Saturday, December 10, 2022

Lucy Boston Day

Happy birthday, Lucy Boston! She would be celebrating her 130th birthday today. Lucy Boston, famous to quilters for her "Patchwork of the Crosses" quilt, was also a British author, an artist, and a restorer of an old cottage and English garden. She was born on December 10, 1892 in Southport, England, and lived to the age of 97. 

This is Lucy Boston's original quilt called "Patchwork of the Crosses", made in the 1950's: 
Tama Quilters is a small group of quilt friends that met in each other's homes in Tokyo, Japan, in the 2000's. We continue to do biannual "summer homework" where we make 6 blocks--one to keep and five to swap with the other members. For the summer of 2019 it was decided we would make Patchwork of the Crosses blocks! Here's my finished POTC quilt!!! ⤵️
The block is made by hand-stitching, using English Paper Piecing/EPP. We were each provided enough papers to make six blocks. I used some Minnesota themed fabrics for my blocks, switching the blocks around as I ran out of different motifs for fussy cutting. Here are all of my blocks, before they were mailed to Japan. My favs have the Minnesota pine trees in the corners! ⤵️
Quilt Info:
Makers: Tama Quilters
Pattern: Patchwork of the Crosses, from Lucy Boston
Size: 10" x 37"
Batting: Quilters Dream Poly
Thread: Invisifil--light grey, and Glide 60--black
Quilting: Matchstick--Freemotion Quilting ⤵️
I used light grey thread over the blocks and black thread over the indigo areas on the top and bottom borders.
Here are the individual blocks, from left to right on my quilt. This first one, with the cute strawberries in the corners, was made by Yoshie-san: ⤵️
Keiko-san made a cross in the center of her block: ⤵️
I used Quilt Minnesota fabrics: ⤵️
Setsuko-san also put a cross in the middle, and roses in the 4 corners: ⤵️
Akiko-san has a rose garden theme in her block: ⤵️
Mihoko-san has red long stemmed roses: ⤵️
To join my blocks, I simply hand stitched them together where the blocks meet, then hand appliquéd them to an indigo background. Here is my finished quilt, hanging over our kitchen door, next to my longarm studio! ⤵️
Another view ⤵️ with National Positive Thinking Day quilt beside it!
Here's a close-up of my chunky binding, made from Japanese fabric. I cut it 5" wide and used this video tutorial by Latifah Saafir. It finishes at 1". I love how it looks like a picture frame!!! ⤵️
And here's a peek at the backing I used, Japanese fabric for the hanging sleeve and the flat wooden dowel I'm using to hang it, along with 2 clear Command Hooks on the wall. ⤵️
Interesting Info: Lucy Boston's daughter-in-law compiled photos and histories of all of Lucy's 20+ hand-stitched quilts and documented them in the book, The Patchworks of Lucy Boston, ⤵️ first published in 1985 and still available online.
It is said that Lucy Boston restored an English cottage and garden, then proceeded to write stories about the people and children that may have lived there in history. Pictured below are the six books in the Green Knowe Chronicles, written by Lucy Boston after the age of 60, from 1954 to 1976, and illustrated by her son, Peter. BTW, a "knowe" is British English for a knoll, or small rounded hill. 

I listened to all six audio books and they are compelling, realistic and magical, all at once! I would highly recommend them to adults and children, alike! (Although the 5th book contains some dark scenes--use discretion.) Each of the audiobooks are available free via the Hoopla library app and take 3-4 hours.
If you are visiting England, you can tour Lucy Boston's Green Knowe Manor, and see her quilts and visit her gardens, as well!!! The tour is run by Lucy's daughter-in-law, Diana, who also wrote the book on Lucy's quilts.

