Friday, June 06, 2008

400 up and still talking..........

................... to all of you that is :o)


This is my 400th post - where has that time gone, over two years?


I've 'met' lots of lovely people through blogging, built up on-line friendships with people all over the world, gained masses of inspiration both about quilting and life in general, laughed and cried along with lots of you.


Thank you to my blogging friends you've added a whole new dimension to my life.


I'm having a giveaway for this landmark but more about that at the end of the post.


One blogging friend I've been chatting to on line for a while is Karol-Ann up in beautiful Yorkshire. Reading her posts and looking at the gorgeous scenery in her photos makes me often quite homesick about the county of my birth and upbringing.


Lately we've been talking about quilts to signify Yorkshire and I mentioned I'd made one some time ago - it actually turns out to be nine years ago.


So here you go Karol-Ann - this is at your request.


In 1999 the National Quilt Championships were held in Olympia in London. One of the classes was a quilt shaped like a playing card (rectangular but with rounded corners) measuring 24" x 36" and depicting an English county of your choice and it had to have the name of the county on the front somewhere.


As much as I love living here in Somerset, spent 13 wonderful years in Gloucestershire, gave birth to my eldest in Herefordshire and experienced 6 months of French living, Yorkshire will always have a strong hold on my heart.


For those of you slightly less familiar with British geography Yorkshire is the largest county in England with many contrasts. Wild barren moorland in the north to sadly now less concentrated heavy industry in the south. From the numerous pretty little dales in the west to the spectacular coast in the east it is a wide and varied land whose people are intensely proud to be 'Tykes' the colloquial name for Yorkshiremen.


My aim with this quilt was to signify that contrast in two halves separated by the token river running across the centre. (Apologies that the quilt looks somewhat crumpled - it's been in a bag in the bottom of my wardrobe for some time - I really should get round to finding it a home to hang it where it won't get faded)


The top right half of the quilt symbolises the 'moorland jock' sheep which are the only real cash crop for farmers in the rugged uplands on the Pennine chain of hills. This is the part of Yorkshire I grew up in.


I remember the process of getting his facial features just right was a real devil of a job



In the background I've endeavoured to represent the heather moors so gloriously purple in August and September each year


The sheep is peering over my interpretation of a typical dry stone wall of which there are miles and miles across the fells. If I had a pound for each mile of this sort of wall in Yorkshire I would be a rich woman. This lichen on the rock is made with tatted lace using perle embroidery thread


And his wool is actually knitting wool crocheted into a chain and stitched on to embellish him.


The river is made up of several layers - the background is some quilting fabric with a brown stone effect, then I built up lots of layers of slivers of translucent ribbons in watery colours and finally a layer of blue net to hold it all in place


Along the river I've embroidered the names of most of the Yorkshire rivers in a blue sparkly thread - that was an education, scouring the maps to try and include them all - I found many that I'd never even heard of - well I did say it was a big county. The river Wharfe runs through the village I grew up in - Wharfedale is my dale.


At the top of my river I hand appliqued the symbolic white rose of Yorkshire - in hindsight I do wish I'd embroidered black fine lines around each of the constituent pieces so it's easier to discern from a distance but this is how it is and this is how it will stay.

The opposite bottom left half of the quilt signifies the industrial south of the county - the area where I was born and lived until I was 18 months old.


Although I only lived in the mining area of South Yorkshire for a fairly short time my family has extensive connections with the coal mining industry, my father worked down the mine in his early twenties, my maternal grandfather was a miner all his life and on my fathers side we were the only family to my knowledge to have 5 First Class Colliery Manager's tickets in one family - my paternal grandfather, his three brothers and their father (my great grandfather) so you can say that there is most definitely coal in my blood.


Sadly the British coal mining industry declined in the 1980s and 1990s although there are still plenty of reserves under the ground - who knows maybe as fuel prices continue to rise around the world they might have to resort to mining again as it becomes less economically unattractive. Sadly by that time most if not all of the expertise of our mining industry will have retired or died and we will have to learn it all over again.


Anyway enough of our social history - I wanted this half of the quilt to be the complete opposite of the other so picked a sunset background with the silhouette of the colliery winding gear and the ubiquitous slag heaps standing sharply against the orange sky.


