it has to be useful to truly be beautiful

mini-quilt monday, courtesy of a-stitch-in-dye.  What a lovely ongoing project to keep my fingers nimble, try out new ways of doing things and maintain that satisying “finishing” karma.  Nevertheless, I don’t want to wind up with bundles of little quilts which have no purpose apart from being pretty.  Bit wasteful and all.

hera-marker

Now I know William Morris said something akin to “Have nothing in your home that is not beautiful or useful” – an adage my husband has taken to heart. You should have seen him last year when we moved house.  I almost cringe when I think of the contribution we made to landfill in one weekend.  ”Beautiful?”  he would challenge the object in his hand, “Or useful?  Neither, well off you go.”

crochet-thread

But the ideal combination would have to be beautiful AND useful.  Perhaps Julian would judge this differently to I, but, each Monday’s mini-quilt must have an occupation lined up.  See, Julian would be hard pressed to find any occupation for a quilt that wasn’t large enough to keep him warm in bed!

grains-of-rice

Thus – the candle quilt.  A wee quilt, 14 inches by 11, made from a bit of Kaffe, a bit of linen, a bit of French, and a bit of Dear Jane.  Quilted by hand with crochet cotton that Mum dug out of her stash for me last month when I was in need of strong neutral thread with which to tie and hang my pom pom flowers.  Backed with half an Ikea tea towel – awesomely thrifty.

finished

I LOVED hand quilting this quilt.  The stitches look like grains of rice – especially those in the green floral border.  That is my continuous line, like those puzzles where you have to find your way through the maze.  Cross hatching makes my heart sing.  And hand sewing the binding – sweet.

for-candles

Now it’s all ready for this evening when we sit down together for Family Draw.  Well, at least Abby and I do.  Julian’s not usually here and Mum doesn’t fancy herself as an artist.  We’ll have to keep working on that.  But Abby and I have had a lovely week. After dinner, with no television but some good music instead (last night we had Carla Bruni) we sit down at the table, colours at the ready, Abby pulls out a large swathe of paper from our Ikea paper roll ( very worthy), we choose a theme and off we go.

family-draw

Last night’s was fantasy.  Abby drew a wee witch with her cat on a broom.  I created my brownie’s magical garden but then spent so long colouring each little thing in, that I ran out of time to add the brownie.  Never mind, there’s always tonight.  And now we have a candle quilt upon which to sit out candles as we let our imaginations potter.

p.s. sorry I cannot put any links in today – each time I try, my web browser seizes and dies.  This is a strange and new phenomenon.

p.p.s.  thank you so much for all your kind wishes of good health.  I was finally able to sit up for longer than the time it took to have a sip of tea and a tablet on Mother’s Day.  The cold – perhaps a flu – was such a bad one, it made my asthma play up.  Very breathless weekend.  So thanks for your good wishes.  They clearly worked.

p.p.p.s.  I baked toad in the hole last night from Tamsin Day Lewis’s cookbook – I don’t dare link to it, or I’ll crash again.  It was fabulous and in the end there was only Abby and I for dinner – so now I have toad in the hole each day for lunch.  This makes me very happy :-)

12 thoughts on “it has to be useful to truly be beautiful

  1. Another beautiful and useful item! I love your hand quilting stitches–the texture is wonderful! Your drawings look fantastic! Very colorful and fanciful. ::sigh:: I can’t draw.

  2. I’ve seen a couple of photos where people had hung lots and lots of mini/doll quilts on a wall – beautiful! You could do something like that, and have all of them out where you could see them.

  3. The mat is lovely. I love how you quilted it. What kind of needle did you use? Drawing night sounds wonderful. I love seeing your drawings.

  4. Beautiful little quilt. I think its beauty is in the handstitched grains of rice. It would look great bigger … making it a single bed size, say, would be an enormous task, I realize, but it would also make it Julian happy!

  5. Goodness….so much sickness! I am glad that you were feeling a bit better on Mother’s day, I was too. I even left the house! But now my Matt has food poisoning or the stomach flu…it is a bad scene, but maybe we will be finished soon. I love the candle quilt…the stitches make it so beautiful!

    Keep healing!

  6. Your little candle quilt is so pretty. I just love the texture the quilting creates, and the colours are so pretty too.
    I love the idea of mother and daughter sitting down together to draw pictures – you are creating memories that will stay with her for life I’m sure! And that Abby is one talented girl if the glimpse of her drawing there is anything to go by :-)

  7. I have always wanted to do this stitching on a quilt. I never thought about doing it on a little project. I could handle that!

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