Midsummer Sampler: month 2

Welcome to month two of the Jardin de Lavande, Pannier.

 

This month we are travelling south west along the Loire valley to visit a contemporary French garden with its roots firmly in the past. Le Prieuré d’Orsan, created in the ruins of a C12th priory just south of Bourges, was inspired by medieval tapestries and is quite possibly the most beautiful potager - or kitchen garden - in all of France.

Parisian architects, Sonia Lesot and Patrice Taravella, restored the crumbling priory and recreated the cloisters with pleached hornbeam. They enclosed the priory with fifteen gardens, separated by espaliered hedges and artfully woven chestnut withies, which have been planted with herbs, vegetables and fruit by gardener Gilles Guillot. 

The priory is now a rather stylish hotel and all of the produce from the garden is used in the restaurant. I'm not sure if it's gathered in French market baskets, but in such a magical setting I like to think so.

 

This month we are exploring the snowball technique to create an elegant little market basket of our own, using Maple Farm's Pauline, Birdie and Cherrybush prints. This is a more complex block than last month with more elements, so take your time with the assembly and, if the snowball technique is a new one for you, practise on some scrap fabric first. 

Your parcel includes a delicious bundle of floss as we are going to use some very simple embroidery stitches to add stalks of lavender to our baskets. I don't want you to fret about the embroidery element of the block: it will work just as well without it but I'll be posting a video tutorial in a couple of days to show you how easy the stitches are to achieve. I actually waited until I'd joined my blocks together before adding the embroidery, but you can embroider individual blocks if you'd find that easier.

 

You will also notice that there is an additional Tiny Farm print included this month. We won't be using it in the quilt but I will - of course - be giving you some ideas for it in a later month, so put it somewhere safe for now!

This month's techniques...

Snowballing the corner of a piece of fabric - by adding a 45º triangle of another fabric - gives the illusion of a rounded corner. We are also going to use it to create traditional flying geese units.
 

Start by marking a diagonal line on the back of a square of fabric.

 

Pin it, right sides together, to a corner of the base fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch on the line, flip the square ‘open’ and press, trimming away the back layers.

British designs by Nicola Dodd

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