Saturday, October 8, 2016

Morris Hexathon 23: North End Crescent

Morris Hexathon 23: North End Crescent by Becky Brown
Let's hear it for Becky!
I draw 'em; she sews 'em.
(Actually EQ7 and BlockBase draw 'em.)

Have we hit the wall in this Marathon?

This week's hexie is named North End Crescent for the current street name where Edward and Georgiana Burne-Jones's London home, the Grange, once stood.

The Grange was two dwellings. The Burne-Jones lived in the right half covered with ivy from 1867 through the end of the century.

Detail of a photo by Frederick Hollyer, 
taken in the garden at the Grange in 1874

Edward Burne Jones holding his daughter with wife Georgie
 in front center left. William Morris standing with his 
two daughters and wife Jane towards the right.

William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones met at Oxford. Each had intended to become a clergyman and each decided to be a painter. They became life-long friends and collaborators.

Interior view of the Grange by
Thomas Matthews Rooke

Morris breakfasted every Sunday morning with the Burne-Jones. He also became close to Ned's wife Georgie, writing her many surviving letters.

Georgiana MacDonald Burne-Jones 
by Frederick Hollyer about 1882

Bull's eye windows at the Grange,

The bull's eye or crown window was a medieval technique of leading small pieces of glass into a larger window. The shapes between the circles echo the pattern this week.

When the Burne-Joneses moved to the neighborhood it was so far north of fashionable real estate that the standard directions were a joke:
"Go down the Cromwell Road till your cabhorse drops dead, and then ask someone."

The Grange was pulled down in 1962, long after Morris and Burne-Jones's watch. Their SPAB (Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings) was opposed to the destruction. The Grange was not only home to the Burne-Joneses and the Morris circle but also to 18th-century novelist Samuel Richardson.

This hexagon has no BlockBase number and I've never seen it in an antique quilt but the geometry seems like a no brainer (if the sewing is not.) It's based on a pattern of two curved pieces. The closest I've seen is indexed as BlockBase #451, a continuous mosaic pattern rather than a hexagonal block.

Mid-19th-century example of #451

Why this is squished in BlockBase I have no idea.

It should look like this.

#451 was published several times in the early 1930s and named
Joseph's Coat
and Peeled Orange 
by the Chicago Tribune's Nancy Cabot column

Alice Brooks pattern for Joseph's Coat

Kansas City Star 1934

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 this Joseph's Coat variation may be too much!
If you think so you may prefer an alternate.

Two alternate blocks.
 Still curved piecing but less of it.

Read Penelope Fitzgerald's article "Life at the Grange."

Georgie wrote a memoir. Read Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones, Volume 1 by Lady Burne Jones
(Macmillan, 1906)
Roman mosaic in Sicily


  1. Ha Barbara; the silence here is deafening!! I have not been doing these blocks, and you can be sure I did a happy dance that I wasn't when I saw this one. Funny that in three days there have been no comments! Maybe everyone is too busy sewing. Cheers from Ginny in Harrisburg, PA

  2. I've finally caught up with the Hexathon:) I was a bit daunted by curves at first. I'm looking forward to trying this block.

  3. I'm a few weeks behind so I'm just coming to this block now. I'm using EPP for my blocks and I think I will have to start with one of the alternative options to try curved piecing and then attempt the main block as all seams in the middle seem rather challenging.

  4. I have this old ("antique") quilt. It quite resembles your North End alternate 23.