Midsummer Sampler: month 5
Welcome to month five of the Jardin de Lavande, Parterre Est and Papillons
This month we are in the depths of the Normandy countryside where, half way between Bayeaux and Caen, we find the exquisite Chateau de Brecy.
The 17th-century château is hidden away behind a high wall with a beautiful sky blue gate. The gardens were laid out as an homage to the goddess Flora, reputedly by the architect Mansart (he of the attic roof) and rise in four terraces, each slightly wider than the last to play with your sense of perspective in a slightly more modest way than Versailles.
Its sleepy location meant it remained undisturbed, falling into gentle decline after the French Revolution and somehow avoiding destruction during the second world war. It was awoken from its slumber in the 1950s by novelist Jacques de Lacretelle and his wife Yolande, who revived the gardens and planted the delicate parterre de broderie on the house terrace. He described the garden as the “finery of an Italian princess thrown over the shoulders of a little Normandy peasant girl”
The sky blue paintwork seen on the gate is repeated on the benches and planters throughout the garden and inspired my choice of a blue door and shutters on next month's block, the Maison de Jardiniere.
We will be building on the quarter square triangle technique we learned last month to create our final parterre and to make a start on the lavender borders for our quilt with the Papillon blocks, which use a partial QST. You will be using the two additional Fat Eighths that we sent you last month - Wheatflower in dijon and rosehip Farm Flowers - with this month's dijon Cherrybush and Tiny Farm in mauve for the Parterre Est.
And while we're making cute things with quarter square triangles, our treat this month is a bonus block: L'Oranger. The block finishes at 14" square and can be used in any Petit Four project. And, of course, I will be sharing a distinctly French-themed bonus project with you soon which makes perfect use of it! Please note that this month's treat is the pattern only and extra fabric has not been included. Click here for the tutorial.
L'Oranger Bonus Block...
The L'Oranger block was inspired by French gardeners' obsession with potted orange trees. It makes good use of the left-over quarter square triangle unit from the Arrosoir block and scraps from your blocks. Although I want you to hang on to the darker purple scraps: we'll be needing those for the Monogramme block!
I thought it would be useful to post a photo of the back of the block so that you can get a good view of how I pressed my seams :-)