Sunday, 2 September 2012

Where did my love of Applique start

Hi Everyone, it's Sunday and I have stripped wallpaper for 2 days and need time out from it.
What better way to relax than write a blog.
Steve used to do leadlighting and several years ago was give a book called Sea Fairies by Jillian Sawyer.
He never found the time to make any of the designs, but I fell in love with all the Mermaids.
Steve tried to teach me leadlighting but it was not for me, glass breaks where it wants to when you cut it - fabric doesn't!!!
After we came back to NZ and I discovered quilting, this book kept speaking to me, especially 3 of the designs. I made one other applique - a Dahlia cushion cover- then said to Steve - I want to make the Mermaids!!!
My Mermaid Trilogy has hung in the hallway of 2 houses since, and it always will.

I really didn't know what I was doing then, and yet when I look at them now I still think, how did I do that!!!
It was the start of using what ever fabric would give me the look I wanted. The lower bodies of the mermaids are a synthetic fabric that looks like fish scales in pink, lavender and gold, Dusk's body is a dark muticolour  that suits him well. Batiks which I also love I also found then. Fussy cutting I knew nothing about, but used it for hair and other things.

The Titles and Poetry with each, are the words of Jillian Sawyer.


We make a great team, you and I Cess
I’d never betray you, I’d never confess.
They’ll never know, they think you’re so tough.
You’re just a big softie and its all a huge bluff.


Together we have traveled for many a year, from sea to shining sea.
And of all the wonders we have seen, the scrapes that we’ve been through.
            Nothing has meant as much to me as the friendship I share with you.


We’ve never seen your like before, or know from whence you come.
You speak to us of wondrous places and the deeds that  you have done.
Now you have to go, that leaves us filled with sorrow.
But you have made a promise, so happily we say.
Goodbye until tomorrow.

the Trilogy finished at Dargaville Quilters show 2010
 in the order they now hang on our wall.

This Trilogy is very special to me as when I came back from Raro, I was suffering from serious depression.
My Protector, My Companion and Our Future were a huge part of my recovery process - and I now realise why these 3 were so important to me, they are all my DH in his many different guises.
Thank you my darling, for being there when I needed you!!!!

For those of you who are interested in my water background fabric it is a sheer Aqua /gold organza that I twisted and tied, boiled and then dryed while it was twisted. 
Then I cut and placed my sheer backgrounds allowing for plenty of folds and water movement and stitched it to a blue/green mottled base water fabric, that had been pressed onto 1/4 " fusible Pellon Batting. 
I then placed my applique on top and machine stitched, them down, adding stitching to thold he fabric folds of the water with metallic thread.
The backing fabric I added when doing the borders, and did no extra quilting in the body of the hangings.
Hopefully they will never need washimg!!!
Cheers for Sunday, Jenny


  1. Hi Jenny,
    I have just discovered your wonderful applique mermaids.
    They are absolutey beautiful.
    I really enjoyed reading about how you used your fabrics and what these pieces mean to you.

  2. These are just amazing and the background fabric is gorgeous. You certainly an artist. Thanks for sharing your process and the true meaning of your creative process.
    Hugs Bunny

  3. If you did these when you did not know "how", no wonder your work is so great now. Absolutely stunning!!!

  4. Jenny -- wow... these are stunning... so natural and beautiful!

    Keep up the good work.