We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Rising To The Surface.

Again I have in my mind an image of bubbles - these ones are rising to the surface.  Again I found circles in my fabric.  I could say I’ve gone full circle as I have once again used some of Musa’s fabric for this.  I’ve enjoyed using this theme during the year and finding different ways to work with Circles.  It has inspired a number of ideas to Rise to the Surface! 

Happy New Year to all - Magie

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


As my first quilt for 2013 decided to remain in it's hiding place, I had to make a replacement. It is roughly based on the same idea but a bit simplified. Here is the picture:

And now no quilt can go missing :-). They are all packed in the box ready to go to the post office.
Happy holidays to you all.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Leaves # 5

A bunch of leaves on a stalk was my inspiration. The fabric was hand dyed by me, and the leaves were embroidered by hand, then adding machine quilting.

With this piece I finished my series for the year 2013.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bamboo VI

At last, the final piece in my “Bamboo” series.  After six excursions into the “bamboo” theme, I’m ready for a change.  This final piece is simpler than the previous three pieces but I have tried to incorporate some of the design techniques that I explored in my previous pieces.  I wanted to convey a feeling of playfulness and happiness with this piece so I chose commercially printed fabrics and bright colors to convey that feeling.  The piece is machine pieced, machine appliquéd and machine quilted.  I discovered many valuable things about color and design while doing the bamboo series and I'm looking forward to the 2014 series of quilts from all of us.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Suspended in Circles.

Another circle fabric I was given. This time I wanted to make the circles as spaces. I stitched them then cut them out and tried to finish the edge with satin stitch. no good! I couldn't get it flat and it looked awful so I unpicked the satin stitch. The edge went flat and I straight stitched over the frayed edges of stitching to hold them down. Then I did the same on all the circles. I cut the background with the lines of circles on the fabric not quite straight which gives a slightly wonky effect. The small things suspended in the circles are collected items from over the years. Alison

Circles Number 5
For this piece I began with the circle fabric given to me by a friend. Added the bark cloth and the turquoise batik. I cut up the large circle, stitched it down to the bark cloth and the rest just followed.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

In my stash I had a piece of tie dyed indigo Alison had given me. It had many small circular shapes in its pattern. I raw edge appliqued brightly coloured African fabrics on to these shapes. I quilted radiating lines out from the centre to the circles. I then painted the radiating shapes in silver. The circles and back ground were quilted using holographic thread. The overall design reminded me of a virus.

The Tuareg are sometimes called the 'Blue Men' after their long flowing indigo robes and head dresses. The indigo dye leeches out onto their skin, turning it  dark blue. The fabric also has a sheen that comes from being beaten flat with wooden bats to 'iron' it.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Leaves # 6

In this piece I used a synthetic net I recently bought in The Netherlands. It helped me depict a transparent arch and add 3D to the quilt. The leaves are made from hand dyed fabrics.


Now am going to finish Leaves # 5 and will post it soon.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Last one of 2013

Here is my last piece for 2013. It is based on Palestinian costume. Many of the costumes are made up of striped fabrics. Some of the gold stitching I have done was worked from the reverse - cable stitched. I added automatic patterns using a variegated thread along the stripes

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Under the Surface : Reef 2

My last piece for 2013 developing the design of the sea anemones further. Again a discharged background using a range of agents, this time attempting to produce the rippling of the sea effect. Whilst the marginal difference in colour of the 'sea' can be seen it did not work as effectively as I had hoped. The 'rocks' were achieved through a hand cut simple silk screen and a standard Jacquard discharge paste.

I built the sea anemones up on the background by  layering over a sheet of silk organza. I stitched free hand the first layer and cut back the organza to the stitching line and then repeated the layers twice more to build up a more dimensional shape. I used dye paints to colour some sections of the sea anemones;  the intention was to achieve the see through - jelly like structures of the creatures. Finally I machine quilted around the rock formations of the reef.



Detail of stitching

Saturday, 30 November 2013

This is my last piece for 2013 showing one of the men that live on the street in Jaipur. He seemed to have an amazing stateliness about him despite his situation. I loved the way his night blanket folded and draped around him. He has been painted onto Lutrador and then applied to the background fabric which is one of Heidi Stolle Weber's fabulous hand dyes.
Looking forward to next year's challenges!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sneeuw – Dutch for Snowy Weather, thanks to Wil.

Sneeuw – Dutch for Snowy Weather, thanks to Wil.
My last quilt for this year's series. I wanted to make it look cold and wintry, suitable for December. I chose the greys, creams and purples for that reason and I am pleased with how it turned out.
The sky background is raw edge appliqué, machine quilted in place. I had fin making the buildings which are fused and machine stitched, as is the tree. There is a little hand stitching too. The word “Sneeuw” is outline quilted and foiled twice to make sure it really shone.
Now I await the result of our vote on the theme for next year.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Going round in Circles.  

