Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today we celebrate the Irish by wearing green...or green accessories:
Why green?  Well not because of Ireland's lush landscape.  Apparently leprechauns can't see green.  If you are not wearing green, they will see you and pinch you!

"The Wearing of the Green" (a folk song going back to about 1798) was so important to the Irish as symbolic of their identity that the English banned wearing the color or shamrocks.  

I thought it would be fun today to feature some green textiles.  Here are some vintage pieces:

All the pieces above are quilt tops.  This little puppy piece is a coverlet:

This quilt I chose to include because it has blue in it.  Some people have speculated that blue was the original color of St. Patrick's Day.  The color changed apparently in about the 17th century.  The double Irish chain I featured earlier in the week has colors more in the keeping of the Irish flag--although more muted in pastels:

I've made a number of pieces that feature green including this aquarium quilt which was donated to Camp Erin years ago:
Last year I gifted this scrap quilt to my stepson's girlfriend.  Green is her favorite color:

My favorite green piece is more crudely made.  I completed this many many years ago for a guild challenge.  At the time I attempted to learn how to copy photos onto fabric and how to machine applique.  It's a pretty old piece but I still like it.  It's a long piece comprised of 3 blocks.  

The piece focused on my Irish grandparents:

I photocopied not only images of my grandparents and Nana Elsie's handwritten recipes but I also copied some of her embroidered pieces:
That's my Nana and Pop with my Dad between them.

Nana Elsie at age 16.

The other day I said I've never made an Irish chain quilt but I did incorporate the single version onto this teapot which rests on an image of another of her embroideries.

Back then, the fabric you bought to put into a photocopier was thick and felt like vinyl.  It was a bugger to manipulate with the sewing machine.  

Today it is overcast.  It reminds me of one of the trips my parents took to Ireland.  They were on some kind of bus trip with their church and for 12 days straight the weather was sunny and clear.  It was my mother's first trip to Ireland and she asked the bus driver if this weather was normal.

"Lady," the busdriver replied,  "This weather isn't normal, it's a miracle!"

Whatever weather you are having today, I hope you have a festive day full of small miracles!  Happy St. Paddy's Day!


  1. I can see a resemblance between you and your Nana Elsie. It must be the Irish eyes. Last night's Hercule Poirot mystery had a giveaway when when one of the characters claimed to be Irish and from Boston, but wasn't able to say what she had done on prior March 17. She, of course, was the murderer. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  2. No Irish in our family -- Dad's was Welsh, Mom's Scottish. Alex is British-Hispanic. But I still wear green on 3/17.