Flax and Rue
Finally- the last quilt for Fifteen by Fifteen quilt challenge group this year’s challenge. That’s Flora and/or fauna of the chosen country. My chosen country was my own Lithuania. I decided to go with flora only, and represent two most popular and most meaningful plants for our culture: linas and rūta (flax and rue).
About the importance of flax in our life and culture I already wrote in my first blog for this theme Vytis. Up to the mid-20th century, Lithuanian people had sung songs on every occasion, including the seeding and cutting of flax and weaving of linen. Linen also appears in other folk songs, such as the ones about war or marriage. In the marriage songs the most popular plant is RŪTA (Rue). It is the most frequently referenced herb in Lithuanian folk songs, as an attribute of young girls, associated with virginity and maidenhood. It was common in traditional Lithuanian weddings for only virgins to wear a rue at their wedding, a symbol to show their purity. Rue is considered a national herb of Lithuania.
In this quilt I used scraps from my collection of handwoven towels and tablecloths. I also used a piece of commercially made linen lace where bleached and unbleached threads were combined.
I crocheted the frame for an embroidered patch using unbleached linen yarn. I have to admit that throughout my life I crocheted many doilies, skirts, blouses and even dresses using unbleached linen yarn.
On a small patch of unbleached linen I embroidered a flower of linas and a spray of rūta:
I didn’t stitch this quilt too much because I didn’t want to distort the weaving patterns:
My entire collection of this year’s challenge:
These quilts don’t look like what I usually make, but I have to admit that making them was a pleasure. I felt getting closer to my roots, to my heritage, and linen was singing to my soul.
Claire passmore says
Such beautiful and gentle work celebrating the natural beauty of linen.
Nancy A Hudson says
Maryte, this is just gorgeous!!!
Kris Arlauskas-Hartley says
I’m in love with your Vytis block. It’s beautiful in color and symbolizes Lithuania to me. Ed loves it so much he has a tat of one on his arm.
Garry Jurgelait says
Beautiful link between nature and Lithuanian culture. Happy Christmas Maryte to you and your family from dear old Aussie land where all is well, Garry