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From my Sketchbook: Hearth & Home...


EDIT: You can now buy this pattern as a PDF here or as a Paper Pattern here.

As an idealistic architectural student - many (many) moons ago - I fell in love with the Arts & Crafts movement. Established at the end of the C19th, the V&A describes it as "a movement born of...a concern for the effects of industrialisation: on design, on traditional skills and on the lives of ordinary people. In response, it established a new set of principles for living and working. It advocated the reform of art at every level and across a broad social spectrum, and it turned the home into a work of art..." {You can read more about it here}

The Red House, Bexleyheath, designed by Morris & Webb

I went on to work as a conservation architect and joined the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, founded by architect Philip Webb and polymath William Morris. Morris originally trained as an architect but went on to design furniture and textiles, write novels and poetry and become a publisher and social activist. I wonder if he ever imagined that his textile designs would still be in print over a century later.

With every craft revival a new generation discovers Morris & Co prints and their rich colours and intricate designs are always popular with quilters, as recent collections by Moda and Freesiprit attest. I was lucky enough to be given a bundle of Freespirit's Merton Collection to create a brand new project for Today's Quilter.

The temptation with a collection of beautiful prints is to cut them into generous squares, sew them together and let them sing their song. But the readers of TQ are a little more adventurous than that, so I started looking at designs that reflected my love of Arts & Crafts houses.

The block I settled on combined a traditional log cabin block - with simple strips of those lovely prints - with a house motif at the centre of alternate blocks. One of the log-cabin rounds does double-duty as a chimney, which, in turn, lead to the name.

Triangle-in-a-square units were used for the gables - because lovely old houses always have steeply-pitched rooves - and have been repeated around the border.

You can find the pattern in Issue 34, where there are some gorgeous close ups of the quilting, done in double-quick time just days before Christmas by the lovely Jayne at Quilters Trading Post. It’s always a treat to visit the shop: not only do they have a really wonderful selection of fabric, but it’s housed in a converted village school.

Fabric and a beautiful old building, who could ask for more...

Nicola xx

#TodaysQuilter #fabric #home #inspiration #frommysketchbook

British designs by Nicola Dodd

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