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‘Children of the Sky’ – Swallow

Many years ago when I had my very first exhibition at Midsomer Quilting on the Mendips I met a man called Mark Britten.  Mark is a farmer on the Somerset Levels and he writes really beautiful poetry about the area that he has grown up in and understands.  We chatted about my work and he read me a poem he had written called children of the sky – it is a very moving piece that I later asked his permission to base a piece on.

This is the first of two pieces based around Mark’s work from a little book he has made called ‘Man of the Moor’.  The second piece is now complete and will be in a later post.

Having found the source of inspiration I needed to find a powerful image to base the bird on.  I found this beautiful photograph  by Jayanta Bordoloi on Flickr and promptly contacted him to ask his permission to use it as my inspiration which he kindly agreed to.  You can see more of Jayanta’s work on Flickr here.

The series of pictures below show the various stages of fabric selection, piecing and finally stitching.


The aim was to include the whole poem within the piece, this was a challenge as any words I had previously incorporated in work had been large in size and within a grid system (resulting in very limited words!).  I planned the layout of the poem and bird on paper within a spiral and then, using an iron removable pen wrote the poem on the backing fabric and started to stitch.

The final piece was obviously circular which meant I could not finish it easily with my usual technique (zig zag stitched around the edge).

 I am fortunate enough to have been a member of a Textile Group called CQWest for 4 years now.  Over this time I have got to know many talented and generous artists – they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are willing to share.  I didn’t know how to approach finishing this piece so called upon my friend Liz Hewitt.  Liz invited me over to show me how to ‘lace’ the back of my quilt over acid free foam board.  My attempt may not win prizes but it’s great to have a new technique under my belt.

‘Children of the Sky’ is now available as a Giclee print in my Art Store here.