Louth Panorama Update…..

All the Louth Panorama quilts, being made by textile group Meridian, have now been handed over ready to be sewn onto a black background.

The individual quilts laid out prior to being sewn onto the black background.

Sheila had photographs of the two original canvases, painted by William Brown in the 1840’s, reduced in size and printed onto cotton fabric which she then quilted using free machine stitching.  These two panels will form the centre of our collaborative quilt with the rest of them being grouped as shown above.


Centre two panels free machined by Sheila

Click on each of the images to see the detail that has been put into the quilts, they really are beautiful pieces of work.

Quilt created by Pat Cave

Quilt created by Sue Jackson

Quilt created by Gill Lewis

Quilt created by Eileen MacKenzie

Quilt created by Gwen Harlow

Quilt created by Sandra Goldsborough

Quilt created by Margaret Fulwood

Quilt created by Karen Lane




The Louth Panorama…..


Art quilt based on a small section of the Louth Panorama

I’ve just finished working on my little section of a collaborative quilt with ‘Meridian’ a textile group who are based in the market town of Louth.   The overall quilt will be a tribute to the Louth Panorama, painted by William Brown, which is an all-round view of the town and district as seen from the top of the spire of St James’s parish church in Louth as on a summer’s day in the 1840s.  It depicts local life, the pattern of streets and the market place, with a roofscape little changed today. The painting consists of two canvases which have an interesting history and more information can be found on the Louth Museum website.

We each chose our favourite section of the painting to reproduce as a mini art quilt, either A4 or A3.  My choice was the graveyard which I’ve made in A3.  We were given free rein to use whatever techniques we wanted to use,  I’ve created mine as a whole cloth, painted with Inktense and then hand and machine embroidered.  I’ve used a bit of artistic licence to square up the layout and omitted the tiny figures.  You can see the original section below.

My chosen section of the Louth Panorama

I will add an update once we get all of the quilts joined together.

Lincolnshire Wolds Quilt…..

I’ve just finished my latest art quilt “Lincolnshire Wolds“.  This one has an entirely painted background, using Inktense on vilene.  I don’t normally use Bondaweb in my art quilts, I usually lay the fabric down and sew it straight onto the background but this time I made an exception.  After giving it some thought it seemed the easiest way to create the foliage on the foreground tree and a good way to make the shadow from that same tree on the field.

The stitching is a combination of straight stitch and free machine embroidery with a little hand stitching along the base of the hedgerow.

Art quilt depicting the Lincolnshire Wolds landscape

Lincolnshire Wolds

The one drawback to using pelmet vilene for textile art is that it is easily creased so it really needs mounting on a canvas or a board when I get around to it.

A Tribute to Three Worlds…..

Between Christmas and New Year I began work on a new art quilt which I have called A Tribute to Three Worlds.  This 44″ x 27″ quilt is my textile interpretation of a lithograph by one of my favourite artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1892-1972)

Black and white etching titled Three Worlds by artist Maurits Cornelis Escher

The original lithograph version of Three Worlds by Maurits Cornelis Escher.

I have been an admirer of Escher’s work since my art school days.  During a recent visit to Barter Books in Alnwick I bought “The Life and Works of Escher” by Miranda Fellows and felt inspired by this particular design to create my on take on it.

The first stage of the art quilt A Tribute to Three Worlds....trees and fish are painted and in position.

Background work in progress…..the trees are done and the Tyvek fish are painted and roughly placed in position.

I wanted to recreate the three different perspectives i.e. the trees above the water seen as a reflection, the Autumn leaves floating on the water and the fish swimming below the water, all of which make up Escher’s “three worlds”.   It took a lot longer to complete than I had imagined it would but I’m very happy with the result.

Three Worlds Art Quilt

A Tribute to Three Worlds

Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds…..

I’ve just completed a commissioned quilt, entitled Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds, for the local branch of the WAW (Walkers are Welcome).  The two characters in my design are based on the twins from the old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert, but in this case they are carrying backpacks and are walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

The old Start-Rite children's shoe advert

The old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert

After taking several photographs of the local landscape I chose the view which was taken just outside of Horncastle, with my back to the A158, looking across towards the Wolds and towards the village of West Ashby.

Photograph taken from the A158 on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds

View of the Lincolnshire Wolds looking towards West Ashby

The 30 x 30 cm quilt combines several techniques including the use of Inktense pencils to draw and colour the background scenery.  The twins are applique with 3D backpacks.  The trees have vilene trunks and needle felted foliage created using the embellisher machine.  The hedgerows were made from a lightweight scarf which was distressed using a heat gun while the stitching is a combination of hand and machine embroidery.

Working on my design for the Walkers are Welcome art quilt

My preliminary sketch for the WAW quilt

Working on the WAW quilt

Work in progress

I’m not a fan of borders so, as the brief was to include a border, I’ve painted it to make it an extension of the main image.

Horncastle - Gateway to the Wolds

The finished quilt


New Version of Yellow Poppies…..

