Sunday, August 26, 2012


Lorraine Connelly-Northey

Look at patchwork with fresh eyes.
Quilts made from corrugated iron ....
or rusted drain pipes and fencing wire

Patches of wood .....

Comfort Quilts made from reclaimed steel

Paper and canvas....

.... or used teabags!

Ceramic patches wired together

FRESH by Naomi Shihab Nye

To move
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?


  1. I LOVE those quilts! do you send out mental messages?? i've been thinking of something along the same lines! or should I say "squares" ???eebalat

  2. Love all of these and especially that sackcloth by Alberto Burri... interesting how the colours of rust and signs of age are so important in this 21stC world.

  3. Lyle, I've been thinking about this post for a while so maybe our mental lines crossed :-) I've been working on my wood quilt too so one of these days I will blog about it.

    Mo Crow, it does seem to be a sign of the times. Wabi sabi, weathered and worn.

  4. I'm a HUGE fan of Rosalie Gascoigne's work, and Kim S is a great that teabag quilt. Thanks for the links to unfamiliar to have a little inspiring browse in the morning.

  5. saw this quote on Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's blog this morning and thought of how your posts do this too
    "As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."
    a quote from Mr Rogers

  6. Jo, I so enjoyed Kim's Expressions of Love series, especially the amazing quilt.

  7. Mo Crow, what a beautiful quote! Thank you! I especially find this true amongst the blog community. We all encourage each other and I'm sure we make progress in our particular art because of this support.

  8. Oooo . . love them all! Compositions based on a grid . . and that poem is amazing!

  9. Interesting, love the look of lines and squares. There is such a pleasing feel about it all. I suppose that is why a floor of wonderful old tiles is a visual delight.
    Well it is to me, perhaps not every one feels the same way.

  10. tonality wins everytime with me. the subtle shifts

  11. Love so many of these patchworks... great post, Robyn. And the quote is wonderful, seeing anew, its so important to "refresh".

  12. i haven't seen this book of dot's...nifty. and how cool this whole post is. you might look for claire van vleit's book Aunt Sally's Lament, published letterpress limited edition and as a commercial book. worth getting your hands on--

  13. Yummy stuff here Robyn. Naomi can make me see things differently with her poems. Awakened eye; old blood.

  14. While the quilts are certainly unusual, I must thank you for that poem by my favourite poet.

  15. Now I know why we all pick little bits and pieces of wood and metal and squirrel them away! Thanks for making me smile.

  16. How refreshing to see other kinds of patchwork Robyn. I love the clay tiles one in particular.

  17. I love this post. It resonates with what is going on in my life right now. I am getting ready to move a lot of 'stuff' around in my house. Fall is arriving, days getting shorter. Must put away my bunnies. Get out the fall decor. Shuffle chairs around in the living room. ;) Very Quilty of you. A comforting thing this time of year.

  18. Robyn, This is a wonderful post, I love Conrad and Ted larson and that teabag quilt! Doing lots of teabag drawings myself these days.

  19. You always surprise me with the variety of themes for your posts. And all those amazing artists you get us acquainted with. It's really inspiring to know that our world is full of so many talented people who make it more beautiful and provoke the creativity in others. Even in people who don't suspect to possess any... I'm much impressed by the re-use of tea bags!! It's great!:0)

  20. gorgeous post Robyn!! I especially loved the poem, thank you xoxo

  21. The possibilities are Amazing, Endless--in all directions. Even without a scrap, so much bounty, so much inside and outside to gather, knit together; join.

    big Thanda.

    Hope mr diggers is taking good care of you.

  22. Yes, 'fresh eyes' - we are so used to seeing quilts in fiber & cloth, but these pieces you've shared makes us really thing about what patchwork really means.

    And I love the poem. I have felt that sentiment first hand lately - so involved with placing my 'pieces' in a new spot, that it was refreshing to go into stores and not want a single item. And that does old blood good!

  23. I'm so glad you're posting again! You are one of my "Blog Idols"! I admire your vision, and your great generosity,sharing with us these images and objects and words that thrill, inform, and sometimes even startle!

    I'm in Ohio, and you're in South Africa.. it's so exciting to me how the world is smaller and closer in cyberspace!

    Thank you!

  24. More great inspiration, the coloured steel was my favourite until I scrolled down and saw the tea bags, they have to win out, they're also one of my main ingredients in my journals.

  25. Amazing! what you all can do with tea bags.
    Guerilla knitting !!

  26. Jann, I enjoy the simplicity of the poem.

    India, indeed!

    Penny,I also enjoy looking at old floor tiles and mosaics. Love the mosaics at Westminster Abbey!

    Roz, it's amazing how many tones of white there are. Just look at Rosalie Gascoigne's piece!

    Valerianna, yes it is important to refresh. It wakes one up!

    Velma, I googled Aunt Sallie's Lament. Intriguing!

    Leslie, the poem is a good reminder isn't it?!

    Priya, I thought you would enjoy the poem!

    Annie K, glad you enjoyed the post :-)

    Weaver, you will find the write up about Sebastian Blackie's piece interesting. It is "made with fireclay from the industrial Midlands, an area heavily bombed in WW2. The tiles are decorated with slip made from clay gathered from Molesworth air base using the silhouette of the B17 flying fortress. The 303rd bomb group of the USAF were stationed at Molesworth during WW2 and it was one of the airfields from which the carpet-bombing of Dresden was made. More GI’s from Molesworth married British women during the war than any other airfield. During the cold war the airfield became Britain’s second base for Cruise missiles and was the subject of a peace campaign (I attended one of the protests and remember how our feet turned the wet ground into slip). The base remains active as NATO’s Joint Analysis Centre and many American families live in the area" .

