Friday, July 15, 2011

By the sea: Beach Cottages

In the middle of a hectic day or a dreary winter night, who hasn't thought about escaping to the paradise of a warm beach, replete with graceful palm trees and cozy, inviting cottages? Well, Beth Maddocks has designed this ultimate vacation quilt. Even when we rest our eyes on it briefly, "Beach Cottages" provides a relaxing visual getaway. Grab your surfboards and make a run from your ocean-front home for the dancing waves of this darling quilt pattern !

Beach Cottages, 57 x 67", by Beth Maddocks, at Piece by Number

The intensity of the sun at most beaches creates an outdoor scene with pure colors, such as Beth has used here. Because beach scenes are often predominated with light and deep values of cyan and cerulean blue, there is an absence of the muted, toned shades that exist when sunlight is filtered through leaves and branches, as in woodland scenes.  The striped border of "Beach Cottages" uses both clear, pure pastels and high chroma brights to provide the sun-dappled effect. Here's a good way to use up bits and pieces of your favorite stash fabrics. Use pastel sky blue fabric to create the background, just as you would in constructing a landscape quilt. At the Beach cottages pattern page on Etsy, Beth suggests: "Choose fabrics reminiscent of your favorite beach -- South Pacific batiks, Caribbean brights, Bermuda pastels, African prints, or Californian/Mediterranean white, terracotta and turquoise. Personalize your quilt with novelty fabric faces in the windows, embroidered flowers, fish in the ocean, shells on the sand, novelty buttons -- your imagination is the only limit."

Beth Maddocks is an expert in paper-pieced or foundation-pieced quilts, in which the fabric shapes are sewn onto a printed design one by one. Because the paper (or cloth) backing serves to stabilize the fabric, this process makes it easy to handle small pieces of material and create sharp corners and accurate shapes such as the roofs, windows, doors, cabanas, crests of the waves, and palm trees in Beach Cottages.

Beth makes her home in Geneva, Switzerland, where she writes about her adventures on her blog, Piece of Mind. For more of her designs, please visit her website, Piece By Number. Also don't miss the  amazing variety of free patterns on her site (it's a great place to learn and practice foundation piecing !)

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Beth Maddocks. To purchase her patterns, visit her Piece by Number shop.

Note: Do you love all kinds of "house" quilts, as we do ? Check out the following articles from 2010:  Our Town, Our Town Part 2, Our Town Part 3, Our Town Part 4, Our Town Part 5, and Our Town Part 6.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you!
    I love this - I'm off to check out Beth's blog!!


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