The Empress’s New Umbrella

Happy Beltane, May Day or what you will!

Late Spring/early Summer is my favourite time of year and for many years, I’ve had it in mind to make a sunny May Day quilt bursting with flowers and, of course, a May Pole full of ribbons and dancing children…

But this is not that year!

Today is an Endeavourers’ Reveal Day and our theme this quarter was ‘Raindrops keep falling on my head’. I’m sure I’ll be bowled over, as always, by the innovation and creativity of the other group members’ responses but I found it the hardest theme to do anything interesting with so I settled for a very literal illustration of the theme.

If you don’t like stories, please skip the following section :)

***

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of the Emperor’s New clothes.

My quilt shows an Empress, who fell victim to those self-same fraudsters. Once they had spent all the Emperor’s gold on high living, they travelled far over the seas until they reached her kingdom. They arrived during the sunny season, which, as they said, is the best time to acquire an umbrella because once the rains start it’s too late, and they set themselves up as makers of the finest umbrella covers money could buy, so fine indeed, that foolish people couldn’t see them all.

They took a common frame from the market and spent many days weaving and stitching. And, naturally, no one wished to appear foolish so everyone who saw them marvelled at their exquisite workmanship and wondered at the fine detail and the beautiful sheen of the fabric.

And, naturally, when they were done, the Empress presented them with an unseemly quantity of gold and many mules to carry it and the umbrella makers found they had an urgent appointment on the other side of the world and took their leave with more haste than you might expect of such respectable artisans and such laden down beasts.

And at last the winds turned and the rains came and the court and commoners alike gathered on the hill to look at and marvel on the wondrous umbrella. Suddenly, their own umbrellas seemed ugly and cumbersome and the foolish people wished for an umbrella like the Empress’s, which would keep them dry even if, secretly, they couldn’t see the beautiful cover themselves.

So there were, the secretly foolish people, standing in the rain, sad but dry under their shamefully ugly, cumbersome umbrellas and wearing their shamefully ugly, cumbersome rain coats. And there was the Empress under her wondrous umbrella and wearing a wondrous ballgown.

And then a very strange thing happened.

For all the world, it looked as if the raindrops were falling right through the wondrous umbrella frame onto the Empress’s head.

More than one of the foolish people rubbed their eyes in amazement. It really looked, to them, as if the Empress was getting soaked right through.

They began to shuffle and shift about uncomfortably.

And, suddenly, the littlest child called out, “The Empress’s umbrella has no cover!”

Her parents were mortified and tried to hush her but soon a murmur was buzzing among the crowd, “What did the child say?”

“Really?”

Can’t you see it?”

Can you see it?”

“The child’s right!”

“Yes. The child’s right!”

All at once, everyone who had been afraid of looking foolish realised that that very fear had led to them being very foolish indeed.

And the Empress, who saw that she had been the person most afraid of looking foolish and had behaved the most foolishly of all, decreed that the foolishness must end straightaway.

And she hung the umbrella frame over the palace gate as a reminder to everyone in the kingdom that worrying about what other people think is the surest way to make fools of us all.

***

This quilt is not as textured as my last one but I did include felt, which was a first for me and was surprisingly easy to applique. I also used some upcycled needlecord as well as scraps of quilting cotton and I added stitching to vary the texture. The raindrops are detached chain stitch and Empress’s umbrella frame is threaded running stitch. I found it quite a fun piece to make, though I always aspire to making something more arty and abstract one day!

I hope you will visit my fellow Endeavourers and see what they have made for this challenge :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Wool on Sundays – 159 (Ellen and the Star Dog)

ELLEN AND THE STAR DOG

To wool or not to wool…that is a question I have been pondering. Really, the hey day of Wool on Sundays was long ago before I switched from blogger to WordPress and the place for knitters on the web is clearly Ravelry.

But I do find it a convenient way of separating yarn work from sewing on my blog and, more than that, I feel my badge is a sort of memorial to my beautiful small flock of sheep who are no longer with us. And with most of the internet going to great lengths to sell you something or just outright sell you to someone, I have come to the conclusion that maintaining a small, poorly attended linky party once a month is a harmless eccentricity.

So welcome to Rainbow Hare for the first Wool on Sundays of 2019 :)

Fortune favours those who keep their New Year’s resolutions. This is Ellen and Ellen has been getting up early every morning, rain or shine, and going out for a walk. Sometimes she feels sad to be walking always alone but once the sun rises and the birds start singing she says to herself, “This really is the nicest time of day to be out!” And she is determined not to break her resolution.

These days, she has to wrap up warm so she puts on her knitted hat and scarf, her crochet coat and, of course, her knitted, felt-soled boots because nothing, as we all know, is warmer than wool in cold weather.

Today Ellen found a little dog, who had fallen from the stars during the night. He was crying because he didn’t like walking by himself and he had got lost in the snow.

So Ellen is taking him home with her to care for him and, now she will have a companion on her morning walks. If you get up very early, you might meet them in the meadow by the stream or coming through the woods.

And if you look up at the sky on a clear night, you will see Sirius the dog star. He is the part of the constellation Canis Major and you’ll be sure not to miss him because he is the brightest star in the sky. You will see him twinkling and winking to the little Star Dog and you will know that Ellen is waving to him through the window and the little dog is wagging his tail :)

If you have any yarn themed posts, I’d love you to link up. The rules, as usual, are: 1). Posts must include some content – makes or musings or photos – related to knitting, crochet, felting, spinning or yarn. 2). Projects sewn from felt or wool fabric or stitchery using wool are also welcome but please don’t link posts that are exclusively about sewing, quilting and non-woollen fabrics. 3). Posts don’t have to be from the past week but please put a link to WOOL ON SUNDAYS in or at the bottom of any posts you link up. 4). MOST IMPORTANT visit anyone else who links. 

The next Wool on Sundays will be on Sunday March 3rd 2019.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare