Thursday, 10 June 2021

What's In A Quilt - 4

I recently finished my crazy quilt project Crazy for Crazy, and now want to write its story.

The forth block I made is in teal and peach, the second block from the top on the right hand side of the quilt.

Like the other blocks it is jam-packed with memories. 

In my late teens our family moved into a new house and my mother, who was a skilful, albeit non-professional, seamstress, made the curtains. 
We went together to shop for fabric and selected this most beautiful linen upholstery fabric from G.P&J Baker, UK, called Hydrangea Bird. (Strangely enough I can't find a single hydrangea among the flowers).
The curtains which were lined and had a double hem for weight, hung straight to show off the beautiful print of the fabric. 
My father had made the wooden pelmet box for the top of the window. Over this Mum fixed the pelmet with its scalloped edge.
These drapes looked stunning against the wallpaper of coarse linen. If I close my eyes I can still enjoy the beauty of the room.
The curtains are now in the possession of a family member, but I took some of the remnants as a memento. A piece with the plum blossoms found its way into this crazy quit block.

My thoughts also go to my maternal grandmother when I look at this block. There is a piece of lace salvaged from an apron she used when serving Sunday dinners. I dyed it light teal and added beads in the holes.

Another mother, my mother-in-law, has also contributed with a piece. This was from a tie, bought as a souvenir and given to some male member of the family, who unfortunately spilled something on it. It was pure luck that I could rescue it from the bin. 
The tie is 100% wool, of kasuri type weave. Kasuri is a technique where the yarn for the warp or weft, or both, has been space-dyed so that when weaving, a pattern forms. 
Here is an interesting article about the technique, the young girl who invented it 200 years ago and the explanation why it says TOYOTA weave on the tie's label. Do read it. 

Another classic pattern, but in a new version, is the quilters' cotton print of William Morris's Strawberry Thief. It was part of a charm pack from a friend in the UK.

There is more of that home dyed canvas from my Scottish friend (whom I wrote about last week), here I have worked Cross Stitch on the canvas.

The batik with gold lines painted on was bought at Festival of Quilts in the UK. Although extremely beautiful it is 'stitch proof' and you need a very sharp needle to be able to pierce it. Not suitable for hand stitching!

This block has its fair share of beads, floral sequins, rings and buttons. I made the Ribbed Wheel button by following the instructions from KDD&Co (Kate Davies Designs). The button sits on a pleated light blue ribbon.
There are some Buttonhole Wheels and a Dorset button, and two rings I joined together by covering them with Buttonhole Stitch.

I added a thin piece of teal braid that I made on a lucet fork:
This tool has a long history. Although mine is made of plastic, the lucets found in archaeological digs were often made of bone or wood. They were used by the Vikings to make the braids they needed to tie their clothing together or hang object from.

I made this block between May 2 - 16, 2018 and am grateful for the help and encouragement of:
Mum, Gran, Okibaba, Sylvia, Jacquie, Maureen, Sharon, Kate, Elizabeth, TAST, G.P&J Baker, William Morris, Kurume kasuri, Toyota, the Vikings, - and all the kind comments from my readers.


  1. I loved reading the story behind your block. Such memories to treasure. The colour combination of the block is beautiful. Looking forward to hearing about your next block.

  2. It is always lovely to read the memories associated with each section. And kasuri is indeed very interesting. I had heard of "ikat", but not the Japanese version. Thank you for the introduction!

  3. Thank you for your story and for the info on kasuri. Your fabric history makes this block a treasure. Your embroidery and embellishments are beautiful.
    And the lucet tool is useful and has an interesting history too.
    Always glad I stopped by.

  4. Wow! I love all the history that comes with your blocks!

  5. Very interesting story about how Toyota started out making looms.
    I'm surprised that you have so many tidbits and treasures from your mother's curtains to your grandmother's apron. I could understand if you were still living in the country of your birth but to still have all those things is amazing.


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