Quilt Notes: BROKEN SPIDER WEB (also called STRING QUILT) was first titled by this name in print (August 3, 1935) by Nancy Cabot, whose comments in the Chicago Tribune are far more nostalgic and even poetic than her usual detachment would allow. Interestingly, a famous broken spider web in ancient Japanese poetry also traditionally evoked this same image which Cabot shares so delicately, she says:
"BROKEN SPIDER WEB definitely recalls the out of doors, early morning walks across dew laden grass, or deserted houses said to be haunted. The material used to create this illusion of broken webs is a fine red and white hair line striped gingham. The white in the center of the patch is a concession to the quilt maker, who is allowed to display her artistic ability or ingenuity. Fifteen pieced and plain blocks, measuring 15 inches square, are used for the entire coverlet. The border of the quilt is a narrow 3 inch band of solid red."
The waka poem by a famous medieval poet in Old Japan, a beautiful court princess named Shikishi when she was young, but here writing in her old age. (Anything dew-laden in Japanese poetry is thought to "carry an overtone of tearfulness.")
Like the evening dew
Related nature inspired quilt designs at this site include:
soaking a spider's web,
I only wonder
will I last?
(IN) NARCISSUS MOTIF
TOAD IN A PUDDLE
BUTTERFLY IN CIRCLES