Sunday, 26 March 2017

The William Morris Birthday Cake!

And here is the William Morris Birthday cake for 2017 that I mentioned in my last post from the William Morris Society of Canada and thank you to them for making this lovely video........
Elements of the cake reflect another Arts & Crafts designer - Charles Voysey. I have also found his designs to be inspiring and I have used his beautiful birds in one of the fabrics that I designed with Jason Yenter of In the Beginning Fabrics some years ago.....
And Voysey's designs were the inspiration for several blocks in my 'Morris and Friends' quilt (called just 'Friends' in my first William Morris in Appliqué book). Sadly I don't have a good photo of this quilt and forgot to take one before I donated it to the Society of Antiquaries in London some years ago to raise funds for the Kelmscott Manor restoration fund. This is the only half decent photo that I have from an exhibition many years ago.........



 But I do have this lovely photo of where the quilt now lives in this Morris inspired room in a home in the US........
 Thankyou to the wonderful cake makers in Canada for celebrating William Morris' birthday with such style and I bet the lemon curd made it delicious! The Victoria and Albert Museum in London also acknowledged William Morris' birthday and I don't think in the 20 years since I've been making Morris inspired quilts I have ever seen so many celebrations! This time it was on the V&A's Facebook page with these words......

"Today is the Birthday of the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris. English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist we have a huge range of examples of his work in our Collection. 
Celebrate his contribution with a visit to the Museum this weekend. Visit our Headley Trust Gallery to see this sumptuous design for bathroom tiles, commissioned by the architect of Membland Hall in Devon and made in 1876. Then stop by the cafe for an afternoon tea in our William Morris designed Morris room." 
And how serendipitous as Helen Bertram of Whitecroft Tours lives on the Membland Hall estate that these tiles were made for and I have my drawings all ready to make Helen a replica quilt....how wonderful for us all.....
Morris, William, (designer) William de Morgan, (maker), Architectural Pottery Co. (maker), England, 1876. 
© Victoria and Albert Museum

Friday, 24 March 2017

On this day....and tomorrow

It was on this day in 1834 that William Morris was born.....and tomorrow will be the day that his daughter May was born (28 years later in 1862) - two talented designers that are still relevant and popular today. So what better way to celebrate William Morris' birthday than with a new Morris & Co quilt cover and pillow covers in the Strawberry Thief design and the big bonus was that the store had a wonderful 30% off too........thankyou Larry - we get to pick it all up early next week........

This all came about via a text message a couple of days ago from a friend. She was standing in the David Jones store in the city and sent me some photos, so with a quick check online and approval from Larry it was ordered in a flash! Lucky me and what a great way to celebrate William Morris and his birthday! While looking at the store's website I discovered that Morris & Co. rugs were also on sale but that will have to wait for a another day - but which one to choose?? All the following photos are from the same David Jones website in the photo source link above.......
There is much happening in the world of William and May Morris but sadly living in Australia we will miss out on much of it. There are two sold out William Morris textile workshops being held at the William Morris Society in the UK next week and at the William Morris Gallery there are lectures and a family day to celebrate Morris's birthday. Later in the year there will also be a wonderful May Morris exhibition running from October to January 2018. And of course the long awaited opening of the newly restored home of Emery Walker happens very soon. The Arts & Crafts Hammersmith website is well worth a visit. Morris & Co's Blog here had this beautiful film to celebrate "William Morris' 183rd Birthday".......

And on their Facebook website you could win one of these stunning cushions to celebrate his birthday.....
And the William Morris Society of Canada always celebrates this occasion with a magnificent birthday cake. You can see some of them here on this short film.....

But this year's cake is yet to be revealed as it is early morning in Canada and late evening here. So today while all the celebrations overseas are in the making we had a special visit to see Beau celebrate his very first sports day. I have many photos of him performing but they are with other children so I am not really able to share them here....so for now just him in his team colours of the Victorious Vikings.....

 The Woodend Primary School is in a lovely setting with lots of trees which we were thankful for on this hot day. They are also a school that participates in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program and I found lots of recipes on that link too. Miss Maisie had fun on the play equipment and there was even a castle to play in......... 

 Love this colourful 'bully free zone' buddy seat........