The orange also signifies the glow from the iron smelting works which also used to be such a feature of the Sheffield area - sadly most are gone now - heavy industry has very little foothold in the UK's economy any more. That's why I worked the word Yorkshire in silver metallic fabric and embroidered Sheffield Stainless Steel (famous all over the world) on the 'H' in the word.



The shadowed cottages in the foreground are miners houses.



They all have dirty smoke from their chimneys - as a child whenever I returned to this area to visit my grandparents there was always a certain smell about the air - mainly due to the coal fire in each house fuelled with the discounted coal which was part of the colliers wages.


Finally I pieced the back with another cottage but this time from the greener Dales environment - sorry I obviously forgot to turn this photo before I added it.

I travelled to Olympia to see my quilt hung with all the others - it didn't win any prizes although I do believe it was hanging next to another Yorkshire one which was third prize. As I stood anonymously near the quilt admiring my handiwork I overheard a couple of ladies viewing the exhibits and one of them pointed to my quilt saying 'Oh no, that doesn't work at all - why ever have thet used that orange - I don't like that at all' Obviously my subliminal message of contrast was wasted on this particular lady :o)

So there you have it -YORKSHIRE! - it will always secretly be my home, no matter where else life might take me.


Now onto 400 posts - I did promise a giveaway and I think I gave you all a little hint of its summery theme.


I stitched a basket of strawberries some time ago so decided to make them into something for this auspicious occasion


I added some strawberry fabric


And quilted various strawberry treats in the borders

Here we are - the finished object

All you have to do now to have a chance of making this your own is to add a comment to this post by the end of next Friday 13th June and I will select one from the hat - obviously Friday 13th won't be so unlucky for the person whose name is drawn.

71 comments:

Jeanne said...

Congratulations on your 400th Post!

Judy H. said...

I love your Yorkshire quilt! I visited England for a semester in university, and spent a few days in York and around Yorkshire. I really like that area--wish I'd been able to see the moors while the heather was blooming. (I'm also a spinner as well as a knitter, so I love the sheep!)

Congratulations on reaching 400 posts!

sbonetsue said...

Congrats on 400 and let me tell you your Yorkshire quilt is spectacular, what a wonderful way to document a place close to your heart. Please throw my name in the hat for your giveaway, it is so cheerful and summery.
(sbonetsue at yahoo dot com)

The Calico Cat said...

Love the Yorkshire quilt, especially all of the meaning behind why you did what you did.

Love the strawberries too.

Congrats & keep up the good work.

Joyce said...

You have to wonder what people are thinking when they say something doesn't "work". I think it's lovely. Congrats on the 400th post.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Congrats on 400 posts! Like your beautiful quilts your posts are always a joy to see. Thank you to you for enriching our lives with the details of your life and your creative spirit.

dot said...

Your Yorkshire quilt is great. I have enjoyed reading your 400 posts. I hope to read 400 and more in the future.

Karol-Ann said...

Oh Anne, it's amazing. Of course I am very very fond of your beautiful sheep! I can't imagine listening to someone commenting so crassly on my work- is that why I don't exhibit or is it because I never finish anything worth exhibiting (especially after the kids have had a go with it LOL)?

Congrats on the big 4-0-0! Wow, don't think I've read even half of those, but I have enjoyed the ones I have! Keep on chatting and thanks for such nice words. Perhaps one day we'll even meet :-)
(In Yorkshire of course!!)

Nancy said...

Strawberry season is just beginning here, Near Philadelphia. I'd love to enter your drawing!

n, np

Margaret aka Supermom said...

i've been waiting for this...a Bebbs original! Can't wait to go pick strawberries!

Carol said...

What a milestone! Congratulations on your 400th post. :D What a great treasure you have in your Yorkshire quilt. It is awesome!

julieQ said...

What a most wonderful quilt of Yorkshire you just showed! Your heart is evident in your quilt; so imaginative and so well done!

I just received my heart quilt and am so in love with it. You are such a wonderful quilter, it is perfect!

hortenzita said...

I am the 13th commenter. It means something, doesn't it?

Nancy said...

