Saturday, August 13, 2016

Morris Hexathon 15: Kelmscott Tile

Morris Hexathon 15: Kelmscott Tile by Becky Brown

I named this week's hexie Kelmscott Tile
for the fireplaces at Kelmscott Manor.

Kelmscott Manor pictured in Morris's novel
News From Nowhere

The Manor House near the Thames in the Cotswalds dates in parts to the 16th century. The Morris family leased the estate for a summer home from 1870 until about 1913 when widowed Jane Morris bought the house. Daughter May lived there until her death in 1938.

The 12-1/2 acre manor is now open for visitors part of the year.

Watercolor by whom?
The house still features many textiles, paintings and pieces of furniture
from the Morrises and their circle.

The mantelshelf was broken and painted over 
when they leased the house.

One of the first things Jane Morris oversaw was repair of the fireplace in the Dining Room (the Green Room), asking for tiles and advice of Philip Webb back in London at the Firm. Could he send six dozen of the tiles in stock for the fire box. "Will they look best of various patterns or all alike? They must be blue."

Delft tile designed by Philip Webb

Dutch tiles or Delft tiles produced in the Netherlands set a standard for quality. The Morris firm stocked Dutch tiles. They also imported blanks to be decorated in London and commissioned Dutch companies to make tiles in their designs. Dutch tile is thus a good design to remember the Manor House and its integrated arts and crafts environment.

Webb must have advised two different tiles
as this is the way it looks today.

 Kelmscott Tile by Bettina Havig
I should have let Bettina press this before I took the picture.
She noted there are a lot of pieces. 

255a and 255b

The hexagon of one diamond repeated 48 times was first published as Dutch Tile in the Kansas City Star in 1931. Eveline Foland, an advocate of modern design, showed two shadings. 

"A Simple Block Affords Many Diversions."

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.
Now you may think Eveline Foland put too many pieces in the block.
See an alternate block below.

Arabian Star by Carrie Hall, 
Collection of the Spencer Museum of Art.
Hall used a name published by Capper's Weekly for 255a.

A mid-20th-century version of #255a from the 
Wyoming project and the Quilt Index.
Several companies sold the pattern.

Here's a quilt in the pattern that seem to predate Foland's 1931 column.

Vintage Quilt, about 1900,
set with equilateral blue triangles

"Many pretty tile patterns can be made using this simple patch...set together with equilateral triangles which fit the side of the hexagon."

Arabian Star by Donna Kojoleski
Found it on Pinterest

Alternate Block
Try this one with more large diamonds requiring fewer small diamonds.
Use the diamond with 2" finished sides for the larger diamond.
You have a pattern for that piece in Block #8.

Another way to arrange these diamonds.

One More Inspiration

Quilt that won a prize at a 1909 fair in Nashville.Tennessee.


  1. Becky's block for this week takes my breath away it is so gorgeous.Those flashes of red surrounding the center red star are just perfect. Then the idea of making today's block with it's 48 pieces also takes my breath away. I'm lying on the floor gasping for breath at this point!

  2. Remember I gave you some extra blocks a few weeks back. Now's the time to pull one out.

  3. It's okay Barbara. I was just joking and am still full of breath. Off to the sewing room to select fabrics for this block and develop a stitching plan.

  4. So many beautiful ways to put this one together! One could probably make a beautiful quilt just from variations of this one block.

  5. I love a challenge! This one is going to be that! Becky's block is stunning.

  6. Just finished this block. It was a real challenge but worth it:)