 Today I received two wonderful packages in the mail........a beautiful gift from a dear friend who wants to remain anonymous 😃 She follows the blog and knew the colours of the room where I sit each evening. It is a beautifully framed sampler so it is now displayed above an old silver purse that belonged to my late Nan. It was my late 60th birthday present and how special that it arrived on Morris' birthday too (and the maker knows how much I love it xx).......


 And the book I was waiting for arrived in the mail today too. So I will need to get busy before Maisie's 3rd birthday in July!.....happy days and Happy Birthday William Morris and May!


Monday, 20 March 2017

Craving Autumn

Larry and I have never liked Summer and our current Summer season started way back in October.... six long months ago! I was a red-head as a child so the sun and I did not mix very well and Larry has had a few melanomas removed so we are content with our pale complexions while keeping out of the sun! The long hot nights can be very draining which exacerbates emotions while sharing life's challenges. All too often we are hearing of health scares and challenges from family and friends along with the recent ridiculous news of our country not having enough energy to provide us with basic power! One issue is that we apparently export so much gas that we are not leaving enough for our own country....how can that be? This article sums it up well with the title of the article declaring the situation as "absurd"! But up beat we must be and there is so much to be thankful for.....my roses for one are loving the sun......

 And this recent burst of stitching from yours truly made us all smile.......
 And this sure made me smile! We caught up with a friend from Perth who delivered a special gift from a dear friend who moved there some years ago. This beautiful piece is made up of William Morris fabrics - is it a bed runner, a wrap or a scarf? Denise's card said she thought I would love to be wrapped in Morris prints so a scarf it will be............
 The ruffles at each end are trimmed with ribbon and I just love it! Thankyou so much Denise xx.......it will be well used when that cooler season finally arrives (I suspect we will be moaning about the cold next!!)
 And a little cheer up that I baked for some family members that needed a hug in the form of lemon meringue pies.........
 As time goes by I can see myself turning more like my late mother who absolutely detested Summer but also loved sewing! I find myself more drawn to the fabrics that she loved and I still wear a nightie that she made me almost 30 years ago, so I thought it was time I made myself a new one with the very same style pattern........
 I found this lovely Japanese lawn to make my nightie and it wasn't until I zoomed in on the fabric that I discovered there are little rabbits and deer amongst the flowers.........what fun!
While on one of our coffee jaunts recently I came across these serviette rings in a second hand shop and also a set of six bread and butter knives which I love.........
 Something that was not such a bargain was for the four lemons we purchased yesterday for a whopping $6.17 so we think a lemon tree might be in order............
 Today was a Monday catch up with Rosie and Janie as we continue stitching goodies for the Mbale Children's Health Foundation and this time it was my turn to host lunch and a new sewing project. The company as always was wonderful and the Pinot Rose wasn't too bad either! (And Denise who made that beautiful scarf should be part of our little group but Perth is a three and a half hour flight away!).......

 During the week I received this wonderful card from C&T Publishing who are doing a version of my book Stitching with Beatrix Potter. The card has been signed by key staff and I was thrilled with this wonderful gesture of being thanked for allowing them to print the book (and I will forgive them for spelling my name with two L's!!)........
We've enjoyed the company of these two a couple of times and one day I had them on my own while Larry was at work. So we caught the bus to the nearby park for a picnic and an obligatory ice block as it was so hot as you can see on Beau's face......

 Late last night I received the most wonderful email from Judith Notley who you may recall was our special guest on our Beatrix Potter tour last year as the mature Beatrix Potter - Mrs Heelis......

 I had no idea that Judith was appearing on book launch day so during proceedings I discreetly disappeared upstairs to our room to get her a copy of my book. Well it turns out Judith's sister-in-law is a quilter so the book was put to very good use and I am just delighted! Judith's sister-in-law is also a first time grandma to dear little Jessica who is modelling the quilt here....
 Hi there Susan and what a wonderful job you have done on the quilt and how wonderful to see it being enjoyed by your dear little grand-daughter....and a red-head too - extra special! Thankyou so much Judith and Susan for allowing me to share it all on the blog (and I love your hand quilted circles too Susan!). Much love to you all xx
 So that is it for another blog post. As I sit in front of the telly each evening I am surrounded by all that I love with reflections from the kitchen lights shining on the books that have inspired me the most........ 
 And as I type this post tonight and look across to the lounge I find myself smiling at those socks and thongs (flip flops in the US I believe!), as he masters yet another word puzzle.......and Autumn is just around the corner too!