Caro Higgs – Series #3 – Complementary

For my third in the series I have chosen to work in purple and yellow. I have continued with my butterflies, in the poem the child speaks of the last butterfly being “So richly, brightly, dazzling yellow.” By using my chosen colours I have read into the deeper meaning of the colours, the subject matter is not cheerful yet, for me, it is a way of acknowledging that which has gone before. I grew up being told that purple was funereal and in certain parts of the world it is associated with the loss of a loved one while yellow is optimistic, happy and energising except that the dull yellow is a sign of caution and decay…. I reckon that these colours are therefore well suited to the subject matter.

I have used commercial fabrics, the background ones were painted purple, the border being the fabric I used in the first of the series. The yellow butterflies were machine appliquéd and then the outlines of the two larger butterflies were sketched out with machine stitching using a variegated purple polyester thread and then hand stitched to give what I hope is an ethereal look. Again I used a variegated polyester thread, yellow this time, which changes colour with the change of direction of the stitches. I did try to get the hand stitch symmetrical but I failed on that score. It was also really difficult to photograph….



Other pieces in the series:


  1. Butterflies are such beautiful creatures, well done. When I studied literature many years ago, we read a Hispanic author who wrote about butterflies representing the last breathe when a person dies. Cheers

  2. joanbrailsford

    This is a very thoughtful series and this piece finishes it off well. I like the way you have incorporated the large butterflies over the main pattern, and I think you certainly have pulled off the ethereal feel you were looking for. Well done

  3. I really like the big butterflies on the backgroung flying like shadows … it really gives an ethereal feeling and works as a reminder of the first piece.

  4. Very thoughtful rendition. Moving series. Real Artistry!

  5. I like your yellow butterflies. It is great how you used the shape of the big butterflies from your first one and made this fragile butterflies.

  6. I find that this work gives a sense of peace and freedom, The chosen colors give more strength to this feeling. This quilt completes perfectly your series.

  7. The colours and their description are well chosen in your series. The way you let come back the butterflies of the first quilt is breathtaking. And the yellow butterflies, so thoughtful. The subject of yours series is serious and heavy, you managed to translate in in a fantastic way.!

  8. studiociboulette

    I love how you swapped foreground and background. It is very clever. Fantastic quilt.

  9. Your whole series is so thoughtful and I admire how you found a way of expressing the emotional poem. Although sad, the beautiful executing of your idea, gives it an optimistic feeling.

  10. English quilter

    I was not aware that purple is a funerial colour in some cultures. Your butterflies are very ethereal, and the choice of fabrics has them merging into the background in an impressionistic way. The handstitched butterfly disappearing into the background adds to the poignancy of the work. You have done an outstanding job of creating a meaningful series around “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”

  11. A very moving series which you have handled beautifully. Well done Caro!.

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