Sometime yesterday I thought of adding a Madonna figure to my bag for the 'bags of fun'. Given that I am a foster carer and therefore a kind of professional 'mother' this seemed appropriate. Additionally when apraising my life last year I realised that 'mother' is the thing that I am good at, and the role that I am happy with. I wondered if it would mislead people into thinking me religious. My surname is Mulcahy (Gaelic) and people often assume I am Catholic, which I am not. I mulled over the idea for a few hours but kept coming back to it's rightness as an image for me. I have let go of worrying about what other people will make of it, and use it as an image of woman, universal.
She is made from cotton. I drew the image onto paper first and then cut out the pieces and used them as a pattern, making a needle turned applique. The faces were lightly stuffed before being sewn onto the body and then wadding was placed behind the image. The whole piece was then appliqued onto the jeans by basting it over the paper pattern prior to sewing it down. Small 'quilting' stitches mark out the simple form. I had originally drawn a simple face with closed eyes using straight lines but found that I was happier with the blank faces. Now anyone can see whomever they wish in her. Just like a mother!
Here is a better picture of the velvet showing the beading more clearly (well, a bit more clearly).
I have just taken a photo of the front of the bag to give an idea of scale. This made me realise that I have a lace motif pinned above my Madonna which looks like a halo - coincidence :) I will move it or I will be misleading people :)