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, 27 April 2014


As quilters, we are so blessed to enjoy our creative journey at this time we are living in...    We can choose the most beautiful fabrics, threads, patterns, books and gadgets to make the process easy.   Because of modern technology, we are exposed to so much information and visual stimulation.  We share our work on blogs, websites, social media etc with people we don't know from Adam.    The common thread is that we share the same passion for fabric and stitching.   We feel we know these icons personally as we know what they look like, we see their work in our own homes with the wonderful aid of the internet and we can aspire to reach their heights or maybe one day, meet them in the flesh and touch their work.   For me the downside of this overload of information, is that one can spend so much time on the computer ogling the work of others that one tend to forget to do your own...

As a creative soul, I battle to settle down doing repetitive work.   I regularly need to change direction to maintain and feed my passion for fibre and thread.    I often explore in a series, but when I'm done with that, I need to move to the next challenge.   I might combine elements of a previous series with a new element which can take a simple idea much further.     This creates much excitement.

Some time ago I saw a TV clip about an Afrikaans singer/songwriter Lise Beekman who lost her partner under very sad circumstances.   At the time, she was so overcome with grief that she could not make music....   She found herself doodling on paper and the result was the most beautiful mandalas created with inks, crayons etc.   I was enthralled by the beauty of her creations and immediately saw the endless possibilities by creating mandalas in fabric...    As I really love symmetry and playing with my geometry tools, I was ready for this new challenge and took out pencil, eraser, paper, compass, protractor, paper scissors and a long ruler.   It reminded  me so much of the beginning of my quilting career when I designed traditional quilts for my students - it was as if the process was completed in a way, full circle!

A month ago I started doodling a mandala in my drawing book and have done a few drawings since...   I paged through this book today and was amazed at how many of the sketched ideas in my book actually became pieces...

Any way, I was invited to make an A3 quilt for a fundraising auction.    I designed a small mandala, quite simple but set on a background of small embroidered squares.    It almost gives the feeling that it was floating on the background.      Cotton fabric and mostly variegated threads were used -  all the coloured fabrics used for the mandala was repeated in the binding.    All the motifs were secured with the raw edge applique technique and the edge around the mandala was sealed by couching a commercial cotton thread.

Synergy 2014
I have subsequently designed and cut a second mandala which is for an exhibition in July.   I worked until late at night this past week, so engrossed in the excitement that sleep eluded me...   It is now ready to be stitched and I cannot wait to bring it to life....    But I can only share this one with you at the end of July, so in the meantime it will be other little things I'm dabbling with...