10 Best Patchwork Quilting Ideas

10 Best Patchwork Quilting Ideas

Quilts, Patchwork & Tapestry

These are the essential country fabric accessories: faded tapestry firescreens showing blowzy pink roses; ancient patchwork, the colours softened by time and the mauves completely worn away; and quilts firmly stitched on to their blanket interlining, somewhat puckered with age, or filled with down and weightless, sewn in great swirls on to multi-coloured cotton like a field of flowers.

The magic of old quilts

Old quilts in pristine condition are hard to come by, but slightly tattered ones still look marvellous and can be admired as wallhangings if they are too fragile to beautify a bed (180 for hanging a quilt). Old cotton quilts tend to be the hardiest – concocted from the clear reds and blue stripes of flannel petticoats and strong collarless shirts. You can always rescue tattered patchwork by repatching it, or – if all else fails – by cutting out any sound pieces and using them to make cushion covers.

Making your own patchwork quilts There are still patchwork circles – ladies of serious dedication, fanatics one might almost say, who can be commissioned to create your dream quilt. But, in a puritanical sort of way, that is to miss the point entirely – patchwork quilts can be personal aides-memoires of people, places and times. They are not difficult to make – many of the designs can be adapted to machine stitching – and assembling all those little shapes is an excellent tranquillizer.

Tricolour quilt More than a century old, this Cumbrian quilt was made from a traditional combination of patches from red flannel petticoats and

blue and white workshirts -the colour scheme has a simplicity that looks as fresh today as when it was made. Rag rugs complete a picture of well-worn history.

Military centrepiece

This venerable “campaign bed” is a relic of the English officer’s life abroad. It can be dismantled and would have been carried from camp to camp. It was bought as a bundle of unidentified pieces of metal and it took all the owner’s

ingenuity to put it together. Its romantic origins are emphasized by full muslin hangings, dyed in tea; a jewel-bright random patchwork quilt; and beautifully soft white lace and linen pillows. To complete the effect, gothic strands of ivy festoon a beam.

Many of the traditional patchwork designs can be sewn on a machine, as long as the shapes are not too small or complex. Choose designs like these, which are based on straight lines, to create a stunning piece of patchwork quickly and very easily.

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