Congrats on your 400th....

I am commenter 13, hope to be drawn on the 13th and my birthday is the 13th, so hopefully 13 is my lucky number.....
I will keep my fingers crossed...

Sue Wild said...

Hi Anne
Congratulations on your 400th posting. Lovely story about your Yorkshire quilt, the amazing contrasts in that county really well demonstrated in it. I hope you find somewhere to hang this quilt.

I like your Strawberry quilt too. Like you I sometimes find hand quilting relaxing and a change from sweating over a sewing machine!
Sue

Karen said...

Anne your Yorkshire quilt is incredible; followed all the links in your description. No wonder you miss Yorkshire.

Kate said...

I love your Yorkshire quilt. I have never been to the UK, but my best friend is from Leeds! :)

Libby said...

Congratulations on your 400th post! That is quite a milestone.
Your Yorkshire quilt is just wonderful. While the nuance would have been lost on me without your commentary - the detail really seems to capture what daily life is like. I hope you find just the right spot to display it at home . . . soon *s*

Tanya said...

Just checking in. Lovely, lovely ARTWORK on the Yorkshire quilt! What thought you put into that! And I really like your Japanese folded quilt too! Pretty "oriental" colors!

Shelina said...

Congratulations on your 400th post! The strawberry quilt is so lovely!

G'G'ma said...

400 posts...WOW!!
Love your Yorkshire quilt and thanks for the story of the quilt. I'm sorry I don't know very much about England but that will change....research coming up!!

This is soon the time for fresh strawberries in MI....Yum.

Mary said...

I love your work. Especially the little heart quilts you have been showing. You are such a prolific applique er and your work is great.

I married in November just so we could get married on the 13th of the month. Not everyone has a trisdecophobia or however it is spelled LOL

Carolyn said...

Congratulations on your 4ooth post...that's quite a few! I love the strawberry stitcher, reminds me of the strawberry patch we had when my children were little...they'd sit in the middle and eat the berries, with juice dripping down their chins. Now they're big kids, and we don't have a strawberry patch anymore...

Cascade Lily said...

Anne congrats on 400 posts! Don't put me in the running for the giveaway - I am already lucky enough to have your beautiful work in my home :)

I just wanted to say how beautiful and creative your Yorkshire quilt is. I especially love the fabric you chose for the ram's horns!

Jo-Anne said...

Your Yorkshire quilt is stunning. The workmanship is remarkable!!

I spent some of my childhood in England and have very fond memories.

Congratulations on your 400th post. I shall keep my fingers crossed that Friday the 13th will be a lucky day for me!

miniaturequilter said...

Congratulations on your 400th post. Your quilts are gorgeous as always. You should find a special place to hang your quilt, it's sounds like you put so much time and thought into it. It's something very special to pass down in your family.
The strawberry quilt is soo cute, please enter me in your drawing too!

meggie said...

What a fabulous post! I love your Yorkshire quilt, & loved reading the story of it's making.
Who would not wish to win your lovely Strawberry Treats?!

Stacy said...

Anne, thank you so much for sharing your Yorkshire quilt and stories with us. Your love of that area, and all of your country resounds in your wods and experiences. You take the goods and bads and combine them into a place that is unique, beautiful, and even more, your home. You have me thinking about the places that have been special in my life, for many different reasons. If I ever get across the ocean, I would love to have you show me around.
Wow! Congrats on 400. That is fantastic. And your mini quilt/stitchery is darling. It looks like a little basket of summer. Love Stacy

blackbearcabin said...

ive been scoping out all of the ALQS participants, and just wanted to say hi :)
Your strawberry quilt is adorable...i particularly love your hand embroidery work...what stitch is that...it looks flawless! I also enjoyed the history of your Yorkshire quilt...very cool...but it belongs on your wall...not in a box :)
Happy 400th post and thanks for sharing!
lisajo

Clare said...

Congratulations on your 400th!

Married to a Tyke and the daughter of a Tyke, but sadly not born in God's own county I have to say that I thouhgt you captured the ture essence of this great county wonderfully in your quilt. I lived in South Yorkshire for 12 years before heading for the hills, and we visit often!

loulee1 said...

