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The Impermanence of Time

Updated: Apr 22

A finish for the last full moon of the year. I have loved making this new art quilt and entwining meaning and stories into it as I have worked. A celebration and a warning both.

I mentioned in my last post that I found a way forward for this quilt idea, during a clearing of clutter and energies after a period of working on commissions. I had been thinking about creating a piece using the naturally dyed fabrics I have developed during my #GarlickLane project and, having taken part in a CAS Climate Walk with artist James Aldridge, plus my personal obsession with The Lost Words by Rob MacFarlane, and the fact that the dyes I had created were 'fugitive' (not light fast), my way forward became clear.

lace and linen

The colour combination of the French navy linen (offcuts from a hand sewn top I had made in the summer) and the rich, terracotta tones of the Dock seed and leaf dye, sang, and dictatated the size and shape of the quilt. What appears to be a securely pieced quilt top, referencing the Korean Bojagi technique, is in fact simply whip stitched together leaving raw edges exposed. A nod to the patchwork of fields that make up the English countryside, boundaries are blurred and impermanent.

The dock dyed fabrics are a mixture of vintage cottons, linens and silks - tablelinen, lace, sari ribbon and cotton tape, tapestry wool, sashiko thread, and are either mordanted with soya or left unmordanted. Over time, these colours will fade, like a memory - what appears vibrant and permanent, will one day be lost, but within the folds of fabric, hidden from the light, traces of the colour, like hope, will remain.

The hand tied back is a call to arms - to protect what we have, before it's too late and our coutryside, as we know it, is gone. According to the WWF, 56% of species in the UK have declined in number between 1970 and 2013.

The Impermanence of Time


20" x 18" x 1.5"

Natural dye, hand stitched, hand quilted, hand finished.

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Debra Kay
Debra Kay
Dec 09, 2022

Incredibly Elegant!

Replying to

Thank you so much

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