Cornflower got its name from growing as a weed in cereal fields in Medieval Europe. That would have been so pretty, don’t you think?
When Queen Louise of Prussia was fleeing Napoleon's army, she hid in a field with her children, and made wreaths of the flowers with them to keep them quiet. Stories like this, and the flower’s connection to farming and bread, have made the Cornflower an important symbol for many countries and political groups in Central Europe.
Also known by the name, “Bachelor’s Button”, a young man in love could wear the flower on his collar. If it stayed blue, his love would be returned, if it faded fast, he was unlucky!
Cornflower is also used medicinally to soothe skin irritations and aid digestion.
After we moved interstate 2 years ago, and things were kind of falling apart, our old laser cutter kept breaking down and the kids kept getting sick and I was blowing deadlines left and right, I had a little moment where I realised I wasn’t letting myself feel any joy. It wasn’t like I thought I didn’t deserve it, but more like it wasn’t responsible. If things were falling apart and I had moments of happiness, maybe it would communicate to the universe that things weren’t so bad, that my desperate prayers for relief wouldn’t seem so urgent anymore. Things were hard, and it was my job to worry and fret so that everyone knew I was taking the whole thing seriously.
Even once you’ve had a little insight into your ridiculous critic, it can be tricky to silence it overnight, but this quilt quickly became my quiet, protective cornfield, and I took solace in the beauty and joy and silence of these beautiful flowers. I allowed each step from choosing the fabrics (grey/blue in the middle, medium volume scrappy petals, high volume squares) to cutting from quick strips, and stitching them together on holidays at my parents’ house to be tuned in and ok. The stress of life had crept in and discoloured almost everything, but this quilt could be my hiding place. With these blocks I could rest, I could enjoy the buzz of happiness from scrappy colours together, I could forget about school pick up and dishes and emails and broken down things, and I could make something lovely.
I think its this reason that Cornflower is my favourite quilt in The Seedling Quilts. I love the traditional Arabic tiling inspiration - those old connections are always meaningful to me. I love the rich teal and aqua solids with the sparkly scrappy look. I loved paying attention to value so that even in a scrappy quilt, I could still have strongly defined lines.
Cornflower is the 8 quilt in The Seedling Quilts. You can order the kit and book in my shop. Or the Amazon listing for the book is here.