Today We Will Live In Colour


Mercifully short of days, February full of greys,

Grey cloud, grey sky, grey land, grey sea,

Grey birds, grey fish, grey you, grey me.

O whatever could be drearier!

How I long for something cheerier…



Today is the Reveal Day for the Endeavourers Art Quilt Group and our theme for this quarter is ‘Texture’. I began with some textured fabrics and a couple of experiments with fabric manipulation (blogged here) and I soon decided that, rather than making an abstract textured piece, I would make a picture incorporating a wider than usual range of textural materials. I also wanted to make something lively and colourful to hang on the wall in the Makery to cheer the place up a bit during this drab time between New Year and Spring.


I began with a background of brown utility fabrics (middle) and a gold acrylic (top) and selected a variety quilting and dressmaking cottons and linens to make the circles/clamshells.

And, at the bottom I used an ochre cotton, upholstery check and some Kona solid for the sea. The grey band is something nylon that comes to put around the bottom of the legs of suit trousers to stop them fraying and I included the not-very-successful twisted pleats just because I’d made them. It was a joy to use so many odds and ends that I’ve kept for years for no good reason!

I also used a piece of embroidered linen and a band of music themed trimming. The dress, I know, is a touch ill-fitting but i was the best I could manage with my trial of honeycomb smocking :)


To create surface texture, I used embroidery silks, sewing thread and a metallic gold which I had to couch because it had a tendency for the gold to shred away from an orange centre thread,

And to create a more quilted texture I used a combination of embroidery silks (using different numbers of thread sewn together) and some vintage stranded silk on the gold and three threads of a variegated stranded DMC skein for the sea. On the circles, I used a gold coloured silk, which is nicely luminous when the light catches it. I also did some straight line machine quilting but it is mostly obscured by buttons etc.


Apart from that I used padded applique for the people, fish and birds and buttons (which have different textures to each other and create a textured effect en masse) and a knitted hat.

This was a continually evolving project. There was a lot of handwork and as I worked on one thing I thought about what to do next and I added elements just because they involved a ‘new’ texture and happened to come to mind. It was a very enjoyable way of working and, although if I were to remake it I can see design changes that might improve it, I think it’s turned out to be much livelier than pictures I’ve sewn before and it’s certainly converted me to the idea of adding a lot more texture and variety to my quilts.

I’m very grateful to my fellow Endeavourers. Without the encouragement and enthusiasm of this lovely group, let alone the Themes and Deadlines, I should never find the time or inspiration to embark on such adventures and I hope you will visit The Endeavourers blog to see what they have all made for this challenge.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I am linking this post with: TGIFF at Devoted Quilter

And, as it comprises virtually all my sewing and photos during January – which was not a great month! – with: Wandering Camera

And Helen’s new linky party:

Archie The Wonder Dog

18 thoughts on “Today We Will Live In Colour

  1. piecefulwendy

    Oh, this is such a fun piece, with so many little elements to seek and find. I love the fish! It has great texture, not only for the eyes, but also for the touch. I want to carefully run my hand over it. I’m sure this will make you smile each time you see it!


  2. sewofcourse

    What a wonderful piece, it is one you can look at again and again, and see something different every time! It must have been great fun to think of more and more to add, and thinking of different ways to add different textures.


  3. TextileRanger

    Your visual voice is so unique; I just love all your pieces. They remind me of illustrations for the best children’s book ever!
    You combined so many different techniques in this piece and they all add to the visual richness. What I love best is the way the sky is dropping down discs of color instead of gray rain — well, that’s the way I see it anyway! :)


  4. Carol DeLater

    This piece is so darned cheerful! Every single element enhances the next. Juggling FISH!?! Who would think of THAT! So much fun that brought such a HUGE smile to my face. Just what I need to start my day.
    xx, Carol


  5. Benta

    This is gorgeous! I love the idea of the circle with the clams shells – I’ve got some tacked and I’m not sure what to do next – but I’ll be tacking some circles!!!


  6. Sue (Stitchin' the Void blog)

    This is the first time I’ve seen your blog (thanks to furtling!!) and I am absolutely in love with your project. The detail in it – just awesome!!!


  7. Angie

    I think this is the first time I have joined you, from Wandering Camera. You certainly nailed the Texture element of this; I like how you kept adapting as you went along – not one of my strong suits!


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