Friday, 1 November 2019

Dreaming in rhyme

Well, it is time for another reveal in this wonderfully inspiring group.

I ended up really struggling with this quarter's theme "Dreams". From the outset I intended to make a Dreamcatcher and spent most of the quarter trying to work out how to achieve the transparent, gossamer thin look that I wanted and still make a quilt.

With one week to go before the deadline I eventually decided that I needed to have a re-think!


Thoughts of dreams led me to thinking of sleeping and the rhymes and rituals associated with getting a child to sleep. When our grandson visits he loves to climb into our bed in the morning and go through a book of nursery rhymes with us. One of the sections of the book is bedtime rhymes and that was my initial inspiration for this challenge.

When I came across a lovely black and white illustration for the old poem of Wynken, Blynken and Nod I knew that I had my project for the challenge!

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe –
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.


I had some lovely, shimmery voile in my stash so backed it with fusible web to create my herring fish. 


The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish –
Never afeard are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.




 I used varying shades of grey thread for the quilting, the lightest grey being used to represent the foam on the tops of the ruffling waves. The shoe boat is appliqued black felt and the sail is an appliqued scrap of dyed habotai silk that I bought ages ago for an embroidery project that never happened!
 
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam –
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea –
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.


Wynken, Blynken and Nod were my first ever attempt at stumpwork figures and I definitely thought halfway through that maybe starting with such small figures probably wasn't my brightest idea :) When I came to attach the three of them to the quilt I did consider ditching them altogether and finding another way of representing Wynken, Blynken and Nod but I decided just to go with it in the end. They are definitely not the most proficient stumpwork figures you will ever see but for a first attempt I can convince myself they are not too bad!


Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three: –
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The poem was written by Eugene Field, an American poet and journalist and has the alternative title of a Dutch Lullaby which might explain the spelling and the wooden shoe connection.

As ever the Endeavourer's Challenges really stretch my creativity, and open up lots of exciting opportunities to try out new techniques, and this one has been no exception and I must again thank Janine and Catherine for inviting me to join this group.

I look forward to seeing all of the undoubtedly wonderful interpretations of this theme.

If you want to read more about the creation of this mini quilt head on over to  Celtic Thistle Stitches for more information.

18 comments:

  1. Fabulous Fiona. I love the poem and can see the Dutch connection. I really like the little figures too and think you did a great job. They look so tiny in the great big see trying to capture the stars!

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    1. Thanks Ruth, it is a lovely poem isn't it? As ever there are things that I would have spent more time on if I hadn't left it so late, but I suspect I will always think that no matter how much time I have :)

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  2. I love this, Fiona. I haven't heard that rhyme in years and I can't imagine a more beautiful way of illustrating it. I think your fishermen are perfect and I love the way you've used colour in this to illuminate the fishermen and fish in a path of the moonlight whilst surrounded by darkness. I also really like the textured effect of your stitching in the different greys showing the moonlit waves on the sea of dew :)

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    1. Thanks Janine, the black and white illustration of the poem really sang to me so I was delighted to be able to pay a sort of homage to it in this little quilt.

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  3. Wow! Like Janine, I love the textured effect of your stitching, and the way you've used different materials is really clever. It's a lovely, magical scene!

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    1. Thanks Catherine, as soon as I came across the illustration I knew that I had found my inspiration. I wasn't sure how quilting over the voile would turn out but fortunately it worked out exactly as I had hoped that it would :)

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  4. I learn so much from this group, and I always enjoy your creativity, Fiona. Your little figures look great to me, and I enjoyed reading the poem throughout your post. A really fun interpretation!

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    1. Thanks Wendy, it is fun seeing all the different interpretations of each theme isn't it? I always find something in each that is so perfect for the theme but I would never have thought of in a million years :)

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  5. This piece has so much character and met the challenge perfectly. I can't stop looking at every part of it. I am in wonder of your talent and amazed that you created it in such a short time. Once you got started, I bet you had fun.
    xx, Carol

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    1. The hard part for me in these challenges is coming up with an idea for the piece. Once I have that the making usually just falls into place so you are absolutely right Carol, once I started I thoroughly enjoyed making every element of this :)

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  6. What a marvellous interpretation, Fiona!
    I love your stumpwork figures, they’re really cute, and those fish ..... in fact everything about it, oh, and especially your quilting.
    Well done!
    Hugs,
    Barbara xx

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    1. Thanks Barbara, the poem is full of such rich imagery it made an easy template to work from.

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  7. Truly a joy to view. I commented on your blog, too.

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    1. Thanks Nancy, I always enjoy working on these challenges but only when I have worked out what to make, the process before that is not nearly so enjoyable :)

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  8. Oh gosh, Fiona! Wow! Isn't it odd how we are critical of our own work but then others are just astonished? To create this well-thought-out beauty in just a week... I remember this poem from childhood, reading it in a child's book of poetry. Your interpretation is very much like the fabulous illustrations I remember.

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    1. You are absolutely right Maureen it is so easy to be critical of your own work in a way that you would never think of with someone else's. I am glad to know that the quilt brought back fond memories for you that is a compliment indeed :)

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  9. What a creative way to depict the dream theme!

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    1. Thanks JQ, some themes conjure up an image to work towards straight away but this was not one of them :)

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