A couple of weeks ago, at a workshop with Mandy Nash, I was introduced to Bergschaf wool.  Since taking up felting I’ve been used to working with Merino and wasn’t too sure if I would take to the coarser, hairier Bergschaf but I love it!  Not only does it felt very quickly but, being supplied as carded batts, it makes laying out a lot quicker too.  Having previously made a vessel with it, this weekend I thought I would try using Bergschaf to make a felted wall hanging.  I’ve revamped a design I did a couple of years ago, making it larger and adding grasses.  The new version of Yellow Poppies is approximately 20″ x 15″.

My original Yellow Poppies felted picture

My original Yellow Poppies felted picture

Laying out the design

Laying out the new design

Wet felted Bergschaf and Merino wool picture entitled Yellow Poppies.

New version of Yellow Poppies.

The poppies and smaller flowers were made with Merino, the stalks are knitting wool and the detail was added with free machine stitching.  The black backing fabric is garden membrane which is great to use as it doesn’t tear or fray.

Reverse side of Yellow Poppies

Reverse side of Yellow Poppies


My finished Summer Garden…..


This is my finished “Summer Garden” piece which, you can see here, was started back in September.   The challenge was to create a 20″ x 15″ quilt using pieces of fabric no larger than 3″ in any direction.  To be true to the challenge I made a background consisting of forty eight small squares machined together and layered this with small scraps of fabric and stitch as demonstrated in the Wendy Dolan book Layer, Paint and Stitch.

Create a quilt with fabric scraps…..

At the beginning of the Summer members of the Cranwell Group were all asked to submit ideas for future quilt challenges. Although not exactly in sync with the current season, the theme to be drawn out the hat for our latest challenge was “Summer Garden” and for this quilt we were asked to create a quilt with fabric scraps no larger than 3″.

I recently discovered Wendy Dolan’s book Layer, Paint and Stitch and particularly liked the heavily textured project that features on the front cover. I decided to use a similar method to create my Summer Garden quilt.

Layer Paint and Stitch by Wendy Dolan

Layer Paint and Stitch by Wendy Dolan

I sketched out a rough design for the foreground on tracing paper before making a start on the base layer.



The base layer consists of forty eight 3″ squares of cotton fabric which I pinned to a thin vilene ground and roughly machined in place.


Next I added small pieces of different natural fabrics and some flower heads cut from lace and free machined these in place.


Create a quilt with fabric scraps

The scraps of fabric that make up the background of the quilt.

More texture was built up by adding flower stems, using a thick thread such as crochet cotton in the bobbin and sewing from the reverse side of the fabric.  I found this a particularly useful tip as in the past if I have needed thick stitching I’ve either hand sewn or couched……this method is so much quicker and easier!

I began colouring the fabric with blue acrylic paint but wasn’t happy with the result so changed to procion dye for the grass and gave the sky a once over with the green to dull it down.  When it had dried I began building up the foreground using sheers for the flower heads and wool for the stems.

I’ve done a lot more work to it since this last photo so will post an update within a couple of days once it’s completely finished.


Three Tall Trees Update…..

Three Tall Trees

Three Tall Trees 30″ x 40″

My Three Tall Trees quilt is finally finished……I think.  I haven’t put as much detail into this 30″ x 40″ quilt as I did the smaller 30cm x 40cm version, however there is the possibility that at some point before this is handed in for the David Hockney Challenge I just might add to it.

30cm x 40cm version

30cm x 40cm version

Three Tall Trees…..

At long last, after making 3 small quilts for the David Hockney Challenge and promising Mary from LINQS I would make a large one, I have finally made a start on it! It’s going to be a scaled up version of the quilt I made at the Cranwell Group earlier this year with the theme “what Winter means to me” (20″x 15″).

What Winter Means To Me

What Winter Means To Me

Last Winter had been all about trees as far as I was concerned. Researching Hockney’s work led to me developing a fascination of my own for trees and woodlands and I began photographing them wherever I went. This quilt is based on a photograph I took while out walking in the woods at Woodhall Spa.

The woods at Woodhall Spa

The woods at Woodhall Spa

I began by soda soaking my fabric prior to dyeing with Procion from Artvango. Unfortunately I think I must have used too much soda. Although I covered it before ironing I still managed to burn the entire area of fabric above the tree tops! The dyed area was fine, just the white space above was burnt. I decided, rather than start again, to cut out the trees, back them with Vilene and make a huge piece of appliqué. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it was so much easier to handle under the machine than the whole cloth would have been!

Coloured with Procian and Inktense.....prior to burning!

Coloured with Procion and Inktense…..prior to burning!

I’ve layered organza and netting and machine stitched the background trees in various coloured threads, the same way as I did for the smaller version, but this time using more variety of colours.

Layered organza and netting.

Layered organza and netting.

The next step was to add the woodland floor before layering my appliqué woodland, sky fabric and wadding. The foreground trees have now been tacked in position and can be machined once the finer branches have been hand sewn.

Foreground trees tacked in position

Foreground trees tacked in position

I’m not particularly looking forward to quilting the three tall trees in place as the quilt sandwich is already very bulky.  With hindsight I should have sewn the three trees on to the “sky” layer before I started quilting……..another lesson learnt!