    Lisa at Greenbow, I hope you feel refreshed after changing your decor in time for Autumn.

    Annie C, teabags are becoming popular!

    Rossichka, follow the link under the teabag quilt to see Kim's whole series, Expressions of Love. I'm sure you will love it!

    Jeane, each time I read the poem I love it more.

    Mansuetude, Mr Diggers is growing up and though he is still a handfull I think he is going to be a wonderful dog..... once he's stopped destroying my garden. Oh boy!

    Judy S, yes i imagine the poem is perfect for you at the moment. Everything will be looking refreshed in your new home.

    Mary Jo, Thank you so much :-)
    Blogging certainly makes the world feel smaller. What a boon it is that we can communicate so quickly through cyberspace.

    Ro, the tea bag quilt will be on a touring exhibition soon. Perhaps you will get to see it. Kim Schoenberger will be writing a post about it soon.

  27. Wim, I thought you would enjoy the corrugated iron piece.

  28. Thank you for refreshing my "patch" palate Robyn--it was in sore need of good tastes! Love the spin on book as patchwork--somehow a commentary on our transition from paper to computer.
    And the teabags--oh my--just what I needed to see after blowing mine out last week with a thermos of green tea that leaked. I need to make a piece about that experience...

  29. Oh Robyn, I love this post! I have always been so drawn to patchwork and quilts since I was young. The idea of piecing together. Each of us and each of our experiences being threads, coming together, to make a bigger picture. beautiful works here. Thank you for another lovely and thought provoking post.

  30. Oh, I followed it!:) I love coffee, but maybe I should drink more tea now, if I wanna make a tiny try to create something small, just for me?:)

  31. R-thasnks for the beauty in this post - what is not to love about the old or discarded being brought together to create a new object - so much texture and history making a feast for our eyes. Go well. B

  32. These are exactly the kind of 'patchwork' I want to see - the second image reminds me of my garden door ;)What would we do without tiny pieces? My teabag pile is growing.

  33. Hannah, glad your patch palate is refreshed :-)

    Bridgette, my first arty creation was a tiny patchwork quilt made from my mom's sewing scraps so patchwork has a special place in my heart.

    Rossichka, you could use coffee bags.

    Barry, I seem to be finding a feast of beautiful images in Australia.

    Emma, your teabag creations are bound to be wonderful! Come on now ... step up your tea drinking :-)

  34. I love new perspectives on "old" ideas! The tea bag one is my favorite!

  35. oh robyn, such lovely quilts of fabric and paper and stone and wood. They make me feel wistful somehow, maybe the 'comfort' that a quilt provides...

  36. I love quilts and these not usual use of materials for quilts illustrate the poem so well to look freshly at our surroundings and art materials.

  37. Love all of these.
    Strong,powerful compositions.

  38. robyn, it's wonderful when a passion (patchwork) and a profession (letterpress) meet with words (the poem) and become something so lovely. it's a great book.

  39. I have always been taken by quilts that were made from other materials besides fabric and you have shown a wonderful series here. I think it is the linear aspect that appeals to me.

  40. Wowzers!! So creative and neat!
    I'm so happy Lisa sent me over here.

  41. beautiful and inspiring collection of images, and a reminder that when you become aware of something or start working with it, you can find it everywhere....

  42. Nice.
    the ceramic piece got me thinking. Like I'm not already going in about 20 different directions!

  43. What is it that we want to make one thing out of little pieces?
    I love it, I want it but why?

    Thanks Robyn, this post is so great.

  44. Hi Robyn, Great post! As a quilter, I love quilts made of all kind of materials. You might be interested in the work of Richard Pearse, as seen in This is Colossal:

  45. Genevieve, tea bag art is so unexpected isn't it?!

    Roxanne, even the corrugated iron quilt has connotations of comfort.

    Linda, I found the poem at the perfect time.

    Chesterbrook Academy Elementary, glad you enjoyed the post. I've been browsing through your blog and love what you do.

    Velma, it's always an added thrill when I find a good poem for a post.

    Seth, beautiful aren't they?!

    Hi Teri, glad you wandered over.

    deemallon, indeed, once one focuses on something one awakes to so many possibilities.

    Don, what's another direction plus 20 :-)

    Yvette, I'm wondering about that myself especially now that I'm trying to balance many smaller pieces into a quilt of my own.

    Mary, thanks for the link. Richard's work is amazing!

  46. Your next post is missing - Hey what do you think?

  47. Linda, seeing my work up on my blog made me realize exactly what I thought of it..... so I deleted the post for the time being :-)

  48. Your posts are so full of substance I reserve time when I can visit. No way to scan and leave! You give me inspiration to tackle something new and words to chew on while creating. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Robin. I'm inspired by my blog readers too.

  49. Having always used the 'grid' division of space in my own collages I of course am drawn to quilt and grid patterns and you have some wonderful examples here. I love the Nye poem.

    1. The poem never ceases to surprise me each time I read it.

  50. I was brought to this post through pinterest. These images are just wonderful! Thanks for gathering them. I thought you may be interested in the significance of Possum Skin Cloaks (see Lorraine Connelly-Northey's pieces)

  51. Hi Carol, thanks so much for the link. I found the article very interesting. This blog has been an unexpected learning experience for me. Every time I decide to slow down someone pops up with gems of information which always renews my enthusiasm for blogging.