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  • Nicola

From my Sketchbook: Bright Skies

I have such a fun quilt - or pair of quilts actually - in this month's Love Patchwork & Quilting. They both use the same pattern but look very different and, truth be told, I could have made half a dozen of them, because the pattern was inspired by... wait for it... Tudor brickwork. You weren't expecting that, were you?

Issue 95 of Love Patchwork & Quilting should be on your newsstands (or doormats!) any day

Photo shared with the kind permission of Love Patchwork & Quilting

In the olden days we used to love visiting London with our boys during the Christmas school holidays. The Science and Natural History Museums in Kensington were favourite destinations and, if we had time, a riverboat down the Thames to Greenwich or a train to Hampton Court, which is where I took the photos below.

There's always plenty of quilt inspiration in old buildings and the photo of the gilded ceiling, bottom left, will have the English Paper Piecers amongst you reaching for your needle and thread. I was intrigued by the decorative brickwork, top right. The tradition for creating diamond patterns - or diapering - is as old as brickwork itself, but it became very fashionable in Tudor England and again during the Victorian Gothic revival. But I digress, what fascinated me was the way that, using the 'long' and 'short' sides of the brick - the headers and stretchers - with just two colours, so many different patterns could be created. I was excited to see how this could translate to fabric and discovered that with just two alternating rows you can create all of these:

And more besides.

Photo shared with the kind permission of Love Patchwork & Quilting

I asked editor Alice to pick a favourite and did the same myself so that I could create two 'sibling' quilts. For the aqua version I chose prints from Sarah Ashford's Great British Quilter Back to Basics collection and for the pink version, some long-hoarded favourites from Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller (which were re-issued a couple of years ago, so you might still be able to find them). Jayne quilted them both with a classic stipple.

Oh, and if you're wondering whether I ever managed to do any fabric shopping in London, Apple thoughtfully opened their London flagship on Regent's Street, just over the road from... Liberty. So I could deposit the menfolk and explore the haberdashery department at my leisure. And then push my luck and nip to Anthropologie - just for the window displays you understand - before we all wandered down to Piccadilly for a quarter of something scrumptious from the confectionery counter at Fortnums.

Happy, happy days!

Nicola xx


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