Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Flower Fairies RR Starts

I have always been enamored with the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. About three years ago I bought a book (published in 1996) that was a compilation of all her books originally published in the 1920's and 1930's. And after seeing one of the members of Crazy Quilting International use a Flower Fairy print in one of her blocks, I knew I had to do Flower Fairies blocks - and a round robin was born.

There are six of us participating in this round robin, and technically it's a "DYB" or "do your block". That means that each of us pieces six 6" blocks and send them around. When a package gets to you, you embellish one complete block then send them all on to the next person, who does the same. Eventually they return home to the owner, and five of six blocks are completed - the block owner gets to complete the final one.

Here are my "naked" blocks:

I decided I would eventually frame or finish each block separately so that I could move them around at will. I plan to do at least a half dozen more on my own.

This first block is The Apple Blossoms Fairies. I couldn't resist these two cute fairies sitting on the flowering branch of an apple tree. Did you know that Cicely Mary Barker modeled her fairies on actual children? The models were students in her sister's nursery school.

This block is the Chicory Fairy block. I wanted to do a block in most every pastel color, even blue (which is not one of my favorite colors, LOL). For each of my blocks, I decided to keep the palette not only pastel, but monochrome (primarily). In other
I took my cues from the colors of the fairies.

This is my favorite flower fairy - The Tansy Fairy. See her sitting there, diligently stitching away? She's sewing tansy "buttons" on a fairy coat! In the book that accompanies our round robin blocks as they move from stitcher to stitcher, I added the poem that goes with each fairy.

This is The Lilac Fairy. I had a bit of trouble piecing this one because the brocade was heavy and that was
supposed to be a curve. Hopefully the person who stitches on this will cover up that seam with some nice stitching or trim! CQ is so forgiving that way, isn't it??

The Yarrow Fairy. I think this painting (these were all originally done as oil paintings) is so beautiful. Once Cicely Mark Barker finished her paintings, she would compose a poem to go with each one. Paintings and poems were published in grouping
s, such as "Flower Fairies of the Spring" or "Flower Fairies of the Wayside".

And finally, The Willow Fairy. I love greens, and she is so lovely, dipping her toe into the stream in some willowy glade. Mary Cicely Barker made (sewed) all the costumes for the children as they modeled for her. The wings were made from twigs and gauze. She was so talented - sewing, writing, painting!

I think it will be fun to see other other women's blocks as they arrive for me to stitch on. Of course, I'll share pictures! In the meantime, I've got to narrow down the remaining Flower Fairies to another half dozen. There are over 130 to choose from!



  1. I love these pastel colors Cathy! These are going to be so beautiful! Can't wait to see what everyone adds to them.

  2. I too love the pastel look you have decided on. What a spectacular hanging they will make. You have such a great group of women in your rrs that I can hardly wait and see what they do.

    I am one of those who gets paralyzed when I have to work on someone elses block. I can hardly think what to do on my own sometime.



  3. These are going to be BEAUTIFUL!!! What fun!

  4. O.M.G. Cathy.... you are such a busy girl! I can't believe how many of these RRs you joing.... AND complete! I love faeries! I have several of Cicely's books, even a flower press, LOL! I absolutely cannot wait to see your postings regarding this, I know you will post the ones that come to you too (hint hint).... too exciting! Hugs.

  5. Cathy
    I popped in to have a look at your blog oh my I can see some great fun coming up in the fairies RR your naked blocks are beautiful as is your garden and your bag is so beautiful
    I can hardly wait to see how the girls decorate your nekkid fairie blocks
    love n hugs bear xooxoxo

  6. Those fairie blocks are great! I love the colorways you chose for each one. Fairies present such whimsical possibilities!

  7. My sister used to LOVE those books.
    What a great idea for a round robin. These will be so beautiful when they come home to you...

  8. These are too cute! I've been wanting to do a CMB cq for some time. Have you seen the new Michael Miller fabrics with all the Flower Fairies??? I'll be doing an autumn one soon. Can't wait to see how you finish!



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