Monday, September 30, 2013


Do you know that moment when you hold your breath, wondering what will come next?  Or when you ask yourself, Can I .... ?  Or, when you hope .....

That pause, filled with possibilities and bursting with energy, is what I wanted to convey with my piece; the anticipation that's experienced in the silence before something comes into being or happens.

The yellow color palette is a nod to the phrase, Silence is golden.  I wanted to create a feeling of multiple possibilities, hence all the different shapes bubbling to the surface.  I used all manner of materials including commercial cottons, hand painted fabrics, and paper towels that were tinted with watercolors.


I could not find the idea for this challenge for a long time. I've started from thinking when we meet silence:
  • When baby is sleeping;
  • When it is snowing in the forest;
  • When leaves are falling in the autumn;
  • In early morning, when birds are still sleeping…
 No any visual idea… So I decided to leave it for a while.

One day when I've been putting my fabric stash to order, I saw a little piece of fabric which I had painted few years ago. “Wow! It is exactly what I need!” - was my shout. MOUNTAINS!

I live very close to the mountains and go hiking often. When you get there really high where there are no trees and birds you can feel this sound of silence. So the idea was found!

I quilted this little piece of fabric. It looks exactly as the lake that is situated at 3000 m above the sea level and 40 min drive from our house.

I choose dark blue background as night sky at the mountains and this kind of quilting as an air flowing. If you ever been high at the mountains you understand what I’m talking about.

Creative Silence


This has been a hard quilt to complete. So many ideas were discarded as problematic.  It came together in a week by combining two elements:  reading, for me a solitary and quiet pursuit and taking pictures of buildings on a recent trip. The church that the window is based on was closed and silent as I walked past but the walls were full of rich detail and from the notices it has a vibrant life at other times.
In keeping with the theme “Sounds of Silence” I tried some hand work: Hand appliqué ( not such a silent pastime as the little pieces kept wriggling around in spite of the liberal use of pins and rulers), hand embroidery and hand quilting. I did use some machine work but aimed to keep the machine quilting “quiet” and understated. The book pages came from two books I have had for many years, rereading them until they are falling to bits. These were scanned and printed onto fabric using Bubble Jet 2000. Other techniques: Raw edge appliqué using Bond a Web, piecing and embroidery with perlé cotton

Trying to Find My Silent Space

When contemplating "the sound of silence" my thoughts settled on... how do I find some of that?!
For me, this project developed into a light-hearted look at the hectic lives that so many of us lead.
Techniques involved a simple free form quilting process with feed dogs engaged, as well as hand painting.

    by Heidi Wulfraat

Sounds of Silence

Sounds of Silence

September 2013 Challenge – “Sounds of Silence”

Title:    “Sounds of Silence”

There is nothing better than a drive in the country on a summer’s day, and this inspired my “Sounds of Silence” piece.  Even with the radio blasting my favourite tune, birds singing in the background, and the wind whistling with the window down, I find my mind can just peacefully absorb the surroundings in silence.

This piece is done with confetti size pieces of fabric from my stash bag.  I’ve fused them down and machine stitch down with tulle.  This was a very much improvised exercise with only a photograph to work from.  I didn’t test the techniques, rather, I just sat down and started cutting small pieces of fabric and “painted” as I went.  The one thing I didn’t do was step back a few times, so afterwards, I needed to readjust the perspective a bit.

Katie Pidgeon

Techniques:    fused collage technique, tulle and machine thread painting
Materials:       commercial cottons
Date:               September 30, 2013
Size:                15 inches x 15 inches

Silent Dance

After reading the title of our new theme the first thing that came to my mind was the image of a sleeping child.
But I decided to think a bit more about it. This summer neighbours remodeled their house across the street. Sometimes in the late afternoon while sitting outside I would suddenly realise how silent it is as the days work at the house was done. I was able to hear all the quiet sounds from nature.
We have an almost 35 years old gingko tree in our garden and in october as soon as the night temperatures go beyond a certain point all the leaves come down within a few hours. From our living room windows it looks like a silent dance toward the ground.
For the background I used a hand dyed cotton sateen by Heide Stoll-Weber in blue and brown shades. I quilted gingko leaves free motion and used a gold painstick inside the shapes. I then cut gingko leave shapes from gold painted vliesofix (bondaweb) and fused them to the background. Thoose shapes were also free motion quilted. I decided against quilting the background as I was afraifd to loose the wonderful visual structure of the fabric.


'All is Silent' by Linden Lancaster

The ‘Sounds of Silence’ was a tricky theme, as there are very few situations where there is no sound. What is it like to be deaf? Is it silent on the moon? Then I thought of the saying ‘All is Silent on the Western Front’. Being an avid reader of first and Second World War history, I remembered the pictures of pastures and woodlands turned into a muddy wasteland. This piece is meant to reflect the silence after the catastrophic winter battles on the Somme. At the recent anniversary of 9/11, I heard about a man who dug his way up and out of a collapsed tower. When he crawled out and looked around, he said what he remembered most was the absolute silence.

Using some reference pictures from books I drew up my own composition. I decided to have a large land mass and small sky. Using a piece of mottled hand dyed grey fabric as my starting point. I then discharged all the parts I wanted white (the sky and the craters). I then masked them off and applied a Shiva stick rubbing over various handmade collograph plates. The reflections were added with Inktense pencils. The trees, wheel and fence posts were fused on lastly.
I quilted horizontal lines in metallic and rayon threads for the water. To offset this, the sky was done in vertical lines. The ground was quilted in a heavier variegated thread in a squiggly pattern that got smaller and more horizontal towards the horizon.The barbed wire was added using bobbin drawing with Pearl 8 thread.
This was a quick and satisfying quilt to make and one I would like to make into a larger and more considered piece. This would be especially significant as the centenary of the first landing at Gallipoli (and subsequent First World War events) is coming up in 2015. My great grandfather was in the first landing of Australian soldiers on April 25th, now our national day of remembrance, Anzac Day.

