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  • Nicola

At home with quilts: Bohemian

I've been sharing a new series of posts with you this autumn, as we've started to spend more time indoors and generally snuggled down for winter. Each post has explored a popular theme in home décor and looked at how we can use quilts inspired by that theme in our own homes.

This time I'm exploring what I have called the Bohemian look: a joyous carnival of colour, pattern and texture.

Interior designers Kit Kemp in the UK and Anna Spiro in Australia have inspired us with their fearless pattern mixing and use of glowing colour. Both use original art, hand-crafted accessories and folk textiles to enrich their schemes.

In the quilting world I immediately think of the work of Anna Maria Horner, who is based in Nashville but draws on her Greek heritage and artist's sensibility to create vibrant and eclectic fabric collections. She has also championed the work of fellow artists with her Conservatory Craft collective with FreeSpirit Fabrics.

I have used Anna Maria's glorious Honourable Mention backing print as the jumping off point to recolour my Lenten Rose quilt. Although it has to be said that a wholecloth quilt in any of Anna Maria's prints would be a beautiful addition to any room.

Kit Kemp is as likely to use quilts to upholster the statement headboards in her Firmdale Hotel schemes, or to frame them as pieces of art. You can read more about her approach in her beautiful book, Design Secrets, which includes a chapter on her favourite craftspeople.

This style encourages us to add layers of detail to our quilts: embellish blocks with embroidery and beading; mix vintage textiles with modern quilting cottons. So don't be afraid to layer several quilts - because we all have more than several! - over your bed or sofa and add lots of cushions for good measure.

Or sew some heading tape and curtain rings to a pair of quilts and hang them over a drafty window, just like our quilting heroine Lucy Boston did. It was repairing those quilted curtains that inspired Lucy to take up patchwork... and the rest is history.

Nicola xx


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