Saturday, November 30, 2013



With the theme 'Escape' set for October - November, I thought this was going to be an easy task as the word 'escape' has quite a variety of interpretations - to break free from something; avoid danger; seep from a crack; to elude; an inadvertent or involuntary exclamation; etc.

Two ideas came to mind, but not at the same time. While driving along a city street not long after the theme was announced, I noticed some fire escapes on a couple of older, multi-storey buildings - these images resonated with me so I had my 'idea'!

But after a period of sketching and paper shuffling, I felt that, although the design was taking shape, there was something lacking. I went into limbo for a while…

One night I woke in the middle of the night with another, quite obscure idea, and decided to try this one out instead (I have a habit of doing this!). However, this piece eventually proved a dark and depressing abstract work that I have put aside for another incarnation.

So back to plan A...

'Fire' is quite self-explanatory. I took a few photos around the city and used ideas from these to create the mix of steps and ladders - wobbly, insecure and 'flat'. After studying some graffiti art, I created the quilt graffiti. I think this is the first time I've ever put graffiti on anything! The flames painted on the wall, and the wobbly, tangled steps, hint at the hesitation one might feel at going down these fire escapes, despite an absolute need to do so when flames are licking at your heels.

I drew the graffiti using Inktense blocks, replicating the colours used for the steps and ladders.

Fire! - detail 1
The piece is quilted in a random mix of straight lines and curves, hinting at the shapes and letters found in graffiti art. 
Fire! - detail 2
This piece is 15" x 15" and constructed from cotton fabric and batting, viscose and cotton threads and painted with Derwent Inktense blocks. Applique is fused, raw-edge, with free-motion quilting. 

More of my work can be seen on my blog



  1. This makes me think of Escher! Love the different qualities of line, and the graffitti.

  2. I love your use of colour and line in this piece. The ladders seem to be three dimensional. Well done!

  3. What a cool idea! I think you replicated graffiti well and I really like the interlocking, slightly unrealistic ladders you created.

  4. I love this piece, Deborah. It definitely screams "Escape!' but your use of colour and composition really make the piece come alive and as Janice says, 3 dimensional. The graffiti is excellent and your stitching is beautiful.

  5. An excellent and perfectly executed piece, as usual, Deborah. I really like the contrast between the coolness of the grey background fabric and the hotness of the other elements. I think the way you have intertwined the ladders is very clever.

  6. I agree with Julia, it reminded me of Escher, you captured the feel of unstable ladders so well. I do like the colour combination and the amazing free motion quilting, it all works together