Joan Brailsford – Roads – The Road Less Travelled

This subject immediately brought to mind our many holidays. To explain – we don’t really do holidays which involve sitting still, most of our holidays involve road trips of one sort of another. For that reason, I felt that I had so many memories and pictures in my mind of those trips that I spent many days trying to distil a design idea, and I was unable to unclutter my mind. Then I decided to approach the theme from another angle, and try to decide what my favourite road would be, and it then hit me that the road to choose is a lot nearer to home. We hike in the nearby Peak district almost every week, and I have a favourite route we use to get there.

The road quietly over the rolling hills and moors, and we seldom see other cars. Thinking of the quiet beauty of the scenery gave me the title of the piece – The road less travelled – because even though we make the journey often, no-one else seems to. The open spaces are clothed with ferns, grasses, heather and moorland plants and present a calming harmonious sight at any time of year, but particularly now in the autumn.

I have used a variety of dyed and commercial fabrics and abaca tissue, pieced to form the rolling moors and hills. The road is stitched with the words that form the title of the piece. I have used the machine quilting  to try and give a little contouring to the hills, and to add a little texture to the middle section, but have kept the quilting to a minimum for the foreground. In this section I have used fern and maidenhair stitch to include an impression of vegetation before constructing the quilt, and have used the same stiches to hand quilt that area. I have used a minimal amount of hand quilting in the sky, and added a few distant birds.
I hope that the end result conveys the atmosphere of my favourite moorland road.



Close up Views:




  1. I envy your ability to create such perspective on that winding road, Joan — and your landscape fabric choices are wonderful. 🙂

  2. This piece certainly portrays the ‘Emptiness’ of the Peak District and the softness of the colours are just right, lovely.

  3. English quilter

    I love the perspective. It takes me back to the rolling hills of England. The hand embroidery is spectacular in the detailed view.

  4. This is a wonderful interpretation, I just feel like I am driving or riding along that curving road, excellent rhythm and perspective and choice of material. I like the use of embroidery it add to the feeling of a country road. Bravo

  5. Thank you for your comments ladies. I enjoyed adding hand stitched detail on this one, so I may use the technique again in the future

  6. Brings back memories of when I lived in the Peak district and the wonderful autumn colours, great piece!

  7. Beautiful piece, I also like the perspective and the choice of fabrics ! Bravo !

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