Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"QUEEN MARY'S GARDEN © 2019" Continues - BLOCKS 4, 5, 6, and 7

She's still alive!!!  Not Mary Queen of Scots, but me!  More on me later...

I feel like I need to "reintroduce" my introduction to this current applique project, "Queen Mary's Garden."  Just a quick recap of the first three posts.

I am recreating an early 17th century embroidery piece into an applique quilt.  The piece appears as motif blocks embroidered very close together, worked on loosely-woven waste canvas with a tent stitch (like modern day needlepoint.)  

There is not even enough of a margin between the motifs to cut the "squares" apart.  The ladies cut around all parts of the flowers, fruits, leaves, and stems (leaving just the barest amount to turn under). 

The motifs were then appliqued onto a larger fabric piece, often overworking the appliqued edges with more decorative embroidery stitches.

These motifs were called "slips" due to the Herbals beginning to be published at that time.  These books contained sketches and descriptions of herbs, flowers, plants, and trees.  The "slip" is where the plant sample was cut from the plant, removing it before sketching. 

Larger motifs were most likely applied to bed drapes, larger outer garments such as capes, and wall canvases.  Small ones were used for garments and accessories.

Ha!  Applique!   

Even though the beautiful embroidered "sampler" I am using as inspiration appears planned as a wall hanging, experts are doubtful of that conclusion.  The motifs are so close together, perhaps to make the size of the canvas smaller to fit on the frame.  Also the outer edges are raw and there is no stitching covering the background waste canvas.

Someone had the job of drawing representations of the sketches from the Herbals onto the waste canvas.  He inked them on in black, then they were outlined in black silk on the ink, and worked in colorful silks to fill.  

The early Herbals were black and white...ladies filled in colors that pleased, not necessarily colors that were actually biologically accurate.

Lighter lines are ink, darker lines are silk stitched.

Filled with tent stitches.  Background waste canvas left unstitched/unfilled.

Whole piece.  Notice there are extra flowers crammed into empty spaces.
They took advantage of every inch of waste canvas.

My inspirational embroidered piece was stored away and unused for some reason, along with other bits and pieces.  The one below is full of the same motif repeated several times, obviously for a project that required several of the same.  Stored away from sunlight kept the colors fairly vibrant for 400 years.
Before I fell off the deep end last year, I had blogged about the  first three blocks.  They are pictured below, followed by four more.  I tried to describe, in a grid pattern, which motif was my inspiration for each block (referring to above photo). 

"Damson Plum"

"Lazy Lily"

"Belle Flower"

Now, the next four blocks (but first, their inspiration)...

"Bleu Columbine"

"Country Rose"

"Rain Lily"

"Sugar Snap Pea" 

I was very faithful to reproducing each block...for the first couple. Some design changes had to be made to accommodate using fabric applique rather than embroidery.  The edges of the sampler are trimmed for photography, framing, and/or crookedness so I guessed on content of some blocks.  

I also decided there were some flowers that were too similar to others.  I have also taken some liberties, changing colors, inventing colors...and even adding additional blocks!

The original piece contains 42 "blocks."  I have added another seven to make it 49 blocks, 7x7.  I wanted more fruits!  

There are still other blocks I want to add, and may...they could be free, bonus blocks in the final retail patterns (yes, I will be offering a pattern of this, maybe starting soon!).   :o)

I'm still contemplating borders, as this piece has none.  I am studying other linens and art from the early 1600's for this.  Little hearts and swags will not do!  I am also trying to decide how much space between the blocks...a sliver, or more?  I'm not planning on sashing.

Finally back in stitches,
Teresa   :o)

On a personal thread, for the curious, WHERE HAS SHE BEEN?  I have really appreciated all the emails of concern.  I apologize for not answering in a timely fashion and causing worry.  

It has been a difficult year, which has made me isolate and focus on one step at a time.  Eyes and finger have been unusable for some time, so no sewing, typing, holding a pencil, playing fun at all.  Thank God for the occasional puzzle!