And if you can't visit England at this time, read the two part interview with Diana Boston and take a virtual tour, with all kinds of interesting info about Lucy Boston and her Green Knowe Manor!!! Part 1, Part 2

This is my 8th and final Tama Quilters swap/bee quilt for 2022!!! I'm so glad to have had the motivation to finish them all this year using a national day deadline for each one! Here are the 8 national days I went by!!! ⤵️
And here are each of the associated finished quilt tops!!! ⤵️
I'm very thankful for these quilt friends and the work they put into these blocks! Thank you, Tama Quilters!!! They all hang in my longarm studio and remind me of you.

And thank you, blog friends, for following along with me on this National Days quilt journey in 2022!!!

Grace and peace!!! ~Nancy


  1. Your POTC looks very nice above the doorway and you have great memories of your friends. Happy stitching!

  2. I do enjoy seeing the swaps you do. Great block to choose. They are very special.

  3. The Lucy Boston blocks turned out wonderfully and made a beautiful wall-hanging, Nancy! Looks like you had the perfect spot for them, too. I had heard of Lucy Boston and her quilt designs before, but didn't really know anything about her - so interesting!

  4. Oh, I love the friendship projects you made all along this year, this is such a great way to stay in touch with friends. And all the quilts are lovely!
    Great job, all of you, for these pretty POTC blocks!
    Thank you for sharing, and linking up, hugs

  5. I love this! I love Lucy Boston and didn't know about all the things she wrote. Adding this to my reading list. Always so much fun to see what this group does and what a great year of sharing you have had!

  6. What a great and interesting post today, I enjoyed reading it.Your quilt is the second one I saw today that had paper pieced blocks with straight line quilting and I love how it looks. Now I’m in the mood to do some paper piecing.

    1. Thank you! It's so interesting to learn about Lucy Boston, and she sure has left her mark on the quilt world, as well as with her books and cottage!!!

  7. I learned something new today, I had never heard of Lucy Boston before. Thanks for sharing your new project along with all the others!

  8. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful quilt. Your POTC quilt is so beautiful and filled with happy memories, I’m sure! Your blocks are lovely! It blessed my heart to read all the Japanese names; reminded me of my Okinawan students. I’ve added her series to my TBR and found the first book on Hoopla! Thank you for sharing! Happy sewing this week!

  9. Love seeing the close ups of the blocks, they are pretty amazing. Sue

  10. Great post today! I love how you used the Lucy Boston blocks, and that chunky binding is so interesting. I have 3 blocks made but hadn't come up with a way to use them - until now.

  11. I first read the Green Knowe books when I was 9 and I've loved them ever since. I have her book Memory in a House about her life at Green Know. As for the quilting-- I'm content to admire POTC, not so inclined to try it. Your group's blocks are beauties!

  12. I have so enjoyed your National Days quilting journey and seeing the blocks made by the Tama Quilters. I like the wide binding on the POTC quilt. Thanks for the link to Latifah’s tutorial! I have looked at it in the past, but haven’t tried it yet! I want to! The audio books look like fun ones!

  13. This is a very special quilt that you and your friends made. A lot of work and interesting detail went into. Very lovingly made. I am looking forward to learning more about Lucy Boston!

  14. You are such a creative group, it's so fun to see what you are working on. I love Lucy Boston blocks, but have never made one! It looks great above your door, and what fun memories in the whole quilt!

  15. Thanks for sharing about Lucy Boston! She was definitely an interesting lady!

  16. Lucy Boston was a fascinating woman! I want to read more about her now thanks to you. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss

  17. Thank you for introducing to me to Lucy Boston. I hadn't heard of her or quilts. The blocks made by you and your Tama friends are stunning.

  18. Thanks for sharing your Lucy Boston blocks exchange. I love the wide binding too - it does look like a frame! It looks so nice above your door. It is fun to be in a block exchange and see what blocks arrive from the others. Yours is with ladies in Japan, so special. Thanks for joining Design Wall Mondays Linky Party. Hugs, Judy

  19. Hi Nancy, what a lovely post and great quilt! I'm looking forward to reading more about Lucy Boston :-) Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks! Have a wonderful week.


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