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The Standing Stones of Callanish


 Callanish, Standing Stones



Callanish (Calanais) is a configuration of Standing Stones located on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides off the Western coast of Scotland.  Dating back to between 4500-5000 years ago, it was built of indigenous gneiss rock found in various places across the island.

The series of stones forms roughly into the shape of a Celtic cross, and sits on a small ridge above the waters of Loch Roag.

The immensity of these monolithic stones...ancient and moss-covered...makes for a stark contrast against the backdrop of bare sky.  The over all scene is striking in its portrayal, even as the barrenness of rock and sky belie a lush and green landscape, which pulls the eye in ever closer until you feel the breathe of the stones themselves whispering across your mind.

The quilt,  measuring 48" across by 58" long pays tribute to this ancient site, which some say was built as an astronomical observatory to track the moon rising low over the horizon.



Standing stones, Outlander






One legend has it that the stones are in fact petrified who refused to convert to Christianity back when the native religion was ebbing away, amidst the oncoming tide of the new order.

However way you want to view Callanish, its majesty and magnificence cannot be called into question.   It remains a remarkable testament to the skill and ingenuity of the ancient peoples that once inhabited these western islands.

At right, is a closer view of the stones, and some of the detailed stitching that went into visually describing the surrounding landscape.



Callanish, Outlander, standing stones



At the left of the quilt, a glimpse of Loch Roag in the background.  An embroidery technique known as 'broderie perse' shows at the foot of some of the stones, adding a touch of color in the flowers they portray.

The quilt was both machine pieced and top-stitched using an array of  matching and contrasting threads for emphasis.

To further this along, each stone was out-lined using silver metallic thread, which glimmers and gleams as the light hits the quilt.  Once again, it draws the eye like a magnet, right into the scene itself.

Each stone was 'built' over 3 smaller layers of batting prior to being appliqued onto the background.  This gives a 'rounded' looking aspect  to the stones, allowing them to rise above the landscape in a 3-dimensional way for added emphasis on size and perspective.




Callanish, standing stones





The color of the flowers, breaks up the starkness of stone and bare sky - it warms the landscape which is rich in detail and growth.





Standing stones, scotland





Yet another close-up photo shows the stitching which helps to make this piece so unique.   Echo-quilting marks the immediate area surrounding the stones.  While free-form quilting in the topography below, gives added depth and richness to the landscape.






Callanish, standing stones




You can see how well the silver metallic thread of the stones, plays off against the background, giving further definition to the majesty of the grey rocks.




Callanish, Standing Stones, Scotland





The Border Design is as much a part of the quilt as the stones themselves.   A stone-like fabric  picks up and plays off the central theme.  This is then followed by a light green, marbled material that has a swirl of stone about within a variety of green tones.

However, the finishing touch of all is the outer border, or binding.  Imported from Scotland,  of 100% wool, the final border piece is the Ancient Hunting Tartan of the Clan MacDonald.  For hundreds of  years, the MacDonald's were known as The Lords of The Isles.  In 1493 this was lost to King James IV of Scotland.  Yet their legacy lives on in the border of this quilt, giving location and place to the Stones of Callanish in both history and time






Standing stones, Scotland



Because the stones have been placed in the rough configuration of a Celtic cross...a Celtic Cross of gold metallic thread has been embroidered into the upper left corner of the piece.  This adds a nice continuity which helps further tie the quilt to the actual stone circle itself.





Callanish, standing stones, scotland



Two matching pillows complete 12" square, and another 14" square.  Both pick up on the border fabrics.   One side shows the stone material that surrounds the quilt, while the back is made from one of the landscape fabrics - a soft velour green. 





Standing stones, Scotland


The pillows are corded with the light marbled green fabric from the middle border.  All together it makes a delightful presentation for your home or office decor!





Standing stones, Scotland



The top-stitching on the front of the quilt, carries over onto the the back - whereby the front and back stone motif mirror each other.   A sleeve sewn onto the back of the quilt will hold a dowel for  hanging.






The total set....featuring 48" x 58" wall-hanging, plus  12" and 14 inch matching pillows is priced at $1100, plus shipping costs.  (International orders, please call or email for shipping quote. )

To purchase, please click the PayPal button below to enter their site for a safe and secure transaction.

You will receive an immediate acknowledgement and receipt. 
For more information or details regarding this quilt please call us at 617-304-4249 or email

 Please note:  Callanish is sold as a set, and cannot be broken into individual pieces.