Saturday, September 24, 2016

Morris Hexathon 21: Queen Square

Morris Hexathon 21: Queen Square by Becky Brown

I named this week's hexie Queen Square for a Morris home in London's Bloomsbury neighborhood. In 1865 the young Morris family moved their residence and workshop here, combining the two in a building at 26 Queen Square.

Selvage from fabric printed at 26 Queen Square
The firm and home remained together for over a decade.

 American author Henry James visited a few years later: 
"Morris lives on the same premises as his shop, in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, an antiquated ex-fashionable region, smelling strong of the last century."
Daughter May remembered growing up there among the crafts workspaces:
"The glass painting pleased me the most of all the different things that went on there: the jewel-like colours of the glass that lay about were so attractive, and the silvery net-work of the leading."

26 Queen Square by Amédée Forestier
published in 
William Morris: His Homes & Haunts in 1909.

Walter Crane gives us an impression of Queen Square and it's distinguished tenant about 1870:
"The first time I saw William Morris was from a window in Queen Square...We were leaning out of the open window one summer's evening, chatting, and watching the people passing to and fro across the quiet stone-paved square (which always had a retired old-world and rather Continental look at the south end) when we caught sight of a sturdy figure clad in snuff-brown, striding along in a determined manner, with an oak stick in his hand and a soft felt hat on. ...We met quick, penetrating eyes set in a handsome face and a fair beard with grave and abstracted look..."

The buildings on the Morris's side of the square were knocked down, replaced by a hospital in 1885.

Morris Hexathon 21: Queen Square by Bettina Havig
24 diamonds; 6 triangles.

Block 21 by Ilyse Moore

This week's hexie block has no BlockBase number as a hexagon,
but as a square block it's #3708 Columbia Star.

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 late-19th-century version found in the Rhode Island
project. Photo from the Quilt Index.

One dated 1956 by Lila Dunn, Nebraska project. Quilt Index

The Brown Collection of Amish quilts has this
ca. 1920 example.

The repeat is difficult to show. Pattern vendors tried to fit the pattern into a square but that really doesn't work well.
The Ladies Art Company published a vague pattern for The Columbia.

The Nancy Page newspaper column 
called it Building Block.

Collection Spencer Museum of Art
Carrie Hall appliqued the cubes.

The names Columbia Star and The Columbia probably refer to the 400th anniversary of Christopher
Columbus's voyage to the Americas, celebrated in 1893 with a Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Same pattern, different shading.

An example from the 1940s or '50s, appliqued because she couldn't figure
out how to piece it into a square.

Read daughter May's memories of Queen Square at Google Books:

One Last Inspiration

Crayon Box by Jinny Beyer


  1. So many possibilities for coloring this one! It makes me sad that this building was torn down. At the time, I'm sure it was never considered it would be worth saving, and a hospital was undoubtedly needed.