These refer to the categories and labels that I have given to my current quilt work.
Quiltscapes are my extra special quilts that I make as wall hangings. I may work on one large piece for 8 to 10 months! However my Quiltline pieces are much quicker to make – these are my designer/maker range, made for practical and functional use.
I am a contemporary quiltmaker using images of my choice and linking them with techniques and processes from traditional quiltmaking and textile techniques. I think of my new work as textile landscapes. I have attempted to capture some of the spirit and atmosphere of special places here in the Scottish Borders, where I live. I am surrounded by wonderful rural landscape, a great coastline and any amount of plant life – so there is plenty of inspiration all around me!
I link my love of rural landscape with my love of textiles; fusing image with stitch. Observing the plant life, landscape and skies and translating them into mark-making, drawing, collage and stitch to make cloth studies, and eventually finished quilts.
I have been exploring some techniques that are new to me, yet they have a long history. For example, some basic printing methods and processes such as, mono printing and cyanotype (an early photographic method, using the sun’s rays for light exposure to make the print). Rubbings (as in, brass rubbings) of plant forms and drawing directly onto fabric have also formed part of my new work.
I can think of two obvious links to the past in my current working processes:
- I think of my Quiltline pieces as being directly linked to the wholecloth North Country Quilt. I am using whole cloth to start the work. Drawing directly onto it (the link of marking the quilt tops in the 1930’s quilts, comes to mind). And making a network of machine stitching on the whole piece, can really be compared to the network of hand stitching in those early quilts. However new technology, plays a role in my stitching today, as I use an amazing long arm quilting machine (#handiquilter) to stitch with. I love to draw freehand with my stitching line!
- Cyanotype printing (that I have used on some of my new work) is an early photographic process, invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. It was also used by the botanist Anna Atkins, in 1843, to illustrate her book of British Algae. And later used for architectural Blueprints. I am happy to be using this technique, it is very magical!
By Pauline Burbidge
Pauline’s exhibition ‘Quiltscapes and Quiltline’ will run at the Museum from 28 November – 10 April 2016