Monday, August 31, 2015

The Meadery and Men-An-Tol

I've been working on The Meadery. I had a piece of cotton home decorator fabric that I planned on using for the centre medallion of the quilt.

Something about it wasn't working for me. First the grey background wasn't quite right for the honeycomb and the medallion was too "solid". By that I mean there was too much of one thing. As I was pondering what to do I recalled a megalith in Cornwall (the idea of this quilt is to reflect my Cornish heritage). The megalith is called Men-an-Tol which in the Cornish language means hole stone. You can read more this granite wonder about it here.

Many (many) years ago I visited Men-an-Tol with family members. They told me that in bygone days women would pass their children through the hole to prevent rickets. I was about to set off on a seven month back-packing trip with a friend so we decided to crawl through the hole ourselves. And guess what? Neither of us developed rickets! But I digress.

I thought that if I removed the middle of my medallion that the medallion would take on the appearance of the circular stone and it could represent Men-An-Tol in my quilt. Since the name of my quilt is The Meadery it seemed appropriate to reverse applique a bee skep in the middle.The next step is to trim away the outer fabric and applique the whole thing to a creamy background.

I continue to work on two large diamonds for this quilt and they will flank the medallion. Men-An-Tol has two upright stones and the diamonds will be a fine representation of those pillars.

Men-An-Tol also has a third stone that has fallen and is at the foot of one of the uprights. You can see it at the base of the upright stone on the right. So I've begun work on a third unit that will represent that fallen stone. There will be multiple rounds of hexagons but this is a start. And the bee is front and centre! My hope is that as I add the next rounds with darker fabrics that a pale cream wheel with spokes will appear.

I've been working on producing a pattern for my Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt. The block patterns are available free of charge on my blog but I am going to put them all together with detailed instructions for English paper piecing and a new and simplified method of putting the quilt top together. The pattern will be available on Craftsy. I was finally able to get a better pictures of the finished quilt top for the cover of my pattern.

Mind you I had some "help". Gump and Jinx decided it would be fun to get behind the quilt and wrestle! What is it with cats and quilt I ask you? It looks like the quilt has been caught by a breeze but in fact it is Gump's mighty tail that is holding up the quilt! Once the wrestling started the quilt fell down! Good think those cats are cute otherwise I would be clipping their tail feathers!

That's it for today. Until I post again, happy sewing!

Karen H


  1. You have lovely helpers. I enjoyed reading about your inspiration for the medallion quilt. Fabulous project!

  2. Love your idea about recreating the Men-An Tol--will be following to see how it comes out for sure. Hugs, Julierose P.S. Cute helpers you have there!!lol

  3. A good plan - that will take out the majority of the gray. Thanks for the history lesson with pictures. I always like to learn new things about far away places.

  4. The bees in the middle is nice. The panel is less gray. Hope you can give the quilt the impression of the stones. Groetjes, Dientje

  5. Great story regarding center medallion.. I was just looking at my value quilt trying to introduce borders but have not decided yet what to do. I see that your borders seem to be machine stitched and that at least helps me decide how to do it. I also though of hand appliqueing the border... Bunny

  6. I'm so happy to hear you were able to avoid rickets by going through that hole--lol! This will be another gorgeous project, for sure--I love the bees!

  7. I love the story behind this quilt. I learn so much, just watching as you work through your design decisions. I think the bees are the perfect touch. Cats seem to have an affinity for quilts. Maybe because they know love and comfort, when they see it.

  8. Your solution to the problem of that central panel is brilliant! Envy you your feline assistants- so cute!

  9. Interesting post Karen, wonderful project and tale about the Men-An-Toi.

  10. Inspired idea having the hole represented and obviously the value proposition quilt has cat approval lol

  11. Wow learned alot today as I read your post! Now I need to find out why that stone has a hole in it! It's amazing where we can find inspiration!

  12. Lovely, i like it .
    I stay in Cornwall this September and i visit the Men-an-tol Last week,
    Your Quilt Is lovely
    Kind regards Marika