Behind the quilt: Reflections of Parracombe

patchwork quilt Reflections of Parracombe

We’re absolutely smitten with issue 16’s cover star – Jo Colwill‘s twist on a gorgeous 19th century quilt. You can catch Jo’s beautiful patchwork quilt in shops now in our November issue (16). Add it to your must-quilt list as it’s sure to become an heirloom that will be treasured for generations to come. And we’ve got happy news too! Since we went to print,  Reflections of Parracombe has won ‘Best in Show by a Professional’ at this month’s West Country Quilt & Textile Show – so huge congratulations Jo. Read on to find out more about this award-winning quilt.

Patchwork quilt Parracombe

Love at first sight

We were lucky enough to catch an early glimpse of Jo’s quilt at The Festival of Quilts this summer. (Pop over to visit us on our Today’s Quilter instagram to see our snaps of the quilt from the show.) Jo’s intricately pieced patchwork quilt top frames a central appliqué medallion. You can download our free quilters templates here to try the pattern yourself. Her original idea first came to life after a house clearance unearthed an unexpected treasure! We find out more in this Behind the Quilt insider sneak peek!

Patchwork quilt Parracombe

Inspired by a heritage quilt

“At my Christmas fair last year a friend brought a lovely old quilt that she had found in a house clearance, it is dated and signed Mary Smyth, December 8th, 1832,” Jo tells us. “Donna, the friend, thought it had been made in Parracombe, North Devon. I love North Devon and Exmoor and the quilt immediately appealed to me, although it was quite worn I love to think about all the old fabrics and quilting designs.” So she set about creating her own version.

“The centre of the quilt is hand embroidered so that I could hand appliqué the middle and I’ve slightly adapted some of the borers to make them match. In the old days people used to just cut the border off when they go to the end of the row, but I managed to make the most of the squares match all the way around.”

Reflections of Parracombe is designed and made by Jo Colwill, and quilted by Sandy Chandler. You can read ore of Jo’s Behind the Quilt story, plus find out how to make your own version in issue 16 of Today’s Quilter magazine, in shops now.

Today's Quilter issue 16