Sunday, 6 December 2015

Why Beatrix Potter and William Morris?

I am constantly intrigued with life and the journey we take and more recently the connection I have with Beatrix Potter and William Morris. They have both been in my life for a long time but possibly Beatrix a little longer. As a child I had my own little Potter books and I was so surprised when Larry recently told me that he knew little about her until he met me. As I read more about Beatrix I wonder if she ever met William Morris as her father Rupert was very close to John Everett Millais who was one of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood members of which Morris had close contact. So it seemed fitting to merge my two passions by appliquéing some of Beatrix's characters in two quilts for my second book, "More William Morris in Appliqué"…….
 When I first met Helen from Whitecroft Tours back in 2010 it was she who planted the seed for writing a Beatrix Potter appliqué book. She was overjoyed that I shared her passion for Beatrix, only I think it is true to say Helen's knowledge and passion is a lot greater than mine! Helen comes with a background of being chairperson of the Beatrix Potter Society and when the Beatrix Potter rose was launched it made headlines which you can read here along with this fabulous photo of Helen with the Society's patron - the wonderful Patricia Routledge. I know I've shared this before but it is all so exciting and amazing!
As I was recently recording all the books in our house I was also reminded of how many rooms have evidence of Beatrix Potter. This boxed collection of large books has been in my possession since 2007………..
 A very kind friend also gave me this 1989 boxed set and it was a strange coincidence to see some very faint initials underneath the box which just happen to be the same as mine……………

 Back in 1997 we visited the Lake District for the first time and then on a return visit some years later I picked up this guide……...
 I've had notecards and notepaper for as long as I can remember……..
 and in 2002 I found Christmas cards with our daughter's names and all in Beatrix Potter characters. Needless to say they never received the cards - they remain unopened treasures to keep!……...
 Larry gave me Benjamin Bunny back in the 1990's and the cushion was a more recent purchase from the UK………..
 and then some time later we found these mugs (which are also never used!!)
 A plate rests high on a shelf along with more Beatrix rabbits that I adore……...
 There are other rabbits not necessarily Beatrix Potter style but nonetheless still collecting dust and loved by me…….
More recently some new friends have also arrived to be used as props in the book………..
 Some years ago I even found this tin of coloured pencils - never used of course but I just had to have them! And my original books stand proud amongst all those other books……..
 I am one of thousands of people who were adopted in the 1950's and when I met my birth mother over 20 years ago I discovered she had an obsession with Beatrix Potter too. She had stitched many cross stitch designs of Potter characters and they were framed beautifully and displayed on her walls. Meeting my birth mother was one of the most difficult emotional journeys of my life but it was amazing that we shared this same admiration for Beatrix Potter. After one of my trips to the Lakes District I bought this back for her and I am most grateful to have had it returned when she died 15 years ago………….
It will be so exciting to participate in the Beatrix Potter Tour in September of next year so if it is on your bucket list do come and join us. We will be launching the book as well and I know Helen will have lots of surprises up her sleeve! The website does say it is sold out but Helen informed me a few days ago that there are still a couple of places left. At home it is starting to feel like Christmas as Beau and Maisie helped us put up the tree. And as that season approaches so does the heat with almost 40C yesterday and 41C expected today. 




 I hope wherever you are that the weather and life are being kind x






5 comments:

  1. I love the Beatrix Potter character's in that quilt in the More William Morris book that I have. In fact I have looked at that quilt pattern numerous times thinking of making it and have not got to it - as you know so many in progress - one day perhaps! I start so many quilts at one time and more and more lately wish I would only work on one until it is finished like I used to do so many years ago. You have so many nice items you have of the Beatrix Potter theme and all so nice.

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  2. I have to say I also have not been educated in Beatrix Potter as a child. But glad to say I have missed the 40deg heat as the Yarra was a lovely 33deg and perfect! But back to reality today.

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  3. Once again a interesting blog with extraordinary insight into the quilter and designer.

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  4. Jemima Puddleduck ! :) What an adorable quilt ! Loved her books as a child and then as a mom reading to my children and then to my grandchildren! :)

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  5. What an interesting post - thank you, Michele. I also had no background on Beatrix Potter books in my childhood. My early years were filled with Juan Bobo and Dick & Jane books. I do remember reading these to my children. Sadly my grandchildren are not interested - they love Spot, Curious George, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Loved seeing parts of your collection. Thanks for sharing, Michele.

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