I came across this small sample this week, and was impressed with its age and realised how influential this little doodle has been since 2013 as a stepping stone for many works which add surface stitch to the segments, some examples of which I show below. The hand stitch can be surface design only or may also serve as hand quilting.
I have always found inspiration in landscape shapes, colours and textures. I studied and loved physical geography and geomorphology, in which one draws simple diagrams to illustrate a point or a structure. Like many of us, I’m fascinated by views or slices through layers of rock showing how shifting pressures beneath the Earth’s crust forced movement between overlying layers of rock in response, producing characteristic structural patterns which a geologist can ‘read’ to understand more about the underlying structure and history of an area, all of which is relevant to mineral formation and potential nearby. Erosion and deposition too, result in interesting patterns, so my landscape inspired designs are essentially diagrams in fabric and thread.
I began using this arrangement of strips to suggest landscape many times since the early 2000s, with both improvisational patchwork –
and also in appliqued leather segments forming the surface design.
My Quilt National ’21 quilt “Pandemic Pattern” featured hundreds of ~1.5cm x ~5cm fabric strips appliqued with straight stitch oversewing. The strips in this case represent the rows of closely spaced, hastily dug fresh graves that we saw in certain parts of the world as the Covid-19 pandemic swept around the globe; so this is a pattern on the landscape, not of landscape shapes themselves, but I mention it here to remind myself that my passion for oversewing strips of fabric did not just come out of the blue in 2020 when I decided to hand stitch the surface design of my first ‘pandemic quilt’.