cornfield in the foreground. Swans dot a pond in the center; while houses, horses and mountains populate the background. The artisan's attention to detail is magnificent. Each tiny figure is crafted in three dimensions and lavishly embroidered. A rod can be slipped through an opening at the top for display.
Fair trade from Peru