  • Riley graduated from college in the spring, we got her moved to Atlanta in the fall.
  • I had double cataract surgery, and am having trouble going from being extremely near-sided vision to a little far-sided.  I can probably thread a needle at 20 feet (if my arms were longer), but I need so many different reading glasses for anything closer than 10-12 feet.  Sewing, piano and computer require three different strengths.
  • I had a second surgery on my "Weasley-bite finger."  I had high hopes before, from the surgeon, but results were not what was predicted.  Instead of being bent at a 90 degree angle as before, my right index finger is at 45 degrees.  I will have to work hard to keep it from scar contraction back toward 90 degrees.
  • My father-in-law in PA is suffering from advanced Parkinson's.  He's had to go into a facility...three years of one aide per shift at home was no longer enough to help him.  Clean out of his home, auction in a week or so, and then on the market.  Plus we've been spending a lot of time visiting with him at his new home.  He is in hospice care.  Steve has been there since Christmas, since he has the ability to work from anywhere.  I have been back and forth, coming home for short bursts to check on the property here.
This is the same kind of thing most everyone has been or will be going through.  It has been a gut punch for me.  It has been almost 6 years of life-altering events.  But I have hope for the future.

See ya soon...really!


  1. well I know I have been one person who has thought of you and wonder what the heck happened to you - so sorry about the cataract surgery - some people have the surgery and instant recovery - others seem to be one problem after another with - I went through similar eye problems I guess it has been 3 years now but all is fine now - I Hope your eyes will level out and get better. Sorry about FIL that is rough, yes it has been a long road for you and since you moved to Alabama you haven't blogged near like you use to, but you are on my feeder and when you have a chance to blog it pops up - good luck to you

  2. Halle-damn-lujah!!! She's back! So good to hear from you.

  3. Oh Teresa, I am so sorry for the year you have had. I have been concerned and think of you often. You have such an amazing talent and I do pray that things will only get better! On a happy note, these blocks are beyond sensational! Hugs!

  4. Hellos Teresa, long time since we talked...yes life does get in the way for everyone sometime or another...I'm getting back to my applique after about 5 weeks of not doing much... Just love your new applique designs...going to be another winner. As for readers you are not alone...I have a pair of 3.00 for my applique needles and needle turn I use and 2.50 for computer and other sewing...pair of glasses in each room... glad you back at it...

  5. I m delighted to hear from you! Thank you for writing whenever you can.

  6. Thanks for the update. Sure been missing you. Life interferes in our plans sometimes. Big hugs to you!

  7. It's great to see a post from you, sorry about all the issues you've been having. I've wondered how you are doing. Your new blocks look great!

  8. Glad to hear from you again, sorry about the circumstances of the last year or so. Keep working on that finger. Not fun not being able to see well.

  9. Wonderful to see you again! Beautiful work! I am sorry to hear of the difficult time you’ve had.

  10. Can you hear all the sighs of welcome-back to blogland and the relief. So sorry for all your challenges and hope you continue to improve. A suffering ill parent is tough. If a quick post here and there is all that you are able, I'll be satisfied. This post is very much appreciated! Take care!

  11. I did wonder how you were. I understand the eye issue - I also have 3 pairs of glasses for everything near and up to about 10 feet away. Wishing you better health in the future :)

  12. I was thinking about you just a couple days ago and wondering if you were giving up blogging altogether. I am happy to see a post from you.
    Your new applique blocks are very good and I am glad you are making patterns for them. I hope to see them available sometime soon.

  13. Gorgeous appliques. I keep you in my thoughts.

  14. These are lovely blocks! So happy to see a blog post from you!
    This is such a difficult stage of life for sure.
    My Dad says "old age is not for sissies"!
    Take good care of yourself!

  15. So glad to finally hear from you. Sorry for all the hiccups along the way. Hope the health issues work themselves out. Praying for you and your family.

  16. your quilt is looking beautiful.... this sometimes happens that we skip a while in our craft..... but we all come back!

    I only seem to write up dates every month now and I backdate my posts. Please be sure to share your work on here, and not be tempted to go to instagram, as the mass producing copiers scour instagram x

  17. I am so glad to see you back. I've missed you. I do understand health and family issues. Been there, still there. Your applique is as always gorgeous. I stand in awe of your talent and determination. God is faithful still, thank God!


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