Wednesday, 19 June 2013

WIPW - Flowers


Regular readers know by now that WIPW for me means a report on my Kafferepet quilt.
We've come to the last kind of items on the quilt - flowers.

For the well dressed coffee party table there must be flowers. Winters in Sweden are long, dark and cold so almost every home has a selection of potted houseplants, many of them flowering. A pot with hyacinths, African violets or orchids may decorate the table.

However, cut flowers are more common, especially in the warmer seasons. They may be shop bought, or picked in the garden. Usually they are beautifully arranged in a vase, but they can simply be strewn on the table as well.

One of the most popular summer flowers is the Ox Eyed Daisy, and it is even featured on the Swedish National costume.

I come from a long line of florists, and gardeners, who cultivated new varieties of fruit and flowers. Having flowers around the house is second nature to me, and for this quilt I tried to follow in my ancestors' footsteps and bred a new 'Heart Petalled Daisy', i.e. I appliquéd a couple of fantasy flowers, ha, ha!

Flowers on the table can of course also be the edible variety. There might be crystallised violets on a cake. How about some rose jelly as a cake filling, lavender scones, lemon scented pelargonium leaves in the muffin batter, camomile tea or small frozen flowers in the ice cubes...

Japan is famous for its Ikebana. You can see these artistically arranged flowers in the alcove of a traditional living room,

in restaurants and even railway stations or post offices.
However, these arrangements are not placed on a dining table. Even other bouquets of flowers are displayed on side tables, in the window or at the Buddhist altar (in this last case they are a special selection of flowers), but NOT on the table. Now here comes a contradiction: That doesn't mean that there are no flowers on the table! There are, but they are for consumption; cherry blossoms cured in salt and used for tea, chrysanthemum  petals pickled in vinegar and honey, rice steamed in bamboo leaves... Also like kitchen wizards in many other countries, a Japanese chef might carve vegetables to look like flowers, e.g a slice of carrot turned into a plum blossom.
Oh, and of course, in spring the chops sticks might rest on a small twig with cherry blossoms and in autumn there might be a red maple leaf in the bamboo basket of deep fried vegetables - not for consumption, and not in the common home, you need to go to a 'fancy' restaurant to see this.

More progress on the border.
I used Sharon's CQ Stencils for the swirly TAST stems. #56 Sailor Stitch on the left and #12 Barred and Alternating Barred Chain Stitch on the right
Some stitch treatment on flower and leaves. There will be beads added later.
For more WIPW reports, visit Pintangle.


margaret said...

you have added a lot this past week Queenie and it is so interesting reading about the traditions of other countries.See Sharon`s stencils are getting well used, I am on the list for the next set. Love the yellow flower.

Elizabeth's quarters said...

The Kafferpet quilt is going to be stunning, and totally unique. The comparison of how flowers are used in Sweden and Japan is also interesting–I prefer the natural and casual approach to the over stylised Ikebana arrangements.

Annet said...

I like the stitches on your orange flowers!

Renee said...

Your work is absolutely beautiful!

carorose said...

This is going to be the most wonderful cloth. Loaded with traditions, memories and stories from both the Japanese and Swedish cultures. Don't forget to print out a little booklet of your writting to go with it.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you for your kind words.
You bet! I will print out the blog posts and keep them with other documentation.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you, Renee.

Queeniepatch said...

Thanks. This is going to be tricky; I love overdoing the embroidery and I am not sure it will be the best choice for each flower. I need to be restrained!

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you, Elizabeth
It is an interesting quilt to be working on, and researching for!
There are so many kinds of flowers and that is maybe why there are so many styles in arranging flowers.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you, Margaret.
I hope the readers can compare the traditions I describe with the one of their own countries. In India e.g. flower petals are often used to decorate intricate patterns. In many countries a single flower is used to decorate each guest's place...
The stencils ARE fun to work with!

Susan Hook said...

Your flowers are lovely, flowers are one of my favourite things but I have never eaten one, I wonder what they taste like!!

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you for your kind words.
Have you never seen a salad with nasturtium or lavender scones? Even in the UK I have eaten a lot of flowers!
The Japanese varieties are 'unusual' to the Western palate, but in my opinion very good.