Sunday, March 22, 2020

"Queen Mary's Garden," - fake names and false claims...BLOCKS 8, 9, 10, 11

Yes!  More blocks for "Queen Mary's Garden."  It has been fun cranking up the brain and thinking about all this again.  It's amazing what the brain can do during long car trips.

I mean, we are all on some degree of house arrest with this horrible Covid 19 virus.  It gives me an excuse to ponder the important things in life..., what the heck is up with the flora nomenclature of this early 17th century stitchery?!?

I look through the motifs above and there are definitely things I recognize, like tulips, daisies, lilies, and pears.  But then there are some completely wacko items.

I read that even though the "Herbals" were being illustrated and published at the end of the 1500's, early entries weren't in color and perhaps not quite true representations of shapes and attributes.

Then, of course, the man whose job it was to draw the thin, black outlines on the canvases might not have been completely accurate in his interpretation.  This is what Mary and her merry stitching group had to work with (most of the lines are already covered/outline-stitched in black).

It was probably just like getting a coloring book and a 64-count box of unused Crayola's (with a sharpener)!  Yahoo - lets make up some flowers!

And certainly Queen Mary, her close ladies of the Court, and attendants were not familiar with many of the flowers depicted on the waste cloth.  The herbalists sketched plants and flowers from many places, not just Scotland.

When they tent-stitched the flowers, more often than not they picked colored silks that they liked or what would fit well with colors nearby, not what actually appeared in nature.  And the blooms with which they weren't familiar just gave them more license to use any color desired.

Well, I thought that I would be really smart and try to identify all the fruits and flowers and get the colors as accurate as possible.  Well, you can guess how that went.

Look at the 5th row down, 5th column over...I had no idea.  I looked online trying to find out what it was and failed.  Then, of course, being frustrated, I changed the color to something I really liked to make me feel better (blue is my favorite color - not enough blue flowers in nature).

So, the Genie is out of the bottle, my friends.  I felt free/justified to just start making things up...even names.  I decided that even though there aren't tiny leaves drawn at the base of every bud, I would name it with a real flower's nickname, hoping that the bud looks like this?  Absolutely crazy.

I call that block "Baby Blue Eyes."

I was really close on naming the next one (6th row, 3rd column.)  But then the leaves didn't match up.  Oh well.  I'm still calling it "Marguerite Daisy."

Then heck, I thought I recognized pears (although the ones on this stitchery looked a little too much like boobies).  I redesigned the pears, brightened up the drab colors with unnatural blue blossoms, and noticed, again, the leaves weren't correct (row 2, column 1, "Concorde Pear").

So now I just don't care.  In Michigan I had some little dwarf lilies like the next one, but the leaves are supposed to be blade-shaped (4th row, 2nd column).  I call it, "Little Dwarf Lily."

I did a great deal of "research" today (wink, wink), and I have come up with real names/varieties, nicknames, or completely made-up nonsense.  Oh, it took thought...I had to pick names that would work in the early 1600's (no "Georgia Peaches").  I tried to pick varieties that grew in Scotland, Britain, France, Spain, or Italy...not easy to do since some motifs are tropical, and unspoiled shipping was impossible with tropical growing regions.

So now I finally have 49 mostly CRAP names, but it was a fun exercise.  I have gone back and named the other 7 blocks you've seen...enjoy the nonsense where it will only increase from now on.

I'll never tell.

In Stitches,
Teresa   :o)

On a personal thread, it is good to be home.  Steve's Dad died, peacefully, nine days ago in PA.  Late Stage Parkinson's is supposed to feel like being in a body that is becoming evermore rigid and entrapped, and accelerating.  Swallowing became impossible, followed by the inability to get enough breath.  Every time I would come home to AL for a few days, I would return to PA only to notice faster decline, which was really a blessing at that point.  Thank God for morphine and the encompassing love of his three kids and spouses.

Getting ready for the auction, we found letters that had been saved (someday, our kids and grand kids will be presented with a flash drive containing our emails and passwords to our social media apps).  We all read letters on our "shifts" and re-told funny times we all shared.  Steve, David, and Sue saw a whole, beautiful side of their parents and grandparents they had never seen.  Everyone got to share everything they wanted to say.

I missed that with my parents.

Then the virus emerged.  I was supposed to drive from PA to Atlanta, picking up Steve from his pre-arranged flight, and we were to go our little actress daughter's opening of the play "Helvitica."

Well, he definitely wasn't going to fly, so we drove south together.  The show closed before it ever opened.  We were there on opening night, and they, quietly, did it for friends and family.  It was so good!  I feel so sad for them.  Somehow, they videoed it the next day to stream on UTUBE, with permission from writers, etc.  They all worked so hard, and this virus has hit a terrible blow to all small-venue arts all over this country.  Really, to everyone in ways we have not thought of yet.

AND she got laid off, of course from her barista job at an ultra fancy dessert/coffee establishment ($15 per slice or serving of dessert, then there's the coffee).  BUT, she is holed up with 2 roommates she loves, has provisions, and texted me today that 'she is constructing a new character for D and D gaming'.  NERD!!

Her roomie Joe still has his job at a pizza place, for pick up only, for now.  So, he brings home a pizza every now and then.  They try out recipes, hold Katarina's emotional-support-cat, watch movies, etc.  They understand how serious this all is...but they are just having a ball, in quarantine.  Depending on age group, everyone will have different memories/experiences from these terrible times.

Memorial Service will be postponed for a few months...will have to go back for our tool auction and house emptying, but everything is off for now, so who knows.

Be safe out there and just treat it like a sewing retreat.  If husband/family becomes a little much, just a fake cough or two...


  1. glad to see you on here again Teresa - sorry for your FIL passing but almost sounds like a blessing - it would be so hard to live long long in that condition. Stay safe and keep creating - love seeing your work - your blueberries will be ready for picking before you know it!

  2. So sorry to hear Steve lost his Dad at last. Hugs to both of you. I'm glad Riley is doing well and taking precautions. I know you and hubby can get along quite well on your hill. Remember the leaves you helped me turn and glue at retreat? I actually stitched them down recently. Take care, dear friend, and be safe.

  3. So sorry for your loss. I'm happy to hear your daughter is doing well in this crazy situation. I am so very happy that you have returned to your blocks again. They are utterly fantastic! Stay safe and healthy!

  4. Such lovely blocks. Sounds like the naming and research has been as fun as the stitching. Sorry to hear about your husband's loss. Losing a parent is never easy even when it's a blessing.

  5. The flower blocks are adding up nicely for Queen Mary’s Garden. It’ll be beautiful. I am delighted that you are back to blogging! Heartfelt sympathy on your FILs passing. Although it was expected and a blessing, it can still be difficult. Funerals, memorial services, auctions and estate sales are all on hold in Michigan. Take care!

  6. Whoa Teresa-those are awesome. I have that book in my amazon wishlist. But it is like so much else-not enough time. Why did the evil Weasley bite resurface? I have a cat who bites without reason and randomly. He is now an outside cat. He bit me on the cheek at the same time you had all your Weasley problems. It was weasley's actions that decided me that Yoshi was an outdoor kitty. Is there a utube link to your actress daughter's play? Sounds like she and her roommates are doing good. I worry about people in the gig economy. I feel the government should not send just everybody 1200.00 x2. We are fine on our own guareented income ie SSA. All we would do with the money is save it and that gets on one anywhere. That money should be saved for the multitude of people laid off their jobs or penniless from the gig economy.

  7. Sorry about your father in law. Also about your daughter's job. Lots of that happening now, and never fun. We know what it is like (hubby didn't have a job for 9.5 months last year). I like the fun names and changes you made for your blocks. It's YOUR quilt, have fun with it.

  8. I love you, girlfriend! Creative, funny, compassionate, good person. So sorry your FIL is gone, but happy for his peace and the family having great memories. Can’t wait to see this quilt in the cloth!

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  10. I am anxious for you to sell a pattern for your new work in progress. I like what I am seeing.

    So sorry that you have had a death in the family during these trying times. It makes everything complicated not to be able to do what needs to be done. I don't know a lot about Parkinson's as I have not known personally anyone who had to go through that.


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