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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Morris Hexathon Block 11

July 16 gave us the block named "Merton Abbey".

 This block is a tessellation which creates a rotating star - a mill wheel of sorts. Although I initially tried to find a fabric that would give a circular swirl to the center I was not successful. Instead I chose a new "milk chocolate" to go with the "dark chocolate" brown I am featuring in my project. Having decided on my setting plan I now need to concentrate on which color fabrics I put where as that will impact their location in the finished article.

In 1881 William Morris purchased Merton Abbey, on the Wandle River south of London, which had been a textile factory. Having decided to weave, dye and print his own fabrics Morris wanted a premises that would facilitate doing this in the traditional techniques. Merton Abbey was a mill with a water wheel which would provide his power source. In 1940 Liberty and Co purchased the Merton Abbey and used it until 1972 so there is a good deal of interesting history to be discovered by a visit today.

Morris Hexathon Block 10

For July 9 our block was named "Thames Path"

Again, I employed careful fabric selection and cutting choosing fabric with a swirling pattern to evoke the swirling currents of the river.

William Morris had two homes named Kelmscott and both overlooked the Thames River and he was very fond of both homes. On occasion the Morris family traveled by barge on the river from one home (Kelmscott House, a townhome in London) to the other (Kelmscott Manor in the Cotswold village of Kelmscott) .

For this week Barbara gave us an alternate block, explaining that it could be used in lieu of this week's block or made as an extra to use in place of a future block that one might decide not to make (because of the complexity of the design). Thinking this might be a good insurance policy I went ahead and made this block deciding to construct it using a variety of fabrics so it would be sure to blend in with the others. I really like how this one turned out and will keep it in mind to maybe make more versions of should I need to have extra blocks.

Morris Hexathon Block 9

 For July 2 we have a  block named "Red Lion Square" to acknowledge the two times William Morris inhabited this London Square in Camden.
The beauty of this block pattern is it's 3D appearance. To highlight that I decided to make a feature of the front corner and to also use a "grainy" fabric to show change of plane. Now looking at it I'm not so sure about those four "eyes" staring out form the top side of the brown corner.

After leaving Oxford University William Morris and his friend Edward Burne-Jones rented rooms at #17 to use as a studio/residence from 1856 to 1859. Lacking the money for much in the way of furnishings they designed and built their own medieval style furniture. William Morris returned in 1861 and rented the entire premises at #8 for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co for use as workshops, offices and a showroom. The Red Lion Square area suffered major damage as a result of German bombing in WWII but #17 remains and may be visited.

Morris Hexathon Block 8

 For June 25 we were given a block named "Greenwood".

This block used only the one shape so I used two different fabrics and fussy cut that one striped fabric.

Ms Brackman comments as follows: 

"I named this basic block Greenwood for a mythical place, a symbol of the English forest. Greenwood refers to the Anglo-Saxon culture before the invasion of the Norman French in 1066."

There were lots of great photos of quilts to be seen in the (Material Culture) post this week. One of them has been earmarked by me as a potential way to set my blocks.

Westering Women Block 6

For this month, June, in the Westering Women series we had the story of the trip beyond the Platte River and the necessity for the women to come up with a new style of apparel; the Bloomer Costume.
Named "Hill and Hollow" this month's block goes with the tales of having to navigate Windlass Hill, a very steep incline to get the wagons down. It required much effort by the men to inch the wagon's down the hill and they were assisted by some of the women who held on to a rope at the rear to act as an additional brake to prevent losing the wagon to the steep slope. The women adapted their usual dress by adding trousers underneath their long skirts to protect themselves on the descent.

Fortunately the reward for safely negotiating this hill was the arrival at Ash Hollow, a much needed source of fresh, clean spring water.

For this block, made while on a guild retreat, I focused on careful cutting of my fabrics. Thanks to the advice from my friend Ms Pink (who is also working on this project) my little wagon is in there almost halfway down the hill. Do you see it?

Morris Hexathon Block 7

Vacation trips in the last several weeks have really messed up my schedule to stitch and blog the Morris Hexathon blocks. Let me try and get caught up now...
The week seven block, published on June 18 was named "Avebury Stones" by Ms Brackman. To acknowledge the name of the block I sorted through my fabrics to find one with some stones on it to include in this block.

The Avebury Stone Circle (the largest one found in Europe) captivated the attention of 15 yr old William Morris. It is now a National Trust Site and a World Heritage Site.

Barbara is providing us with many interesting facts and stories as we make our way round England as seen through the eyes of William Morris