The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Christmas has started - ugh!

Christmas is a difficult time for many people. I could cope with it more easily if it didn't start so early.  It spoils - no actually it overwhelms the Autumn.  Instead of savouring the gradual change of season, enjoying Guy Fawks, then at the beginning of  December starting thinking Christmas!  Forget that - it has started already!

Actually on the Emma Bridgewater Facebook page they have been planning and practising their Christmas displays since about JULY.  It drives me mad!  This year we haven't had the Mince Pie Plate debacle of  last year.  No EB has learnt her lesson - all is calm and organised and I have just received mine. -

EB asks everyone who orders online to submit a review and gives a monthly prize.  I was lucky enough to win one with my Jubilee mug and it helps if you send picture.  So here I go falling into the Christmas trap but not for long.  This cute little mince pie plate will be packed away until the 25th when it will hold my breakfast toast!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Staying in a Duchy Cottage

Last week I was in Cornwall staying in a Duchy of Cornwall cottage with two friends.  As well as a holiday it was a research trip, as one of the friends has just bought a holiday cottage business in North Pembrokeshire and as we consider Duchy cottages to be at the top of the tree holiday cottage wise, we thought we would try one out.

We stayed in Pawton Mill Farmhouse, near Wadebridge -

It  was quite small for a farmhouse and I would consider it a cottage; extremely comfortable and nicely furnished - a little home from home really, which is the best I can say about a holiday home.  It wasn't perfect - I haven't stayed in a perfect cottage yet, but it came close and we left a list of recommendations to make it perfect! 

If you would like to browse the Duchy Cottages and choose a favourite click here.  Restormel Manor is the largest and the Prince and the Duchess stay there when in Cornwall.  I believe the Middletons have also rented it for a family holiday!  I wonder if they got a discount?

My friends know Cornwall better than I, so they took me around and we visited both the north and south coasts.  There are so many lovely places that we only scratched the surface but here are a few where I got my camera out - I am not a very enthusiastic photographer but this blog serves as a spur!

Trerirce, now owned by the National Trust.  An Elizabethan manor and a Cornish gem.
For all Doc Martin fans, Port Isaac.
More of Port Isaac - I believe Doc Martin's surgery is in this picture?
I can't resist taking pictures of little cottages!

On the last day we went to St. Mawes and had lunch at the Hotel Tresanton.

This was our view from the terrace.
Some of the pretty houses in St. Mawes with a wonderful view across the bay.

We also went to St. Ives, Fowey, Padstow and Rock, all delightful, but as well as having lovely natural features and interesting architecture there were also modern monstrosities built overlooking some of the most beautiful beaches.  Why oh why do planners allow this!

I have always been rather prejudiced against Cornwall, resenting it's popularity because my home county, Pembrokeshire, has a similar coastline and even more wonderful countryside, but isn't nearly so lauded. So many artists and writers have lived and worked in Cornwall, sung its praises, written books set there and made it into a romantic and fashionable holiday destination.  This hasn't happened with Pembrokeshire - there are no Hotel Tresanton type hotels there yet!  Perhaps this is a good thing and those of us who love West Wales can experience a quieter and less expensive holiday?

Just to give you a flavour of St. Mawes and how the British behave around Royalty, here is a link to a little video which begins just outside the hotel and ends at the harbour - such fun!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Medallions? Frame? What's in a name!

"Medallion" is a much prettier word than "frame" - a book with the title "Frame quilts" wouldn't have the same appeal.  I would buy either like a shot because I have always loved quilts with something in the middle.
However, I have decided that there are two other categories neither of which could be correctly described as Frame Quilts.

I have been searching hard on line for a nice example of a British Frame Quilt and chose this one -

I don't know much about it and I apologise to the person who took the picture because I have lost the reference.  It is well organised for a British Medallion and it looks as if it might have embroidery in the middle which was quite a popular thing to do. It has some interesting touches mixing applique with simple piecing.

Some of our earliest quilts can't really be described as Frames. What would you call the three below?

The Sundial Coverlet dated 1797
The Jane Pizar Coverlet - some confusion about this date but I think it is early 19th century
The 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet is one of the earliest known dated patchworks, and is constructed in the mosaic patchwork tradition of piecing over papers. 

None of the above images are that great and I apologise but they at least give you an idea of the layout of these 18th and early 19th century quilts with a large focus block at its centre surrounded by a field of small blocks.

These  British coverlets are really sampler quilts with a "medallion" in the middle, perhaps a new category, Sampler Medallion?  The Jane Pizar is certainly the best design - it works beautifully with its three borders all well thought through, no - oh well let's just finish it off quickly here - which is a great temptation after such a mammoth piecing effort.  Though I adore the Sundial, I think it falls short in this respect.

Then the other category could be Mosaic Medallion such as the Elizabeth Chapman coverlet -

This is just a part of the Elizabeth Chapman coverlet (it's  very big) in the V&A Collect dated 1829

A great many Dutch quilt fall into this category too -

A fabulous old Dutch Quilt in the International Quilt Study Centre in Nebraska.  It's early - late 18th century I think?

Medallions are so fascinating I think I will be returning to this subject sometime!

Sorry about my above spacing issues, I have been chopping this piece about and Blogger doesn't like that!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dolly/teddy quilt and comments

I have given up on this  little doll quilt - I should really do much more quilting in the border and it grieves me to see it empty, but really, I am so fed up with this quilt!  You know how some quilts are easy and now and then you struggle - well this little quilt has been one of those!

I have photographed it with my 70's rag doll Jessamy.  The teddy was made by Nichola Dugmore who named her Kate.

I love teddy bears and still occasionally buy one though I try hard not to!  They are so difficult to resist, sitting on a shelf looking so appealing - I just love them!  This one was bought many years ago and is beautifully made with a little hand knitted dress - I had forgotten how sweet until I took these pictures!  

Now for comments!  Recently I have had great difficulty leaving comments on blogs. This seems to be the fault of Blogger as they have made the encrypted word that you have to type to prove that you are not a robot almost impossible to decipher and when you do, they reject it.  On several occasions I have given up entirely.  This is a shame for both readers and bloggers, because we bloggers love having comments, it helps the juices flow!.  I used to have a great many but I have noticed that they have fallen away of late which I find dispiriting.  I have now pressed the button to turn off this encrypted facility so please do try and leave a comment. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Patchwork Houses

I used to teach a workshop on patchwork houses and am discussing with Hazel at the Jen Jones Quilt Centre whether to try it again?  Not sure if it will go?

With that possibility in mind,  I have dug out some of the completed houses and also some that are half finished or still in my design workbook.

This is my version of Thomas Hardy's Cottage it was  fun  picking out lots of flowery bits for the garden - mostly Liberty lawn.
This is called "Liberty Cottage" because again is is mostly their fabric.

The above two pictures are of one terrace of houses - I couldn't fit them in to one picture.

To finish off here's a little pin cushion -

They are fairly easy to sew but it is the fabric selection that is the most exhausting bit.  I seem to have to get my entire collection our just looking for the perfect piece and then have to pack it away again! Sometimes a certain fabric will suggest an architectural feature and then I have to design a house to show it off!

Monday, 1 October 2012

More about the Cosmati Pavement.

Strange how things happen?  Just after I had last posted this new picture of the Queen was unveiled
showing her standing on the pavement -

If you would like to read more here is a link.

Also, I don't think I made the link to the BBC video very clear, so if you missed it here it is again -