Mary Walmsley

Sower of the Word - Signature Quiltlet


            After serendipitously finding a block of wood into which were carved her initials, Walmsley wanted to embroider the pattern. What started out as a theme and variations on the initials M W evolved into a unique display of her knowledge and love of the Bible
She began by embellishing the original florid “M W” boldly at the center of the piece, using white threads against a dark background, as though it were a photographic negative to be used for printing a positive picture. Surrounding the center M W she stitched a variation of the pattern as though it were on a checkerboard, counting every thread and proving the evenness of the weave of the fabric. Another variation is seen on each of the four sides  with the M W in a continuum, MWMWMWMW, done in shadow work technique on handkerchief linen.
            The four corners are Calm, Psalm, Palm, and Alms “because my name is Walmsley!”

            Each of the four outer panels is divided into 5 segments, each portion representing one century. By following them clockwise around the piece the outer panels form a time-line, four 500-year panels being equal to 2,000 years. Along the inner edge of the time-line Walmsley indicated the books of the Bible, coded by color and type of stitch and placed according to historic time. She then embroidered a star touching an M or W for each of 48 women in the Old Testament whose life has touched Mary Walmsley.