One of my favourite things about shopping trips to Dublin as a child was going into the Laura Ashley shop on Grafton Street. I know it is a brand that many consider old-fashioned and terribly floral, but it has always been special to me. I used to go in with my mother. She had some gorgeous pieces from the store. I remember the first time I saw their wedding dress range. I was mesmerised. Mostly I’d wander over to the occasion wear and stroke the dresses. So it was no surprise that when my school debs was coming up, I headed for Laura Ashley and found the perfect dress.
Back then dresses interested me a lot more than interiors did. Nowadays it is quite the reverse. That said, another happy memory I have of that store is of buying a pack of patchwork squares to make a quilt. Sewing a quilt was a challenge I set myself at 14. I went in to it full of energy and determination, hand-sewing hexagons to card templates and stitching them together as neatly as possible. In my naivety I underestimated the level of patience and perseverance that making a full sized quilt would entail. Oh how those pre-cut little squares from Laura Ashley saved me!
I changed my design, keeping the hexagons as a centrepiece and surrounding then with squares of various floral Laura Ashley fabrics. For years and years my quilt topped my bed at home in my parents’ house. Eventually I took it to Germany with me and since then it has mostly lived a quiet life in a drawer. Now and again it gets taken out when we have overnight guests and the regular duvets aren’t enough. Sad, really, considering the six months of work I put into it.
So I’ve made the decision to use my Laura Ashley quilt as the basis of our guest bedroom makeover. A patchwork mood board, if you like. With all the pinks, greens, greys and whites in those intricate little patterns, I’ve a lot of inspiration to work with. But if you know me at all you’ll know I have an eclectic mix of styles and colours throughout the house, so why should the guest room be any exception?
While I ponder how to style the room based around my quilt, I’ve a few little repairs to tend to. Getting up close and personal with my patchwork again should help me identify the colours I want to pick up on, the mix of styles I want for the room and, hopefully, inspire me to finally finish another I have on the go for several years.