Saturday, July 23, 2016

Morris Hexathon 12: Hampton Court

Morris Hexathon 12: Hampton Court by Becky Brown

12: Hampton Court by Ilyse Moore

This week's hexie, a star inside a star, is named Hampton Court for the current location of the Royal School of Needlework, another William Morris legacy.

Hampton Court Palace in London.
The 500th anniversary of this Tudor castle was celebrated in 2014. It has long been the home of an impressive tapestry collection from Brussels, commissioned by King Henry VIII.

The Great Hall with the Abraham Tapestries
"This morning, as it is fresh and fair after the rain, I am going to throw dull care away and have a holiday, to wit I am going to Hampton Court by myself to look at the tapestries and loaf about the gardens." 
William Morris letter, possibly to Georgiana Burne-Jones, 1887.
Elephants in the Story of Abraham wearing 
tapestries with a double star---tapestry in a tapestry

The Royal School did not begin in such elegant apartments.The School of Art Needlework opened in 1872 in rooms above a shop on Sloane Street with several goals: employing women in meaningful work, upgrading the art of embroidery and reviving historical embroidery techniques. William and Jane Morris and other members of the firm were supporters of the goals and the organization. Morris and Company became suppliers of patterns and materials. 

Show room featuring articles for sale

The School became Royal when Queen Victoria granted Patronage in 1875.

"The designers at work making the fabric."

A star inside a star.
This week's pattern has four templates: 
1 hexagon, 2 diamonds and 1 triangle.
You may think there are too many dang pieces. Scroll down for an alternate block.

Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
(4" sides)
 To Print:
  • 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 should measure 4" on the sides
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric.

A version probably made from the 
Kansas City Star pattern, about 1935.

It's BlockBase #257, a pattern found in 20th-century quilts, published and named several times in the 1930s.

Names include Ozark Diamonds and Ozark Star from the Kansas City Star, which also called it Ma Perkins Flower Garden.
[Ma Perkins was the lead character in a radio soap opera---we are not exploring Ma or the Ozarks in this series so we will let it all go at that.]

Designer Eveline Foland's 1931 pattern in the Star.

Carrie Hall's interpretation of Foland's block from the Spencer Museum
collection at the University of Kansas---
accurate down to the stripes called for.

Feel free to redraw this block, changing the number of pieces from 37 to 25 by eliminating the star in the center.

Here is an alternate block for Hampton Court. To make it
print the pattern below. If you are using rulers or pre-cut templates:
The yellow hexagon finishes with 2" sides.
The green diamond finishes with 2" sides.

One More Inspiration
Quilt from about 1870
from dealers Woodard & Greenstein,
published in an old Quilt Engagement Calendar

The Royal School of Needlework continues to offer classes and shows. Visit to see the palace, the school, the tapestries and their special exhibitions.


  1. What a lovely looking block. But, oh my golly, this will be the week I try the EPP method I think.So many pieces - all the better to practice with!

  2. I really like the original version, but I'm so far behind, I expect I'll do the easier one! Thanks for another beautiful block, and such interesting information.

  3. I love the perfect placement of Ilyse's birds.