My home has always been in rural Perthshire and I consider it a great privilege and pleasure to have the wonders of the countryside right on my doorstep. I can’t remember life before stitching. Some of my earliest memories involve my Mother working at various crafts or sitting at her Singer sewing machine. She always seemed to have time for my ‘help’. I was a member of the SWRI for several years during the ’80s and the discipline of their competitions may have drawn my attention to the importance of detail. Sometime in the ’90s I visited The Scottish Quilt Championships when they were held in Perth and decided the time was right for a change. Since then I have attended many classes in search of new skills and techniques and in 2010 completed my first Creative Journey with Pat Archibald. I am grateful to Pat for pointing me in another new direction. At the moment using thread to create surface detail is probably my favourite thing but who knows what tomorrow will bring? I am still searching for my own style … … !
View Nancy’s Quilts
Click on the thumbnail to see full image
The Aeolian Harp Pavilion 2022
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was the Keeper of the Winds and King of the island of Aeolia.
The Aeolian Harp Pavilion in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh was designed and built by Mark Norris using wood saved from a very old Wych Elm tree after it had succumbed to Dutch Elm disease in 2003.
Permission to use the designs from the pavilion and the poem for my quilts was very generously given by Mark Norris and Valerie Gillies.
The Aeolian Harp 2022
The harp is the centre piece of the pavilion. It has been cleverly worked from the elm to display the amazing grain in the wood which is what first caught my eye and drew me in to see the detail. Mechanism has been built into the harp to enable it to turn and produce sound from the wind blowing through the strings.
Poem – The Harp of Aeolus 2022
Especially written and displayed in the Aeolian Harp Pavilion
Wych Elm Tree 2022
I have always admired illustrations by botanical artists. This is my version using needle and thread.
Pavilion Floor 2022
Design adapted from inlaid floor panels made from Elm and Ash.
I Took the Leap
I was inspired by a Zoom lecture given by Lisa Walton and went on to take her online tutorial. This is the fun result. No rulers used, all rotary cut at random and bonded.
It’s a pleasure to watch this busy little fellow while out for a walk by the rivers in Perthshire – if we are lucky enough to spot him!
The Flow Country in the far North of Scotland is the largest area of its kind in Europe – if not the world. This vast expanse of peat bog is home to many birds and other rare species.
From a distance the bogland may appear mainly green and brown but on closer inspection there are many colourful and special plants to be seen. Sphagnum moss plays an important part in reducing the effects of climate change by creating a blanket over the peat thus trapping the carbon.
Various organisations are involved in protecting this special area including RSPB. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Road to Stardom 2019
The completed restoration of Perth Theatre in 2017 included a second entrance in Mill Street. I like the angles of the new building which is colourfully lit in the evenings. The spotlight in the sky was inspired by the fan light on the canopy above the front entrance.
Floral Fantasy 2019
Gold Winner, Contemporary Section, Scottish Quilting Show, Glasgow, 2019
Everyone loves flowers and this reminds me of dahlias in the garden when I was a child. Made to my own design. Flowers inspired by the work of Judy Niemeyer. 24″x48″
A large single tree growing in the countryside is a truly majestic sight. I decided to stitch this one on a winter’s day which might be the reason for the colour scheme but my aim was to make the tree the strong player in the design.
Silver Birch 2018
I see a silver birch tree every time I sit at my sewing machine. It grew uninvited at the bottom of a neighbour’s garden and I enjoy its company while I contemplate my next move. The coloured blocks represent the gardens and the simple background represents the open countryside beyond.
The Old Farm Wall 2016
It was a beautiful sunny morning as we followed the Tay through the valley on our drive up to Kenmore. The quiet peaceful village beside the calm flat loch set the mood for our day. I have tried to capture this in the choice of colours for my quilt.
I based my design on the old farm building at the edge of the village. I was attracted to it by the sight of many birds darting around and nesting in the walls. Lots of different plants were also happy to make their home in the interesting old wall. 24″x40″
The inspiration for this design came from a photograph taken at The Climatron, St Louis where a Heliconia caribaea var. purpurea can be found attempting to reach the 60ft high glass roof built using a framework of hexagons. It certainly brightened up a grey morning. 24″x 40″
Big Tree Country 2014
Completed for QGBI Region 16 – Best of Scotland Challenge – 2014
I have been very fortunate to live in rural Perthshire all my life and have my eyes opened to the beauty of trees. I particularly enjoy the mix of beech with various firs I see on walks around Dunkeld. I used fabric paint and marker pens on commercial fabrics and the lace overlay represents the welcome green of the beech leaves in Spring. All applique is bonded and free machine stitched with a little hand finishing. 27″x18″
Canadian Rockies 2011
The loops represent The Spiral Tunnel we travelled through on a memorable journey on the Rocky Mountaineer Train. The Hammer and Last Spike symbolise our respect for the engineers 100 years earlier. The blue and pink lines on the side of the train were the inspiration for the background colours and the white reminds us of the vast areas of snow on The Rocky Mountains. 24″x 40″
From Hillside to Home 2012
Inspired by George Mackay Brown’s line of poetry – ‘Good said the shepherd as he fleeced his flock’
Imagine a lovely sunny morning in Orkney – perfect day for the sheep shearing. The silver motifs represent the tools of the various trades involved in the supply of wool from the sheep on the hills to the craft workers and consumers in the home. 30″x 30″
Gold & Silver Waltz 2015
Juried into the CQ ‘Elements’ Challenge Festival of Quilts 2015
I found my ‘Elements’ in Franz Lehar’s Gold and Silver Waltz. I adapted Libby Lehman’s ribbon design to portray the dancers swaying and twirling to the music. The couple (treble clef and bass clef) dance from the music lines around the floor and out into the starry moonlight night. 18″x 31″
Paducah Memories 2011
Made for Region 16 QGBI Suitcase Collection
Inspired by a trip to Caryl Bryer Fallert’s Studio during a visit to Paducah Quilt Show. Several of her quilts were on display and this quilt is made from fabric bought in her shop. 12″x 16″
A Tree by any other Name 2016
Made for Seams Right Exhibition at The Quilting Show, SECC, Glasgow March 2016 24″x 24″
Carnival Feathers 2016
Made for Themed Competition – Carnival Colours The Quilting Show, SECC, Glasgow 30″x 30″
Winter Visitors 2015
The starting point for this quilt was a fond childhood memory of skeins of geese flying over the house and resting in a nearby field. I used only one large piece of hand dyed fabric and Ricky Tims Convergence technique for the background. 40″x 24″