Thursday, 26 March 2020


Lockdown in South Africa starts at midnight tonight.  Our rules are very strict.  No walking or jogging (including the dog) at all.  Only one person per car (the driver) to go out and get food and medical requirements.  So, my first stop this week was not to clear the shelves of toilet rolls but to visit my Bernina store for....

Had to get my priorities right!
I have a number of community tops to quilt so I am having fun getting back to basics and free motion quilting.

I just have the outer blocks to finish and then bind. 4 more to go.  In between when I have down time I am crocheting a family of Ellies who will be sold for funds for my local guild.

These are my sassy Ellies who will be dressed in the fabric they are sitting on and I will give them a sling bag.

These  are my angelic Ellies who will have tutus made out of the tulle they are lying on and then I need wings.   Need to play around and see what will work.
And then of course my 10 minutes of Vitamin D is benefitting my garden as it is now getting a look in. 
As somebody shared ...... Quilters have been preparing for this for a long time.  
Stay safe all.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Time to Play!

Sometimes I think it just needs a brave step into the unknown (scary place) to experiment and try things out.  Well, now we all have plenty of time during lock-down so let's play! 
Please post any experiments, with good or bad results, here.

Today I will be space dyeing a background cloth which is for a school children's project I'm involved with.  They have drawn around their hands onto Bondaweb  - about 35 children between 5 and 8 - and I have transferred the shapes onto fabric which have each been fused to a felt backing, appliqued with a satin stitch edging and cut out.  Their school logo is a tree of leaves and the idea is to make a big wall-hanging substituting the leaves with their hands.  I raided my green stash and they were able to choose their own fabrics.

Each hand will eventually have the child's name embroidered on it but I need to have the background finished so the hands can be placed and the names angled to be able to be read easily.
School logo

Some of the hands

Rough layout

It was at this point I realised that the piece of fabric which Phil and I had dyed years ago, wasn't big enough.  Hence having to dye a bigger piece.   Wish me luck with the dyeing - I am NOT a dyer!


Monday, 16 March 2020

Artists inspired by architecture

Hi all

This landed in my inbox today from Textile

There is a link at the bottom.


Textile artists inspired by architecture

We’ve posted several articles about landscape textile artists, and now it’s time to showcase those who focus on architecture. While architecture indeed rests within landscapes, these four artists pay particular attention to stitching buildings’ structural details in the most amazing ways. 

Debbie Smyth’s thread drawings capture historic and current architecture in simple, yet intricate, ways. Harriet Popham uses thread in a similar fashion, but she combines architecture with animals and nature to create whimsical interior art pieces. 

Karen Goetzinger uses a mixed-media approach with her urban scenes featuring thread designs on painted surfaces. And Ruth Chalk literally knits her architecture into being, using reclaimed and recycled materials in the most novel ways.

Step into these architectural worlds of stitch and enjoy the view

Sunday, 8 March 2020

In the process of moving interstate

Hi there
I just thought I would mention that I am in the process of buying, selling and moving interstate. I am looking forward to getting back to the window creations and having a good look and making some comments. Not long and I will have the luxury of time to do that.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Hello again fellow bloggers . You will notice that I have commented twice on Diane's Hong Kong scene as I was having problems with getting into the Blog . My head is still filled with Sophie Standing's thread painting class which I attended over the past 4 days and found wonderful !! Rosemary
You have managed to create an excellent Hong Kong night scene. Perhaps keeping the quilting simple only outlining the buildings and the individual windows would be appropriate ? I find that Jeans needles which are very sharp are ideal to use when going through layers . Rosemary

Monday, 2 March 2020

Hong Kong view

One of our daughters lives in Hong Kong in the Sai Ying Pun district, which is basically downtown.  She has a 500 sq ft apartment and the building has one apartment per floor so you can imagine how slim it is - but lots of windows!  And of course, she looks out on other highrises (hers is 22 floors and she's on the 5th). 

I was going to do a more pictoral piece of what it looked like to look out a window - showing the edge of the couch, curtains etc.  But then I keep trying to be more abstract so this is what I've accomplished.  I've shown a photo that she took for me out of one of the windows at night. 

