Symmetry, Mirror Images, Silhouettes and Quilts

As I am sure you know, I love to stitch and to express myself in fabric and thread but sometimes this can be a lonely craft. When I created Stitching Kitchen a year ago I knew I wanted to create income from my stitching but I was also very clear that I wouldn’t become a solitary being, shut up in my kitchen stitching away. That is the core reason behind the Friday morning social stitch and the workshops – and long may they continue, I love hosting both.

But sometimes it is nice to stitch in company without having to worry about making sure my guests are OK!! My old embroiderers guild branch had occasional stitch days which I loved to attend because I had company and I learnt a lot from the fellow stitchers, that is why back in January of this year I attended “Sutton Stitchers”

The ladies in the group are friendly knowledgeable and happy to help, as most crafters are. The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month and you can simply turn up and pay for either the morning session or all day. The hall is filled with some very experienced quilters and talented embroiderers. There is also often the click of knitting needles to be heard. If you live anywhere near Kings Sutton [OX17] then you can find out more from Carole Hill on Tel: 01295 811 134. Every now and then the group also run workshops alongside the normal Saturday session. Recently I attended my first of these, a great workshop to enhance my growing quilting skills.

The workshop was entitled ‘Surprising Silhouettes’ and we were taught by Angela Madden – you can see examples of Angela’s work on [] . The requirement list was intriguing…. What were we going to do with 4 8inch squares backed with fusible bonding – backing fabric, printer paper, an iPad and the usual sewing kit and machine.

Once we were all set and Angela told some tales of her recent escapades flexing her ‘Grumpy Old Woman’ muscles with jobsworths at the NEC over parking and routes to the training rooms at Festival of Quilts we got started.

We took a good look at example quilts she had brought along and marvelled at the intriguing designs achieved by use of the positive and negative of simple silhouettes. She set up the task of placing her pre-cut shapes into a range of designs; the possibilities were infinite or so it seemed. We also used a mirror to check if a mirror image would work better than simply moving the shapes around. The whole thing rather taxed my brain, did I like symmetry better than an exploded pattern?? Angular shapes or using curves.
angela madden

Next we had a go at creating our own design using paper – Angela was so helpful as we struggled with the concepts but then it all started to fall into place, we cut into our fusible webbing backed squares and off we went.

I am sure you can see from the photos I took how much fun it was and the whole process was very collaborative, you need to stand back and see your design from afar and the opinion of a fellow quilter is always helpful.


After lunch we ironed down the pieces and got to work with the applique, I have to confess to being a novice when it comes to transparent thread, and it turns out the stuff in my stash was of the lower quality Chinese import type, better suited to fishing than sewing apparently. After a bit of tension fiddling and many broken threads I fitted the smallest needle I had and things started to bob along nicely. Of course I didn’t complete the quilt top on the day and I probably won’t bother appliqueing the rest in invisible thread but it is on the WIP [work in progress] pile in the Stitching kitchen now and will get finished – eventually, perhaps at the next Sutton Stitchers session.


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