Scottish Mystery Clue 3… Thistle Block

As clue 3 of the Scottish Mystery is winging it’s way to your home, I thought I’d write about the Thistle and why I chose that particular block for our quilt.

Many of you know that the thistle is part of the national emblem of Scotland.  They grow everywhere.  I think it is interesting that the thistle has sharp points that can injure you if you aren’t careful.  Scotland’s history sees struggles with the English as being “thorny” issues, too.

One of my favorite Scottish scenes featuring garden thistles.

The tea that my friend, Erica, and I attended at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh had a thistle for decoration on the table.

Scottish Thistle

While in Edinburgh, we visited Saint Giles Kirk (church) which houses the room that the “Order of the Thistle” meets once a year.  The order began by James VII of Scotland (James II of England) in 1687.  It was to honor chivalry and deeds of honor.

Doorway to the room that the order meets has a stone sculpture. Notice the shield the knight is holding which has the emblem of the thistle.

The room is smallish but has seats all around it for the Knights and Ladies to sit once a year when Queen Elizabeth resides.  Hand carved into the wood around each seat were several thistles.  How do you become a nominee today for the “Order of the Thistle”?  You must do good works or contribute to charitable causes.  Once inducted, you are a member for life.  (Only 16 members plus the Queen.)

Part of the room where the “Order of the Thistle” meets.

I read all the “Outlander” books and of course looked for anything “Fraser” while in Scotland.  Here is what I found:

Fraser family crest.

It features…  You guessed it, a Thistle!

Onto our Thistle block…  When I made the stamps for this block, I couldn’t find a traditional name.  Maggie Malone calls it “folded star”.   I renamed it Thistle.  I think it fits, don’t you?  A lovely center and very pointy points around it.  And it gives a nice “quilted tribute” to Scotland.

I used my “plaid” for the center.

My finished thistle block.

Have fun this month making your Thistle blocks and think about Scotland and it’s history as you stitch.

One a different note, my Valdani Collection is finally back in stock!  You can order it here.  It comes with a free package of #24 Chenille needles.  I hand chose all the colors for you.  If you love embroidery, you will love this collection.

Until next time,

Happy “Scottish” stitching!






Scottish Mystery Clue 3… Thistle Block — 1 Comment

  1. Working on the poke berry baskets and the new thistle block in class. Is there any pics or posts of the use of these blocks to give a variety of settings for these blocks?
    Some are sashing the poke berry block and then adding other elements. Others would like to combine the two blocks into a small wall hanging.
    Thank you.

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