Hexathon #1: Westminster Star
by Becky Brown
Morris Earthly Paradise prints.
Our first hexie is a six-pointed star inspired by the tilework floor at Westminster Abbey, a London Landmark for a thousand years.
Mosaic floor at the High Altar in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey. The building dates to 1245.The preservation of the Abbey was a particular interest of William Morris and others in the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement. The Abbey had been rebuilt, restored, remodeled and updated by "architects of ignorance," a favorite phrase of Morris's. The thorny question: To what period shall we restore a monument?
Morris founded the Society for Preservation of Ancient Buildings in 1877 to advocate for his philosophy. The SPAB's goals were preservation and return to original structures rather than change for current taste or current function. In Morris's time the 13th-century cosmati (Italian mosaic) floors were covered over. Carpeting the mosaic was a major mistake, a modernization that needed to be undone. Over a century later those floors have recently been revealed, preserved and restored (we'd hope to Morris's satisfaction.)
The pattern is two pieces, a 60-degree diamond
and the same diamond cut in half end to end into a triangle.
Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
- Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
- Click on the image above.
- Right click on it and save it to your file.
- Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The hexagon's sides should measure 4".
- Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
Certainly quiltmakers were making six-pointed stars in hexagonal designs before the patterns were published. There are many ways to fit a star into a hexagon and this particular version, which requires two templates, doesn't seem to have been published with a name.
Mid-19th-century quilt from the collection of
the Victoria and Albert Museum
- Morning Star from the Joseph Doyle Company
- Novel Star from the Ladies Art Company
From the Ladies Art Company's pattern catalog.
We'll return to the star format throughout our 26 hexie run.
by Bettina Havig
British silk frame quilt, sold at Christie's.
It's certainly easy to imagine the link between hexagon patchwork and mosaics. Inspiration may have been as close as the nearest church floor.
Cleaning the Cosmati floors at Westminster Abbey.
Links to more about Westminster Abbey's pavements.
ONE MORE INPSIRATION
Star of Constantine by Bertha Stenge, 1936.
Collection of the Illinois State Museum
Star of Constantine won first place in Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition in 1936. Stenge's inspiration was a Byzantine plate.