A lovely welcome to all you lovely lovelies♥ I was revisiting some of my posts this past week and found that I had never really chatted about a hexagon quilt which I designed and fashioned about ten years ago. Oh, this quilt has popped up in a few of my posts through the years and is pinned on Pinterest by someone every other day, but it has never been showcased up close and personal. It never has been the subject of it's own post and I think perhaps is worthy of being prattled on about (just a little) and enjoy a little showtime. =) "Which quilt??" I hear you ask. Why, it is my lusciously scrumptious, purple hexie quilt, which I named 'Bohemian Purple Rhapsody' many, many moons ago.
When we first landed in Tassie and settled into our humble abode, a local cafe owner visited us in our home; looked around the 'parlour' whilst she was sipping tea in a pretty teacup and asked me if I would like to set up a little shop in a room of her cafe, with the idea of flogging my pretties to the unsuspecting public. I thought why not, as I am always up for new adventures. So setting up my 'Sarah Lizzies Handmade' little shop, I did. Tourists from all over the globe crossed the threshold of my little room. Ladies that is, as their partners took one look at all the pretties and fled for their lives, perhaps fearing they would get entangled in all things textile. It is amazing how the look of fear comes into a man's eyes when he sees a room burgeoning with lace and fabric pretties. They truly do run for their lives! Many ladies purchased any number of my 'wares' to take home with them......to many, many countries. I sold many handmade pretties; quilts, cushions, bags, dolls; whatever my muddly brain could conjure up. There was a lady who was a companion to a famous British actress of the stage who bought one of my little embellished, lavender hearts as a gift to this unnamed thespian. Apparently my little pretty hangs alongside coutured gowns, in a three story Victorian home sitting along the Thames. Whom....I don't really know as the older thespian's companion wouldn't divulge her name. The thought that others liked my pretties enough to take them home with them is always humbling to me.
As I sat each day in my little shop I was always working on some pretty or other. It is amazing the conversations I enjoyed with people as I stitched. I cannot tell you how many times ladies opened up their hearts and more often than not I would ask them if they would like a coffee. Over a cappuccino, stories spilled out of their mothers, aunts.....grandmothers who sewed, who loved lace, who collected buttons and so on. Why, some of the ladies would go home and post me their great grandmother's embroidery and lace collections, just because they knew I would fashion something from their exquisite pretties; I would give these treasures another life. Indeed, I look back at that period in my life as a wonderful experience. My little shop's existence lasted for a couple of years but then an opportunity arose for me to teach children the delights of all things stitching, so a new fun-filled door opened.
But about Bohemian Purple Rhapsody?? I started this quilt with the notion of using up my stash of vintage fabrics and many of the gorgeous french laces; my dowry of cloth that I had collected over the years. Five years previously I had designed a QAYG pastel hexie quilt brimming with vintage embroideries and laces and other such pretties. To my knowledge a QAYG hexie where each hexie danced with embroidered linens, lace and oodles of embellishments had never been imagined before. Indeed there are a lot of these hexie quilts in cyberspace these days but when I designed this type of quilt there was nothing of this ilke around. Why, a lady whose name is Rhonda Dort discovered my pastel pretty on Pinterest and it sparked her imagination to create her amazing quilt which apparently took 2nd prize at the Houston Quilt Show. To this day every time I go into my blog my pastel pretty has been pinned. It always amazes me how people find a pretty that one has fashioned; inspiring them to perhaps make a similar quilt. 'Tis such a pity I didn't write THAT book all those years ago prattling on about my QAYG embellished hexie pretties.......I could have perhaps retired.....that is of course if anyone bought the book. =)
BUT.....I digress......again. My 'little' quilt was imagined with the thought of a rainbow of jewel-like fabrics all swirling and twirling around in an exotic, colourful, gypsy dance, falling wherever they will. I wanted to design and fashion a bohemian rhapsodic quilt. Every fabric is vintage....silks, velvets, flock velvets, Italian coverlets, Indian silk beaded saris, satins....all sumptuous and gorgeous. Then to spice it up even more, every lace was to be even more colourful and even more exotic. I tell you, I have a serious stash of exquisite French laces which I happened upon quite by accident, and for a proverbial song! The acquisition of these glorious laces is perhaps a story for another day.
I wanted this quilt to effuse enthusiasm and ecstatic expression of a bohemian aesthetic. Also, I wanted this quilt to be unconventional, breaking all the 'so-called' quilting rules of colour and design. I really didn't give a hoot about what goes with what or indeed what doesn't. I just wanted to splash colour onto colour; with the need to play. I wanted to pay homage to those crazy patchwork quilts of yesteryear, but with a modern twist. I wanted a lush, sumptuous quilt of blues, pinks, purples, browns, greens, reds, lavenders...even a touch of tangerines and burnished oranges. Bohemian Purple Rhapsody
took me eight months of six hour days to stitch. Each stitch lovingly and slowly hand stitched. As I sat and stitched in my little shop, or on the verandah of the cafe, many people saw the gradual unfolding of my bohemian pretty.
I wanted ruched flowers, ribbon roses, butterflies, trailing vines with pretty ribbon leaves, gloves, baskets and jardinierres overspilling with ribbon floral delight, beads, jewels, buttons, buckles, french laces kissing the border of each hexie. A scrumptious quilt embellished to an inch of it's life was what I desired. I just wanted more, more, more; because, well...........I am an over-the-top, more is never enough, kinda gal.
I look upon those days when I stitched in my little shop, with visitors all around the world entering my colourful and handmade little world and smile at those memories. I smile at the conversations we shared. I smile at how in a very small way I brought a little whimsy and perhaps sprinkled a touch of beauty to another's day. I smile when I think that something I imagined.......then fashioned, is in another's home in some other part of the world. I wonder if they remember that lady who was entangled in a muddly, colourful textile, lacey web. I hope so.
Until the next time...................
Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.