Anyway, I was asked if I would make a new quilted banner to be hung in Cartmel Priory but which would be used at the various churches in the Windermere Deanery Mothers' Union. The design had already been sketched out by the time I was asked to become involved. So it was just a simple matter then to make the quilt, or was it?
|Original sketch showing the Saints heraldry of the churches|
So here is the design process.
Firstly I spent a lot of time studying images of the Langdale Pikes whenever I felt I needed inspiration. This is from an old postcard and gives a good idea of what I was looking for. Clear shapes had to be used for the Pikes to be recognisable. I knew that I would not be able to put in too much detail but I also wanted to make the outline of the hills very sharp against the sky. I also started 'sky watching' anyone out walking with me would have been amused as I looked up at all the combinations of sky I could. I asked my arty friend and the reply was 'don't attempt to do clouds', but I had to do something I thought, so one day I laid out my Egyptian cotton and carefully set to work with my silk paints. I was quite pleased with the result and decided to start on the lettering, and then I played with the various fonts until I found one which worked.
|Spindly lettering did not work but the top font had potential|
|Paper and card mock ups of some of the Saint's heraldry and the MU logo|
|Carefully lining up the letters and checking the spacing.|
The banner was starting to grow. So I decided on the main grey fabric for the lake next and then applied pieces of printed paper scenery and auditioned each piece to see if it would work
|Playing with cut outs and making decisions|
|An island for the lake was essential but what colour to use?|
It was slow going at times but I was enjoying this bit. Popping a tree here and there.
|A rocky escarpment above the lake was given some leafy plants.|
I was not sure what to place along the bottom of the scene so decided to make it look a bit like a rocky ledge with boulders and bits of May flowering plants such as rhododendrons and fox gloves and placed more dark pieces on the lake to make it look like large dark gusts of wind sweeping across the surface.
The bottom of the quilt was filling up now and the shields had all been placed on three inch squares of green fabric which became lighter as they reached the outside edges, a little touch which made them more jewel like. The background fabric for the shields was chosen to match the top of the rocky ledge which had become important to the design. All of the shields had been embroidered too and they really worked well together. From the left, St. Mary, the single lily; St. Michael, the cross; St. James, the shells of pilgrimage; St. Paul, the sword and book; MU logo; Holy Trinity, three fishes; St. Cuthbert, his pectoral cross; St. John the Baptist, Maltese cross; and lastly, St. Anne, the lilies.
|The scenery design waiting to be embroidered.|
But it was worth it I think.
|It was a windy day over the Langdale Pikes.|
|Dark patches moved across the surface of Windermere.|
|The date and maker label and the MU Logo on the back.|
|A simple, bold set of tabs and no frills border worked well.|