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A touch of gold

October 30, 2017

I happened to have bought a Victorian crazy quilt at just the same time as Lisa’s prompt was issued. Crazy quilts became a fad following the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. One of the most popular exhibits was the Japanese pavilion with its fascinating crazed ceramics and asymmetrical art.

Well-off women used scraps of velvet, silk and brocade joined together with intricate embroidery stitches. Most quilts were lap size, not full-size bed quilts. Mine is typical that way (48 x 51”), and typical too in that many of the silk pieces are badly disintegrated. Victorian silk makers often used metallic threads in silks to make skirts rustle and shine. They haven’t stood the test of time.

But even with shredded patches, it is impossible not to want to touch these quilts. Simply impossible!

The velvets alone invited your fingers to roam.



I began to think – what could I do with this idea? First, I looked for velvet, and couldn’t find any, aside from red and black in my local JoAnn Fabrics (not my colors!).  [Does anyone know where to buy velvet?]

As I was walking one day, pondering these questions, I noticed our “lower meadow” as the sun hit the goldenrod. Ah! The other meanings of “touch” came to me: “amount, trace, bit, suggestion, suspicion, hint, scintilla, tinge, tincture, whiff, whisper, overtone, undertone, nuance, murmur, colouring, breath, vein.”

A touch of goldenrod.  Kissed by the sun. A hint of autumn, a gilded overtone.

I had to make this landscape. Even though I don’t have the velvet I wanted, I am using some other, special fabrics with tactile properties.


Thank you, Lisa for a great prompt!


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