Really it should have been called "Dearle Revisited" as most of my inspiration for the quilt came once again from one of Morris's business partners John Henry Dearle. The central panel was inspired by his 'Apple' design from 1895-1900. It is hard to find on the internet or in books but I did find it here at the Smithsonian……
I've made some adjustments in black and white so you can see the central apples and large acanthus leaves that I used in the quilt…….
Two of the blocks were inspired by another Dearle design - 'Rose and Lily' from 1893. This luscious original wool and silk curtain hangs in the Art Gallery of South Australia so I was able to see it first hand……..
My Art Gallery resource book (Morris and Co. Designs and Patterns Art Gallery of South Australia 2003), tells us the following…….."Over a period of 34 years J. H. Dearle was responsible for 30 original designs at Morris and Co., his most imaginative period being 1888 to 1905. 'Rose and Lily' was designed by Dearle in 1893, while still under the direction of William Morris and was hand-loom jacquard-woven at the Merton Abbey workshop. The fabric is of woven silk and wool and was available in four colour ways - white, blue, red or dark green backgrounds. Like Morris, Dearle used the textile collection at the South Kensington Museum as a design resource. Dearle's passion for historic textiles is clearly expressed in 'Rose and Lily', which has as its source Italian 17th century brocade silks. Instead of Italian crowns, Dearle substituted roses, whose thorny stems create an ogee pattern framing two types of lilies."
It is nice to know that both Morris and Dearle gained inspiration for their own designs from the textile collection of the Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), just as I am now inspired by both of them. Another source of inspiration in the quilt was 'Artichoke'. There is a Dearle design of the same name which was a wallpaper but the pattern is different to my source of the 1877 Morris Artichoke embroideries I had seen in books. These embroideries could be purchased from Morris and Co. as a kit and it was wonderful to see one of these when we visited Standen on one of the Morris tours in the UK last year. The silk design is simply stunning and you might be able to see elements I used all those years ago in my quilt…….
I was also fortunate to see the same design at the Victoria and Albert Museum some time ago but this time it is embroidered in wool…….
So once again I am offering this pattern as a PDF download as my gift to you. The finished quilt is 64" x 64" (163cm x 163cm) but of course you could just use the centre as a wall hanging or even the blocks as a cushion. Enjoy x