The Forgotten Seamstress and Patchwork Tea Sandwiches

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow

 I’m joining The Novel Bakers with

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow:

 A tale of royal intrigue, forbidden love, and long-held secrets surrounding a beautiful patchwork quilt. . .


A gripping tale spanning three generations, The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow, unravels the intertwined stories of a modern-day London designer struggling to make ends meet, and a remarkable young seamstress employed by the royal household in the early twentieth century. Their lives are bound by a beautiful and mysterious quilt with secrets stitched into every seam. . .


Decades later, Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother’s attic, passed down from her grandmother.

As luck would have it, I have a quilt passed down from my grandmother, whose origins are a little ambiguous, my Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt. . .

My Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt and Table | ©

The quilter’s identity is uncertain but thought to have been my grandmother’s friend and neighbor, painstakingly made with thousands of stitches and mini blooming hexagons . . .

“One of my pieces was the start of a patchwork. I’d only finished a couple of dozen hexagons as yet, but I was pleased with the way it was shaping up. . .”


For a little Novel Baking,

I pieced together some tea sandwiches

at the mention of sandwiches along with the

many references to tea in the book. . .


 Made with a patchwork of cucumber,

thinly sliced radishes, and strawberries,

for Patchwork Tea Sandwiches.


Use a mandoline to make thin slices or strips

from an English or seedless cucumber, radishes

 and strawberries (large strawberries work best).

Patchwork Tea Sandwiches

Drain the slices on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. I used a vegetable cream cheese spread on Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Bread for the tea sandwiches. 

Place strips/slices on top of cream cheese spread, overlapping slightly and pressing down gently. Trim crusts of bread and slice sandwiches in half.


Garnish with edible flowers (pesticide free) and herbs. I used  violas, flowering thyme, chives, parsley and a couple of sprigs  of lavender that were just starting to bloom.


Patchwork (noun)

a. Work consisting of pieces of cloth of various colors and shapes sewn together.

b. Something composed of miscellaneous or incongruous parts.




“My quilt panel was complete, and I finished a beautiful border of pieced lozenge-shaped hexagons, in silks and satins, that would hold the secret of my love, hidden forever.”



“I stitched my love into this quilt, sewn it neatly, proud and true. Though you have gone, I must live on, and this will hold me close to you.”



Brew yourself a cuppa and find more about

The Forgotten Seamstress along with a free download

for a pattern of Maria’s quilt on Liz Trenow’s website.


 “Liz Trenow sews together the strands of past and present as delicately as the exquisite stitching on the quilt that forms the centerpiece of the story.”

—Lucinda Riley, author of The Orchid House

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

to see what they cooked up

for The Forgotten Seamstress:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm


Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Metamorphosis Monday

  44 comments for “The Forgotten Seamstress and Patchwork Tea Sandwiches

  1. May 19, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Thanks for your lovely review of my novel and your wonderful quilts and baking! Made my day.
    Liz T

  2. May 19, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Beautiful post, as always. Those sandwiches are true works of art!

  3. May 19, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Good morning Mary! As a seamstress myself and a quilter I am truely interested in reading this book. Thanks for the review. The tea sandwiches deffinently are a must for afternoon tea or cocktail party. Have a wonderful Monday.

  4. Cheryl
    May 19, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Great post today, Mary, and I am so happy for the return of the Novel Bakers. Your sandwiches look wonderful and the book sounds like a great read.

  5. May 19, 2014 at 7:45 am

    You win the Pulitzer on this one Mary!….I have always admired that gorgeous quilt . . and the tea sandwiches are so pretty that you hate to eat them!!…Now this is a book I would love to read!..

  6. May 19, 2014 at 8:10 am

    What a beautiful post, Mary, with glimpses of the novel’s story line. Your tea sandwiches are works of art, but you make them with such ease. I’d love one with a cuppa tea in one of your floral cups. What a treasure to have your grandmother’s quilt…so perfect for displaying your creativity. xo

  7. May 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hi Mary. That book sounds very intriguing. I am a quilter and am working on hexagons right now which someday will become a grandmother’s flower garden quilt. How lucky you are to have a quilt hands down to you. I am the first quilter in my family and I hope that my quilts are valued by my family through the generations? Your tea sandwiches are works of art and your table looks beautiful as always! I hope someone got to share a cup of tea with you and nibble on those sandwiches :)

  8. Brenda Mc
    May 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I love the beautiful tea cups and the sandwiches are almost too pretty to eat. Thank you for your postings!

  9. May 19, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Exquisitely done once again! I love that beautiful quilt and am haapy to hear it was passed from your Grandmother. I haven’t had breakfast yet and those tea sandwiches look delish. I always use PF very thin also but am finding that is is harder to find now at the grocery stores:(

  10. Peggy Thal
    May 19, 2014 at 8:45 am

    So beautiful!

