Midsummer Sampler: month 5

Welcome to month five of the Midsummer Sampler, the Strawberry Bowl.

 

Believe it or not we are now halfway through making our blocks, so we've definitely earned a little treat. Strawberries and cream anyone? Of course we are used to enjoying strawberries all year round, but they were traditionally only available for a short - but scrumptious - six week season over midsummer. 

 

Tiny wild strawberries native to northern Europe were crossed with North American and Chilean strawberries by French gardeners in the eighteenth century to give us the luscious garden strawberry that we are familiar with today. And serving strawberries with cream was first recorded on the Tudor banqueting tables at Hampton Court two centuries earlier. No English banqueting - or tea - table would be complete without a bowl of strawberries and cream.

 

This month we are making good use of the embroidery floss included in your January parcel to embroider a  pretty strawberry flower on our china bowl. Again we are using simple backstitch - see last month's Techniques box - to create a simple blossom motif inspired by a pretty embroidered tray cloth I inherited from my great aunt. But if you love embroidery feel free to add more detail.

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Our February treat is a delicious little filler block: the Wild Strawberry. These are the same size as the Folk Flower blocks, finishing at 7". Please note that this month's treat is the pattern only and extra fabric has not been included. I raided my scrap bin to make the cover block. Four Strawberry blocks can be used in any Petit Four project, such as the Festival Cushion or a Storybook Bag. A dozen would make a lovely table runner (the directions are included in the pattern) or next month we will be sharing a couple of ideas for just one. 

This month's techniques...

I used one of the strawberry prints as the background print for one of this month's flower blocks...


 

 

 

If you'd like to do the same you will need to change the way you cut up your 10" square, using the revised cutting diagram, above...

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Folk Flower blocks this month...

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British designs by Nicola Dodd

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