The Greatest Show on Earth!

Welcome to Rainbow Hare!

Today, for one post only, I would like to introduce to you: The Greatest Show on Earth!

I will speak of no circuses, no smoke and mirrors, no conjurer’s tricks (and absolutely no animation!).

Today, I would like to share with you the Awe, the Wonder, the Amazement, the MAGIC of ‘Light in the Darkness’.

Before we go any further, I should mention that this is not The Greatest Show on Earth. This is just a little piece of Quilt Theatre and it is my tribute to The Greatest Show on Earth – and my offering for today’s Four in Art reveal. Our theme for this year is ‘Light’ and the sub-theme for this quarter is ‘Light in the darkness’. Our aim, as always, is: “…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.12.25

If you will bear with this eccentricity (for one post only), I will show this quilt as a slideshow as that seems to me to be the easiest way of displaying it (You may have to visit my actual post to see the slideshow as I don’t think it will show up in an email) and then share the inspiration behind this piece.

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The photo above is meant to show how I made flaps on the quilt and folded them over to reveal the pictures but it doesn’t do that very well :(

This quilt was inspired by Black Light Theatre, which I first encountered on a trip to Prague, where I had the wonderfully good fortune of seeing the The Wow Show. The person I was with thought it looked silly and was just something for children so, for the first time in my life, I went to the theatre by myself. When I say ‘theatre’, it was a shabby old building with peeling paint that reminded me of your average village hall and, as I sat waiting for it to begin, I did wonder if it really was going to be as good as I’d hoped. Then we were plunged into the darkest of darkness and it began and all at once we were transported into another world. A parallel universe of wondrous, beautiful, bizarre and delightful scenes where any expectation was simultaneously surpassed and confounded. Where expectation itself became obsolete, being too much rooted in ordinary, mundane, everyday things.

And, unlike most ‘magic tricks’, which make us gasp in amazement but become entirely ordinary when we learn how they were done, I found knowing that the whole effect was caused by a particular way of costuming dancers and lighting the performance made the whole thing even more incredible! One day, I would love to see Aspects of Alice…Here is a clip.

I hope you have enjoyed these clips. If you have yet to experience Black Light Theatre in real life, I must tell tell you that wonderful as they are, they are the merest shadow of seeing this extraordinary art form live and, should you ever visit Prague (or anywhere else with similar performances) I would entreat you to visit and I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed :D

In the meantime, please visit the other members of Four in Art and see their interpretations of this quarter’s theme.

Bette Ayers   Camilla Cathro   Catherine Chisholm

Elizabeth Eastmond   Nancy Myers   Rachel Riley   Simone Bradford

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Purple Passion / Once upon a time…

Do you love lavender?

Are you mad about mauve?

Today is the third reveal day for Four in Art  – an Art Quilt Group, which aims to:Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.12.25

“…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”

And this quarter I really did intend to break out and move boundaries with something arty and sophisticated… But our general theme for 2016 is Colour and the sub-theme for this quarter is Purple Passion. To look at this beautiful collection of  fabrics I have somehow acquired over the years, you would think the theme ‘purple passion’ should be right up my street…


To make a dress for when I’m old, perhaps?

…but actually it left me entirely at a loss. There have been a couple of times in my life when I have really liked purple but lately I seem to be right out of a purple phase and I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything purple that I felt passionate about.

I considered attempting something stylised in the way of a purple passion flower. It really is a stunning plant and there is an amazing variety to inspire on google images…

Or making some kind of illustration of the famous poem by Jenny Jones…

Uploaded on 4 Aug 2010, Jenny Joseph reads her poem ‘Warning’, Britain’s most popular post-war poem, according to poll conducted by the BBC in 1996. The second line of this poem inspired the formation of America’s Red Hat Society, the largest women’s social group in the world (which has over 70,000 members and almost 24,000 chapters in the US and 25 other countries) and encourages fun, friendship, freedom and fulfilment. Born in 1932, Jenny Joseph first published ‘Warning’ in 1961 in The Listener — when she was 29 — and later included it in her second collection, ROSE IN THE AFTERNOON (1974) and then in her SELECTED POEMS from Bloodaxe in 1992.


And time passed…

And the more I reflected on it the more I came to realise that if I had to choose a single thing I could really say has been my greatest passion throughout my life, it just has to be story. Whilst I love making things with fabric and yarn, I could live well enough without quilting or crochet but a world without stories seems to me like an unimaginably bleak and empty place. I wanted, however, to suggest story as an all encompassing category and not to include anything that would seem to signify any specific genre.

So the title of my quilt for this quarter is ‘Once upon a time…’ and a ‘story’, which follows is, I hope, indicated by the three circles (ellipses), which include words and a hint of illustration.


Four in Art, May. Colour + Music

Happy Beltane, May Day or what you will :)

‘Today is the second reveal day for Four in Art  – an Art Quilt Group, which I am very happy to have joined this year and which aims to:Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.12.25“…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”

Our theme for this year is Colour and the sub-theme for this quarter is Music. My oldest son, Adrian, is a professional singer and also the director of a record company (Convivium Records) so I do a lot music themed sewing and, for this challenge, I wanted to make something that was identifiably ‘about’ music but  completely unlike anything I’d made before.

[some previous music themed sewing]

I decided on a single line of music with seven notes, which eventually led me to making a sort of illustration of Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music.


My Mum was a big Rogers and Hammerstein fan and we grew up listing to Musicals on LPs played on an old record player that we were never allowed to touch! I could sing all the songs before before I went to school and I wanted to try to capture the spirit of running about listening to music and singing just for fun.

[Do, Re, Me, Fa]

[So, La, Te]

The biggest challenge was all the detail and embellishment. Although I mainly used applique and simple hand stitching, I’ve not attempted this level of detail before and I had mixed results. In February, I resolved I would start this quarter’s quilt sooner. I did that and, despite leaving a long break in the middle I actually finished it a week ago but I still ended up taking the photos yesterday and writing this post this morning!

For August, I think I will make something smaller and take the pictures before rolling it up for weeks!

[Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music accessed here]

Please visit my fellow members of Four-in-Art to see the quilts they have made for this challenge:
Happy Sewing!
Janine @ Rainbow Hare
I am linking this post with TGIFF at Quilt Matters