The Scottish Quilting Show Glasgow 2022
Dictionary definition of Structure – “the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex”
Structures come in all shapes and sizes, from the structure of a certain virus, invisible to the human eye, to the structure of our planet Earth. Structures may be natural or man-made.
What better theme for textile artists to explore?
Our aim was to work in a series from a single inspiration source and make one large quilt 36″x 36″ and four small quilts 17.5″x17.5″. Due to circumstances beyond our control we didn’t quite all achieve this.
Click on the images to see the whole quilts.
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.
Firth of Forth 2021
The Firths of Scotland are coastal structures not seen elsewhere in the British Isles. They bring sheltered, deep water to long stretches of coastline and have played a major part in the development of settlements, commerce and now leisure activities.
This view across the Firth of Forth from Lauriston Castle to Fife highlights the islands such as Inchcolm with its ancient abbey, and Inchmickery, with its First World War gun emplacements making it look like a battleship. Cramond Island can be reached on foot at low tide and is regularly visited by the RNLI, rescuing visitors who’ve not paid attention to the tidal flow!
Hand painted fabric for sea and sky, commercial fabric for the land.
Coastal Structures 2021
The coastline of Great Britain is over 11.000 miles long at mean high tide and encompasses a wealth of fascinating structures, from sand to rock, high and low, gentle and dangerous. Three structures featured here are found in the south-west of England where I have spent much time, the fourth close to my home by the Firth of Forth.
Mixture of hand painted and commercial fabric.
Peaceful Parkland 2022
This quilt depicts the sculptured park at Jupiter Artland just outside Edinburgh.
The cleverly created curves in this sculpture aroused my interest and resulted in this representation. The little bells (by Christian Boltanski) are actually in a different area but I thought they added interest to the quilt.
I used Gloria Loughman’s technique of “tiles” for the sky, water and foreground.
The hilly structures were applied using turned appliqué.
Machine quilted using quilting foot and straight stitch.
Four Small Quilts Based on Jupiter Artland 2022
A visit to Jupiter Artland just outside Edinburgh inspired the quilts for this exhibition. Sculptures are displayed throughout the 100 acre site as well as in the indoor galleries.
Arctic Cathedral 2021
Trømso Cathedral is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen. It is sometimes known as the ‘Toblerone’ cathedral because of its repeated triangular structure. It is particularly spectacular at night as the internal light emanates through the glass roof panels and the amazing stained-glass window above the altar glows with light. Often in winter all this is complemented by the Aurora Borealis dancing across the sky.
Machine pieced using hand dyed and commercial fabrics. Bonded appliqué. Machine quilted.
Structures 1-3 2022
This series of small quilts is inspired by the front and rear windows of Trømso Cathedral. As you look through the glass frontage there are so many combinations and permutations of geometric shapes created by the physical structure and the light shining into the building through the glass roof panels. At night the colours of the stained-glass window shine out as does the light through the roof accentuating the triangular structure of the building.
Bonded appliqué. Machine quilted.
The Scottish Quilting Show Glasgow 2020
Our theme for this exhibition was water or H2O. Each member of the group made two new quilts, one 36 x 36 ins, the other 24 x 48 ins.
We have found it more of a challenge than we expected to keep our focus on the water itself.
Our quilts reflect our personal interests in terms of technique and our interpretation of the theme.
Poole Harbour in Dorset is the largest natural harbour in the British Isles. The water is mostly shallow, though a channel deep enough for large ships is dredged through the harbour to Poole Quay.
At low tide, huge areas of sand and mud banks emerge, their shapes changing over time. Salt marshes form a link between land and water. Wild life is abundant here and well protected by reserves.
To the South and West of the water is a varied rural landscape, the Isle of Purbeck. To the North lies the ancient town of Poole, now a thriving urban area.
This is a painted wholecloth, coloured and quilted to hint at the complexity of the sea and landscapes.
Ghost Apple 2019
Ghost apples are created when freezing rain settles on the fruit and ices over immediately, creating a frozen coating. Apples have a lower freezing point than water, so when it gets a bit warmer the apple defrosts before the ice does. The rotting apple falls out of the bottom leaving its icy ‘ghost’ behind.
My daughter lives near Chicago and experienced the polar vortex of February 2019. The ghost apple phenomenon occurred as a result of the arctic temperatures.
Confetti background using commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric. Voile appliqué with threadpainted lace and raw edge bonded appliqué with Angelina fibre. Machine quilted.
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!
Big wave 2020
This quilt was inspired by an image of a large surf wave. It was quite challenging deciding how to create foam on the wave.
Machine paper piecing, constructed using Indian silk. Free motion quilted with rayon threads. Embellishments: silk threads, fabric paint, Angelina and tulle.
The warm water of the Gulf Stream or North Atlantic Drift moves from the Tropics towards Northern Europe bringing mild winter weather and ice-free coastlines. Without this ocean current North West Europe would experience winters similar to those in Eastern Siberia.
The strip-pieced background, embellished with sheer fabrics and decorative threads show the cool North Atlantic water. The confetti pieced feature covered with sheer fabric represents the ocean current, cooling as it travels northwards.
Lindisfarne Reflection 2020
Lindisfarne is a special place where the divide between the material and the spiritual seems very thin. For me, never more so than as the sun sinks behind the castle and the amazing colours in the sky and the shadow of the castle cast rippling reflections over the water.
Raw edge bonded appliqué using hand dyed and commercial cotton fabric. Machine quilted.
