Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A quilt for Vivienne

A Story...
New fabric arrived at the Riley Blake Designs warehouse less than a week before Quilt Market.

Prairie Rose by Sue Daley for Riley Blake Designs 
The gals at Riley Blake (Cindy-Owner and Jina-Design Director) knew that I loved this new line and wanted to make a sample quilt.  The bulk of the fabric arrived on a Tuesday, and Cindy met me at the bottom of the canyon for a fabric handoff.  (I live on the other side of the mountain range). 
 
I finished putting the quilt together by Wednesday afternoon which left a day and a half to quilt and bind it in time for Market.  The quilting (and my packing) was done by 2am Friday morning, then I slapped the binding on and went to bed;  got up a couple of hours later and caught the plane bound for Market.  About five minutes from landing in Houston, I tied the last knot to finish hand-stitching.  Whew!

with Sue Daley and her Prairie Rose display in the Riley Blake Designs booth
I thought of calling the quilt "Bound Over Houston" but changed my mind when I met the adorable fabric designer, Sue Daley, and learned that she is from Australia.

That brought to mind my husband's grandmother Vivienne, also from Australia, who wrote a little inspirational note that I found in an old recipe box of hers, which I keep on the wall of my quilt studio:
     "I champion the right to be myself.
Dare to be different and set my own pattern.
Live my life and follow my own star."
~Vivienne
 
Vivienne's ancestors were Huguenots who had immigrated from France to South Africa to escape religious persecution in the 1700s.  During political unrest in the early 1900s, Her father had sent Vivienne and her mother to Australia, where she grew up and happened to meet a handsome young man, J. Cash Smith, from Smithfield, Utah, USA.  After he returned home, Cash asked his father, "What do you do when you find yourself in love with someone on the other side of the world?"  His father told him, "If I had to swim the oceans myself, I'd go back for her."  So he did.  Go back to Autralia, that is, where they were married, then returned to Utah with his new bride. 
 
A city girl, Vivienne brought elegance to the little Utah town.  A beautiful seamstress, she sewed lovely, flowy dresses (it was the 1920's), had excellent manners and was very formal and proper, for a dairy farmer's wife.   At age 65, she began painting, mostly roses, and pastoral scenes that surrounded their home.  She definitely followed her own star.  
 


All I have learned about Vivienne and her life seems to suit this quilt.  The "Prairie Rose" fabric itsself, and the fact that it was designed by an Australian, speaks of her immigration halfway around the world.  It speaks of her love of flowers, and even includes some stars.  Her little saying seems a perfect fit for her life and to remember her with this quilt.
 
Now, what to call it? Vivienne's Stars? Vivienne's Roses? Vivienne's Quilt? A Warm Hug from Grandma Vivienne? Vivienne's Travels? Vivienne's Journey? just "Vivienne?" I need to decide a name so I can finish the pattern to send along with the quilt to Sue Daley for her booth at the upcoming Australian Quilt Market in Melbourne. In a way, it will be like saying "Bon Voyage" to Grandma Vivienne.

http://gifgifs.com

23 comments:

  1. It's just delightful. Grandma Vivienne would be so pleased, and what a beautiful design to showcase such lovely fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is really beautiful. Any of your names are perfect; I favor Vivienne's Journey.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a beautiful quilt. Your Grandma would feel honored mto have this named after her. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think just Vivienne is a wonderful name. It brings to mind those golden old days of romance. People just don't use that name for their kids often anymore, but in the old days the did. Ahh the old days of romance.. such a smile it brings!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. As I was reading your post I thought the name of the quilt was "A Quilt for Vivienne" and it kind of caught me off guard when you started suggesting the other names. Anyway - I love the quilt and the especially the story that goes along with it. It would be lovely if you documented the story of Vivienne on the label so the story and quilt will always stay together.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a beautiful and touching story, I'd love to see a photo or two! Vivienne's roses is pretty, it brought to mind "La Vie en Rose" the famous French song. However I think the title needs to include "star" somewhere, bc of her quote. So if it were up to me I'd call it "Vivienne's star roses". Thanks for sharing your story, so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think the simple "Vivienne" would be perfect. It would cover the rest of the story. She sounds like and amazing woman.

