Sunday, April 10, 2016

May Morris Conference

May Morris, a triple portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Oh! to be in England when the Pound is Worth $1.43
and there is a May Morris Conference on
May 13 & 14, 2016 at the William Morris Gallery.

Tickets are sold out but one can still get on the waiting list.

Honeysuckle fabric from the Best of Morris for Moda.
Some attribute this design to May.

From their webpage:

"The William Morris Gallery is to host a landmark conference presenting important new insights into the career of leading arts and crafts designer May Morris, the younger daughter of William and Jane Morris.The event, which marks thirty years since the publication of Jan Marsh’s seminal biography, Jane and May Morris – A Biographical Story, will bring together new research on May’s life and work from curators, academics and independent scholars. The conclusions of the conference will inform a major new exhibition of May Morris’s work at the William Morris Gallery in 2017.

May Morris sitting next to Henry Halliday Sparling her husband.
The man who has her attention is George Bernhard Shaw.
Collection of the Cheltenham Gallery & Museum.

"Included in the two-day study event are visits to the V&A’s Clothworkers’ Centre and the William Morris Gallery’s collection store to view rare May Morris textiles. Delegates will also have the opportunity to take part in a riverside walk exploring the environment in which May lived and worked in Hammersmith, led by the William Morris Society.

The keynote lecture will be delivered by Jan Marsh, who will reflect on the growth of public and academic interest in May Morris’s career since the publication of her biography in 1986.
Jan Marsh, President of the William Morris Society, says: ‘Always overshadowed by her illustrious father and also by her mother’s reputation as a Pre-Raphaelite muse, and originally ignored by the Dictionary of National Biography, May Morris has never received the attention her own achievements deserve. This Conference will explore many facets of her career, bringing a wealth of recent research into view.’ "

Embroidery designed by May Morris,
"Welcome Maids of Honour"
"You do bring in the spring and wait upon her."
This version in green is from the collection of Manchester Metropolitan University

May in the 1930s

If you haven't got tickets you can console yourself by reading Jan Marsh's
Jane and May Morris – A Biographical Story,

or any of Marsh's books on the women of the Arts and Crafts movement.

I'm planning your virtual tour of Morris sites in England in the weekly Morris Hexathon Quiltalong, which starts here on May 7.

Block from the Morris Hexathon by Becky Brown.

See a Flickr Gallery of May Morris illustrations from the Cheltenham Gallery here:


  1. Marking my calendar for Saturdays! Will you be recommending a particular hexie ruler, or will the Hexathon use printed patterns?

  2. Thumbs up! Trying to get prepared in advance :)

  3. How large, how many the blocks? Wondering how much fabric to set aside for May?

  4. I have been to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, on the outskirts of London, twice. Once in 1999 before its major remodel and a couple years ago. I think it a fabulous site for learning about William Morris and his associates in the British Arts and Crafts Movement of his era. The WMG will be one of the sites we will visit on our 2017 Quilts and Treasures of England Tour. I recommend a visit there for anyone interested in Morris who is going to London. . Martha

  5. Barb--- 26 blocks---like a marathon. 8 inches across. Lots of fabric cause you may want to fussy cut.

  6. How do i sign up for this quilt along? Can I get some kind of monthly packet of fabric for each block? Thanks Joyce