Tree Peony Trellis (2018.15)

Catalogue Record




Tree Peony Trellis

Made in





Airbrushed, quilted silk waistcoat with floral and foliage motifs with geometric patterns.

Materials and techniques

Antung (China) silk, Polyester wadding, cotton muslin, machine cottons and sequins formed the quilting. Hand embellished textures achieved by hand-embroidery threads. Diluted Helizarin pigment paints sprayed on work. Stencil card.

5 production stages. Stage 1: Airbrushed textile paints were sprayed using a Badger Hobby Airbrush, with compressor. Designs, such as peony flowers and leaves, transferred onto silk surface via hand-cut stencils. Design motif repeated using different sections of stencil, together with geometric card masks. Repeating ‘leafy’ textures used a positive leaf motif, this was hand held while the other hand guides the airbrushed sprayed colour around the positive mask. A quick, spontaneous shadow pattern created for quilting around. All of the pattern sections of the work’s silk were sprayed prior to any quilting. The silk material was stretched onto a padded table top in this stage. It took approximately 8 to 9 hours to complete this stage.

Stage 2: The maker fixed textile paints using domestic iron on wrong side of fabric. Cut larger than garment pattern piece, each panel silk was layered with polyester wadding and muslin backing pin or tack.

Stage 3: The work was machine quilted where free-motion stitching with a darning foot and feed dogs dropped outline of flower/ leaves. More precise geometrics use a quilting foot guide as a measure spacer, feed-dogs up on machine. Polycotton or strong cotton thread and Bernina Minimatic machine used in this stage. The maker took 12 hours to complete this stage.

Stage 4: The work was embellished by hand embroidery details and sequins.

Stage 5: Make up of garment and finish with spray-dyed bias strip bound edge. Lining was inserted. Approximately 2 days spent in this stage.


length:  113cm
width:  68cm
depth:  4cm

Object number



Maker's statement

It was created at a time when I was making quilts, cushions, the techniques, design and construction reference that. I was embarking on textile works which were on a larger scale and using bolder quilting patterns (in contrast to the softer ripple quilting designs of my earlier botanical waistcoats, bags, cushions (as featured in Crafts July/August 1978).

This is the only garment I have made which expresses that direct relationship between the quilts, cushions and screens of 1980-81. Quilt making gave me a new freedom to use the airbrush and quilting in different dimensions; this garment was made soon after the small quilt…the garment’s structure, colours and patterns pursue similar themes.

…during 1981 I was being influenced by images of Japanese painted screens and the flora of Japan and China, in contrast to English countryside flowers e.g. honeysuckle and rose...

It is only now, following the acquisition by the Crafts Council for their collection, that I can be objective in recognising the creative context of the work and the significance of the piece.

As my work moved into quilts during 1981... it gave me another perspective on directions for my fashion pieces...a bolder, more inventive approach and style was energising my work, influenced by my interior textiles. The ‘Tree Peony Trellis’ was created at a time when I was exploring with these new ideas for fashion pieces, stimulated also by invitations to exhibit my work.

It is the only fashion textile piece which was made, inspired from a series of sketches (1981) which references design/techniques linked with my quilt making.

Sue Rangeley, 27 July 2018