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  • Nicola

London Town Sampler: the London Eye, Union Jack & Brolly Blocks

This is the last of my five posts introducing the new Petit FOUR sampler patterns, the London Town blocks.

For the past nine months Andrea from the Willow Cottage Quilt Company and I have been posting out parcels of Tilda-filled loveliness to our Block of the Month participants and taking them on a wonderful, whistle-stop tour of the British capital as they created their sampler quilt together. And now it's time to share the block patterns with you.

We've reached the last stop on our sight-seeing tour of London: we're heading over Westminster bridge to the London Eye for a spectacular, bird's eye view of London Town. And if it starts to rain we'll be prepared!


London Eye

Technically speaking we shouldn't be here, because the London Eye was built to celebrate the millennium and was only meant to run for five years. But, just like Paris' Eiffel Tower, the city took this temporary structure to its heart and it's now a permanent feature on the London skyline.

But it isn't London's first giant Ferris wheel: The Great Wheel opened in July 1895 and over the next decade whirled 2½ million visitors over the Earl's Court exhibition ground. The London Eye attracts 3½ million visitors every, single year, carrying them 155 metres into the air, so on a clear day they can see all the way to Windsor Castle. Each revolution takes a stately half an hour, in one of 32 capsules which are constantly revolving. But curiously they are numbered from 1 - 33, because there is no thirteenth capsule.

Our London Eye is made from a giant Dresden plate block - with a simple tweak to the tips to create the capsules - and once that occurred to me, it was actually the first block I designed for this quilt and probably inspired the whole thing.


A PDF Pattern for the London Eye block is available here.


Union Jack & Brolly

Not so much a destination, but a common sight on the streets of London, I chose the Union Jack flag and umbrella as the motifs for the filler blocks between the larger blocks.

The Brolly is a smaller version of the Dresden Fan used for the London Eye, with the same scalloped edge, while the Union Jack block uses my favourite placement template technique to make the diagonal Saltire (or St. Andrew's Cross). There are lots of 'moving parts' to these little blocks, but they're a brilliant way to use up the scraps from making the rest of the quilt.

Using placement templates to create the Union Jack blocks...

A PDF Pattern for the Union Jack & Brolly blocks is available here.


You can find all of the London Town PDF blocks patterns collected together, along with the setting directions, here. If you'd prefer a Pattern Book, you can find them on pre-order in the shop, or on Amazon wherever in the world you are.

The London Town quilt will always remind me of family trips to London with my boys and, as our youngest son lives there now, I've got the very best reason to keep visiting,

Nicola xx


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