• Nicola

Counting down to Christmas…

It’s time for our favourite advent calendar: the Moda Bakeshop Countdown to Christmas! Is it me, or does this come around faster every year? I’m not complaining though, any excuse to make a quilty Christmas project is fine by me, especially when we have such an adorable theme: Cosy Little Christmas.


This year's Bella Solids bundle, click here for details

I’ve contributed three blocks this year and they‘re all distinctly woolly in character. My first is a tribute to traditional fairisle knitwear. Fairisle has become a generic term for multi-coloured knitting, but it developed in - and is named after - a real place. Fair Isle is a tiny island between the Orkneys and Shetland, off the northern-most tip of Scotland.

Sheep were brought to Fair Isle a thousand years ago by Norse settlers and their thick, soft fleeces have long been spun into wool for knitting and weaving. The distinctive knitting style was developed in the 19th century by the women of the island - with motifs passed from mother to daughter - and was bartered with passing ships or used to pay for goods in local shops. If you want to know (and see) more, watch this wonderful short film about the work of internationally renowned designer Mati Ventrillon, who has made her home on Fair Isle.


Although I couldn't hope to capture the complexity of the traditional fairisle motifs, I wanted to give a feeling of the little shots of unexpected colour that make it so distinctive, whilst keeping the block simple to piece using strip sets.


Festive Fairisle


While I was designing this block I had the irresistible urge to mock it up as a quilt, using 2½" strips. Now, let me tell you, I have no business starting another quilt a week before Christmas, so I’ll have to make do with the mock up... for now at least!


I have a two more blocks to share with you on the Moda Bakeshop website next week, but in the meantime go and see what cosy Christmas treats my fellow chefs have been baking for you!


And whether you’re sewing, relaxing, frantically catering or helping with the washing up, have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year,


Nicola xx

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