From the Magpie’s Nest

My medium of choice is textiles. I piece and embroider and embellish with beads and charms in the various works I create. As I perused the sketchbook when it arrived here in the Pacific Northwest (USA), two 4” x 6” bits of intuitive piecing I’d done some time ago came to mind.  Without forethought, I’d created images of houses out of tiny scraps. One seemed to be a night time scene, the other a beach house at the water’s edge. They were going to be postcards – or so I thought – but I was never able to finish them. Inspiration just vanished after the piecing was done. When I saw that the pieced rectangles would fit nicely on the sketchbook pages I suddenly knew what to do with them! I used embroidery, trims, sequins, and charms to flesh out the landscapes after lining the piecing with flannel to stabilize them and provide a place to hide knots. As it turned out, both houses were at the edge of a body of water. That made me think about how the sketchbook had traveled from one continent to another. 🙂 At the end, I machine stitched the completed scenes to the two pages in the sketchbook.


I started with seed stitches to give texture to the sunny scene (which I think of as Australia). I used a fluffy yarn and beads to create the water’s edge and then rick rack to indicate deeper waters.


Here’s the owl in the tree I created based on the print in that patch. (This landscape made me think of the US or Europe.)


And the underwater scene at the bottom of that page:


This was a truly fun project to work on and will be a treasure indeed when it’s done!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    That’s fabulous Sue, love your work and it’s symbolism. So glad you were able to get the post uploaded without too much trouble

    Liked by 2 people

  2. katechiconi says:

    The detail shots on the post give me a much clearer idea of the additional level of texture in your pages – a whole new dimension!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. anne54 says:

    Isn’t it great when something feels just right, especially when it hasn’t before. The little houses set into their landscapes are perfect for the Sketchbook. Thank you so much for your wonderful contribution.


    1. magpiesue says:

      I couldn’t have been happier to have found just the right home for those little landscapes. And half of my work was already done when the sketchbook arrived! ;- )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How am I going to reach anywhere near your standard of work? I’m so looking forward to the sketchbook arriving here and seeing your amazing sewing for real.


    1. magpiesue says:

      Please don’t stress over your contribution! Just do what you enjoy most and it’s sure to turn out well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful how you found just the right place & purpose for your clever creations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your little houses, Sue, and the water lapping at the shore. My gosh this book is a thing to behold, each creation so personal and beautiful and integral to the whole. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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