Sheena Norquay’s Scottish Highlands Collections were inspired by the colours of mountains, forests, moorlands, and lochs of the Scottish Highlands as well as native animals such as Highland cows, Red squirrels and Red deer.
The colors are rich and vibrant and well represented in 2 small boxes — 1 in 50wt and 1 in Aurifloss.
The colours are:
2309 (cream), 2612 (pale blue/grey), 2566 (light mauve), 6735 (dark mauve), 2885 (dark green), 1246 (grey), 2775 (dark blue), 2155 (rust brown), 2975 (ochre), & 1147 (light green).
Please visit The Artistry of Sheena Norquay, Part 1 for more details + the full interview with Sheena.
To enter-to-win the two Scottish Highlands collections by Sheena Norquay, please leave us a comment on this post letting us know which of Sheena’s pieces below is your favorite and why. Entry will close at 11:59pm on Friday, August 18 and a winner will be announced here on Saturday, August 19. This giveaway is open to all of our International friends!
Your Scottish Highlands Collection is available in both 50wt and Aurifloss — what are your favorite ways to combine the two thread weights into one piece of art?
I like using the Aurifloss first to hand embroider shapes, animals or sections of landscapes. Colours can be blended together as already explained using 2 – 6 strands of 2 or more colours. The more colours you use, the more subtle and “muddy” the colours become and this is useful when stitching something pictorial. It is a bit like painting with the threads. If I am stitching a grid or line of shapes I usually take the more orderly, rigid, mathematical approach. Whatever I am embroidering, I usually do it on to a layer of wadding, either wool or polyester.
Once the hand embroidery is completed, I trim away excess wadding around shapes close to the stitching before tacking ( basting) this to a layer of 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding (batting). The free motion quilting is then done with the no. 50 threads and the embroidered shapes pop up – for example the triangle shaped pieces or “Red Squirrel.” It is useful to have the same colour of threads as I used for the embroidery. Sometimes I add more hand stitched details with the floss such as on the foreground of “Sheep at Loch Ness.”
Finished at 20 x 21cm
Created between December 21, 2015 & February 2, 2016
Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Four strands of 9 single colours were embroidered using a detached chain stitch on a pieced 9-patch block and Thermore wadding to create nine triangles which represent mountains. The border was embroidered in zig zags with the 10th colour before a second layer of 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding was added. It was free motion quilted using 50wt thread.
Finished at 22.5 x 50.5cm
Created between December 29, 2015 & January 26, 2016
Total time: 23 hours 20 minutes
Each row of triangles is a 4 step blend from one colour to another using 4 strands of floss. (4a, 3a + 1b, 2a + 2b, 1a + 3b) All 10 colours in the Scottish Highlands collection were used.
TWEED CUSHION WITH TRIANGLES
Finished at 37 X 37cm
Created between January 3, 2016 & February 18, 2016
Total time: 13 hours 40 minutes
Five small pieces of tweed were pieced together — each piece has 3 triangle shapes embroidered with 4 strands of Aurifloss using a 2 step colour blend ( 2a, 1a+1b 2b). Grey/black herringbone tweed was stitched around the embroidered rectangles to form a cushion cover. The outline of a large triangle was embroidered with slanting stitches to match the weave of the tweed. Each row of stitches has 2 strands of cotton floss and forms a 2 step colour blend.
The cushion cover was quilted with straight lines following the weave of the fabric using Aurifil 50wt and the walking foot. There is an extra layer of wadding behind the large triangle (wool) with the main layer being 80/20 cotton/ polyester.
POSTCARDS FROM THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
These samples are painted, pieced, hand appliqued, and embroidered with colours from the Scottish Highlands collection of cotton floss and free motion quilted using Aurifil 50wt threads in the same colours.
Finished at 30 x 25cm
Created between January 4, 2016 & February 9, 2016
Total time: 14 hours 30 minutes
Inspired by a photo Sheena took of 2 Highland cows near Inverness, this piece was made with fabric painting and hand embroidery using cotton floss threads from the Scottish Highlands collection. It was free motion quilted using Aurifil 50wt.
Finished at 29 x 25cm
Created between January 15, 2016 & February 11, 2016
Total time: 12 hours 40 minutes
The mountain was inspired by a photo Sheena took from the train south of Aviemore. She loved the patterns on the mountain and it is an area where one can often see red deer. The piece was created using fabric painting and hand embroidery with 2 colours of cotton floss from the Scottish Highlands collection. It was then free motion quilted using Aurifil 50wt.
GREEN TREELINES AND TARTAN TWEED
Finished at 31.5 x 32cm
Created between January 18, 2016 & February 4, 2016
Total time: 17 hours 30 minutes
This piece was inspired by a photo taken from the train between Inverness and Perth. The wind was whipping the snow up into the sky, a sight Sheena had not seen before and she was attracted to the contrast between the trees and the lines on the mountain. It was fabric painted and hand embroidered using cotton floss from the Scottish Highlands collection. The border is wool tartan. Couched threads are 3 strands of Aurifil Wool twisted together and hand stitched.
Sheena Norquay was born on the Orkney Islands, just off the Northern tip of Scotland. Though she began sewing as a child, it wasn’t until attending University in Aberdeen to gain a B.Ed degree that she truly dove into the world of sewing, quilting, and textiles. The degree included 2-dimensional design in textiles which inspired her interest in exploring the artistic potential of threads and fabrics.
Having been a Primary School teacher in Inverness for 30 years, Sheena is now a freelance quilting teacher and teaches workshops locally, all over the UK, and sometimes abroad. She also writes articles for magazines and her quilts have been featured in several books.
Sheena’s work has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally since 1981 and she has won many awards in competitive quilt shows. She sells her work, cards and postcards of her work, and also accept commissions.
Text and images courtesy of Sheena Norquay.