Recently though, I spotted a set of fabric squares for sale which depicted scenes with Rupert bear in. Each of the nine squares was part of a sequential story. They were oh so cute. I was sold!
That square with the cute country cottage with its latticed windows and pink limewash exterior, surrounded by a cottage garden with picket fence, was undoubtedly my favourite. It was looking as if Rupert was my kind of bear!
I decided I wanted to know more about Rupert and so began a search for a Rupert annual. But I had no idea they are so collectable! A trip to Totnes yielded my first Rupert annual in Lesley's lovely shop, This 'n' That. Blow me if the next day at the car booty, I didn't find another. Published the year after my birth. Not that old then. Ahem.
In fact, Rupert bear was "born" in 1920, when he appeared as a comic strip character in the Daily Express newspaper. An annual has been produced every year since 1936, even during the War. Apparently, Rupert lives in the village of Nutwood and his adventures often encompass magical far away lands. Rupert is thought to be the epitomy of traditional public school values. Most of the characters in Rupert's world are "anthropomorphic", the animals take on a humanoid form. So there is Bill Badger, Rupert's best friend and Dr Lion!
Indeed, I could be quite happy in Rupert's little world in Nutwood. He has a wooden bed with an eidy, pink walls in his room and some fetching flowery curtains.
A gypsy caravan. Well, I'd get excited about that, too!
Mummy Rupert is right up my street. There she is, sitting doing her needlework, wearing a rather fetching frock, in a lovely flowery armchair, standard lamp providing what would nowadays be referred to as "task lighting".
Her bedroom is pretty enviable, too...
Ah, a woman after my own heart, she even has the same wicker shopping trolley as me!
So what to do with the precious Rupert squares?
A bit of log cabin...
Some red spotty binding, of course...
The result: one large, fetching and rather cosy patchwork quilt.
Quite a project this was, too. All those strips of fabric surrounding the nine individual log cabin blocks, some green dotty sashing, and top and bottom borders of strippy, jolly fabrics. Double quilted around the inner and outer borders of the pictorial squares.
What to do with the Rupert Story Quilt, the quilt where Rupert finds a cloud in the garden?
Where Rupert takes the cloud inside to wash it then eventually puts it into his kite and sends it back into the sky.
And of course, there is a happy ending as the kite comes back minus the cloud, but with a thank you note and a gift inside! I was struck by the desire to be able to look at the Rupert Story Quilt, not to just fold it up and bring it out now and then. There's a small amount of wall space on the half landing at the top of the first run of stairs, outside my den. A couple of drawing pins and a set of steps and Rupert is now displayed in all his glory. Such a heart warming project! Rupert has certainly captured my heart and my imagination. Although I love Golly dearly, I think his days in this spot are numbered as I look for a real Rupert bear to finish this little scene!
Edit: These lovely squares of Rupert fabric came from Sandie at Rag Rescue. She has both a shop and a blog and is a regular at many of the big fairs.