It's been a hectic time since coming back from Veldhoven - and still going - two more shows to go...  A time when I feel as though I am going round in circles.  The shows finishing - stock running low and time to set off to Africa.  The Gambia in Dec and Ghana in Jan.  After our return the cycle begins again in the Spring!

Another beautiful piece of African Wax Print inspired this one - technically a whole cloth quilt I guess.  I have really just highlighted the shapes with metallic thread. All machine quilted. 
It could be one of those 'guess how many' challenges really.  There are many circles in it.  Magie

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bamboo V

Here is the fifth in my series featuring my loyal little bamboo plant.  I have studied the plant from many different angles, but never from the top looking down.  I took a quick snapshot of the top view and made a few sketches to determine the best arrangement of the leaves.  I determined the value scale using gray marking pens.  Once I had the design I liked, I made the quilt.  I used commercially dyed fabrics and also some of my own hand-painted silk.  The piece is raw-edge applique and is machine quilted.  I purchased the button attached at the center of the quilt at this year's International Quilt Festival in Houston.  The button is hand-made using polymer clay. 


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Leaves # 4

My forth quilt is dedicated to an imaginary leave. It all started when I doodled, thinking on a theme for this quilt. Later I saw the potential leave in it, and it was translated into a quilt.


Leaves # 3

My third quilt was inspired by my visit to Canada in May. I was fascinated by the Maple tree leaves. In this quilt I used stencils made from a leave I brought with me, and self-dyed Maple colors organdie.



Friday, 8 November 2013

Abstract Autumn

And here is my 6th quilt for this year called Abstract Autumn. Background is a snow dyed piece of fabric and the trees and leaves are made from scraps of hand dyed fabric. Technically speaking I have completed my quilts for this year. However I cannot find my first quilt anywhere and I see no other option than to make a replacement knowing that the missing one will show up of course after I have done that.

Monday, 4 November 2013


The pictures of Veldhoven are posted on their page. Check the right side of the blog under pages.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Here are my latest trees. I used a multi layered background fabric and paintstiks for the trees. And yes, I admit I should have ironed my piece before I took the picture :-)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Chez Nous

Chez Nous
More quirky houses and the text means ' At our house' or 'At our home' in French. I drew lots of houses first in my sketch book and then translated them into fabric. Each house was fused and sewn separately and then stitched onto the background with some hand embroidery added. The flowers are a mixture of silk, cottons and sheers and the words are stitched and then painted. I like to use a little black and white fabric, I hope it gives it a fun look. What do you think?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Under the Surface - Reef

For my fifth piece in the Under the surface series I used an image of sea anemones on the Great Barrier  reef as my source.

 I have been trying out and playing with discharge pastes for a long time and used both the standard discharge paste and a new powder mix paste from Holland to try to get the effect of the depth of the rock formations under water. The base fabric I started with was medium weight cotton that I had dyed an indigo shade. The first discharge took the 'rock' down to a brown shade the second down to an aqua color. I applied the discharge through a simple silk screen with a roughly cut plastic template of rock shapes underneath. I find it interesting to see how different discharge brands reveal differing base pigment colours in the same fabric. 

For the sea anemones I had wanted to achieve a rough print of a vague Anemone shape to them develop differently for the various images on the piece. By chance I had been trying out with some friends silk screening with Inktense blocks through a stencil so tried this method as I had wanted some variation of colour for the shapes; whilst I tried this method with fabric medium as the carrier,  it did change the handle of the fabric and I had better results using aloe gel and cheap hand sanitizing gel. The results were permanent after heat fixing with an iron.

I overlaid the Anemones with dyed silk organza and machine stitched though the sandwich then cut back the organza; the intention was that the organza over the print might give the 'jelly like' texture to the anemones -on reflection I could have left more of the anemone stitched without the organza overlay as I was quite pleased with the prints.

Original print using Inktense block and aloe gel through simple silk screen and stencil

Whilst the finished piece is below I am still pondering on whether to embellish the anemones with beads and seeding.... not sure..........



