Creative articles about sewing

Start International Pictogramproject 2015

Dear All,

I am happy that we finally can start our first Community Project “People 2015” on the International BERNINA Blog.

Five countries do contribute with their works: New Zealand, South Africa, India, Australia and Great Britain.

And perhaps you all are as curious as I am about the results, that will form an artistic project for former exhibitions, worldwide.

Let me give you some further details (perhaps some repeated) for the start:

you all have received a small package with wool felt, a photocopy of a pictogram and several nice MADEIRA quilting and sewing threads.

Before you start your work, please mark on the largest piece of woolfelt the “working area” of your project. This dimension is equal for ALL of you. The inner space measures: 28cm x 22cm.


Your work must not become larger than this. If you need more space around this inner part, to work more convenient, feel free to leave a larger space around your lines (outside!).

The rest of wool felt can be used to do samples, depending the type of work you will apply.


The pictogram enclosed by photocopy must be imported in your work at least once in the original size.


Please feel free to work with any technics of textile treatment, surface design, printing, stitching, embroidery, by hand, by machine, use papers, plastics, any kind of textures – just do whatever you like! And have fun, that’s the most important thing.


I was asked about a design of the edges. If you like to do a finish with a special stitch, please do so. If you like to leave it uncut, just leave it, I will cut it, before assembling it on the frame. You need no backing.


Despite to the first announcement that each country will get a unique colour of wool felt, I decided to give a variety of mixed colors.


Start of the project: Monday 28th September 2015

End: 7th November 2015.

By then your work should be returned to your BERNINA Importeur and he/she will take care about it and send it to BERNINA International in Switzerland.


Communication via the BERNINA Blog:

I would like to invite you all to correspond here on the BERNINA Blog during our project. Please feel free to write blogposts about your work concerning this project, perhaps you like to introduce yourselves to each other via a small blogpost first, that would be fantastic. And of course you should present your finished work here on the blog. Give a description about the make-off and the idea, that stays behind your work. Thank you so much in advance!


Questions – Answers

For sure there will come up a couple of questions – please do not ask me per email – its much better to ask here within the blog, so we all can take advantage of questioning and answering. We will use THIS blogpost for the questions that might come up.

If you like to email me anyway, please do so.


All 25 finished small artworks will be mounted on a frame by myself and another 10/15 works of the German pictogram project 2014 will complete our community project.

From January 2016 the complete international Pictogramm project can then be booked by the BERNINA Importeurs and be shown all over the globe!


Have a look on the following works of the former “2014 project”. You will see how edges have been finished, how I cut some of them, how the ladies worked with different materials and technics.










This was the first presentation of the German project during the “Nadelwelt Karlsruhe 2014”
















And to BERNINA International AG Steckborn and to MADEIRA a greatful “Thank you” for the generous sponsoring.

I wish you all a good start, many ideas and lots of fun. Let us play together, within the worldwide BERNINA family!



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  • roscro

    Hi Everyone, I’m Ros from Oxfordshire, UK. Although I come from a quilting background I like to use embroidery and mixed media too.
    I found it quite hard to engage with my blue felt and male pictogram at first but am now working around the theme of ‘Men Have Children Too’. Fingers crossed it comes out something like the picture in my head!

  • Catherine

    Hello I am Catherine from Christchurch New Zealand. I love to create original hand treated fabrics and tend to make more masculine type quilts ( I have been working recently on quilts depicting WW1 and WW2 due to the Gallipoli centenary. I like to enter quilt challenges as a springboard to try new ideas and recently joined SAQA. I have a Bernina Virtuosa 150 and more recently a 750QE which I love. I am thrilled to be part of this challenge and an really excited about what we are all going to create

    • Jutta Hellbach

      Hello Catherine,
      wow, thats interesting to read about what you are doing! Happy you are with us, on this journey!
      Waiting for your result…..

  • Jan Allston

    Hi everyone, I’m Jan – also from the UK. I am a quilter but also absolutely adore my Bernina 830 and 630 which are used very often when I’m not doing work for The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles.

    I am really looking forward to this challenge Jutta – and am spending lots of time thinking about how the finished piece is going to look. It has taken me on a journey back to my college days when I studied The Wasteland by T S Eliot because I ended up spending an afternoon reading the Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire. All because I was sent a piece of scarlet wool felt and a lady! Wonderful!

    • Jutta Hellbach

      Dear Jan,
      thanks for your introduction, I am looking forward to your work – thats quite inspirational what you are writing about – can’t wait to see it!

      • Jan Allston

        Just finished digitizing the design Jutta. Now for the practice piece!



  • Trienie Krugel

    I am also a South African participant, and know Marilyn and Hillary (although I did not get to greet you in Durban Hillary, we were all so busy!!) I have been quilting for many years, and love the whole process!! Thinking hard to make this one work!
    Trienie Krugel

    • Jutta Hellbach

      Dear Trienie,
      wish you a happy time with our pictogram-group – looking forward to your work!

  • sophiewood

    Hi there fellow project participants. I am a 33 year old textile artist/art quilter living in Christchurch, New Zealand, the city made famous for its earthquakes in 2010-11. I love free motion quilting, using lumiere metallic paints, shiva oil paint sticks and steam-a-seam. I love my Bernina 770QE I got earlier this year; it’s a joy to sew on. I like meeting other quilters and look forward to getting to know all of you. My website is if you want to see what I create; it has links to my facebook and other social media if you want to follow me. Anyone else want to introduce themselves?

    • Jutta Hellbach

      Dear Sophie,
      welcome to this project, I am curious about your work. And compliments – you are a fantastic artist!

  • shrutinow

    Jutta, I’m so excited to start of this project. I have an idea buzzing in my head. A topic and a message very close to my heart! Will start on Monday and share along the way!

    • Jutta Hellbach

      Hello Marilyn,
      the orientation can be everything and every direction. In what kind you “personalize” your pictogram is free.

    • Hilary Gooding

      Oh my goodness! Hello Marilyn! I am also in on the project. How lovely – you down there in South Africa and me up here in England!

      • Jutta Hellbach

        Hello again,
        so good to see, you already know each other, well at least some of you.
        It would be great if you all (participants) could just write two or three sentences about yourselves, where you come from, perhaps some thougts about your hobby/profession concerning fabrics….
        Have fun!

      • Hilary Gooding

        Well, although I am lucky to be one of the UK participants, I come from South Africa and met up again with Marilyn at the South African Quilt Festival in Durban in July this year.
        I have been sewing all my life, first dressmaking (weren’t the 60’s wonderful with all the fabrics and fashions?!) and now quilting and embroidering. I am always happy to encourage my two grandchildren (12 and 8) to ‘play’ on Nanna’s machine. They love it because of the buttons (thread cutter has to be their favourite), the touch screen and the variety of stitches – they are definitely children of the computer age.
        I love spending time creating my own embroidery designs and my submission for this challenge is an embroidery – naturally. I am very happy with my supplies and that I have a female pictogram. My work is ready, practice pieces made – just need to borrow time on a friends’ 830 so I don’t have to multi-hoop. I have a wonderful 780 which I am very happy with but multi-hooping is not my favourite activity!!!
        Hilary in UK

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