Wednesday, 18 May 2016

William Morris in Newcastle

I thought there were possibly only three places in the Southern Hemisphere where you might find William Morris stained glass…home in Adelaide, Norfolk Island and here in Newcastle! But then I thought I should do another quick Google search and it was HERE that I found a Morris society paper talking of the Australian windows. Then I discovered there are several windows in New Zealand with some info HERE. But I can safely say I have now seen all the Australian windows. But before the visit we did a detour to visit Kath at Onpoint Patchwork. I met Kath in class some years ago so a quick visit was in order… was in her shop that I discovered her love of Morris and she also has a brand new copy of the first book if anyone has been trying to get it! Send her an email as I know it is rare to find one. I was pretty chuffed with her displays for obvious reasons!…….. 

 Glad we had a quick chat Kath……..
 Then it was off to see the Morris window at Christ Church Cathedral and what a magnificent cathedral it is………….

 The first thing that struck me as we entered was the colour and detail of the sixteen hanging banners. These were made by local artist Rae Richards. I couldn't find a website for her but lots of information about past exhibitions. The banners were installed in 1977 and are appliquéd with Australian wool……….

 The kneelers are all tapestries made by locals and quite intricate in detail and include themes of St Christopher (travel), St Nicholas (sailors and seafarers), St Michael (defence forces) and various other saints...

 In all there are 72 stained glass windows but most of them did not look like the design or colour of Morris……

But then we turned a corner and it was the pre-Raphaelite faces and vivid red and blue that confirmed  our instincts……….
 The Dies Domini window was designed by Edward Burne Jones and William Morris and Larry was convinced one face looked a lot like Burne-Jones and one looked like Janey Morris……..

 The Warriors chapel remembers those lost in World War 1……….

 The Sanctuary……….

 The cathedral also has a silk flag that was used at Gallipoli………..

The cathedral has treasures that include this Book of Gold and a solid gold chalice……..
 As we were leaving Larry and I tried to find kneelers that perhaps reflected Morris……..
 but instead we found the Morris window of Norfolk Island……..that was very special…...
 This afternoon was my second presentation for Jenny at Quilt-essentials. Last night we were spoilt with champagne and nibbles and this afternoon it was high tea……….

 Jann brought in some of her exquisite Morris inspired quilts……...

 and this was one of her own designs……just wonderful…….
 Thankyou Jenny for inviting me and spoiling us both. It was a wonderful opportunity to see your shop and beautiful city (and catch up with your sisters again - Hi Anne and Mary!). Thanks to everyone who came and made it all happen…..and see you in the UK in September Jenny! xx


  1. Love the Floral Fantasy quilt of course - so nice seeing one and mine looks so much alike - I loved the colors you used in the book and went similar. the windows are all spectacular. I do not have the first Morris book but I am satisfied with the More of William Morris and there are several more I would like to make - one day!

  2. What fabulous banners! Makes me want to make some religious quilts. An awesome cathedral. Thanks for sharing, Michele.

  3. I understand there was a spire made for the church but was then considered too heavy because a coal mine runs underneath the cathedral which compromises the foundations.

  4. I understand there was a spire made for the church but was then considered too heavy because a coal mine runs underneath the cathedral which compromises the foundations.

  5. Once again an interesting and informative post. And, my goodness you are a sleuth when it comes to all things Morris. Have a safe trip as you journey home .


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