Monday, 5 February 2018

When Stones Take Over Your Life!

This strange Winter's pattern seems to be
three days of snow accumulation
followed by
One day of rain that melts everything.
Meanwhile I have had a busy week indoors.
Rocks have been sewn in pathways
pinned to the wall
removed from the wall and unpicked
rearranged and sewn back together again.
Despite the duct tape threads are everywhere!
When the week started I had thirteen pathways.
That always bothered me.... there are twelve months to a year.
By the end of my rearranging frenzy
I have twelve!
Let's hope the gallery walls are tall enough.

Next came was the decision on what to do next.
So I did some tests.
Tried stitching through quilt batting and a muslin backing.
Just doing that small sample was a problem for my old hands.
So that won't work.
For one brief second I considered machine quilting.
After creating all these stones by hand that is definitely a no no!

So I removed the batting and tried again....
but still my hands would not survive the thousands upon thousands
of needle pulling stitches through that muslin.

Finally I went back to my original idea of
simply backing the stones with 
a lovely old damask tablecloth.
Aaaah...just like butter.
That will do.

 I was interrupted with a request from
for Valentines Day Cards

These are very small
but even that small
I felt guilty
I should be back at my stones!

So far I have only managed three.
Have to get back to those stones!

 A pathway pinned to a strip of tablecloth.
I settled down in front of the fire
and basted them down
as invisibly as possible.
Something I learned from Jude about ten years ago.
Thank you are such an inspiration.

For the moment I an loving my stones.
I come downstairs every morning
turn the heating up in the studio
and immerse myself in the process of bringing them together.
I hope I can do them justice.

I hope your work inspires you today.


  1. You're so dedicated!
    Your valentines are beautiful.

  2. Oh my ! I LOVE these strips of stones !!!!!!!!!

  3. I am sure you will soon have the stones looking their best!

  4. What a lovely things to be consumed by.

  5. Would love to actually see your stones. They look lovely. Hope the hands stand up to all that work. Know the feeling.

  6. I like reading about your process of creating, what works or doesn't. It gives me hope that my long drawn out process of adding fabric, reviewing, unpicking, adding a different fabric, will someday turn into a quilt top!
    Beautiful work , as always, Penny.
    PS. do you share your work on IG?

  7. I've really enjoyed watching the stones be created and love what you're doing with them! The Valentines are beautiful too.

  8. Beautiful Valentines and your stones are looking so lovely. xx

  9. I hear you on the hand stitching! Agree that after all the handwork on the stones, does not seem fitting (albeit totally understandable!) to machine quilt. The damask table cloth is a wonderful idea. Just picked up a few recently that were gently used. Thank you for reminding me - I will use those for backings. Easier on my hands. Those little Valentines are so precious! Blessings dear P.

  10. Thank you for the running commentary on the development of your project. It is lovely. and a familiar thinking process for other stitchers, too.

  11. I know you will do the stones justice - no worries there. Brilliant to think of using the tablecloth fabric for the backing. Don't think too many people use tablecloths any more or if they do they use the polyester non-wrinkle sort. Easy care maybe, but not half so wonderful to touch.


Thank you for taking the time to comment, your thoughts are most welcome.