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  • Nicola

From my sketchbook: Hazel

I first had the idea for this quilt when I was making my Make Sail quilt, way back when...Laying out the homeward bound blocks it occurred to me that the arrow units could be arranged in lots of different ways. At first I thought of stars. I even wrote up the pattern. And then I realised someone had beaten me to it: the lovely Bonnie Olavsen - of Cottonway and Bonnie & Camille for Moda - with her Merry Christmas Darling pattern (which is wonderful, by the way).

So I set that idea aside for a while, until I made my Sprig quilt last spring and then I realised that removing one of the arrow units and adding a gently curving stem would give me a gorgeous leaf block. The block also put me in mind of Cobnuts...let me explain.

We have a little avenue of Cobnut trees in the garden, framing a gate to the paddock. They're a bit of a running joke in the family because we've never managed to harvest a single nut as the local squirrels always beat us to them. My Dad assures me there's nothing quite like a Cobnut fresh from the tree so we always keep an eye on them - one day, one day - and I'm familiar with how they look if not how they taste.

Hazel framed by Hazel

I edited my drawings to add the stems and noticed the secondary 'wave' pattern that they made, which is one of those lovely surprises you sometimes get when drafting a pattern. When Liberty Fabrics released their Orchard Garden fabric last autumn, I knew it would be perfect. I bought my bundle from my local quilt shop, Felt Sew Woolly. If you live in Shropshire do pop in and see Suzanne's wonderful selection of yummy Liberty quilting cotton and take all your pocket money ;- )

My lovely quilter, Jayne, at Quilters Trading Post, quilted it with a beautifully scaled design called Ginko Garden, which has delicate dragonflies dotted amongst the leaves and berries. The dragonflies look just like they're flitting through the blocks.

The blocks are large, but have a scrappiness that makes them really fun to make. But if scrappy isn't your thing I couldn't resist seeing how they'd look in two colours and the repeat really emphasises the wave. I see another Christmas quilt in my near future.

EDIT: the Hazel PDF Pattern & Paper Pattern are now available...

You can come and meet Hazel at the Festival of Quilts in a couple of weeks. I'm in my usual spot - although the aisles have been renumbered this year - on stand J43, so please come and say hello, I'd love to see you,

Nicola xx


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