Saturday, October 22, 2016

Morris Hexathon 25: Sussex Cottage

Morris Hexathon 25: Sussex Cottage by Becky Brown

I named this week's hexie Sussex Cottage for another building on Upper Mall in the west London
area of Hammersmith where the Morris family lived.

William Morris was a man of serial enthusiasms. In the last years of his life he set out on a "little typographical adventure" as he called it, developing a press to print beautiful books. Kelmscott Press,
named for the Manor he loved so much, began in 1891 in Sussex Cottage near his Hammersmith house on the Thames.

Sussex Cottage was reached through the door on the left (14 Upper Mall.)
The main building, Sussex House was home to another artisan printer, Emery Walker,
who had inspired Morris to take up hand printing.

Walker's last home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace
is open to the public, but closed in 2016 for renovation.
The Walker house is kept in Morris-firm style.
I believe it is closed this year but will re-open in 2017

The Kelmscott Press printed over fifty books during its short life from 1891 to 1898. The Story of the Glittering Plain, the first, is typical in style. Morris's old friend from Oxford days, Edward Burne-Jones, did the woodcut illustrations.

Morris made the most of his own skills at flat patterning
by designing the borders and the large initials.

Assistant Sidney Cockerell described the early days of the Press:
"The house a little old fashioned one and the single hand press at the top of a winding corner stair. ...Printed sheets, one on vellum, lying about---all most beautiful, especially the first page with its elaborately designed border."

Morris cut his own type faces,offering
three original fonts.

Kelmscott Press was Morris's last love. He died at the age of sixty-two in 1896 shortly after completing the Press masterpiece: The Kelmscott Chaucer.

Morris Hexathon 25: Sussex Cottage by Ilyse Moore

Sussex Cottage requires a hexagon and three different tumbler shapes.
Or string piece it.

The borders in BlockBase #247 can remind us of the graceful Kelmscott book borders.

The pattern was first published in 1896---one of the oldest published hexie blocks---by a magazine named the Orange Judd Farmer (Orange Judd was the publisher's name.) That agricultural newspaper called it A Cobweb Quilt. In 1930 the Kansas City Star called it Spider Web.

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.
Carrie Hall made a block and included it in
her 1935 book The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America.
She showed triangular setting pieces too.

In wools as a tied comforter

With three borders it was a popular design in the mid-20th-century,
usually as a scrap quilt

but here's a controlled color scheme (possibly inspired by Carrie Hall's.)

Four concentric borders for a central hexagon---blue triangles.

You don't need to measure---it can be a string quilt too. Just triangles,
no central hexagon.

One More Inspiration
Pattern from Quiltmaker in 2013.
Strip-piece triangles and rotate them

Mary Huey is making progress but she may have hit the wall with all the curved piecing.
One More Week. You can make it!


  1. Thanks for the link!! Really, I'm enjoying the process.

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