Caro Higgs – Botanics – Autumnal Colours

I wanted to continue working with the idea of a type of screen hiding detail behind it. There is, for me, a magic when one only sees part of a story and it can be tantalising not having the full story. I started by looking at Japanese prints and photographed a few flowers. I then looked at petal formation, Fibonacci and Divine proportion… In the end I sketched out some concentric circles and constructed my own flower petals!

I decided to try sun-printing, the second attempt was more successful,  I used a product called Solar Fast, and printed on to some of the old sheeting I bought in the summer. I gathered the leaves from the garden and some grass which took really well. The prints  were then machine quilted, the grass just outlined in a yellow mix while the leaves had added veins in a pale green mix.

The flower is made of mulberry paper which I colour washed with fabric paint. I then outline machined the petals on to the sun print and cut away the excess. To finish the edges I use an acrylic wax with a little coloured wax to add highlights. The edge is bound with  simple flowery fabric to be in harmony with the centre.

Mulberry fabric is very fragile but lovely to work with, I now realise that I should have painted the paper outwards from the centre but because it was so fragile and I didn’t want heavy colouration I was working fast and didn’t stop to think!





  1. A unique interpretation, Caro — and I was interested in your use of mulberry paper. Although of your own design, your flower reminds me of chrysanthemums which are prevalent in Canadian gardens in the fall. 🙂

  2. I like your “Screen” idea. It really is a Caro-piece. Well done.
    Just like Margaret I would love to know more about the mulberry paper technique and why you finish with the acrylic wax

  3. A very unique piece Caro. I followed your processes with interest – almost as good as watching you create your piece. I too refer to Fibonacci on occasions. I must find out more about mulberry paper, and try out the screen idea too.

  4. The mulberry paper wasn’t a technique as such….it is just a very soft vegetable tissue paper which is very fragile especially when wet. I used the acrylic wax to reduce a silver wax to add some vague highlighting to the edges and found that it allowed me to almost roll the edges over the stitching….

  5. I also like the “screen idea”, and it works very well with the design of your flower.
    Working with mulberry paper is something I would like to try too.

  6. Caro thank you for sharing your technique, a lovely design with beautiful Autumn colours.

  7. English quilter

    A beautiful way to interpret the theme. The Mulberry overlay looks like a flower too.Thank you for your explanations of the mulberry paper and the techniques. I am not familiar with using acrylic wax…in fact I don’t think that I have seen it in the US

  8. Nice you did sun printing as well! I never used mulberry paper, must be difficult to work with.
    A very lovely quilt!


    A very unique piece and a nice translation of the theme. The mulberry paper is intriguing me already for some time and I love to see how you managed to integrate it into your artwork. Love the colours and the techniques you used and your clear description.

  10. I like the large flower you have made here. Your hiding technique works well here and makes us really look for the details behind.

  11. I haven’t used mulberry paper before, and it sounds really tricky to use, but you’ve made a lovely job of including it in your quilt. Your sun printing has worked well too. All in all a lovely quilt, and an interesting interpretation

  12. Very inventive! With a lovely result. I’ve yet to try sun printing, but you’re inspiring me to explore it.

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