Joan Brailsford – Water – The lake in the woods

This piece was inspired by a glimpse of still water I spotted as we drove past a small wood. The colours and their reflection struck a chord with me, and I wanted to re-imagine it as it appeared in my mind’s eye. I hesitated slightly about doing this when I realised that our next challenge following this one would be ‘reflection’, but once the idea was in my mind it wouldn’t budge!

This is a whole cloth background which was space-dyed in the microwave. I created the water line first to ‘anchor’ the design, then added the trees by couching down knitting wool, and the vegetation by couching silk fibres and merino wool tops, both of which I teased out to give the desired thickness. I quilted the upper area by hand using a running stitch along the line of the tree trunks, and seed stitches in the vegetation. I then drew in the tree and vegetation reflected colours and shapes using Inktense pencils and blocks. Over the top of these I added transfer dyed organza to depict the water and I added quilting in a vaguely rippled pattern using shiny threads.

I had hoped that the finished piece gives the impression of a quiet place where trees meet the water, which is what I first imagined.


Close up views:


  1. Joan wonderful interpretation I can feel the tranquility of the lake. Your techniques are great, I must get out my Inktense pencils in the future. No harm in producing another view of the lakes with reflections…beginning of another series.

  2. Joan, this is just perfect; the contrast between the quilting of the water and the clear sky is wonderful. I just love landscapes, or should I say waterscapes, like this one.

  3. I love your work, it seems to look to an impressionist painting.It gives me a feeling of peace.Your technique is impressive.

  4. Lovely piece. I really like it. The inktense pencils are very effective.

  5. This reminds me of some of the sloughs near where i live now, in which the trees (and sometimes old fence posts!) are actually standing in the water. Beautifully rendered!

  6. Lovely work! I like your quilting of the lake surface.

  7. Very nice piece Joan ! as usual , delicate and with the sense of detail.

  8. studiociboulette

    I love the colors and your integration of the wool for the trees is awesome. Beautiful!

  9. I like the way you used different techniques. I think you created the piece you had in your mind. Great!

  10. The combination of the techniques you used worked very well together. Lovely peaceful landscape.

  11. You achieved you aim – this is si peaceful and inviting. I could sit at this place for a long time. Love your choice of techniques.

  12. A lovely tranquil reflective piece. Beautiful as always.

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