In and out the dusty bluebells…

We have thoroughly enjoyed a family outing to Micheldever Wood, Hampshire. The Wood, between our home town and the county town of Winchester, is famed for the beautiful carpets of bluebells spread out below a canopy of fresh green beech leaves.

Walking through the bluebells brought to mind the children’s song ‘In and out the dusty bluebells’.

The British Library has a short film clip dated from 1951 of children playing the circle game associated with the song.

Theories about the origins of the song are varied. The first documented record of it is from 1898 but the song must pre-date that by several if not many, many years. The song may have been a warning against wandering alone among enchanting bluebells as the magical beauty of the woods would rouse the Fairy King who spirited away trespassers. Alternatively the ‘master’ may have referenced the hiring fairs where labourers were employed for the year by a tap on the shoulder (although this type of hiring happened more usually in the Autumn rather than the Spring) or the ‘master’ may have been Death himself tapping his victims from behind – this could date the song back to the plagues of Medieval times. Strange how many of our seemingly innocent nursery rhymes and playground songs have originated from folklore or dark times in history. There is an interesting article about the myths surrounding bluebells on the History Girls website.

Thankfully we can use the gasp-out-loud beauty of bluebell woods to bring to mind the Creator, and enjoy the peace a simple colour palette infused with the hope of fresh beginnings brings to heart, mind and soul.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (256)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope whatever this past week has brought your way you will have an opportunity over weekend to bring along your project(s) and relax whilst sharing in the inspiration members of the Worldwide Quilting Community have been posting for our gain. Leaving your thoughts and ideas in the comments boxes at the end of the posts you read is great way to take part in the sharing 🙂

I have managed to move on a few projects this week and, of course, spent no small amount of time chasing squirrel projects! First to what I have actually done: quilting the March Forget-me-not block for the English Country Garden Quilt Along. Whew! It’s a finish!

The text print background fabric hides the quilting so it’s easiest seen on the back:

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A Diamond Wedding Anniversary and a Bed Runner Gifted

What a special occasion! My lovely parents are celebrating 60 years of marriage. They have stayed faithful to the vows they made all those years ago. I’m sure it hasn’t all been plain sailing but they made a commitment to one another and have created a marriage which is a great example to follow and a source of much stability and love for us all.

My brother gathered together some photos and had this card made for Mum & Dad.

On this rather grey, chilly December day we have managed to have some – socially distanced – time with them. They stepped out of the warmth of their home for a photo shoot before moving to the conservatory to unwrap their cards and gifts. Six of us stood outside and watched! What strange times! Still! There were lots of smiles. The Postman arrived with a big handful of letters while we were there. One envelope contained a very special card – signed by Her Majesty the Queen 🙂

We are looking forward to a proper family celebration to mark this wonderful milestone when it is deemed safe to gather together.

The bed runner was not a surprise gift as I’d wanted my Mum’s input on colour and design before embarking on the making of such a prominent piece of decor. However Mum & Dad hadn’t seen the whole design before today.

Sorry about the strange angle – if quilts are difficult to photograph then bed runners are just about impossible!
One of the four Flower Basket blocks.
The quilting shows more on the back.
I didn’t label the runner but I did stitch a message into the design.

I made the runner using Kona Solids fabrics, Hobbs 80/20 wadding and Aurifil threads in three colours for the quilting. The runner measures 20″ wide by 86″ long.

Linking with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday. Kelly is getting into Christmas mode making napkins and there are plenty of inspiring makes to see via the linky gallery she shares 🙂

Allison

Tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting

The bed runner design (there will be additional background fabric either end to hang over the side of the bed).

Phew! After much procrastination and preparation I am progressing through the quilting of the bed runner I’m making for my parents. It will be a gift to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Of course I want it to be perfect and, of course, that’s not possible.

I started writing the long version of this quilting story but decided to delete most of the details, add photos and give my tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting 🙂

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