How can you have people come all this way and not send them off with something home made (and a few books) so a tiny little 7" pieced and quilted patchwork square for each (with even tinier pieces I realised as I stitched, forty-eight together into one) as a souvenir of their visit, and one has the honour of the "deliberate" error because only God's work must be perfect...you'll spot it, it was late, my eyes were going in different directions, if you find two I'll be really upset.
...made from those fabrics bought at the V&A quilt exhibition, limited edition replicas of 19th century designs and rotating clockwise from top left, Summer Winds, Sunny Lanes, Eddystone Light and Rocky Road, the blocks all chosen for a rural, local feel, and in one case a rather obvious blog connection, and stitched full of Devon love and memories.
And wait for it... you might need to sit down if you are not already, but steady yourself anyway... The Inundation of the Spring Enlarges Every Soul, the Emily Dickinson wall-hanging is finished...
...yes can you believe I just typed that word...completely finished.
Emily is about 30" square and has been a joyously colourful part of my life for about two years now, and very intensely for the last six weeks, so that 'finished' is good, and I can't tell you how much happy anticipation of the visit has been stitched into this, so I am delighted that Emily will be crossing the pond and making her new home with Sheila and Kevin in Canada. I'm hoping the Attic Windows design has a touch of the trompe l'oeil about it and might cheer their walls when the snow is deep outside and spring still seems a long way off.
For the experts out there, this is machine pieced and hand-quilted and adapted to suit my theme from a picture seen in a book but with no cutting pattern available, so I was on a frolic of my own and had to call in the draughtsman in the family to help me get the angles of the mitred corners spot on. It's hard to see but each 'pane' is cross-hatched with quilting to give a lattice effect with a quilted vine border weaving around the appliqued butterflies, and then as I inscribed the poem in full for the label on the back, I realised it held double poignancy with its memory of a visit to the South West.
The inundation of the Spring
Enlarges every soul —
It sweeps the tenement away
But leaves the Water whole —
In which the soul at first estranged —
Seeks faintly for its shore
But acclimated — pines no more
For that Peninsula —
There has been much covert conspiracy between Kevin and I over Sheila's surprise because I know they are very discerning in their taste, so first you have to ensure that people really want to give house room to things like this... then you have to give them a choice between two quarter-made things because with six weeks to go you have time to finish one or the other, but then that does give them plenty of time to decorate the house to match.
Anyway, mission accomplished this end and take a look because I think it may be hung in a room near to this very exquisite sculpture which I have had very happily ingrained in my mind's eye for the last six weeks.