Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunbonnet Sue Wrecks

I'm not a fan of Sunbonnet Sue. I've seen too many, and she's too darn cute.

But I do enjoy collecting photos of Sues gone wrong.

Not Sues gone bad as in my post in July. Click here:

But Sues gone wrong, terribly wrong.
The major problem seems to be the appendages, arms, hands and feet. Everybody knows that nobody can draw hands.

So a lot of Sues are left without their hands, which is a pretty good solution.

When in doubt just leave them out

Everybody knows Sue has only one hand, but some people just can't leave it at one.

I think the problem with the feet in the two blocks above is trying to portray both feet.
I have no idea what happened with the arm and hand in the yellow block above.

Two feet is probably never a good idea.
She seems to be walking away from the whole idea.


What?!? Part 2

Sometimes it's just a matter of proportion.

For more about the history of Sunbonnet Sue see this Sunbonnet Sue web page:


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Marseille: White Corded Quilting

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, is featuring an exhibit of whitework until May 22, 2011.

The show is guest curated by Kathryn Berenson, author of Quilts of Provence and the new Marseille: The Cradle of White Corded Quilting.

Denniele took a trip to Lincoln and sent photos. Whitework is often hard to photograph but the show is so well-lit and she is so handy with her point and shoot that her photos will inspire you to make a trip.

Here's what the IQSC site has to say about the show:
Marseille: White Corded Quilting, the first major display in the world of all-white quilted and corded French needlework,  explores its development in Marseilles, the fusion of technique with design imagery, and the integration of this needlework into other cultures as it was exported, adopted and re-transformed over three centuries in three continents.

Broderie de Marseille is a form of three-dimensional textile sculpture using plain white cloth and white cotton cording, deftly manipulated with needle and thread to reveal patterns highlighted by the resulting play of light and shadow on the textile surface. Skillful execution of broderie de Marseille resulted in delicate, refined work that graced the homes and figures of aristocrats and launched an international passion for all-white corded needlework. The quilted works were filled with imagery expressing contemporary values, such as folk legends (Tristan), heraldic devices and royal monograms (on bedcovers), and floral wreaths an fruits symbolizing good fortune and fertility (on wedding quilts). Contemporary versions, today often referred to as "matelasse," are machine made and thus lack the intimate connections to the work represented by the confections of the original needleworkers-almost all of them presumably women.
Click here to read more:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dotland for the Holidays

Those of us who grew up as Catholics learned that there's a patron saint for every cause. For my Book of the Saints I wanted a Patron Saint for Dotland.

St. Dorothy was a good option.

St. Dorothy
She is the patroness of brewers, brides, florists, gardeners, midwives, and newly wedded couples. We could call her St. Dot and add polka dots to her watch.

Or it could be St. Casimir, the patron saint of Poland, inspiration for the polka and thus polka dots ---although why these dots should be named for a popular dance nobody knows.

St. Casimir

St. Quirinus is the patron of the obssessive compulsive.
I've already done him once as a digital card for a friend who has a dot problem.

I decided on St. Dot for the patron saint of Dotland, pictured here with St. Barbara on the left.

St. Dorothy is on the right, dispensing dots to the needy.
Click on the photo and it should be large enough to print for framing.

And click here to see a preview of the Book of the Saints for Quilters.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The River Wey

Wey, a reproduction from the Moda collection A Morris Tapestry

Nature was William Morris's muse. His careful observation of plants and birds are one reason his fabric designs remain so current today. He captured the essence of the bloom and worked it into a complex repeat of layers of curving lines.

Design for Wey by William Morris

The lines in the repeat also reflected his feeling for nature with stems and branches standing for the rivers and streams of England. He created several designs named after waterways. The Wey is a river that runs through Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex, joining the Thames River at Weybridge.

The River Wey

The interlaced lines in the pattern are thought to represent the river and its tributaries. The major line in Wey is a strong diagonal with stems interlaced behind it.

Morris's drawing for Wey,  partially colored

The Wey has long been a navigational river.

Wey was designed by William Morris about 1883, originally meant to be blockprinted on cotton broadcloth and on velveteen (the red piece above is on velveteen).
In recoloring Wey for A Morris Tapestry I toned down that diagonal line. Directionality that works well for upholstery and wallpaper is often too strong for patchwork.

