West coast landscape

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A couple of years ago we were holidaying on the north west coast of Scotland and one evening, as I was working in the kitchen, I saw this strange reflection that was actually on the window glass but appeared to be out in the garden among the vegetation. I had to photograph it as I thought it would make an interesting embroidery/quilting project.

A few months later I saw the fabulous fabrics and that gave me the idea straight away for the ‘landscape’ project. I stitched together the three pieces of fabric that make up the sea, land and sky features and then basted them to wadding. I then machine quilted the panels, following the varying colours in the fabric design. The little croft houses were made with hand coloured, pelmet vilene and glued to the background fabric. Embroidery stitches were added by hand to give the indication of vegetation around the buildings.

The background of the ‘window’ panel is made with various fabrics for the sky and vegetation, with the wall fabric added last of all. The croft house is made of white paper and glued to the background fabric. The panel was then over embroidered with a combination of machine and hand embroidery to both quilt and emboss the surface. The wall fabric was then added and machine quilted along the lines of individual stones. The ‘window’ panel was then attached  to the main panel by stitching on a border of matching flat, hand dyed thread, which formed a frame for the piece.

Extra 3D effects were added to the bottom right foreground of the main panel using had painted and heat treated Tyvek, couching textured threads, adding hand embroidery stitches and then glueing on some tiny shells. The finished panel is 44 inches long and 15 inches wide.


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Inspired by this photo of Foxgloves I printed it onto silk organza, mounted it on fine linen fabric and then added lightweight wadding to the back, basting all three fabrics together.

I then used a combination of machine and hand stitching to quilt and embellish the scene. The work is done very much ‘free hand’ and I just add threads and stitches as the mood occurs, gradually building up the 3D design. The silk cocoons make perfect foxglove flowers and were embellished with tiny beads to indicate the pattern inside the individual flowers.

I have several hundred textured and hand dyed threads and used various shades of green to resemble the wild mixture of vegetation surrounding the flowers. The individual, short lengths of thread were couched onto the fabric by machine and then those at the forefront of the design were added by hand stitching. Hours of work!

The finished picture was then ‘framed’ with a flat, hand dyed  ‘thread’ that picked out the colours in the landscape. My husband then made a beautiful wooden, box frame in which the picture was mounted.

Skye design

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The photo at the top was sent to me by a friend who had visited the ruined church, Cill Chriosd, on the Bradford to Elgol road on Skye. She thought it might inspire me and it did.

I used the inkjet printer to transfer the photo onto fine cotton fabric and then set to work. The printed fabric was then tacked to wadding before I added machine and hand embroidery stitching, as well as textured threads to give a 3D effect. Pieces of Tyvek, that I had coloured and heat treated, were added to enhance the mossy stonework. I then quilted the stonework. My clever husband made a beautiful wooden box frame for it and I presented the finished piece to my friend who has it on the wall above her weaving loom.