Norfolk Bricks Sampler Quilt

This week things have been a bit more lively in the studio (you know that’s my kitchen floor? True fact.). This mini quilt sampler (it’s about 22″ x 23″ at the moment) is going to be the first in a small series inspired by the carstone and flint walls and the red brick buildings around the area my parents live in Norfolk (very different from the granite building stones here in Cornwall). I’ve been doodling in my sketchbook, but over the last day or two ideas have been coming thick and fast.

Norfolk Bricks Sampler 1, mini patchwork quilt top, © Stephanie Boon, 2014, www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Sampler 1

I showed you a page or two from my sketchbook recently, a few starting points really, and this quilt has developed from there. Rather than just thinking about the shape of the bricks and building materials and how I might be able to translate those into a patchwork pattern (which is a fairly straight forward process I think), I’ve been thinking more about how those shapes and colours could be used to convey feelings, thoughts about who I am, how I fit into this world. It sounds like pretentious rubbish, but that’s what my fine art has usually explored, so I don’t see why this process should be any different. Different aspects of the quilt can be understood as different metaphors, or not be considered at all – that’s down to the viewer I think.

A couple of thoughts that came from looking at the buildings:

  • Fitting the irregular into the regular
  • Facade
  • Periphery
  • Cornerstone

I never did fit into a grid and it suddenly feels very freeing to be able to express that in an abstract way.  We’ll see how it goes; I’m looking forward to making the next quilt.

Quilt Photography

Before I disappear with that thought though, I’m sorry about the photo, and that there’s only one – it’s been so miserable and dark here for ages that it’s been nigh on impossible to photograph anything well (and I’m miles behind on lots of things because of it).  There’s more detail in the borders than you can see here, even though it was lit with a natural daylight bulb. Time to make some light stands perhaps.

If, like me, you ever have problems photographing your quilts because of dull light, this great easy to read and understand article by Holly Knot might help you out. This article on We All Sew is also really good, but essentially, we’re not going to get anywhere without some decent lighting! Oh and a tripod. Of course.

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and Work in Progress Wednesday – I’ve been discovering some great new quilters over there, who have you found lately?

Until next time.

Take care and happy sewing!

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10 replies
  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    We visited North Norfolk (sherringham) in the spring i know what you mean about the inspiration. the red with white ovals fabric definately does justice to all those flint walls!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Jennifer – my parents live a bit further west along the coast at Hunstanton. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Sherringham, but I can’t imagine the architecture changes much over that distance! I bet it was lovely in the spring 🙂

  2. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    This is a great direction to go in with this. I think you are absolutely right – why should a quilt not have a thought process behind it and something to say?

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thank you Kaja. I get so confused sometimes – I know I want to start a small pattern business in the nearish future so I try and make what I ‘think’ people might like (rather than what I know they’ll like). Then I get all ‘twisted up’ because I’ve ended up trying out stuff I don’t really believe in, but I think other people do. I’m not part of this modern quilt movement, it all feels way too commercial for me (and there’s too much white as well, ha!!!). I love colour and hand sewing and scrap quilts and waste-not-want-not, not spending a fortune on tons of fabric just for the sake of it. I’m very rooted in a fine art background, which means making things with value and meaning. Sooo, my thoughts (as far as they’ve got!) are to try a new approach: make things the way I want, that have meaning to me (quilts that I want to keep) and then use those quilts as a basis to design reproducible patterns from them that others might enjoy. It makes sense in my head anyway!!! Let me know how I get on, haha!


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