Saturday, October 29, 2016

Morris Hexathon 26: Floating Clouds

Morris Hexathon 26: Floating Clouds by Becky Brown
She says she's finished her first marathon.

A little Photoshopping of the Salt Lake Marathon.

Our last hexie is Floating Clouds, a hexagonal block from the 1930s given the name in the Kansas City Star.

Philip Speakman Webb 1831-1915

It's a good pattern to recall architect Philip Webb, one of the Morris circle, a life-long friend and partner in design, whose most famous house is called Clouds.

Webb and Morris met when both worked for London architect George Street as young men. Morris quit architecture to become a painter, and then a designer, and then a political activist, etc. But Webb pursued a successful career designing arts and crafts commercial, ecclesiastical and residential buildings.

Clouds House in Wiltshire

Webb's idea about integrating a building into its environment was a hallmark of arts and crafts architecture. The building should look like it it had evolved from the environment. Clouds is his largest project, built for Percy and Madeline Wyndham about 1880.

He designed the Red House for William Morris himself about 1860. Their tandem thinking is illustrated by the fact that they were the two founders of the SPAB, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings.

Webb designed Standen in West Sussex for James and Margaret Beale in the 1890s, his last commission. It's a National Trust Property open to the public so the last stop on our cross-Britain marathon.

Standen is dressed to look as it did in 1925 featuring the Morris wallpapers, rugs, embroideries and details.

Light fixture at Standen by Webb

The Morris Firm, first called Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company, had seven principal partners.
Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, Charles Faulkner, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, P. P. Marshall, William Morris, and Philip Webb: "Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving, Furniture and the Metals."

Webb designed furniture and accessories for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company while incorporating their decorative items into his architectural commissions.

Perhaps the most notable: the adjustable Morris chair,
which Webb designed in the 1860s.

Morris Hexathon 26: Floating Clouds by Ilyse Moore

You need 5 pieces, a hexagon, a tumbler, a triangle
and a parallelogram flipped.

BlockBase #249

This week's quilt pattern was published in the Kansas City Star in November, 1938.
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.

The Willow bedroom at Standen.
We can assume Margaret Beale and her
daughters embroidered the coverlet.

Clouds House is not open to the public. The house figured in many romantic tales of the Bloomsburies and Arts and Crafts notables. John Singer Sargent painted the Wyndham's daughters in 1899.

The Wyndham Sisters, detail.
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Those Wild Wyndhams by Claudia Renton (2014) tells their stories.
Read about Standen here:

See more of Margaret Beale's embroidery here

And read about Clouds House in this study of arts and crafts architecture by Caroline Dakers: Clouds: Biography of a Country House. See a preview here at Google Books.

One More Inspiration

A set for a simple star hexagon from the 1930s.

It's set in strips. Strips of hexagonal star blocks next to strips alternating
orange and white unpieced hexagons.

26 Blocks!
26 Weeks!


  1. Great looking block but that is one heck of a lot of awkward Y seams! It might be easier to hand piece it. Any tips from the redoubtable Becky Brown?

  2. Many thanks Barbara - enjoyed it all, well, maybe not the curves so much!! xx

  3. Thank you for the enjoyable ride Barbara. What a memorable trip you, Becky and others created.

  4. This has been a great project that I have really enjoyed. Thank you so much Barbara for a wonderful challenge. Each Saturday I looked forward to seeing what the very creative and skilled Becky would come up with as the sample block. Thanks again.

  5. Thank you so much for this journey. I haven't been able to keep up but am still travelling. My quilting journey started about 10 years ago through a love of William Morris. My brother was working on an exhibition of Morris treasures at a museum here in Australia. At the same time my daughter was working at a publishing house that featured one of Michelle Hill's beautiful Morris inspired designs. I started quilting (and haven't stopped). I love the effort you put into your research and have copied each chapter to make into a book I can reflect on.