An altar cloth on Iona

Leaving the island of Iona was difficult. It has such a special atmosphere (see last week’s post for more). The day of our departure was quite windy so the sea was choppy. Fortunately the 9 o’clock ferry was running. Here is the ferry making its way towards us on the dock.


This isn’t a road-sign you often see.


This was our last view of the island, with the Abbey clearly visible beyond the houses.


And in the other direction, the sun was visible over the waves.

Morning sun over the waves on Iona, photo by Amanda Ogden

This however, is (largely) a blog about texiles, so I want to mention a beautifully embroidered altar cloth on Iona. The Bishop’s House has its own chapel (St Columba’s Chapel) which is open for worship to anyone on the island, not just those staying in the House.


Columba was a 6th-century monk who travelled from his native Ireland to Scotland by boat. Columba was given permission to found a monastery on Iona (for more information about him click here. The altar frontal depicts St Columba’s boat in full sail.


The island can be seen depicted in the background and the letter C and the boat itself are appliqued on. The mast/cross is stitched with canvas work, with a rich variety of threads being used, as you can see in the detail below.


For information about the Bishop’s House, go to

And in other news…

Like many families, we are beginning to lay plans for Christmas. It will be complicated this year as two members of the family are abroad over the Christmas week and another one is going abroad just after Christmas, so some deft planning is required to make the most of seeing those who live far away. I shall still be doing some festive decorating at home, and as we have guests in our AirBnB house over Christmas, there will be decorations there too.

For a quick make to decorate your front door or to hang up inside, take a look at my newly-released pattern for a Christmas wreath, now available in my Etsy shop. Click here to see it.


Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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