Caro Higgs – Blooming

‘Twas the last rose of summer

This year I am going to try and make all 6 of my pieces have the same general theme while incorporating the subjects that have been chosen. The theme is the coast, I am really enjoying walking along the coastline and often take photographs as I go, the changing light and nature area real inspiration, time will tell if I manage my own personal challenge as well as the group challenge! I have to admit that I am finding the subjects this year difficult so they are a real challenge for me.

The inspiration for Blooming was a quote from a poem by Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852):

‘Twas the last rose of summer,

Left blooming alone,

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone.

These words fitted perfectly with an old damask napkin that I found lurking among my white fabrics; along the low cliffs where I live there is plenty of plant life and I used a poetic license to imagine dog roses along the cliff top. The ‘carrelets’, fishing huts on stilts, line the coastline which itself is stony and on the horizon is either the region of the Vendée the other side of the bay or the Ile de Ré in the other direction.

I painted to fabric with fabric paints and then stitched the outline of the roses on the damask with a variegated cotton thread to give them a muted look as if they had faded away. The water and sky have little stitching, with a polyester thread to give sheen, because I wanted to make sure that the focus was on the plants. The ‘carrelets’ are appliquéd and the blooming rose and grass added by hand at the end using the same cotton variegated threads.

Working the damask was not easy because it is well used and creased very easily, it was beautifully soft to stitch but it also tended to shift a little so squaring it was not easy.


Close up views:


  1. Wonderful poetic coast, love it!

  2. The rose seems so lonely and reflect the poem of inspiration. Love all hand stitching!

  3. You managed to convey the feelings of poetry, and the walks with the light and the morning atmosphere of the coast. The soft colours and delicate stitch reflect these sensations. Bravo.

  4. The small horizon gives good dept to your quilt. The hand stitching is beautiful. I hope you can manage both challenges this year.

  5. This is a lovely interpretation of the fading light along the coast.You did a great job of incorporating the rose in your piece. I, too hope you are able to work both themes into your quilts this year. It will be exciting to see what you are able to do!

  6. I like the light and atmosphere in your quilt. The hand stitching is beautifully done and add a poetic touch. Beautiful.

  7. A very subtle and thoughtful piece. The stitching works beautifully with the detail of the pier and the huts. Well done.

  8. I like the gentleness of this piece and the way the lovely hand stitching enhances the effect.

  9. I love that you worked from a poem. Brilliant idea. Very nice piece. I look forward to seeing how you use this setting for the other themes. Very inspirational!

  10. Caro, this fits so perfectly with the poem, love your choice of materials and the way you put them together. The design reflect the story you’re telling, beautiful!

  11. A very elegant piece in muted tones. I love the subtle handstitching of the flowers.and the way you stitched the clouds. The composition of the stilts is very effective. Wel done!

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