Thank you for a trip around Yorkshire. Your quilt is stunningI really enjoyed seeing and reading about all the different elements that appear.

Congratulations on your 400th. Your starwberries look good enough to eat.

Clare said...

Dearest Anne,

What a lovely post. Your Yorkshire quilt is so beautiful and I think the orange does go. The "quilt police" have a "thing" abour orange. Heck. What do they know. Your description of it is brilliantly written, as are all your posts.

Congrats on your 400th! Please don't put my name in the draw - I've got enough Bebbington Delights in my house and another huge Jiffy bag has just arrived full of bits and pieces for an I Spy quilt for my niece to be.

Bon weekend chere amie

Andrea said...

Your Yorkshire quilt is amazing - so much detail. I am visiting York for the first time next month and looking forward to it. Congrats on your 400th post - that's a lot of nattering - lol !

Kerry said...

Congratulations on your 400th post!
Your Yorkshire quilt is a work of art. Very creative.

gwen said...

Your Yorkshire quilt reminds me exactly of the places we visited when we spent 2 holidays there. The industrial towns (where I had a go at all the factory outlets!) and the green parts (where we walked along a lot of public footpaths!).
Congratulations on your 400th post!
I made some strawberry jam last week, wouldn´t it fit perfectly your little quilt?!
Take care.

Sweet P said...

Congrats on your 400th post! Your Yorkshire quilt is stunning!

kwilta said...

Hi there Anne, do you remember, a group we are in, we had to send our anon. partners a christmas handmade gift and yes mine was from you.I immediately guessed it was from you. The most gorgeous tablerunner,but you gave the game away by showing your Yorkshire Quilt on the card you sent me. I adore the strawberry quilt and as I celebrate my birthday in June I would be elated enjoying both. Many hugs Irene.

Julie said...

Would love to win--please enter me in the drawing. That is very cute!! Thanks for visiting my blog--come again. julie

Ali Honey said...

That's a great achievement Anne - lots of words and lovely photos that I have enjoyed for some years now. I especially liked your sheep, perhaps cause I too grew up around them.

For me on the other side of the world seeing parts of the UK where my ancestors once resided is always enlightening. I know I will not get to see it all for myself so your eyes help me to get a feel for the place. Please continue to blog for us your readers delight.

Diane said...

Congratulations! I'd love to enter your drawing for the scrumptious strawberry quilt. We just sent our son off to England yesterday for a summer of studying Shakespeare.

Juliann in WA said...

Your Yorkshire quilt is wonderful and it is really fun to hear the story behind the quilt. I am glad that I found your blog - still sorry that we couldn't have more than a conversation on the telephone last summer.

Nancy in MT said...

Oh Anne, your Yorkshire quilt is stunning, so much meticulous detail, such a treasure with the stories behind each detail.

AmyB said...

Wow -- congratulations on reaching your 400th post! And compliments on seeing the merits of orange -- you must have just been ahead of your time ;)

Studio Christine said...

love the Yorkshire quilt....

happy 400, and please add me to your draw.

Carol E. said...

Oh, pick me! LOL... thanks for the kind offer. Whoever wins will be very lucky.

Narelle said...

Congratulations on reaching your 400th post. What a beautiful work of art and an enjoyable geography lesson.
Strawberries ... delicious.

jeanette said...

Congratulations!

Laila said...

Congrats with your 400 post. ;-)

Mad about Craft said...

Both the Oh! Bearded One and I were born and brought up in Sheffield and our kids were born there too. Although we now call Cheshire home I am very proud to be a 'Yorkshire lass'. Your quilt is lovely and shows the contrast between the north and south of the county well.

Congrats on 400!!!

lindsey said...

What a fantastic quilt! As Yorkshire has been my home for the past twenty plus years, I really appreciate all that you have put into it. I feel about Essex as you do about Yorkshire. Nothing beats the county of our childhood, does it?

I thoroughly enjoy your blog. BW from Leeds

Belém said...

Congratulations for your 400th post. I love the way you represented your county in that quilt. I appreciated very much the shape and color of the miners houses.
Maybe the 13th of june will be a lucky day for me. It will be holiday in Lisbon in celebration of Saint Antonio, our patron saint.