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 Scottish Quilting Show Glasgow 2018
Our theme for this exhibition was Trees. Each member of the group made two new quilts, one 36 x 36 ins, the other 20 x 60 ins. Inspiration came from a wide variety of sources and an extensive range of techniques were used to turn the intangible inspirations into tangible pieces of textile art.
Fantasy forest 2018
I was inspired by the unconventional landscapes created by Art Deco artists especially Clarice Cliff. I liked their use of alternative colours and shapes. I also studied stylised tree shapes in art from Ancient Egypt and India and let my imagination run riot. 36″x36″
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.
Northern Delights 2017
Sometimes the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights can be seen over Northumberland. The combination of that sight with the famous ‘Sycamore Gap’ on Hadrian’s Wall is, for me, the essence of Northumbria. 36″x 36″
Big Beeches & Bluebells 2018
A few miles from my home is Kinclaven Wood where there is an abundance of bluebells in the spring. It is an old wood and there are several huge beech trees two of which are depicted here.
The bluebells are represented by raw edge applique. The background is hand dyed fabric, free motion quilted. Trees are bonded then embellished with stitching. The background trees are cut from painted lutradur. Leaves are bonded and appliqued. 36″x 36″
Winter Tree 2018
Trees denuded of leaves demonstrate the complexity of their structures. I was inspired by the contorted shapes of winter trees in many favourite places, often seen with frost on the branches.
Winter light can be a beautiful combination of cool colours varying from bright to dark and give a strong setting for a bold tree. 20″x 60″
Fruits of the Forest 2018
Autumn is my favourite time of year when nature has done its job for the year and is preparing for winter hibernation. Crisp cool days are accompanied by glorious colours as the trees prepare to go to sleep and shed their leaves.
This quilt was inspired by the work of Mary McIntosh. Bleach and decolourant were used to remove the colour from the black linen then I made leaf stencils from freezer paper and used Markal paintsticks to – create the other leaves. Transfer foil and gold Markals were used for the fruits/seeds. The background is free motion quilted. 20″x 60″
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.
Colorado Fall 2018
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are spectacular at any time of year, but in the autumn or ‘fall’ the slopes turn to gold as the leaves of the aspen trees take on the glorious hues of autumn. At closer quarters the leaves shimmer in the breeze, yellow, orange and sometimes red and, if you look carefully, you can sometimes see the mountain bluebird.
Second in a Colorado series inspired by my daughter’s wedding in Frisco CO. 20″x 60″
The Scottish Quilting Show Glasgow 2017
We chose two themes for this exhibition.
Each member produced a new piece of work celebrating our group’s chosen name.
The group visited Kenmore in Perthshire to gain inspiration for a new set of quilts. We admired the scenery of Loch Tay surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, studied the buildings in the village and the stonework in the landscape and examined the wild flowers. Ideas for quilts began to emerge and eventually crystallised into this collection.
One location, four completely different interpretations.
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″
Hot Rocks 2017
The landscape of the Sonora Desert in Southwestern USA has been shaped by extremes of heat and absence of water. Massive blocks of terracotta coloured rocks make bold statements against a brilliant azure sky. The arid landscape is studded by bold shaped cacti. Many subtle shade variations exist in the horizontal rock strata and scrubby vegetation struggles to survive the intense, arid heat. The Saguaro Cactus is a bold, iconic example of a plant evolved to survive its environment. The skies, clear of clouds, often show the ‘con trails’ of high flying aircraft. 24″x40″
Evening reflection 2017
This is the second quilt I have made inspired by an overnight boat journey through Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. As the sun went down over the Tasman Sea after a glorious cloudless day, the light danced over the gentle waves and the intrinsic peace of the place intensified giving rise to physical and spiritual reflection. Hand dyed cotton, machine strip piecing and raw edge piecing. Machine quilted. Bonded appliqué and Angelina fibre. 24″x 40″
Tribute to ‘tricia 2017
New Reflections Quilters is a relatively new group and we were devastated by the sudden death of ‘tricia, one of our members, in October last year. ‘tricia encouraged us to try new techniques and in 2015 she and I attended The Contemporary Quilters Winter School. Together we learned new techniques using lutradur which I have used for the butterflies in my quilt. ‘tricia introduced us to Inktense pencils and those have been used to colour the butterflies along with acrylic paint. The butterflies in this quilt represent the five members of the group – the top butterfly (‘tricia) is flying away whilst the remainder continue with their challenges. ‘tricia is always in our thoughts and this quilt is a tribute to her. 24″x 40″
Kenmore Rose 2017
I have always loved flowers and close up photographs of flowers which go beyond the first impact. This quilt was inspired by the wild flowers growing in the hedgerows around Kenmore. Digitally manipulated photograph printed onto A3 cotton sheets. Machine pieced and thread painted and machine quilted. 24″x40″
Kenmore Kirk 2017
Kenmore has a lovely old church with beautiful stained glass and etched windows. However, I was inspired by the wood carving on the pulpit and have adapted the design to form a stained glass effect quilt. This quilt has been machine appliquéd and machine quilted.
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″
Timeless Tayside 2017
The landscape is superficially simple, hills and water, but every hillside is a detailed patchwork of infinitely varied slopes and land use, colours altering with the seasons. Loch Tay may appear smooth and calm but it reflects a constantly changing sky and contains abundant aquatic life, busy below the surface. In certain light the distant boundary between land and sky becomes difficult to discern. 24″x 40″