My Honesty Skyline


Pauline Burbidge is an internationally renowned quilt and textile artist with an impressive career spanning five decades. Pauline was a founding member of The Quilters’ Guild in 1979 and continues to be an active member.

The Quilters’ Guild Collection is home to both historical and contemporary quilts and we’re delighted to welcome Pauline’s Honesty Skyline into our collection as one of our newest additions.

Pauline writes about her inspirations and techniques and processes that lead to Honesty Skyline.

“The natural world – open rural landscape, fields of wheat & barley, plant forms, skyscapes, rivers, water reflections & seascapes; fine woven natural fabrics, stitching and making processes, are examples of the many things that inspire me.

I made the Honesty Skyline quilt in 2015, when I started using the early photographic printing method called Cyanotype. The fabric is treated with light sensitive chemicals, and the print is made using the sun’s rays to expose the fabric which turns into a gorgeous ultramarine colour (similar, in appearance, to indigo dyed fabric).

I remember gathering lots of dried seed heads from the garden and hedgerows in the Autumn of 2014, and I began making prints and also making rubbings (as in brass rubbings) of many. The plant forms in the garden are constantly inspiring me, I love to take photos, draw, print and make rubbings of this material.

I was particularly attracted to the Honesty seed pod, it forms these very magical translucent discs, which printed very well. A very delicate image appeared. I printed them onto cotton fabric, and also onto silk organza.

06 Detail 2 of Honesty Skyline by Pauline Burbidge. Photo Phil Dickson PSD Photography 2015

I also took some cotton organdie fabric and made rubbings of the Honesty seed pods, together with drawings of some rush leaves, and continued to collage a selection of these images together. As I assembled it I was thinking of the rows of growth in the fields around our home, here in the rural Scottish Borders, and made what I thought of as a textile landscape.08 Detail 4 of Honesty Skyline by Pauline Burbidge. Photo Phil Dickson, PSD Photography 2015

I made a lot of sample fabric pieces, then proceeded to collage them together to form my topcloth, which eventually became my finished quilt.

The looking/observing, gathering, printing, drawing and the collaging and stitching, are all wonderful occupations – I love to try and reflect some of the inspiration it has given me, into my finished work.

This quilt has been shown at some of the best exhibitions I have ever had to date – in the Bowes Museum, in Co Durham, The Ruthin Craft Centre, in North Wales, and the International Quilt Study Center, in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. It is wonderful to have this quilt in the Quilters’ Guild Collection, all made possible by funds left in memory of Eileen Lewis, of Sheffield.

Coming soon, a chance to see my current work, and to make your own cyanotype print, at the City Art Centre (CAC) in Edinburgh.”

If you’d like to see more of Pauline’s work this winter do visit Songs for Winter, which is a joint exhibition (textiles by Pauline Burbidge and drawing and sculpture by Charlie Poulsen), on display at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. From 4th November 2017 – to the 4th March 2018. It is a substantial show, taking over the first floor of the CAC.

During the exhibition, Pauline will run two printing days – where people can book for a half hour session, and make a cyanotype print. These will run on Sat 20th and Sat 27th January. Booking is essential, through the City Art Centre – phone, 0131 529 3993.

Please view – and

Photography by Philip Stanley Dickson

One thought on “My Honesty Skyline

  1. Great to see the new webpage. Congratulations to everyone involved.


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