    ReplyDelete
  8. my goodness Deon, what a lovely thought, and the note makes it ever so special. I think the title is perfect (insert on the history, came to n.z. as a baby, mother died when she was 12, moved to auastralia at 16, left with a seamstress as an apprentice, met dad in tasmania while on vacation....I personally don't think it necessary to change anything because the message is the same, so heartfelt and warm. you certainly got the last part right, my hat has awlays been off to her, even when I was TRYING HER PATIENCE for my lack of PROPER manners (as you can well emagine) lovely, lovely. the whole item will be on antiques roadshow someday as an heirloom and sell for 7000.00 because of the documentation. got a great picture for you of her. xo kay dawn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your note Aunt Kay, that clears up the history bit. I'd love to include a picture of her in the pattern.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful! I'd call it "Viva la Vivienne!" (said with a proper French accent, of course!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for the marvelous reminder today of my lovely grandma who I love and miss. I don't know how quilt names go, but I actually really love "A quilt for Vivienne". I loved the story. Do you remember the beautiful flower garden she grew? She had some lovely roses. Many times I saw grandpa Cash go out early in the morning to harvest vegetables and come back with a branch of roses for Grandma to put in a vase on the table. As a little girl I was quite touched that he was the one that snipped the rose bud and brought it in the house with his large, rough, calloused hands.
    I recently learned that Vivienne's parents left South Africa after the Boer War because the country was so war torn and the economy so devastated. Her mother and brothers had been kept in a concentration camp during the war. It was thought that her mother died at an early age from health complications contracted in the camp.
    ~D'Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this D'Anne. I recall hearing that Vivienne is the one who came up with the elegant spelling for your name. I've always loved it!

      Delete
  11. Loved the story of your Grandma.. love the quilt and the fabric.. I would go with just Vivienne...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Deonn, what a lovely post, what a lovely quilt. I don't know if you remember, but you copied that little paper for me once when I was in your quilting studio. It hangs on a magnetic board in my sewing room, above the treadmill that is covered in quilts needing a binding! lol. Anyway, I am so happy to hear the story behind Vivienne, and that sweet note that I see often. I don't want to sound too cheesy, but that note has reminded me a few different times to just be me and to like what I like, because that is what I like. So super super sweet.
    The quilt is divine, and I can just see you binding it all the way across the country! lol.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It`s just beautiful!.My favorite name is Vivienne`s Journeys.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I spent my afternoon doing a little blog hopping, and I landed here. It was meant to be. I couldn't go past the title of your post. This quilt is memorable -- the fabrics and the design, and the story of Vivienne is a wonderful tale. She sounds like a vivacious, strong, unique lady. I have a great-aunt with a similar personality and an adventuresome life, and stories about her always leave me smiling.
    How lucky we are to have these interesting ladies in our families.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a lovely story and quilt. Such a journey Vivienne had and in her life it sounds like she "shone" threw thick and thin. And that is why I think an appropriate name for the quilt would be "Vivienne's Star". Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I really like "A Quilt for Vivenne" as in rememberance but I had fun coming up with a few others too. Vivenne’s Voyage - Vivenne’s Crossing - Vivenne’s Splendor - Vivenne’s Essence - Vivacious Vivenne - Vivenne’s Vivacity - Vivenne’s Verve.
    Grandma Vivenne brought grace and beauty to our lives. My walls are full of art because she instilled the love of it, along with poetry, beautiful dried flowers from her garden, the elegance of afternoon tea, scrumptious rasberry jam.
    When I was young and she told me of her travels with Grandpa Cash she told me to always remember, "When in Rome, do as the Romans". Meaning.... be gracious, watch and learn the customs, appreciate differences, do not expect everyone to be just like you. That always stuck with me. She lived those words.
    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine, thank you for sharing these terrific names for the quilt! You definitely share many of Vivienne's traits!

      Delete
  17. I loved the saying and particularly "and set my own pattern". You could name the quilt "Vivienne's Pattern".

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like vivienne's dream or Roses or Viviennes roses AND dreams.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I personally love the title you have. A Quilt for Vivienne. It's like saying Here's to you, Australian bride and the life you built on the dairy farm in Utah. (I'm sure Dad, in sencerity and hopefulness, built up the beauty of this farm a bit higher than it was. Quite sure! It got better when they moved to their own place.) So, Here's to you Vivienne, A quilt in your name.
    Mickie

    ReplyDelete

So glad you stopped by for a visit!

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...