Sunday, May 16, 2021

"QUEEN MARY'S GARDEN" © 2019 - Block 44

Mary Queen of Scots' life is getting rather complicated following her return from France to England.  As the now seated Queen of Scotland, she was young, powerful, and beautiful with a determined strength and vigor.  She was certainly strong and smart enough to be Queen.  Her next husband would not officially be a Scottish King, but a King consort.

Growing up in the French Court, she was encouraged by her de Guise Uncles and King Henry II (the father of her betrothed Dauphin Francis II) to join discussions.  She had the freedom to express her own opinions, even in political matters.  Her exposure to this rare, female opportunity gave Mary the knowledge and confidence to go home and assume her thrown. 

Current, and future, cast of characters (from left to right):
Rizzio, Mary's secretary and closest confidant

Everyone had an idea of who Mary's second husband should be. Her advisors were, of course, thinking only of politics and Scotland's allies/enemies list.  England and Queen Elizabeth had their own ideas and even had men "planted" into Mary's inner circle, acting as influencers and providing intelligence.  Elizabeth was still concerned about Mary's "Stuart legitimacy" claim to the British throne and was intimidated by her strength and popularity.

Of course, the de Guise side of Mary's family had matrimonial plans for her as well.  Mary's mother, Marie de Guise of France, had come to Scotland to act as Reagent "place keeper" for Mary.  After all, she was barely born when the death of her father had left her the throne.  Mother Marie had powerful brothers in the French court which kept France's interests at the forefront.  

France, as a fellow Catholic country, was a strong ally with Scotland.  They needed each other's support against England, now Protestant following Henry VIII's "divorce national conversion."  England wanted to stamp out Catholicism in the region.

Edenborough was fairly strongly Catholic, but outlying Scottish Clans sort of did their own thing.  They basically wanted to be left alone, not wanting to work together against the English.  The clans were too busy stealing and fighting with each other.

There were skirmishes near the border with England.  Mary would ride out with her soldiers in battles.  It is said that Mary was not totally opposed to Protestantism, she mainly wanted to be able to be a strong, practicing Catholic herself.

Then, there was her older half-brother...he had gained some support for being the rightful King before Mary returned home to Scotland.  He was trying to undercut her authority and had his own band of soldiers.

It is said that the King never even saw his daughter Mary as he was near death and she was born hours after he died.  Then, there was Mary's right to the thrown...she was the king's legitimate heir.  Her older brother was only a half brother, which was also a thorny situation.

But what about love?  Mary was pushed and pulled and finally ended up marrying Lord Darnley.  It is thought that Darnley was pushed into the marriage merry-go-round by Queen Elizabeth and her advisers.  

ROW FIVE is done and on the design wall.  My bedroom design wall is smaller than the one in the basement...I've about reached its limit.


Eight more blocks, then on to the nutty bird border!  I am trying to control myself drawing the birds, but they are all based on 16th-17th century art, manuscripts, and embroideries.  

I'm finding it hard not "fixing" the drawings to be less fanciful and more "normal."  It's a challenge for me to be faithful to the interpretations of flora and fauna by the artisans and crafters from that time period...I want things a little more anatomically accurate, I guess.

And the wild colors they used...yikes!  Although, I have to admit reproducing mystery flowers and birds in unnatural, unusual colors has been freeing! 

From the little bit I've read about the lives of that era, an embroidery project using bright silks was probably a big help coping and balancing some of the daily difficulties.

In stitches, 
Teresa   :o)

On another thread...

I am still here!  I have my second Covid-19 shot this week, but I am in a state where the split between vaxed and not-vaxed is about 50/50.  So I am still mostly stuck at home with my post-pneumonia sensitive lungs, heart arrhythmia, etc.

I am so jealous of all of you getting so much done during the shutdown!  Being under house-arrest for 12+ months and the whole 2020 year made me feel so helpless.  It totally interfered with my creativity, which leaves me depressed and irritated.  

I missed my 92-yr-old beloved aunt, siblings, nieces and nephews, quilt guilds, quilt shows, traveling to Michigan to see friends, etc.  SO many small businesses closed in the Shoals area...even some major chain restaurants and stores.

Here's to getting out and getting back to normal (and feeling more joyous)!! 


  1. So glad you are back posting. You are an amazing quilter- so creative- just an inspiration.

  2. It’s so hard when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but have to keep waiting. Hang in there. You are certainly creating a beautiful project! You don’t do things by halves! This on is my favorite, but all of yours are my favorites! I wonder how your blueberry crop is doing this year?

  3. As always, you just blow me away with your work. Yes, lockdown has taken a toll on many of us. Luckily we are in an area that has a very high percentage of of vaxers,, but many are still cautious.

  4. So very nice to read this post other than the shut down effects. I’d say you’ve accomplished lots of stitching which I have not. Love worchester apple and the spiral centers of the yellow flowers. As mentioned by another, I wonder how are your beautiful blueberries. Hopefully you will have help in the harvesting department. Hang in there and take care!

  5. I think it is a south thing as well - my state doesn't have a good vaccination record for covid either - I was home to most of 2020 and was so glad to get my second jab in early April and hope that I am now safe - seeing as we are now told we do not need to wear a mask unless a place says we do in order to go into it. Even though I never did a lot of socializing it still takes a bit out of you doesn't it

  6. I loved reading your account of Mary's early life. I didn't like history at school but as the years have gone by I've read a lot more about our British monarchy. It's good to see a new post from you and I hope your life gets better for you soon :)

  7. Hey there, girlfriend! I'm so glad to see your post. I can't complain because I haven't posted anything since January. At any rate, 2020 was a waste of time as far as I am concerned and it took its toll on all of us. I saw my family last weekend for the first time in 18 months. I'm hoping that your creativity will get a boost now that things are looking up. Take care, my friend.

  8. I'm glad you're doing OK, well, as OK as one can be when you're shut away for over a year. I too just got 2nd vaccine Saturday, was so glad that unlike 3 weeks ago, there were others waiting for their shots. No adults, but school kids.

    This quilt is going to be gorgeous, and I'm enjoying the history bits you post with it as well.

  9. I love the history. Thanks for more information. You are a wonder!

  10. So glad to hear from you. I fear that the mask mandates are being lifted too soon, but now that it's done, there will probably be no going back to it. We each must do our best to protect ourselves. Hope you are now back in a quilting mood.

  11. Your quilt is breathtaking. Always look forward to your posts, they are so inspiring and entertaining. Good thoughts to you and your health.

  12. I'm really enjoying your history lessons with your blocks. So much work. 2020/2021 have been difficult. Since I still go out to work every day, things weren't as different for me as they were for others, but it has been hitting me this year, with several other things that have been going on. I haven't done much this year.

  13. All of your blocks are just GORGEOUS! Of course I would expect nothing less :0)
    I miss you...and all of our Monday nights creating....I have had both of my covid shots as well, and will say that I lost all creativity during the shutdown, and didn't do much of anything but work. I used to blog a lot, and I used to do a lot of blog design...still goof around a little. We will have to catch up...Tell Steve and Riley Hello from Michigan :0)

  14. So great to hear from you Teresa! I really enjoy seeing your blocks, and reading about the history too. This project is definitely going on my 'Must Make!' list!

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