During that year I won first prize in a raffle which included airfares to London - yes real people do win raffles and this was a result of time in my nursing career when I was very involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Association. I have kept that ticket as a reminder of how grateful I still am as this changed my life forever (and to think I told the person who phoned to tell me I had won to redraw the ticket - I wanted a family affected by cystic fibrosis to win it!)……..
So I worked night shift for months and we saved up enough so Larry and I could go on what we thought was a once in a lifetime trip. Our girls were only 13 and 15 so we arranged for someone to stay with them and off we went for two jam packed weeks. We enjoyed a whirlwind tour of the UK and then I just knew I had to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum where I saw this………..
Morris designed 'The Strawberry Thief' after watching thrushes steal strawberries in his garden at Kelmscott Manor……Larry tells me it was in fact while Morris was sitting on his outside loo - well so he was told! This design went on to become one of Morris's most popular designs and is synonymous with him. I am constantly amazed how many have never heard of Morris but they will usually recognise this pattern. It was in 1883 that Morris registered the design which became one of his first textiles to include yellow and red. It remains one of my favourites and back in 1997 I brought home a small collection of Morris postcards including one with this design - and so the quilt was made. A year later I contacted the Victoria and Albert Museum about copyright as I had been asked if I would teach it as a class. I soon found out that the design was in the public domain but the curator at that time did comment that she could see where my inspiration came from but in fact I had not really copied it correctly anyway…..she wondered why there were no strawberries in the bird's beaks! Currently you can buy hand creams and note cards packaged beautifully in the pattern ……..
My wardrobe has a pair of shoes, a couple of shirts and I've made a journal cover…...
The cupboard hides mugs and plates……..etc, etc!….
So why would I have images of Tolkien books you might ask? This well loved edition of "Lord of the Rings" was bought by Larry when he was only 19 - I think that was 1973 and he still reads fantasy novels! When I teach or lecture I like to share how William Morris inspired Tolkien to write these sagas. Larry also reads BBC online and only a few weeks ago he was thrilled to find this article which supports that notion - in fact it states that when Tolkien won a prize from Exeter College he spent it on a pile of Morris books. William Morris certainly inspired Tolkien as he does me. Read all about it here: BBC Culture - Tolkien
So finally I will leave you with images of Miss Maisie in that ladybird dress that I made!
Quilt Two and a giveaway next post!