Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Sunday, 6 October 2013


We had our annual Spring Show at the Dias Quilters' Guild last week where I also taught a workshop, so life stays busy....

Two years ago, my friend Yolande Bowman of the Pied Piper quilt shop and I sat at the Spring Show and "cooked up" an invitational creative challenge for the 2012 Spring Show.    We identified 12 quilters (including the two of us) to participate and were thrilled that everybody accepted the challenge.   It added a wonderful dimension to our annual quilt exhibition which sparked interest for a similar challenge for this year...

The 2013 challenge was to make a piece in the format of a diptych within prescribed size restrictions.    We received 17 entries which was on display as a satellite exhibition of the 2013 Spring Show.   It really was WOW!

Currently I am intrigued with fusing squares as backgrounds - I find it a wonderful foundation to complement basically any kind of design.    Personally I have rediscovered the beauty and peacefulness of neutral shades, also in my home decor.   Maybe a new phase of inner peace...?    Any way, I bought so much fabric to have a good selection of neutrals when I made the Willa quilt.   I still have quite a stash and at the moment, I just love the effect....!

Having made two major quilts this year already, I did not have lots of time to work on the diptych challenge and it had to wait for after Festival 2013.    I had a completely different idea for this challenge, but when I started work on the other idea, I realized that it will be a major project for which I did not have enough time as Willem and I also had a holiday planned.    So, my original idea was shelved and I had to make another plan.   I offered the piece to my daughter Elizabeth who was excited to get something from her mom!    That made it so much easier for me as she chose the colour scheme, size etc and I could start work, almost the same as being commissioned.

Traditionally a diptych is two panels attached with hinges like a book.   I thought that I would make fabric hinges to hold the two panels together, also to be able to hide a sleeve at the top back to hang the piece from.   I pinned the the two panels to my design wall with an asymmetrical triangle across the top which would be one hinge, but my friend Brenda wanted to know why I would spoil the effect by doing that....?     It made me think!   Somehow Brenda's remark uncluttered my process and put me on the right track.   I drew circles and generally just played a bit with colour adding some silks for that rich lustre.     Every piece of fabric was fused and stitched using the raw edge applique method.   I stitched extra detail onto certain sections and also couched decorative threads at others.    In the end, it took me about a week to make this piece which is quite unusual for me!

Diversity 2013

Some detail of the stitching on one of the circles and background

Diversity - Detail of the 2 hinges

The diptych is attached by the two circular motifs which was made separately and stitched onto the quilt after the two panels were completed.    I satin stitched around the outer edges of these two circles to secure the edges which also gave it a neat finish.   Personally I thought the mood of the quilt is understated and the more I looked at it, I realized that true beauty often lies in the simple things in life...  

I was so pleased with this piece and Elizabeth could not wait for the exhibition to finish so that she could take Diversity home....!    I also had the honour that the Dias Quilters's Guild Committee used this quilt to make a poster advertising the 2013 Quilt Show!