Fiesta said...

congratulations! I love the story and the quilt you made about it.

Chookyblue...... said...

congrats on 400 posts.........I will continue to read along on your blog journey.......

Tami said...

Congratulations on your 400th post!

Your Yorkshire quilt is gorgeous. I've never been there on my travels to the UK. But it reminds me of a trip to Ireland on the west coast. It was a bit of extreme rocky terrain with LOTS of sheep, not many people, and some mining. I'm not sure for what metal but I recall the area being beautiful in a rough way. :-)

YankeeQuilter said...

congrats on your 400th! I really loved the "tour" through Yorkshire. I think the sheep face looks great!

Emma said...

I love your Yorkshire quilt, Anne! The detail you've put into it is amazing, no wonder you won!

Yummy looking strawberries, too!

Suzie Sews said...

400 posts...wow wee!!!
Well you know what I think of Yorkshire, I adore it and that quilt just about sums it up perfectly, my the detail in the work is just stunning...As for the River Wharf, what can I say, we all have a place that brings peace and joy and sometimes tears a special place...well that river is mine, many memories of the children paddling in the water and I have a special (small) collection of beautiful pebbles from it in my garden that always make me smile, yes a special place indeed.
Thanks for the meories and to view your beautiful work.

Jeanne said...

Hi Anne,
Your Yorkshire quilt is wonderful -- very special! I didn't know you did 'art' quilts like that. It is certainly an heirloom piece for your children: so much of you went into it!
Happy 400th post! Hmm, those strawberries would look cute over here :)
Jeanne

McIrish Annie said...

congrat on 400! and thanks for sharing your quilt and the history behind it. We in the states ( at least for me )don't have a very good understanding of how things are organized over there.

Hope you pull my name on friday, the 13th. I could use some luck!!

jovaliquilts said...

Your Yorkshire quilt is truly amazing -- what a wonderful tribute to and memento of a place that is so dear to you.

Congratulations on 400 posts! On to the next 400!

katelnorth said...

well, i think the orange works in the Yorkshire quilt - what do people know :) My post count is in the 700's - can't decide whether to have a 2 yr anniversary giveaway (August) or 1000th post. or both!

Tracey in CT said...

Congratulations on the 400 posts!!
THe strawberry basket is fabulous.
I happen to love the orange in your Yorkshire Quilt, it makes that part of it look like sunset.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I just adore that quilt, Anne, it should be on display! The sheep especially yakes my fancy.
Good luck with the social event of the season-no tummy pains please! Tracey

Amanda said...

I've just come across your blog whilst hunting though the UK quilters on Quilting Bloggers. What a fortunate day to find it. Your Yorkshire quilt is superb. I don't know Yorkshire well but it really does sum up what it's like - a picture is worth a thousands words, and all that. What a pretty little strawberry quilt too. My version of Bonnie Hunter's Orange Crush is a Strawberry Crush, so here's hoping.

Hedgehog said...

Love the story behind this quilt - and reading your blog in general! Love those strawberries - can't wait to start making some jam! Hope you have another 400 posts!

Rose Marie said...

Congrats and I hope you pick me. Love your Yorkshire quilt and it was interesting to hear the history behind each item.

Suzie said...

Congratulations on your 400 post!
Thanks for sharing and telling interesting things! If it still not too late, please, sign me in!

Penny said...

Congratulations!

I loved your recollections of Yorkshire. A lot of my summer holidays were spent there (York itself and the dales). The quilt really gets the contrasts.

Penny said...

Congratulations!

I loved your recollections of Yorkshire. A lot of my summer holidays were spent there (York itself and the dales). The quilt really gets the contrasts.

Collectincat said...

I was just cruising blogs that are involvd with ALQS and made it in time to join your sweet giveaway. Loved all the details of your Yorkshire quilt. I'm a US New Englander, so know little about England's countryside except what I read in novels!! Enjoy learning the REAL life through the eyes of fellow quilters.

Lynda said...

Too late for the draw, but I had to comment on your Yorkshire quilt. I spent most of my childhood in Chesterfield (not a million miles from Yorkshire) so really enjoyed all the fabulous references on your quilt.