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Night and day

I am one of the (many?) who is behind on making the quilts, but here is number 4:
For the background I used two snowdyed pieces of fabric. The stylized tree is made from commercial fabric. I was lucky to have this spickled fabric both in white as well as in black. And to catch up, I plan to start working on number 5 today :-)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Number 4

At last I have finished nr. 4 for 2013:

I think I must have been 3 or 4 years old when this picture was taken. I grew up in Johannesburg and we did not have many seaside holidays because of the distance. I made a flour paste screen of the photograph which I coloured with fabric paint after printing. I stitched the silhouette on the left and the ball  with free motion machine stitching. I have finished all my quilts in this series with rig-rag. I think it adds to the playfulness of the images.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Our first show

In a couple of hours our first show will be finished. Shoshi took a lot of pictures and will post these later. Lots of positive comments were made about our quilts and how they hang at the show. To give you a short impression of the show, this link will take you to a video made by the regional tv:
At 1.28 you can see some of our quilts hanging at the right side. I admit, it is not a good look or a long one, but it is something :-)

After I posted the above, I discovered that there is another video posted on the website of OECQ which gives a much better view of our show. Check out this link:

Saturday, 12 October 2013

October Piece

I actually finished this piece before my August piece , but did not post it because I felt I should stick to the order- and yes I could have swapped them around , but somehow that did not feel right. This piece or face from the past has been inspired by the figures of the Royal Portal at Chartres, though whether it  depicts royalty  is unlikely and it is more likely that they represent figures from the old testament. I love the serenity of the figures ,their elongated shape ( though this one is chopped of around the waist) their outward gaze and in all reality their quite modern  faces. The type of dress the women  wore was known as a bliaut and are quite detailed in the sculptures. Anyway instead of getting tired of redrawing them and playing with them they seem to me to be becoming more fascinating and mysterious.

I have hand painted papers and transfer printed it onto  polyester non-woven ( lutradur) and then machine stitched. I want her to be luminous but was surprised by how luminous she actually became and in the flesh she is even more luminous because of the sheen on the polyester non-woven.

So for the fist time I joined Voyageart I am actually  slightly ahead of time. The  next piece is not due until December!

And don't forget last years pieces will be shown at OEQC at Veldhoven in the Netherlands, and some of our members will be there to tell you all about the 2012 pieces!

August Piece

I am running behind but also finished my October piece before I had finished my August piece , which I did start in time but because it is hand stitched it  kind of lagged behind. Earlier this year I had made a whole lot of Mirrabelle kits for Quilts en Beaujolais ,and well they did not sell  quite as hoped. In fact I completely lost enthusiasm for the project.  July and August are our winter months and I am not a very good winter person at the best of times, so I thought it would be lovely to have something to hand stitch, but this winter was  so long I lost enthusiasm for that too. I was also  devoid of ideas so I thought I might stitch up  the lady and knight panel as an applique as they do fit my theme of faces from the past. The knight has been designed by my daughter Celeste Galtry.

So I stitched the panels onto some  hand woven khadi cloth, but as I started to embroider the panels the background fabric was singing rather loudly.so then how to subdue it? I decided that I would  cross stitch the entire background  in an ecru colour, which made the whole  piece take even longer. But finally I  finished it yesterday!I think the cross  stitching did the job of  making the background more subtle but still leaving the feel of the hand made.

The applique panels were inspired by the  medieval figures I have encountered at Chartres and Bayeaux cathedral and I tried to imagine the colour of the clothing.Anyway they are just a bit of fun!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Time to Think

I am posting two more pieces in my 'People, Places and Patterns' series. I got a little behind as a commissioned piece needed to get priority. Hence, two for the price of one this time!
People are endlessly fascinating and even although your paths may only cross momentarily there are some people that make such an impression in such a short time that you take some of that person away with you. Here are two people that I met in India whose characteristics I either admire enormously or am perhaps just a little envious of.
Firstly here is my homage to a man that I met in Barefoot College in Rajasthan. His aura of peace, calm and tranquility seemed to reach out to those around him. He seemed so content to just sit and think, something that I don't seem to have time to do very often.
The second piece depicts a goatherd bringing his flock down from the desert hills at sundown. He was leaning very heavily on his staff for support. As an Occupational Therpist whose specialism was hip and knee replacements I knew by his gait what his health issues were. What I took from him was his fortitude to continue his daily chores despite grinding hip pain. Of course he probably had no choice but I just wanted to scoop him up and take him back with me for a new hip.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ilusive Circles.

Another picture I found. It took a while to figure out how to draw the pattern, goemetry not being a strong subject for me! Reverse applique using bali batiks I was given. Alison

Circles with Lines.
My third piece is just that, circles with lines. While I have been out of action following shoulder surgery I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures, ideas and inspirations. The inspiration for this piece came from a photograph of the decoration on a ceramic vessel in one of my books. I'm continuing to use fabrics in my stash. The dark fabric I was given, years ago, and I decided just to cut it and see what happened. Alison