I’ve had some pieces of work dragging on for a while, so made a very concerted effort over the last few days to finish them off. The circular pieces, about which I’ve blogged previously, are quite big, with the birds added after they were made and stitched separately, and as I ended up with spare birds I made a rectangular piece too.

So, here they are, all done and ready to go to my stand at the Festival of Quilts. The circular pieces are about 55 cm in diameter, on printed and dyed Khadi paper, with added fabric, slip birds and stitch.






I enjoyed making this one most, using the birds as bold shapes cut from some fabric I had printed and dyed, with a small amount of appliqué. This more pattern based approach may be the direction in which my  work is going.


The ‘spare bird’ piece, 50 x 30 cm.

I taught a ‘ Beautiful Birds’ class a week or so ago, and during these classes I do a demonstration of printing and painting, using acrylics and inks, on fabric and paper, so the students can then follow on and make their own individual fabrics. I always tell them to ignore the results of my demo and just watch the techniques, as the resultant fabrics can be quite challenging. But I have noticed that when I get home I quite often choose to use some of these overloaded bits of cloth. So here is an image of the products of one of my demos during the class. I was using a particularly strong and, let’s be honest, ghastly green acrylic paint. When it was dry I flooded the fabrics with crimson ink, which resulted in what can accurately be described as very jolly and mostly pink and green fabric and painted map. As a couple of students wanted to see a hand stitch demonstration too, I used a pattern I had designed for an article and made up a quick bird, did the demo, and finished the piece off at home. None of the others have a name yet, but this one is definitely ‘Pink Moon’.


The fabrics from the demo and my bird pattern.


The finished piece; it’s about 35 x 25 cm. Below, a close up.


14 thoughts on “Phew.

  1. I’m not sure why, but the final bird makes me think of The Magic Flute… Oh Steph, those colours, they make me tingle.

  2. Funny how the pieces of cloth we often think of as ‘failures’ turn out to be just what we need! I like the way your work is evolving into pattern – alot of potential for digital reproduction, would be great to see some fat quarters of your pattern designs. Beautiful work as always x

    1. It’s true, never dump a failure, they are often the most exciting. Jac, you are naughty, surface design and digital reproduction, that would be something to experiment with, wouldn’t it? Sx

  3. Just all yumbo Stephers – especially that last chap, and his glorious pink moon. You have probably already told us this, but I have not been concentrating properly .. where did you get those brill circles? And how are you presenting them/mounting them? – H xx

    1. Now pay attention Hils, they’re Khadi paper circles, about 55cm across. That’s the way they come, with the wonderful ragged circumference.
      They’re mounted on mount board, I won’t be framing them as they will be for sale; I’ll just cellophane wrap them and put them in my browser at the Festival of Quilts. Sxx

  4. I’m glad Hilary asked that question as I thought you’d cut the circles yourself and was wondering how you did that. I’ve been experimenting with circular motifs and cyanotypes and struggling to get crisp , clean edges naturally. Now, if only I could get my hand on some of those circles!! I shall be on the look out for them now Steph. As ever, your work hits me between the eyes. The way you use colour and push ideas along never fails to amaze. Good luck at FOQ although it is surely not needed.

    1. Hi Lesley, the edges aren’t crisp, as it’s Khadi paper, and that naturally has distressed edges, but the circles seem quite perfect. I’ve just ordered some more circles today, they were very interesting to work with, and I have an idea of what I want to make next too, which may involve them. They are actually 56 cm diameter, a size which seems to suit me.
      You can order them from, they are in the single sheet section, if you want to look them up. I can’t take full credit for my colour use, I must admit, it’s the procion dyes that are so amazing on paper, and the wonderful resist that occurs in combination with the acrylics. They are certainly addictive though. Many thanks for your kind words, I love your moth images.

      1. Thanks so much for the info Steph. I’ve now ordered a pack of the medium rough circles and will try them out. I thought about either using them flat and framed or folded and stitched together in a book format after getting the images onto them via either cyanotypes or drawing. You will see the results. Glad you liked the moths. The trap last night yielded a few more species, including a beautiful Garden Tiger. Now is the perfect time for you to get that home made version up and running!

  5. The circles are just fabulous, I haven’t ever seen Khadi paper as circles before and am off to take another peek at their website. Good luck at FOQ!

    1. Hi Gill,
      Sorry no reply sooner, you were spammed, and I hadn’t checked. Some of the things it wants to let through lately make me wonder if my filters have had a personality change. The circles a re good fun and make you think quite differently, so are good for change and development I find.
      Thanks for your good wishes re FOQ, I daresay there will be a post or two from me…

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