r ippon lea l BLOCK OF THE MONTH A Gardener’s Journal Welcome to our new quilt-a-long series designed exclusively for Today’s Quilter by the internationally- renowned quilter, Karen Styles. Get your fabrics lined up, it’s going to be a beauty... Quilt requirements Batting – 74in square Q Background fabric 1 – 2yds (used in months 1- 8) Background fabric 2 – 1¼yds (used in months 9-12) Background fabric 3 – ¾yd Pink floral – ¾yd Blue floral – ¾yd Four (4) pink variations from light, medium, dark – ½yd each Two (2) blue variations from light, medium – ½yd each Four (4) purple variations from light, medium, dark – ½yd each Two (2) brown variations from medium – ½yd each Border fabric – 2yds Binding fabric – ½yd Backing fabric – 4¼yds Q Fabrics used Karen has used assorted fabrics from her stash along with some select prints from Regency Romance by Christopher WilsonTate for Moda ( listed below). – Background fabric 1 (42341 11) – Background fabric 2 (42341 13) – Pink floral (42341 15) – Blue floral (42341 14) – Border fabric (42348 18) – Binding fabric (42348 18) Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Notes Karen has machine- pieced her quilt, but hand- piecing templates will also be provided. Q Q Q T English heritage is strong in both my parents’ families, and I can track my ancestors back to 19thcentury England with each of these families migrating to Melbourne, Australia at different times during the 1800s to start their new lives far from home. Today, my quilting life is inspired by antique English quilts and their intricate designs, mostly Frame quilts from the mid 1800s. There is beauty in the fabrics and soft colours that the quilt makers of our past used. While researching my family tree I have also discovered there are strong ties to gardeners, painters, upholsterers, dressmakers, draftsmen and engineers – all of the key elements that help formed my love and art of quilting. I hope you enjoy my ‘Gardener’s Journal’ of blocks that will lead you to your own Rippon Lea! significance’. Although reduced in size today, the grounds originally included an ornamental lake, a Grand Shade House ( Fernery) that contained a collection of exotic plants gathered from all over the world, and a conservatory. There were also sweeping lawns, orchards and a large kitchen garden. My paternal great- grandfather, George William Bell (1860-1934) was one of the many gardeners who helped work on and maintain the original design of the Rippon Lea estate, until his death. The story goes that my grandfather, Peter William Bell (1902-1957), was born on the kitchen table within the gardener’s cottage on the estate. He lived on the estate until his marriage at the age of 23 to my grandmother, Dorothy May Selkrig (1902-1982) in 1926. Peter was a painter/decorator and Dorothy was a seamstress who worked for a Melbourne ballet dancer stitching her costumes and other finery. he Rippon Lea Estate is part of the National Trust of Australia and can be found in the suburb of Elsternwick, about 8km from the centre of Melbourne. The original 23- acre property was located in a ‘ fairly bleak’ and remote area on the outskirts of Melbourne, but, over the years, the property has been subdivided and is now much smaller than it was in its splendour. The grand house was built and developed between 1868 and 1903 and the magnificent gardens were brought to life during this time too. Sir Frederick Sargood and his wife Marion built the large twostorey, 15- room house and surrounded it with an extensive ‘pleasure garden’. The house was decorated with the latest modern, imported, English furnishings of the time and the gardens entertained the wealthy socialites of the day. The large group of estate gardeners created outstanding gardens of ‘ international Karen x 76 Join us at www.gathered.how/todaysquilter
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