About us / Childrens Triptych

The Making of the Panels

In May 2013 Rev. Annie Goldthorp asked a group of needle-workers in the Church to a meeting to look at making the Children's Corner more attractive. A blocked up window loomed over the area and I offered to work with Lesley to create a wall-hanging to cheer it up. I started thinking that, for it to appeal to the children, it should be about children, and as there were 3 sections to the window, it seemed a good idea to picture scenes from Jesus' childhood. That's when the idea of a Triptych was born. My design links the panels through the sky, a hill and the roofs of buildings, with a frieze of children, centred on the young Jesus, at the bottom; but I am no artist and so Lesley offered to draw the figures. Mike agreed to make MDF backing boards for displaying the panels, while making it possible to remove them for cleaning. I covered the MDF with wallpaper lining paper outlined the backgrounds and went on holiday, leaving them on the lounge floor so that Lesley could do the drawings. While I was on holiday I found some wonderful backing fabrics with stone and wood designs, and then I came home to Lesley's wonderful sketches. Then came the fun part: tracing each detail for the bonding and then sewing the backgrounds and choosing the fabrics for dressing the figures. The bonding was then applied to the fabrics and all the pieces were cut out and attached to the backgrounds. It was rather like playing with a huge jig-saw! The frieze came later and was as much fun as dressing dolls! Several parents gave me tiny pieces of their children's clothes to dress the figures in and I also included my four grandchildren. I then machine appliquéd all the figures and added further details which came to mind. The panels were then wadded and backed and then machine quilted to give perspective and texture. Lastly came the lettering of the quotation from Luke and finally Lesley and Sylvia came to help me to hand sew the borders.

I must thank Mike Hare for making the backing boards - no mean achievement; Lesley Jones for her inspired drawings; Sylvia Barrett and Lesley for helping me with the hand sewing; Pete Ball for helping to put up the boards and my dear Gordon who - for the 6 months of planning and sewing - cooked, cleaned, ironed, shopped and encouraged and supported me. And, finally, I must thank the little boy who accompanied me on this journey and who grew to be the man who gave his life for me.

Ros Baldwin 2014