Mothers of Africa Sponsored Quilt Project

Mothers Of Africa quilt square by Maggie Cullinane
Handmade fabric square by Maggie Cullinane

An Open Call to all Crafters

My friend and colleague Maggie Cullinane has initiated a sponsored quilt project in order to Raise money for the medical educational charity Mothers of Africa.

There is an open call to all crafters, makers, quilters, stitchers and artists, or anyone else who fancies picking up a needle and thread to make a square for this fundraising quilt which will finally be sewn together by Maggie.

If you don’t feel that you have what it takes to whip up a square for Maggie’s Quilt then you can sponsor the quilt by visiting her Just Giving page here where you can also view some of the squares that have been submitted so far.

If you would like to make and donate a square for this project then please email csad[at] for more information.

The deadline for submitting a square is the 15 August 2012.

Background Information

It is often said that childbirth is the most natural thing in the world, but sadly all too often Mother Nature needs a helping hand. In the western world, we take it for granted that when we have our families there will be midwives and doctors to keep us healthy and see that our babies are brought safely into the world. In many parts of Africa, women are not so lucky.

The facts

  • The number of mothers that dies in childbirth every single day in Africa is equivalent to a full passenger load of a Boeing 747
  • In Africa, a woman’s risk of dying from treatable or preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth over the course of her lifetime is 1 in 22, compared to 1 in 7,300 in developed regions.
  • In a country like Benin, there are 11 anaesthetists in a country of 11 million. There are 140 anaesthetists in Cardiff alone!

Textile Art by Castle

Rachel Castle |

Rachel Castle |

I stumbled across these works by Australian artist/designer Rachel Castle last week whilst looking for inspiration. She describes these works as embroideries although they appear to be appliquéd with combinations of brightly coloured felts on flax or linen. Either way I like the aesthetic punch they have.

I was on the lookout for inspiration for my unicorn-porn embroideries.Although I’m very happy with the way the works have been progressing I feel that the development of the work will require me to place the central unicorn content in a greater context. At present the unicorns just float on the fabric but I’d like to develop the surround, possibly in a way that reflects the unicorn tapestries of old. These old tapestries often used floral motifs relevant to the symbolism of their time but I’d be keen to update this and create something that is more fitting for my contemporary unicorn works.

A lotof contemporary takes on the unicorn associate the creature with rainbows so I was particularly drawn to Castle’s ‘Large Rainbow’ (top) as it presents quite a different approach to composing a picture of a rainbow. They also reminded me of Takashi Iwasaki’s embroideries which I’ve gone back to have a second look at.

You can view much more work by Rachel Castle on her wbsite which also includes a large number of typographic textile pieces:


I COULD HAVE DONE THIS.. from Briar Mark on Vimeo.

This video shows the making of a piece of work for Briar Mark’s iCraft project. It’s a cracking body of work which explores handmade processes in the context of graphic design.

After I started stitching onto paper a couple of weeks ago I’ve stumbled across a couple of artists working in a similar fashion. Technically they’re much further along than I am but that’s to be expected since it’s a new direction for me. One little thing that I have noted from the work I’ve come across so far is that I can use the same hole twice. It might sound obvious but it’s not something that I had considered and it has given me a couple of new ideas with regard to developing this work.

You can see more of Briar Mark’s work on her website which includes some lovely cross stitched QR codes:



Ref: DMC Embroidery Threads

Yet More Mail Art

by @Corr_

by @fish_face

by Marnie Blair

More Mail Art Submissions

by @JenJenByrd

by @LaylaHolzer

by @MandaBathory

by Emma Richardson

by Toby Joe Holzer

Robot Chicken Omlet Attack

Robot Chicken Omlet Attack | Spike Dennis 2012

Robot Chicken Omlet Attack | Spike Dennis 2012

This was a little something I whipped up for a friend’s birthday recently. He has a history with regard to chickens so there is some sense in it. I punched out some black card and threaded it with cotton threads. Design measures approximately 148 × 210mm and the overall piece is 210 x 297mm.