Creative articles about sewing

Wired – Bernina International Pictogram Project

My finished pictogram piece

My finished pictogram piece


Autism Awareness – Wired differently but just as loveable

The first pieces of fabric I played around with

The first pieces of fabric I played around with

Many parents in the autism community have to come up with ways of explaining to their autistic children how they are different to their peers, they liken it to the difference between a MAC and a PC. Both are computers, both perform the same functions but they think & work differently.   This analogy is easy for today’s technology loving children to understand. A more basic reference is saying we are all “wired differently”.

Initially I wanted to make a robot, just a fun but meaningless robot of some description, robots are cool! I got the colour felt I love. A beautiful deep blue. I had recently purchased a piece of yellow leather, I like the smell, soft texture and the shade of yellow. The yellow seemed to stand out great on the blue and I liked the different textures so I knew my robot was going to be yellow leather.

Starting to create my design

Starting to create my design

As I played with all my favourite textured and hand painted, hand dyed random bits of fabric, velvet, leather, tulle, organza etc, I narrowed my selection down to a few elements I wanted to include. As my quilting art and my son are the most prominent features in my life my piece began to naturally evolve around my son. He is autistic and 4 months ago he turned 4. Since then he has been making big progress, big efforts to talk and communicate, a new interest in books, playing skills, sharing and caring, just doing so well that it’s been really wonderful for him and our family. The robot became 2 robots, Mother and Son and I was reminded of the term “wired differently” commonly used to describe someone with autism. I was always wanting to show the inner workings of my robot so that tied in well.

My husband asked me “what’s the things in the background?!” Duh, clearly it’s an urban landscape with buildings and multi-faceted dodecahedron sculptures! People are multi-faceted, it makes perfect sense to me that they should be there. Oh and yes I know my figure is a man and I made it a Mum but that doesn’t bother me, this is just a lady who prefers pants than skirts!

So there you are, that’s my answer to a piece of blue felt and a man pictogram.

Dodecahedrons - I love them at the moment

Materials List: Felt, Leather, Cotton Fabric, Lumiere Metallic Paints, Fabrico Markers, Steam-A-Seam and the visors are a stiff PVC type fabric

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  • Jan Allston

    Amazing! How to get a message across in simple terms that everyone can understand. I love the way the robots are looking towards each other, the colours you have used to depict the theme and the way you have brought autism to the forefront of our minds with your lovely quilt. Turning the “male” pictogram into a female too was thought provoking as well!

    • Sophie Wood

      Thanks Jan, it was fun to make. I feel like making many more yellow robots now! I was lucky to get my favourite colour felt:)

  • Hilary Gooding

    This so resonated with me. I understand what you are saying and love what you have done. Those are ‘cool’ robots – your son must be very impressed and delighted to be depicted as one. Hilary

  • Catherine

    awesome Sophie. Iknew you would find your muse. Colors and meaning are stunning and so personal.Well done

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