Tag Archives: quilt

When life intervenes

I sound like a cracked record going round and round, but again this week the pencil did not hit paper very much.  Below is my entire output, a practice for getting the colours right!  And now I think the Foxgloves are past their best so I might have to wait until next year to have another go.

Test for foxglove colour

But on the positive side, I have had another go at the photography lark and think I have now solved the problem of photographing paper to my satisfaction.  The solution was in the exposure.  My paper now looks ‘white (ish)’ instead of dingey greyish.  So I am happy about that and can let it go………..

I have been following the blog of occasionalartist over the past weeks and have been very interested in the work she is doing with paper and sewing and they reminded me of the last quilt I made just in the square shapes coming off a flat surface and the shadows and dimensions that are created.  Materials used: plain white fabric, coloured threads applied with overlocker, and plastic tags (the type that hold labels onto clothes that get cut off and thrown away).

Quilt by Sue Hagley


I have been reading an inspiring book, ‘The Awakened Eye’ (a companion volume to The Zen of Seeing, SEEING/DRAWING as meditation) by Frederick Franck.  This is my early morning read, as I enjoy my first cup of tea of the day and my copy is now littered with little orange post it notes as I find things to try and remember.  My favourite extracts follow:

  • There is no other valid reason for drawing than the awareness of the eye awakening from its half-sleep.
  • If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration, but timelessness, the eternal life belongs to those who live in the present – say Wittgenstein
  • The leaf I just picked is already going limp, then I see it shrivel.  While seeing/drawing I see each thing living its own time, as I am living my time, my life-time.  The awakened eye becomes utterly aware of the fleetingness of all that passes before it, of this eye still seeing, of this hand still moving, still tracing…………
  • When I draw in line with a pen or a sharp pencil I am compelled to the most intense, uninterrupted attention to and awareness of what my eye perceives.  It makes it impossible to deceive, to humour or to flatter myself.  The quality of my line shows up every attempt at a cover-up, a pretense.  Looking at my drawing once it is finished, I can’t help becoming my own graphologist: I see instantly every flagging of my concentration, every incompetence, every trick!

Orange! A Marmite type of colour.

This week as I wandered around the garden wondering what to draw, mulling over my skills, I realised that I had been avoiding flowers with too many petals.  Too hard, too complicated – nah not for me, I can’t do that yet.  Despite my doubts I left the garden with a marigold in my hand, and decided to give it a go.  As I sat down and started drawing in dawned on me that it was not the shape or the number of petals that was going to be the problem but the colour.  What a bright orange, what a singeing eye popping colour, it really does not look like a natural colour – it is just way too bright.

Orange, is a strange colour, many people don’t like it and I can understand why, it is very fierce and in your face, it is a Marmite type colour, you either love it or hate it.  Maybe not quite like Marmite as I have converted from hate to love.  My conversion to orange came many years ago when I was still a quilter and a completely lurid piece of orange fabric came into my possession and dominated my stash.  I decided that instead of throwing the fabric away I would use it, and I pieced it into one of my very first ‘art’ quilts, and found to my surprise that it was the orange colour made the quilt sing.  The quilt was not brilliant but it opened my eyes to the magic of orange.  After that, most of my textile work had a sprinkle of orange sparkle and were all the better for it. (Apologies for the rubbish photo)

Orange Squares Quilt by Sue Hagley

First ‘art’ quilt made in 2002

Back at the drawing board, I was struggling with both the colour and the shape of the marigolds and now that I have finished a few and photographed them and looked with new eye I can see how wobbly they are and how very ‘off’ I am in places and how I have failed to match the orange.

Marigold flower in coloured pencil

Wonky flower

Marigold Bud in coloured pencil


So although not satisfied at all with my coloured pencil efforts, I really enjoyed the pencil drawing, a marigold when studied closely has a complicated and interesting shape, the leaves wrap around the stalk and they twist and spiral outwards.  The bud is tightly wrapped with a calyx with spikes that curl beautifully.  I found the structure fascinating and a real challenge to draw.

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds




The reason I like colouring in little squares of paper. Time to reveal a quilt………

In my last post I confessed to enjoying the process of colouring in little squares of paper and shuffling them about and arranging them in groups .  Well, time for a confession here, I am a recovering quilt maker so I spent many happy hours messing about with squares (fabric rather than paper).

On Point a quilt made by Sue Hagley

On Point (detail) by Sue Hagley

All the colours were hand dyed by me and the design was drawn up using a drawing programme on the computer.  Many hours were spent rearranging the colours into harmonising or contrasting heaps.  

On Point quilt (detail) by Sue Hagley

On Point (detail) by Sue Hagley

So you can see here, why I enjoyed playing with squares of colour.

On Point quilt by Sue Hagley

On Point quilt by Sue Hagley