The piece has been painted with acrylic paints.  I realized that I didn't have black or white fabric paint (such a surprise since I have just about every other colour) so that's why the acrylic.  I'm not sure I can quilt through it, and right now don't have time so this is my WIP.   The ceiling still needs fixing and so my work area is still a mess. 

I still like the idea of this but will have to do a lot more experimenting to improve it. 

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Blocked in window, Labrousse

 Quite a few years ago I made a sketch  of a blocked in window in the hamlet in Limousin, where my father in law comes from, intending at some stage to turn it into a quilt. As usual, it just stayed as an idea, until this opportunity came up. I stencilled it with paintstiks. I find it's not as interesting as I thought it was going to be, but I'm glad that I tried it out in the end.


I have always been fascinated and drawn to Art Deco / Art Nouveau designs and so it was a natural that I would use one of them as my interpretation/inspiration under the current theme.  Windows fell into it perfectly.  

This is my choice and this is the result.....

The background cloth is coffee dyed white cotton.  The glass is made up of two layers of organza and one layer of chiffon with a very subtle white dotty swirl on it.  The flowers and leaves were painted onto the one layer of organza and sandwiched between the other slightly darker shade of organza and the chiffon piece. The window frame is appliqued and then the piece quilted.   I am not 100% happy with the quilting around the window.  My lines got a bit lost in translation.  The binding became an issue and caused my delay in getting it finished.  I eventually found the piece I have used.  It was my best option and although slightly more green than I would have liked I can live with it.

Almost finished?

As predicted, I failed to manage any quilting on my piece before the deadline.  However I am quite pleased with the result so far.  This used a photograph from my files, taken some years ago, and I just loved the colours involved.  I started out thinking I would make a more abstract, simplified version of the photograph, but inevitably ended up with a more photo realistic version (I blame my engineering background).

And here's the photograph I tried to post a few days ago of an older challenge, which I also failed to quilt in time, now finished.

Both of these pieces were influenced by a course I did with Lea McComas at the Festival of Quilts last August.  The windows piece used her method of translating a photograph into shades of dark and white, which I then used on each coloured section.  The latter one used her idea of covering the work with a fine, neutral coloured, net  before quilting to hold all the tiny pieces of fabric in place.  I won't be using the fine net option again - to me it reduced the vibrancy of the colours too much. 

Window on my world

This is not my first idea which was an image of the telescope at Jodrell Bank (here in Cheshire in the UK) pointing to a starry night sky full of constellations, stars, satellites, etc - a window on the universe!

This a 'window on my world' through my eye and the camera's eye.  I have enjoyed working on this though a wee bit disappointed at the transparency of so many materials.  Raw edge, fused applique with a tiny bit of pen work (Micron Pigma Pens).  I'm pleased I gave myself red painted nails - something I never do! - because I love those little sparks of life.  Is my head in the clouds? - looks like it and I have since had my hair cut very short!!!

I have a confessional to make.  While I was stitching I could hear this rustling/crackling sound and eventually the penny dropped - I had left a piece of Bondaweb paper in the layers.  Duh!  I needed your surgery skills, Rosemary, to extract it from the back - and your theatre stitching skills to sew up the hole!

Window on my world
Thanks for starting on Series 4 with such an interesting theme, Jinnie.


PS  I wasn't sure whether to add 'squiggles' to denote a camera brand or not.  What do you think?  H

When Jinnie first posted "Windows" the first thought I had was to go and find a design from  Coventry Cathedral as I wanted to do something modern, and after researching I cannot believe that I have never gone to Coventry to view this amazing building but decided that I didn't want to go the stained glass route as beautiful as it is.  My journey then took me to look for modern windows and found this one below, which spoke to me.

From that point my mind went to a pile of greeting cards I had purchased at one of the cathedrals on one of my visits to the UK some years back and have never used.  They are tile designs circa 1900. The one that I chose to work from is pictured below and which brought to mind Charles Rennie MacKintosh and his roses.

I then decided to change the shape of the window and incorporate the roses into the window.  As can be seen from the original picture the window is looking from the inside to the outside and I have simplified the surrounds.  I liked the idea of the stairs at the side of the original picture as the straight lines complimented the curve of the window but decided that it would make it too fussy and might take away from the original subject.  I then decided to change the shape of the window and incorporate the roses into the window.