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Welcome to Primrose Hill...

Take a stroll with me on a bright spring morning: the birds are singing, the sun is shining and a gentle breeze carries a flutter of blossom petals. Grab your favourite basket and wend your way through pastel-painted streets. Greet your neighbours and admire their window boxes. Browse for a new book, treat yourself to a bunch of flowers and buy something delicious from the deli for lunch. And don’t forget to stop for an ice-cream on the way home. Spring in the city can be very lovely indeed...

I am over the moon to be introducing you to the 2021 Today's Quilter Block of the Month, Primrose Hill.

Although I've used a good deal of artistic license, my inspiration for this quilt is a real place. Primrose Hill is a village-like area of London, enclosed by the Regent’s Canal, the west-coast railway line and its namesake hilltop park. The latter may have panoramic views over the city, but it feels a million miles away. Independent delis, tea-rooms, bookshops and boutiques fill Regent’s Park Road and the surrounding streets are dotted with pastel-coloured Regency townhouses. City living couldn’t be prettier (in fact, Primrose Hill's Chalcot Crescent was chosen as the location for the Browns' house in the recent Paddington films).

Such lovely inspiration required some exceptionally pretty fabric: Brenda Riddle's Grace collection for Moda Fabrics was perfect. Given all the delays still affecting fabric deliveries I was very grateful to the wonderful team at Moda for sending me a sample bundle so that I could make my blocks ahead of time, choosing their creamy Bella Solid in porcelain as my background.

I will admit to lots of butterflies when approached to design the Today's Quilter block of the month. I have subscribed to TQ from its launch and am still pinching myself that I get to create projects for it. Some of the quilters I most admire - Jen Kingwell, Jo Avery, Carolyn Forster, Janet Clare and Karen Styles - have designed the block of the month in previous years, so I had elegant and accomplished shoes to fill.

When I chatted to editor Fiona about my plans for this quilt we both felt that varying the size of the blocks would keep everyone guessing as to its final layout. It's been fun playing with different block sizes and I was inspired by lots of whimsical nineteenth century sampler quilts to take a few liberties with scale and perspective.

I'm looking forward to sharing the first blocks with you at the end of October, in issue 81of Today's Quilter. In the meantime, beautiful bolts of Grace fabric will be arriving in shops next month and I will post again about how much you need and which shops will be stocking it. Until then, you'll find me grinning from ear to ear!

Nicola xx


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