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  • Nicola

Carnation Cushion

At last year's Festival of Quilts I was lucky enough to spend some time in quiet (and, frankly, awestruck) contemplation of a selection of Baltimore Album quilts on loan from the International Quilt Study Centre & Museum in Nebraska.

I particularly loved the blocks of flower-filled urns and baskets that featured in most of the quilts and saw the potential for making a more achievable one block project like a cushion. And then I promptly forgot about it until I found a beautiful, vintage needlepoint cushion that featured an urn design that recalled those beautiful quilts. Translated into a quilt block and scaled up it became my Carnation Cushion and you can find it in issue 64 of Today's Quilter along with my Tulips in Amsterdam quilt: I'm a very lucky duck this month!

The little Carnation flower that gives the cushion its name - with its distinctive crimped petals - is a mini and more detailed version of my Speedwell block. Given that the piecing is on a small scale, I knew I wanted to use my big stack of pink, taupe and faded red French General scraps, but couldn't quite decide which accent colour to pair with them, so asked my lovely TQ editor, Fiona Lawrence, to help me decide. Editors have the tricky task of balancing out the scale, complexity and style of the projects in any given issue so that there will be something that appeals to every reader. She went with soft teal (excellent choice!) which gives the design a classic Arts & Crafts feel.

Red is so versatile...practically a neutral!

But, of course, I could have gone 'full Baltimore' and broken out my (giant stack of) Bonnie & Camille scraps...

This really is the perfect project to use up those precious scraps of fabric that you just can't bring yourself to throw away. It's a big block too, so nine would make a lovely quilt. And I don't know about you, but I certainly have enough scraps to make nine ;-)

I hand quilted my cushion in my favourite blossom design and love how instantly vintage it looks. I quite like the idea of reclining on the window seat with this one and my favourite book...if the dog will let me that is...

Nicola xx


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