Helen Hazon – Series #3 – Architecture in My Travels – Russia

A few years ago I visited several cities as part of a textile themed tour of the Baltic Sea coast. One of those cities was St Petersburg.

The experience of entering Russia by train, including an hour-long wait while our passports were inspected and our luggage thoroughly sniffed by dogs, was exciting in itself. Spending 3 days in a Russian city was amazing and included visits to some of the grandest palaces I’ve ever seen. We were also able to spend a lovely afternoon with members of a local quilt group who showed us their work, examined some of ours and then took us to their favourite fabric shop in the city. What wonderful memories!

The architecture in St Petersburg mostly seemed to fall into 2 categories – ugly, grey and functional or extremely ornate, gilded and beautiful. Perfect examples of the latter style were found in the many churches in the city. The one we really loved was the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood which has a splendid riverside setting. This church has five beautifully  patterned domes and at least four golden ones together with many other lovely decorated areas. Naturally I took many photographs and it is these that I used as inspiration when designing this quilt.

I have kept the 1/3 and 2/3 division as in numbers 1 and 2 in my series. This time the 1/3 section is at the bottom and is red for the “spilled blood” that the church stands on and also for the red that we all associate with Russia. The upper 2/3 is grey with regular lines of stitching to represent the many large solid buildings all around the city. I have used silk fabrics to create the five onion domes and the conical tower. I have added a variety of decoration to them and finished all edges with gold metallic thread satin stitch.

Close up View:






Quilts in Series


Quilt 1                                Quilt 2                               Quilt 3



  1. Chantal GUILLERMET

    Helen I admire your precise work and perfect machine stitching.
    St Petersbourg is on my “wish list” : with a simple design you have captured the atmosphere of russian churches !

  2. carolinehiggs

    Helen this is an excellent addition to your series, they sit together so well. The stitching is immaculate and it really captures the spirit of the Russian onion domes, and I love the ‘spilled blood’.

  3. Helen, visiting Russia would be exciting in it’s self. I love the logic behind your breaking up the background. The quilt is superb.

  4. joanbrailsford

    Your work is always precise and beautifully stitched and this is no exception. The onion domes and vibrant colours certainly showcase the Russian architecture that I have seen (in pictures only, unfortunately). A very good addition to your series

  5. Again a beautiful souvenir of your travels. As mentioned already before your stitching is so meticulous and well done. Bravo.

  6. Again a Helen-quilt. Very beautiful, rich colors and so accurate!

  7. Beautiful stitching the texture you have created is great. A lovely showcase of Russian domes .

  8. Your beautifully textured and vibrant colored onion domes brings back memories of my fathers’ visit to Russia many years ago. Well done Helen.

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