Kaylene Maalste – Country – Literature

For Literature I chose Henry Lawson a well renown poet and writer. He wrote prolifically into the 1890s, after which his output declined, in part due to struggles with alcoholism and mental illness. In his writings Lawson presented a parade of the archetypes among bush workers. He cataloged special qualities typifying underprivileged itinerants of Australia’s sheep-raising areas. A brooding quality is generally present, especially in his verse. The tone of his prose is sometimes sad, but his stories are enriched by the easy humorous humanism of the campfire yarn. I chose to depict his poem The Ballard of the Drover in my quilt, I have inclused a link to this poem and a biography of his life.



I hand stitched a portrait of Henry Lawson and his poem on an old coarse muslin. The coarseness of weave was problematic in trying to keep the letters even. But as a friend commented it is in keeping with his life. Therefore i did the same with the captions.

Detail view:

  1. Lovely work Kaylene, what patience to stitch the poem! A really great piece of work, well done.

  2. Kaylene your portrait of Henry Lawson is absolutely incredible !!! His hair, his mustache and the slightly melancholic look are really well rendered ! not to mention the patience it took to write the poem ! Bravo !
    I will read his biography, I did not know him.

  3. Love the clear, simple graphic design of your work. And the handwork, of course!

  4. I adore anything made by hand and not by machine, because I use only sewing machine.
    you managed to convey perfecty.

  5. It was so sad reading the end of this beautiful poem, So nice of you to add the link to the poem and his biography. Awesome work. His portret is fabulous. Love and admire your hand stitching . Bravo.

  6. An interesting introduction to this man. His portrait is great – such detailed, patient work in this and in the text. Well done.

  7. Wow, I am really impressed with your embroidery skills! Only Australian can do that (smile). Thank you for the links, I love reading the inspiration stories.

  8. Wow! Your portrait and all the details of your hand embroidery are amazing! You have captured his sombre or reflective quality. Well done.

  9. Wonderful stitching to create your portrait and your friend is right to say that the coarsness of the fabric and the shape of the letters are absolutley right for the mand and his work. Well done

  10. Incredible work, Kaylene. Your embroidery is beautifullt excecuted and I appreciate the poem itself.

  11. studiociboulette

    I love every stich of your piece. Bravo!

  12. So nice to get acquainted with an unknown writer to me. I am in awe of the embroidered portrait, it is gorgeous. Nice poem too!

  13. The portrait is done so wonderful! I admire your hand stitching of the poem (and the portrait of course). Well done, Kaylene.

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