Sunday, December 27, 2015

Four Years with Charles Dickens

The Bicentennial of Charles Dickens' birth was in 2012 and I decided to make him a quilt which I have just finished hand quilting and binding!
I designed and hand embroidered blocks representing his novels. Some images are based on the original illustrations and some I designed. The book titles are in Dickens own handwriting as found on his manuscripts.
being quilted
Novels included are Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edward Drood, The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, Little Dorrit, and Bleak House.

The Inimitable himself appears over his signature. I used fusible appliqué and embellished him with thread work.

I made my first Hexie blocks for the borders. The fabrics are mostly reproduction or just look old, and the piecing is inspired by early 19th c British quilts. This was one of my design-as-you-go quilts. I had no plan when I started, so that will explain it's design weaknesses.
 

I may have finished the quilt sooner but life got in the way: my husband was assigned a new church in 2012 which meant a move, my husband retired in 2014 which meant a move. We retired to the house my folks bought in 1972. We remodeled the kitchen this summer and are still settling into our permanent, 'forever' home. (Which is half the size of the parsonages we lived in for 38 years!)

While designing the embroidery I reread several Dickens novels and read for the first time Little Dorrit and watched the BBC series Bleak House.

I was sorry I had not finished this one because it was the Bicentenary of Anthony Trollope's birth this year and I love his Barchester novels about the church and have watched The Pallisers BBC series many times. Sorry, Anthony, no quilt for you. Yet.

But he has to get in line. I have my Austen Family Album quilt waiting to be hand quilted next! Austen's bicentennial of her death is in 2017 and I may need that long to finish her quilt!