'All is Silent' by Linden Lancaster 2013

'All is Silent' detail 1

'All is Silent' detail2

Rocky Crossing

I found the sound of silence during a busy walk a few weeks ago.   Friends invited me to the World Heritage listed Barrington Ranges to discover their favourite getaway,  Rocky Crossing.   It offered me the perfect image to present for our current theme, Sounds of Silence.

From my vast collection of photo's taken that day, I selected this one to profile my piece.    It was printed at home on prepared fabric for printing.

I wanted to bring you, the viewer, a sense of encountering the sound of silence.   So I framed it with my self-dyed cotton & silk fabrics, organza, and some needle-punched fabrics to bring in soft texture of a forest.   The printed image was enhanced by hand sketching with ink pens, just a little.  Leaves were machine stitched by using water soluble fabric and wool/silks, then raw edge applique stitched to the background.  Colours selected aimed to reflect the richness of the forest atmosphere.

Time was of the essence due to my other priorities - this piece was completed from start to finish within 2 days - the fastest piece I have made yet!   I hope it brings you a sense of peace and reflections of your  own forest-walk experiences.

Silence in a heartbeat

Since audio is a great part of my profession, I really like this theme. At first glimpse it looked so easy, but as I started to work it became quite a challenge. To analyze "the sound of silence" as a professional, both sound and silence are not visual, we don't see them, we hear them. So how to visualize? If you go into a "dead room", where no sound exist at all, you start to hear your own heartbeat, and the rush of blood in your veins. I didn't want to make a dead room as a background, and using word -  what language to choose? But music-notation is the same all over the world, so I chose the sign for the musician to take a general rest, (in french they call it silence), and put it as a background. I chose grey on a white background, because I wanted something neutral. On this I appliqued the sound-wave of the heartbeat in read in raw edge applique, to represent the blood. The echo-quilting represent this "sound" as it bounces around in the body, fading from red towards pink and grey.


In a world of hustle and bustle, silence seems like a reduction in man- made noise: no car engines or buses or motorbikes, no horns or music blaring, no screaming children or adults, no loud talking on cell phones. When these are all reduced we say that it is quiet when actually there are probably still a lot of sounds around: insects buzzing, birds singing, wind blowing, rain splattering, waves crashing. We often find these sounds soothing and relaxing.

Whether in the midst of man-made or natural sounds, the sounds most difficult to block out are those within our own minds. For many of us there is a running commentary continuously playing in our head and this is the most difficult place to find silence. And yet there is no true silence without the ability to interrupt the monologue in our mind.

In this quilt I have attempted to convey the idea of inner silence. The bohdi leaf represents the spirit which is floating noiselessly on the surface of a pond, perhaps a meditation image to focus on when seeking inner silence.


Silent Roar

When I started brainstorming the idea of the sound of silence, I listed, among other things, cats and snow. Then I found a quote that said something along the lines of "Silence is the name people give to the sound a mountain lion makes as it walks around the outside of your house". Mountain lions didn't click, but snow leopards did, as I had recently seen a BBC series made about monitoring snow leopards in a reserve in the bleakest part of Russia.

The more I researched, the more appropriate it became: snow leopards are headed for extinction, the ultimate silence. There are only about 5000 in the wild and all in war-torn or poacher-filled countries like Afghanistan, China, Tibet, Pakistan and India. Habitat loss and prey loss is also a big factor. For example, as fewer native blue sheep are around, because of larger shepherded flocks of domestic sheep, so leopards are killed for taking domestic sheep.

Silent roar is a phrase used of snow leopards because they are not vocally equipped to roar. They can only purr or yowl. They are unique in this among big cats.

There are some fabulous photos online of snow leopards, but this one jumped off the page demanding attention. I will credit the photographer if the quilts ever make it to the public eye.

Snow leopards have extra long and fat tails to use for balance, and small rounded ears, to minimise frost damage.

Techniques: leopard spots drawn with inktense pencils, leopard trapuntoed, shadow covered with black tulle and black Mistyfuse. Angelina highlights on the snow.

Sounds of Silence

As I thought of the theme a number of ideas came to mind--images of aspen leaves on a tree, an owl flying silently in front of a stand of trees were some.  But then we had a major hailstorm with softball size hailstones bouncing through the yard and banging on our metal roof and striking the tree branches.  Afterward it was silent while we gazed from our deck at the mess of leaves and twigs.  After so much noise there was the Sound of Silence.

This piece involves applique and extensive stitching and quilting.  The quilting pattern I learned after studying a quilt by Marie Roper of the UK.  I used metallic thread for that.

Leaves have served me well as images both here and in the City and Guilds patchwork class.

Rings on water

After having had a lot of thoughts for the current theme “Sounds of Silence” I decided that I would like to interpret it with some kind of water. For example silent waves rolling up on the beach, a light rain falling down. Although at the end I settled for drops falling on a water surface  expanding and then disappearing in silence.

The piece is a wolecloth of natural colored linen, circles are rubbed on with a blue Shiva Paint stick and then the circles/rings were quilted by machine with cotton and gold metallic threads. The rings and drops in different sizes and values of blue cotton and silk fabrics were raw edge appliquéd with cotton, rayon and silk threads.