Light moving from sun and sky/The universe enclosed/Slight steady throbbing heart.

Sorry about the heading, but I’ve started a new piece of work for the Art Textiles: Made in Britain gallery at the Festival of Quilts this year. We are all making our pieces for inside the gallery, but have decided to each make a piece on work in matching format to hang on the exterior walls of the gallery too. The canvases we are using are 120 x 40 cm. This format, and its partner the long landscape format, give ample opportunities for a good amount of narrative in a piece of work.

I’ve written some text to go with/on my piece, but can’t decide on the title yet; it will be one of the above lines, taken from the text.

So, some stages of its making.


My favourite part of a new project, sorting through all the potential ingredients. The series of blue and green painted and printed pieces were the first things I laid down, and the choices I stuck with too.





After much editing, organising, and a fair amount of use of the scissors, the final layout pinned to the canvas. I hadn’t intended birds to be included in this work, but from the start I knew they would be, there was no escape; see below.


I wanted to include some text I wrote for the piece, so decided that it would be perfect to make some birds using this. I printed this using my inkjet printer onto bondawebbed silk.


I then drew this chappie, as I wanted a flying bird. He’s a paradise flycatcher.


Here he is in place.


His two companions, one of which is shown above, were based on a bird drawing I had made for a piece called Autumn forest, which is in Gallery Two.


Halfway through adding all the smaller details, above and below.


And below, the piece has been machine stitched and is waiting for hand stitch and beads to be added. I will paint the canvas background but haven’t yet decided the colour.


14 thoughts on “Light moving from sun and sky/The universe enclosed/Slight steady throbbing heart.

  1. I love your work, Stephanie, and I especially love seeing some of your process in developing it. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Mary, thank you for your comment, I’m pleased you like the work and I’ll post it again when it’s finished. there will be some more process based posts coming too, hopefully.

  2. Hi,
    It’s great to see your work in progress.
    I went to the RBSA and really enjoyed looking at your work. I also bought a pack of the Found postcards. Lovely.

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m pleased you enjoyed our show, it was a very good experience for us and we were really happy and fortunate to have so many visitors. Glad you bought and like the postcard pack too!

    1. Thanks Debbie, the fabrics actually inspired the whole piece, and they were actually demonstration pieces I made whilst teaching; these unplanned pieces have inspired quite a few pieces of work.

  3. I love your work Stephanie. Unfortunately living in Australia I cannot see it in person. I am trying to understand how it goes together – you have a canvas but do you make the piece then attach to canvas. If so do you attach the work to felt or something first when you do your hand stitching? I do have copies of your books which I treasure but have never really thought about how it all goes together.

    1. Hi Rebecca, I remember sending the books to you. I bonded the fabric onto Lutradur, in this case, which makes the whole piece stiffer and more manageable, and stops the edges fraying. When it is all done I will glue it to the painted canvas, using Liquitex super heavy gel medium, which I spread thinly and doesn’t cause the work to cockle. So basically the canvas is just the support, although it does get a look in when it’s painted around its edges.

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful art and your process! I love the background images and the tranquil shades of this piece.
    With the layers of fused fabric and, perhaps, glued papers … Ontop of lutrador, how do you manage to add hand stitching?

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Many thanks for your complements.With regard to the stitching, I like to make things as difficult as possible for myself, as you have noticed; some areas are easier to stitch through, i.e. just fabric and the Lutradur, but other areas require bodging with a bradawl. I make quite long expressive stitches, so it’s not too bad.

  5. You share your work and your techniques in such a generous fashion Steph. I think those three lines work well together and I’m not sure I’d pick just one. They create the word pictures in your head that start the process of conjuring a personal narrative as your eyes read the work from top to bottom. Brilliant as ever.

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