Sunday, 25 July 2010


Reading Valentina's tale of her cruise holiday reminded me of the mini cruise that my husband and I took last year. Daughter no.1 is a travel agent and is always asking us if we would like to book a holiday!!! It would be cheaper to just give her some commission and not go on the holidays. Well, we decided to go on a mini cruise for 5 days to Cork,Ireland. Not one of our better ideas. It was the largest ship by Royal Caribbean at the time. Large ship - lots of people - big noise!! As we were checking in I didn't want to go. It was the height of the flu epidemic and I caught a horrible cold on board and didn't want to get out of bed, the weather was wet and dreary. The ship itsself was fantastic and the company at the dinner table in the evening a real pleasure. There is lots to do if you are so minded or you can just relax if you wish.

The highlight for me was finding this work of art on deck 10. I had to look twice because I couldn't believe my eyes and I so wished that I had thought of this idea. I apologise once again for the photo's but you will understand that These are taken from the brochure which I stole from our cabin!! Guess who didn't take her camera away on holiday?

This was by Devorah Sperber and inspired by the still life surreal paintings by Magritte. It consists of a staggering 20,800 spools of thread suspended on 148 1/8" stainless steel cables. The cables were staggered behind each other. Ladies (and Gents) you would be amazed at all the different shades in this piece of art work. It was fantastic. I cannot give you a guide to the size of this except to say that it was HUGE and hanging in the stairwell. As I sat with my sewing in the library (nice quiet place), thinking that I didn't have the right shade of green for my applique....... wondering....... knowing where the right shade would be....... Lucky there was a big gap between us.

This is one of my favourite books at the minute. It is sheer pleasure to pick this up and just ogle unashamedly. It is Japanese and no, I cannot read it but the pictures and diagrams are excellent. So much inspiration. This one has lots of quilting ideas too.

My eyes were drawn to this pretty little bag and so ages ago I cut out all the freezer paper shapes and the other day got round to cutting out all the fabric in soft greens. Like the clamshells it is not an easy shape to stitch down. If you didn't get those shapes in exactly the right spot then off they went at a tangent. I solved the problem by using Roxanne's glue baste and stuck them in place. It has worked a treat. Now all I have to do is sew them down. I realised mind you that I have mirror imaged the piece of sewing compared to the diagram. I don't expect it will spoil the bag. I shall make the flowers in pinks. What else!!! I am a big convert to the use of glue, not that I will use it for every occasion, but on this one it worked a treat and saved a lot of frustration.

Progress on the hexagons is coming along nicely.

I am not tacking the fabric over the papers but making the tacking stitches on the back and backstitching the corners. It holds in place really well and the papers just flip out when you are ready. I love doing hexagons this way. I find it really relaxing. I am easy to please too.

Hopefully the next time you see this it will have all its background filled in. Haven't decided on the borders yet, but it may have a little bit of red in it.

Klosjes this week 3, total 118.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.xx


  1. Thank you for a fascinating and long post! It boggles my mind that you can create a masterpiece with spools of thread...amazing! The green bag looks like it will be fun and your hexies are a delight! Each appears to be another turn of a kaleidoscope...where the jewels have tumbled and created yet another masterpiece! Looking forward to your next chapter!

  2. Oh, Shirley, wow! I don't think our boat even had Art! LOL But this is unbelievable... Thank you for sharing!!! that close-up of the actual spools is amazing...
    I am in love with your green 'shells' what a lovely effect, wow can't wait to see it progress. And your hexies. How I love that background! By the way, I also prep my hexies like that! Isn't it amazing how much time you end up saving? :) And congrats on the Klosjes!

  3. The spools as a work of art is really something and looks just like a tapestry. I too have discovered how useful glue can be for basting and now use a glue pen to baste the fabric over the papers. I absolutely love your hexagons and am enjoying watching your progress. Happy stitching.

  4. I've been searching the Internet high and low but it seems that Tula Pink fabric is sold out everywhere. Well, I just have to come back and look at your lovely hexis, won't I? And like you, I'm a big fan of Japanese magazines. Can't read them either, but as you said, the diagrams are easy to understand. Mind you, I haven't really made many things but just love to look at the beautiful pictures.

  5. Still loving those hexagons. Some people are so clever who would have thought to make a picture out of cotton reels(as I call them)

  6. Wow the spool art was fantastic to see and so are your hexagons with the filler pieces in. I don't mind glue baste for the odd thing either.
    I think the bag will look great when you're done.

  7. You are working on some very lovely things at the moment. I look forward to seeing the finished bag, I am in self imposed isolation again but will be back soon.

  8. Were you thinking she must have been a quilter to have all that thread? amazing work of art...Shirley, I cannot do large anything. ships are definitely not my bag. I can't imagine living a week with people I'll never see again in a crowded situation.
    Love that little bag...the talents of people!

  9. What an amazing piece - the ultimate in thread painting. The little bag is beautiful and those hexagons - just keep 'em coming, you may end up with a convert.

  10. Those spools are amazing. Hexegons are coming on well.
    I have bought some of that glue baste recently but not tried it yet.

  11. Wow all those cotton reels and all the different shades that would be needed!
    Your hexagons are so lovely!
    Lisa ʚϊɞ

  12. That piece of artwork is amazing! Imagine if you stole just one green one from it!!!!
    Your little bag is going to be beautiful and I can't wait to see it finished. Hexies are looking fab and love the Klosjes.

  13. The spool artwork is just spectacular! And your beautiful, unique hexagons are second to none. As others have written, each is a miniature work of art.

  14. Amazing spool art Shirley, thanks so much for sharing this. I'm loving those hexies more & more & you've chosen the perfect background to show them off perfectly!