The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Sunday, 30 June 2013


Referring back to a previous post about Ben Pentreath, in his book he says that most of the houses featured in it are linked by pieces of Mochaware!  It's true because once you know what to look for,  pieces of this fabulous pottery are dotted about within its pages.

Ben seems to favour the blue mugs, here are some of his collection -

they are not the most costly type to collect and look extremely good in clusters.  Here are some that belong to one of my friends, set against an old Welsh quilt -

and this image is of the wonderful collection owned by Oprah Winfrey, displayed in the library of one of her homes -

Just look at these lovely blue jugs - oh I would love to own this collection!

The following are some very expensive top of the range examples for you to get your eye in!

I'm not even going to try and explain what Mochaware is as this link will tell you all about it much more succinctly! Suffice to say that it is very collectible and if you see a piece in a charity shop, grab it even if it is damaged, because even damaged Mochaware has value!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A new project with hexagons!

I can't believe I'm writing this but I have started a new quilt project and I'm cutting out hexagons! I'm doing it the old fashioned way of course, can't be faffed with sticking and pre-cut papers, though I have downloaded some from the internet.

Several things have brought me to this point.  Firstly, Judi Mendlelssohn, the Joint Editor of Patchwork and Quilting magazine kindly send me a pile of Laura Ashley fabric.  She apologised for dumping it on me (I tend to be associated with LA fabric), but I am always delighted to receive it.  I keep thinking that I really should archive it because I suspect that this isn't being done, but it's such an enormous task and though I have a lot of it, new patterns and colours keep appearing and really,  I WANT TO MAKE QUILTS!

The other influences are the Brereton Quilt and Bed Hangings which I wrote about in a previous post, coupled with the wonderful traditional quilts that are being made in Australia at the moment.  They have really taken British traditonal quilts on board and are making some stunners!  I want to write about this in a future post.

I have been talking long enough - here are some pictures.

Many years ago I was given this piece of Liberty fabric which I thought would make a lovely central basket for a quilt project.  Unfortunately it wasn't a full width, so a bit of judicious matching would have to be done. 

I have played around with it over the years but now I have Judi's pile of LA (this is only a fraction) which has given me a glimmer of an idea!

Make a basket and surround it with hexagons as Brigette Giblin does, which in turn was inspired by the Brereton Hanging - you can just see Brigette's book  in the above picture.

The above picture is a photocopied paper mock up to check on size and hexagon proportions - I might well turn the basket?

After this there was a long, long rummage for just the right fabric.  This took several separate days and led to much frustration as one of the fabrics I had in mind has completely disappeared!

This is the present selection, which may well change -

Today the weather here is glorious and instead of being outside enjoying it, I shall be cutting hexagons!

I feel rather guilty starting a new project when I have so many quilts in the quilting queue, but really a new project gives such a buzz and then I have a tradition of working on a particular quilt during Wimbleton!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Poppies, Roses, Pinks, Sweet Williams and Hens!

As you can see from the title this post is a bit of a mish mash.  First are my favourite poppies about 4 weeks late.  I have been waiting patiently, but they are worth it and as you can see there are lots of buds waiting to pop!

 Then there are the roses which have been absolutely marvellous this year, I have never had so many blooms.  This is my favourite - I have a bit of a thing about yellow roses, which is strange because generally I am not fond of yellow flowers.  It's called Arthur Bell and apparently is named after Mr. Bell of Bells Whiskey!

I have about 9 of these in my garden, maybe too many but they have a lovely form, are very fragrant and vigorous which is what I always look for - what is the point of a lovely rose that doesn't smell and only flowers once?

Now here is a little bunch of roses picked from a few climbers I bought 2 years ago to fill in a spot by my garage.  They were bought at Homebase and were on special offer.  They were all supposed to be white but weren't!  I suppose that's the risk you take but I have found that sometimes, even if you buy a named plant from a garden centre, it sometimes isn't the correct one!

These are a little bit past their best, I should have taken a picture yesterday, but I wanted to show the white one particularly.  It's a delightful rose called "White Knight" and certainly lives up to all the things I require in a rose. I shall look out for another but they don't seem to be on many rose growers' lists.

I have just picked these Dianthus.

I grow them in my garden because they remind me of my dear Grandmother.  She had masses in her garden in Pembrokeshire and used to bunch them up and sell them to a local florist!

