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  • Nicola

At home with quilts: Coastal

In the last of my series of posts exploring how we can use quilts inspired by popular themes in home décor in our own homes, I'm heading to the seaside.

This month we are exploring bright and breezy coastal style, which for most of us means crisp blue and white ticking stripes and sun-bleached wood.

Coastal style is a broad church. If you live by the sea then the paraphernalia of beach living - vintage fishing buoys, discarded oars, driftwood and bowls full of shells - can look perfectly at home. Further inland a simple blue and white colour scheme can suggest the wide open skies and clear light of the coast without looking out of place. A bowl of shells is always a nice thing, though!

Blue and White quilts have always been popular: there are many antique examples and a stack of books inspired by them...

Blue & White by Minick & Simpson (not in print but look online for a second-hand copy); Patches of Blue by Edyta Sitar; Blue &White Quilts compilation book

The coast has inspired many of my quilts - a whole sampler in fact - but, again, you don't have to make a quilt covered in boats or turtles to add some coastal colour to your home, or even use seaside-themed fabric. Shown below is my Stepping Stones pattern - available as a free tutorial here - which pairs Liberty Flower Show Midsummer florals with fresh blue and white solids and a sunny yellow binding.

For those of us who can only visit the coast for holidays, our shipshape bathrooms are the perfect place for seaside-themed décor. They're also the ideal place for coastal quilts. Which might sound a little odd, but a quilted wall hanging or bath mat (with a non-slip underlay) would cope with humidity, soften all those hard surfaces and add a welcome shot of colour to what can be a spartan room.

But at the heart of coastal style is the blurring of inside and out: quilts are wonderfully beach-friendly - portable, practical and comfortable - and should never be too precious to wash out salt spray and ice-cream. You might find a neatly-folded stack waiting by the door, ready for adventure. Or covering a chair to protect it from sand and suncream. And what could be lovelier than sitting out under a veranda, wrapped in a quilt, watching the sun go down over the sea?

I can almost hear those waves...

Nicola xx


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