Ronsard’s garden

September 15, 2009

A French poet from the XVI century, Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)  whose poem “Mignonne, allons voir si la rose…” inspired me for my first “watercolour” quilt.

Ronsard's gardenIt is  the first quilt that I dared sending to an exhibition in France. It is also a quilt I sewed for my only and favourite sister, Françoise. So much fun to sew, first choosing amongst the many flowery fabrics in my boxes. Picking red, white and pink roses and sewing them in the garden of my imagination. Would dear Pierre have liked it ? Maybe. I hope so because his poetry was very much part of my inspiration.

Ronsard's garden (detail)Here is  a detail of the quilt and of some materials I used to bring Ronsard’s garden to life. The greatest part of the work in creating an impressionist quilt is the choice of fabrics (with green background preferably) and the exact cut to give the illusion of a flower garden. The technique itself is relatively easy. Squares of 5x5cm sewed  diagonally. I learnt about this new art of quilting in the very good book by Gai Perry “Impressionist Quilts” (C&T Publishing). Since then I sewed other impressionist quilts, always with the same pleasure.

Some medieval poetry for you now…  “Mignonne, allons voir si la rose…”

The first strophe of Pierre de Ronsard’s famous poem dedicated to the lady of his heart. It is a poem about time that passes. About youth that goes by. And about the present moment that should be lived fully.

A Cassandre

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au soleil
A point perdu cette vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée
Et son teint au vôtre pareil…

“Sweet and fair Lady, Let us go and see if the rose, Which this morning had blown her purple dress to the sun, Has not lost this evening the pleats of her dress As well as her rosiness…”

6 Responses to “Ronsard’s garden”

  1. giiid said

    I have had in mind to write a comment about this quilt for some time now. The idea about letting it illustrate a poem is very nice, and it must have been a fun challenge to make it look like a flower garden. It looks beautiful. Do you sew it by hand or machine?

  2. Thanks for your compliment, giiid, much appreciated. A quilt is composed of 3 parts; the top, the inside lining and the back. I sew the pieces of the top with the machine. Then once the top is ready, I sew the 3 layers together (quilting) by hand. On this quilt I sewed along the squares horizontally and vertically.

  3. suehenryphotography said

    While browsing your very nice blog, I stopped and paused here. I enjoyed seeing and reading about your vision for your quilt. Additionally I am enjoying your lovely photographs.

    Thank you for your visit and comment to my blog.

    I’m going to share a link with you featuring a favorite place to visit in Paducah, KY….where I live. I hope you will find it interesting!

  4. Lovely to read you, Sue. Thanks for your visit and also for the link to this superb quilt museum in Paducah ! I had heard about it and I so look forward to visiting this fascinating place. Very inspiring indeed. Merci mille fois.

  5. sartenada said

    This is extremely beautiful. I have seen so many quilts in my life, that I can say, this a Master Piece.

    Here You have some examples of our quilting:

  6. I feel honoured by your compliments, sartenada 🙂 this is a technique called “watercolour”. I saw some of it in the pictures of the Finnish exhibition you posted. A superb exhibition I wish I could have visited too.

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