Lastly there are the hens -

I love the idea of chickens in the garden but these are much less trouble and look very realistic viewed from the house.  I have trouble with this patch of lawn as it is under trees, so the hens being there makes sense somehow!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A favourite blogger

I read lots of blogs though not as many as I used to before I became hooked on Pinterest which takes an inordinate amount of time. Most are quilting blogs, however, one of my very favourites isn't, it's the one written by Ben Pentreath, the author of this book -

It was published last Autumn and I have given it to several friends as presents.  I absolutely love Ben's book, his weekly blog, his shop and like many others, I sort of covet his lifestyle.  I wonder if it is as idyllic as it appears?

Ben is an architect based in London.  He has his own practice and seems to be involved in all manner of interesting projects, building and converting the sort of houses I would like to live in!  He has done work on Poundbury in Dorset for the Prince of Wales and at the moment is involved in a mammoth project here in South Wales, building houses on a former oil refinery site at Llandarcy, near Swansea.  This used to be a very polluted area indeed but eventually it will be the sort of place one can only dream of living!

I have not yet been to Ben's shop in Bloomsbury but I have bought things from his excellent website and it is on my list of places to visit.

As well as living and working in London and travelling around the country overseeing his projects, Ben has another life in Dorset.  He lives in a parsonage near Bridport in Dorset.  "Parsonage" - isn't that a lovely word, so much nicer than Rectory or Vicarage?

Now who wouldn't want to live in a house like this in such a beautiful part of the world?

Ben's blog details his thoughts and tells you of his travels and we also have glimpses of his lovely home and garden.  Oh the garden - he gives detailed pictures of it through all the seasons and he seems to make each weekend in Dorset absolutely special, no matter how dismal the weather.

Then there is the house!  I like his style! Of course it is very much a man's style and more specifically, an architect's style, albeit an architect who follows tradition.  However, it is not altogether my style - I would certainly busy it up a bit and one of the first things I would tackle would be his dresser -

I like the kitchen, especially the hanger over the Aga to dry and air the clothes.

I am not sure if I would go along with Ben's aversion to a fitted kitchen.  He does cook, but he also has a housekeeper and I suspect if he lived there permanently he would welcome a few fitted cupboards, especially if he had to do the cleaning?  However, the dresser needs serious attention - how boring it is?  Of course I would fill it with wonderful antique jugs and other Staffordshire, because I have a feeling that Ben is not into EB.  I know he likes Mochaware (there are a couple of mugs on the bottom right shelf) and the original mugs that Eric Ravilious designed for Wedgewood, so he shouldn't have difficulty finding things he likes, but this dresser can definitely be improved upon!

Well no one's perfect, even Ben Pentreath!

Monday, 3 June 2013

A link with Wales

I don't know why, because I should be wise to it now, but I am constantly finding links!  It's definitely a small world and we are living in a small very crowded country! What am I on about?  Well I'm sure if you are interested in patchwork you will have heard of the Brereton Bed Hanging?  No!  Well here's a picture -

This is the best image I can find, though I do have  a Japanese magazine with more detailed pictures, but it should give you a good idea of the sumptuousness and detail of these patchwork bed hangings and coverlet.

They were made between 1801 and 1805 by Anna Margaretta Brereton of Brinton Hall near Melton Constable in Norfork and remained in her family until they were donated to Strangers' Hall Museum in Norwich in 1929.

These wonderful pieces are typical of the work produced around that time by the ladies of the gentry and land owning classes.  So very different from my favourite Welsh quilts - like chalk and cheese really!  However their maker didn't come from England but from Wales.  Her name before her marriage was Anna Margaretta Lloyd and her father was David Lloyd of Llanvaughan in Cardiganshire.  This is an engraving of their home -

Llanvaughan, the name of her father's estate, is only 6 miles from Lampeter, now the home of The Welsh Quilt Centre.

Anna Margaretta's mother was a Berereton from Norfolk and AM married a cousin and travelled across country to the family seat.  Norfolk feels a very long from Wales now - you have to negotiate Milton Keynes with it's 22 roundabouts to get there for a start - but around 1800 is must have been a good bit tougher getting there!  She probably never saw Wales again.

The story is rather sad and you can read about it here, but it does have a reasonably happy ending!

This coverlet and bed hangings were made in England but similar things were made in Wales by upper class ladies.  They are worlds apart from what the poorer classes were making and illustrate very clearly how different life was if you were born wealthy and married well.  Ladies didn't quilt, they made fine patchwork.  Quilting was for their servants or paid seamstresses. The patchwork they made was for show not for warmth, but both types have equal merit in my eyes.

I hope you find this link interesting?