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, 24 May 2015


I have previously mentioned the Diversity Fibre Art Exhibition which I organized earlier this year.  It was a resounding success and all the work can be viewed on the Diversity Fibre Art Exhibition facebook page. 

En-twine-D 2015

The first piece which I made for this exhibition was En-twine-D.  I once again used my sketch book to make various rough sketches and rather liked this one...

Rough Sketch of En-twine-D 2015

I prepared a background of 3cm x 3cm fused squares using a variety of silks and cottons in earthy shades.  Somehow these colours have such a soothing effect on me, maybe because of my deep connection with the earth.   I couched course string to seal the raw edges of the blocks which doubled up as the construction method .   It gave a lovely natural and textured look which I wanted for this piece.

The second aspect of this piece, was planning and making the "pelmet" at the top.   I wrapped discharged black fabric around three dowels.   The next step was to plan the spacing between the dowels.   Fabric beads were made and inserted as spacers between the dowels.  Somehow this construction had to be sewn down onto fabric which in the end was not too difficult!   The spaces on the fabric looked rather empty, so small pieces of fabric was stitched down into the spaces and embellished with natural beads, it provided the necessary interest and also gave a raised surface effect which worked well.

Pelmet section of En-twine-D 2015
The original idea was to make hanging elements which would hang from this pelmet section.  I changed the original idea of round shapes to a combination of half rounds and rounds.   It looked much more interesting and provided an easier way of attaching the top half round to the pelmet section.   The amazing thing was that after attaching the top section of the hanging panel to the pelmet, it immediately changed the quilt into two layers.    I was really pleased that the surface height of the pelmet section and the half round was similar!   At this stage I decided to add more colours and chose purples, cerise and lime greens in various shades.      I used a similar but slightly thinner string to couch around the edges of the different sections of the background.   Fabric beads and 3-D silk leaves were made to embellish the panel.   The silks added a lovely sheen.

Top section of hanging panel

Two more round and another half round completes the hanging panel strung together with a combination of fabric, wooden and metal beads.   As wrapped dowels were used in the pelmet section, I thought it best to repeat it at the bottom with another half round shape hanging from it.

Bottom section of hanging panel

When one works against the clock, every minute counts.  In South Africa we experience electricity supply problems at the moment which results in regular load shedding periods...   With the aid of a LED lamp, the work could proceed....
Assembling the hanging panel during electricity load shedding!

It was much easier naming my children or dogs than my quilts!   I don't know why I find it so difficult, but it really is...   With this piece I thought of my inner self, my thought processes, work ethic,the design etc.   Although I'm mostly a creative free spirit, the need also arises for structure, to be in control of the process…   Designing on paper using geometry tools satisfies this need.  After all this thinking and soul searching, I still could not title this piece....!   The piece was pinned to my design wall for a few weeks and while looking at it intently again, it struck me that string was actually used in almost every aspect of this quilt.   It was used to seal the raw edges around the squares of the background, to string the fabric beads on the pelmet while holding it all in place, to seal the raw edges around the round and half round shapes of the hanging panel and also to string all the beads of the hanging panel.   The outer edge of the quilt was also sealed with string....     Entwined came to my mind and using creative license, it became En-twine-D!