Creating a Panel for the Orient Express


After I finished my planned textile panels for the SAQA Orient Express, I offered the remaining wagon to the members, but nobody wanted it. Throw it into the trash? “No”, a little voice said, “do what you recommend to others: use it -reuse it.”

“REUSE NO TRASH” pays homage to all those who do it: who reuse, who don’t simply throw textiles or leftover fiber into the trash. I’d like to celebrate them with this joyful piece.

One person I have particularly in mind is my sister. She is so good at using what others might throw away that her friends give her leftover knitting yarn, and she can just knit up an entirely unique dress out of all the remnants. Her knitted dresses are well-crafted and practical for everyday use.

Back to the Orient Express panel:

It is not like the others which were first designed in my head and then executed. “Reuse No Trash” grew intuitively.

1. I started by adding cotton above the wagon to get the required size and using my relatively new Inktense pencils for the background.


2. A fun moment when I used the water spray bottle and it all began to glow. (I scribbled into the wet surface to intensify the colors even more.)


3. After drying and ironing it, the whole piece was machine-quilted into rectangles with glittering thread. I wrote “RE-USE NO TRASH” into various rectangles.


4. During the Holiday season, there is a lot of chocolate around. The wrappers look beautiful. Four of them are added with free-motion quilting. Have a look at the detail shadow.


5. Embroidery stitches with various kind of gold threads are filling rectangles and highlight the letters.


6. Artisan-dyed cotton in red.brown and blue/green are auditioned to fasten Appliqué details.



It’s done - created over the Holidays 2021/22.

7 Top



8 Middle section



9 Bottom



While I stitch I don’t throw short pieces of yarn away. Normally, I temporarily leave them just pulled through until I’m completely done. In this case, as a reminder to celebrate REUSE, I left them at the bottom.


Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!

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