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…”