  11. May 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

    What a beautiful and interesting post. The novel sounds intriguing—I’ve been yearning for a good new read!! Your sandwiches are a feast for the eyes, and sure to be appreciated by your fortunate guests. Your photos are truly lovely. What a nice way to start a Monday morning. Thank you. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  12. Pondside
    May 19, 2014 at 9:41 am

    What an exquisite post for a Victoria Day morning. I will certainly have to look for the book – but better, I will save the post for the sandwiches. They are lovely and tempting – and couldn’t be prettier for a summer tea.

  13. May 19, 2014 at 10:01 am

    oh how i knew would be drawing us in with your wonderful quilts… i didn’t even bother dragging out my tired tattered piles when i knew yours would be so pristine and perfect… much less with your very own lake backdrop! such a gorgeous setting…

    your quilting tea party is heartbreakingly beautiful! oh my, what a brilliant recreation! and so tasty too! (please note every time i say that i am seeing lucy drunk from her vitameatavegamin commercial)! drunk, as in oh so happy!

    those stacked cups are calling me, so pretty, just teetering on dangerously good~ love your tea sandwiches, so delicate and feminine verses my clown quilt!

    its all magnificent mary, and to think liz was you first comment is astounding!

  14. May 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

    There is nothing like a cucumber sandwich and none as pretty as yours Mary.

  15. Ellen
    May 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I always admire your magnificent quilt collection. This flower quilt has to be my all time favorite. It has such exquisite detail and the color choices were inspired. It is indeed, a true treasure. E

  16. May 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Oh Mary…this post makes my ♥ sing! What a gorgeous heirloom you have & I’m SEW impressed with the darling “patchwork” sandwiches you’ve created. I can’t wait to try doing some for my next quilting group.
    I have a new toy in the sewing room & will post about it soon. It is taking up ALL my spare time!!!

  17. May 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Mary, I look forward to the posts by the Novel Bakers so much, I’m like a kid in a candy store. As soon as I tended to Zap, I dashed over here. What a gorgeous presentation of the book. I have often admired your quilt (it was the first thing I thought of when I heard about The Forgotten Seamstress), but I didn’t know that it had a story behind it. Your tea sandwiches are beyond perfect (I just bought a so-called safe mandolin to achieve paper-thin consistency that’s needed for tea sandwiches like yours).

  18. May 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    PS I hit “send” before I was finished. Oh, I am cursed with fat fingers! Anyway, I just wanted to say I loved your edible review, and I’m looking forward to the Novel Bakers’ upcoming adventures. xxoo

  19. May 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Mary, quilts and tea parties are a match indeed. Grandmother’s Flower Garden is one of my favorite quilt patterns. That you have this beautiful quilt passed down from your grandmother is truly special. Your tea sandwiches are exquisite. Wonderful, wonderful!
    Now I have a new book recommendation and inspiration for my own tea party. Merci!

  20. Sharon Calvert
    May 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Simply lovely …

  21. May 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Your tea sandwiches have sewn a delightful quilt of color and pattern Mary, and the book sounds like an intriguing summer read~ family secrets are fascinating, and what a happy surprise to find a new Novel Bakers adventure on this weeks horizon!

  22. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    May 19, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I’m glad you have your Grandmom’s quilt Mary, it’s always nice when things are kept in the family. The sandwiches look yummy, especially since I’m just nibbling on pepperoni and cheese:@)

  23. May 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Looks like a very lovely tea time! Beautiful sandwiches. Visiting from The Scoop.

  24. May 20, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Look appetizing but also lovely…

  25. May 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, Mary….
    Absolutely lovely post and photos…takes my breath away.

    I will definitely be reading this book…

  26. linda kemp
    May 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    This is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen. Love this post, the tea sandwhiches and the violet tea cup. Thank you so much!

  27. May 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Mary, what a lovely post. The book sounds so interesting. I have two of my grandmother’s quilts so maybe I should read this one. What lovely sandwiches and I’m sure very tasty. Pretty teacups and saucers………….

  28. May 21, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Mary, Your tiny tea sandwiches are so pretty and tempting! A modern version of those little sandwiches everyone loves to nibble on. I’m always impressed with your creativity and execution and then photography too! The quilt is a treasure and I really enjoyed looking back at your original post of it with the lilacs. So happy to see the Novel Bakers back! Linda

  29. May 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    You are an artist! Thank you for sharing with us!

  30. May 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I know you have mentioned some of your quilts being store bought, but this one looks handmade and is one of my favorite patterns. I hope you had a special occasion to share your lovely tea sandwiches.

  31. Bev
    May 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

    So beautiful! Love the quilt with your pretty teacups…wonderful.

  32. June 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Mary. I picked up The Forgotten Seamstress from the library and read it in one day. I lioves the story and being a quilter myself made it even more interesting for me.

  33. January 13, 2015 at 11:32 am


    I am writing a blog about my garden ( I would like to use your picture with the pansy sandwiches. Would that be possible? Ofcourse I will share your link!



  34. Alison
    August 13, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Gorgeous sandwiches. True artistry, and they make me smile!

  35. July 2, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Those tea sandwiches are an absolute inspiration. In fact, I linked to them in my last blog post about preparing a perfect tea party : )

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