For the border and setting triangles on my pineapple log cabin
 I'm using Wey in the damask black colorway .

Right now I am handquilting along the diagonal lines, the tributaries.

See more information about the River Wey by clicking here:


And see the Textile Blog for more information about Morris's other prints named for rivers---Windrush, Cray, Wandle, Medway, Evenlode and Kennet:

One can take a boat tour of the River Wey.  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Color Ideas from Vegetables

Two of a Kind

Kim sent a photo of this basket quilt she saw at an antique shop.
 Isn't it strange to have 2 handles? That's like Sunbonnet Sue having two feet.

Then while scrolling through the Quilts of Tennessee pictures on the Quilt Index I found this.
A trend?

See the original quilt from about 1900 at the Quilt Index by clicking here:

Of course baskets often do have two handles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

J.H. Dearle's Daffodil

Daffodil from my new Moda collection
A Morris Tapestry
Damask Black Colorway

As William Morris aged he turned over the supervision of Morris and Company to John Henry Dearle (1860-1932), known as Henry. Dearle had begun as a showroom assistant when he was an 18 year-old art student and graduated to designer. After Morris's death in 1896 he became Art Director. Linda Parry, the expert on Morris design, has counted 25 Dearle designs in repeating textiles (Morris did 36).*

Morris's Wey design, also in A Morris Tapestry

For his early designs Dearle tended to copy flowers and leaves from Morris's patterns, combining them in new repeat, not much different from Morris's characteristic designs. He gradually developed his own style, typified by Daffodil from 1891. Morris had often used a diagonal set to his florals, but Dearle alternated the flowers here with a bold vertical stripe.

We've done the Daffodil print in seven colorway,
above Wardle's Sky Blue and Fennel Green, left and center.

Morris's line is often subtle; in this piece the stripe dominates.

An original print or document print
Morris would not have used the bright pinks, blacks and bitter yellows in this version of Henry Dearle's Daffodil. As the Arts and Crafts Movement style evolved into Art Nouveau unusual color combinations obtainable with synthetic dyes became the fashion.
Dearle adapted Morris's emphasis on nature to new Art Nouveau sensibilities and color. The block print for Daffodil required ten blocks for the color combinations, which came from synthetic dyes. Dearle understood the changing direction of the Arts and Crafts movement. His Daffodil design for wallpaper and print was one of the firm's most popular sellers.

Poster by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).
Mucha, Henry Dearle's contemporary, 
pushed Art Nouveau principles
 and color to create a popular style. 

Prints were one facet of Henry Dearle's interests. He also designed carpets, tapestries and embroideries as well as stained glass. His son Duncan W. Dearle (1893-1954) specialized in glass and when Henry died on January 15, 1932, Duncan took over the firm. But by the 1930s modernism ruled and the Morris firm went into decline, going into liquidation in 1940.

See more of Dearle's work by searching for "Dearle" on the search page of the Victoria and Albert Museum's website. Click here:

And see an earlier post about him by clicking here:

The Textile Blog has a post about his tapestries

*Linda Parry, William Morris Textiles, Viking Press, New York, 1983. There is a picture of Henry Dearle on page 70, a sketch showing him looking exactly like an Edwardian gentleman who lived into the modern age.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Search Box

Dachshunds seem to own more possessions than other dogs,
so they spend time searching for them. My dog Dot likes to get her stuff out about 3 a.m.

Over in the left hand column you will notice the SEARCH box. This allows you to search in this blog for a particular topic or person.

For example, if you type in indigo and click on search a box will appear at the top of the page with links to all my previous posts on the topic. You can click on each one to read more about indigo.

Indigo was one of the most durable of dyes for 19th-century quilters

It became cheaper and more available after 1890 or so

Arnold Savage sent me these photos of some turn-of-the-last century prints with a label.

People paid extra for indigo prints because it didn't fade or wash away.

I recently found these indigo swatches on sales sheets in an antique store

Another way to search for a topic is to use the Labels. Many of the posts are labeled with the topic or a person's name. See the words indigo and antique fabric and Arnold Savage at the bottom. Clicking on any one of those will show you all the posts with that label.