Lucy Boston Patchwork in The Quilt Life

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Quilt Life April 2014

Lucy Boston’s Patchworks are featured in the April 2014 issue of The Quilt Life!

We’re celebrating with a draw for a $50 Gift Certificate (below) and “the best is yet to come!”


The Quilt Life April 2014

It is a fascinating FIVE PAGE article by Diana Boston, Lucy Boston’s daughter-in-law, with beautiful photography by Julia Hedgecoe.


The Patchworks of Lucy Boston  POLB   Patchwork of the Crosses  POTC

Some of the photos in The Quilt Life are familiar from Diana’s book, The Patchworks of Lucy Boston, and from my book, Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.

Lucy Boston gives hope and inspiration to any artist or quilter—but especially those of us in our fifties and sixties.

Lucy Boston made her most famous quilt, The Patchwork of the Crosses, when she was in her 60s. She was most prolific when she was in her 80s and continued to quilt in her 90s.


Inklingo POTC - Kathy Timmons


I cannot help but wonder how Lucy Boston’s artistic expression might have developed without three limitations that we do not face today.


Clothing Coupon

1. Limited availability of fabric

Lucy Boston’s efforts to find suitable cotton fabric in England are described in letters in The Patchworks of Lucy Boston, one of my all-time favorite books.

Did you know that even though the war ended in 1945, sugar, meat and other food was still rationed in England until 1953-1954? Cotton fabric was in limited supply in the 1960s and 1970s too, before the revival of quilting in America. In our abundant world, it is hard to imagine.

Lucy Boston had a painter’s eye and fabric was her palette but she lived at a time when only a very limited selection was available. Did it spur her creativity or limit her?

It’s a great time to be a quilter! In the whole history of the world there has never been more beautiful cotton fabric available than there is now. What would she have been able to create with it!


Dark glasses

2. Failing eyesight

The last 10 or 15 years of Lucy Boston’s life were saddened by her failing eyesight. How tragic for an artist!

She tried using a magnifier and village children threaded needles for her after school. “Damn my eyes. I could keep my spirits up if I could see,” Lucy wrote in a letter to her niece when she was in her nineties (POLB, page 5).

It’s a great time to be a quilter! There have been breakthroughs in the treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes and other age related causes of blindness in the past 50 years. If only there had been help for her! All of us have a better chance of keeping our sight even if we live to be 98, like Lucy Boston.


Inklingo POTC by Joan Cumming in Australia

3. English Paper Piecing

Lucy Boston is famous and respected as an artist for her brilliant use of the designs in the fabric, not for her sewing method.

Joan in Australia was inspired by Lucy Boston to create stunning POTC blocks by hand (more in the albums on Inklingo Yahoo) but she sewed with a running stitch, not English Paper Piecing, and was able to finish blocks in a fraction of the time.

English Paper Piecing is the slowest, most difficult, and least precise method in my book, but that was the method used in England at that time.

American quilting methods were not well-known in Britain, and Lucy Boston learned to sew by mending quilts which had been made in the early 1800s.

She cut her own templates from brochures and Basildon Bond writing paper. What if she had spent that time designing and sewing instead of basting and whip-stitching? A key to her artistic vision was matching identical motifs, but they were hidden from her when she was sewing!


Maggie Smith sewing POTC by the fire

I will always believe that she had even more exciting designs dancing in her head as she sat by the fire on long winter evenings. (That’s Maggie Smith sewing POTC in the movie From Time to Time based on one of Lucy Boston’s children’s books.)

We are grateful for the magnificent quilts, her delightful books, the impressive garden and the restored manor house, but I also think of “the lost quilts of Lucy Boston.” How many more masterpieces would we be admiring when we visit Hemingford Grey if she had had a better, faster method?

It’s a great time to be a quilter!  Even if we choose EPP instead of faster, easier methods, we can print freezer paper templates and the best of everything is readily available. (One of many EPP Tutorials)


Print shapes on fabric with Inklingo

We have many options. We can sew by machine or with a running stitch by hand to create her designs in a fraction of the time, with or without printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo.


Inklingo POTC by Fern in Singapore

Fern in Singapore has finished a spectacular POTC quilt using Inklingo to print the shapes on fabric.

“I attempted and abandoned Lucy Boston’s quilt some 12 years ago. Inklingo makes it easy-peasy to make a complex, exquisite and magnificent quilt. I am having so much fun with mine now.”




As the article in The Quilt Life explains, music and gardening were also passions of Lucy Boston. She had a large collection of classical recordings. During the Second World War, she regularly hosted musical evenings for RAF pilots in her ancient manor house, as described in Diana’s book.

Given Lucy Boston’s passion for music, it seems appropriate that I have a favorite song running through my head while I write.

It’s not Lucy Boston’s classical music, but she makes me think the best is yet to come.

I love the duet of The Best is Yet to Come by Tony Bennett (another famous, beloved octogenarian) and Diana Krall (a very talented Canadian jazz musician).

All quilters would choose to be as creative and artistic as Lucy Boston was in her sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. Lucy Boston showed us how. She is our heroine.

We need to believe that the best IS yet to come for us.


The Quilt Life


If ever there was a reason to subscribe to The Quilt Life, this is it!

If you do subscribe, please tell them Inklingo sent you. We want to encourage The Quilt Life and other quilting magazines to include more Inklingoable patterns, quilts and inspiration.

You can also follow The Quilt Life blog and The Quilt Life on Facebook.

Wouldn’t you love to have this issue of The Quilt Life to keep with your POTC quilt? The Quilt Life’s International Spotlight on Lucy Boston is important documentation to keep with an heirloom.


The Manor at Hemingford Grey


The All About Inklingo blog is also searchable. There are dozens of articles about Lucy Boston, her quilts, English Paper Piecing, fussy cutting, etc. (right sidebar).


Inklingo Castle Wall 4.5 inch   . . . Inklingo Castle Wall 6 inch . . . Inklingo Castle Wall 9 inch


The special intro price on Castle Wall ends Saturday night at midnight.

There is still time for your sweetie to buy it for you for Valentine’s Day—or buy it for your self and have money left over for chocolate.


Win Inklingo $50


You could win!

Leave a comment to be in the draw for a $50 Inklingo Gift Certificate. The winner will be announced on the first day of spring, March 20.

Monkey says $50 buys a lot of Inklingo!


You can subscribe (top of right sidebar) to receive an email every time we post a tutorial.

I hope you are feeling loved on Valentine’s Day. Lucy Boston is certainly well-loved by quilters all over the world every day of the year.

“Whatever she touched, whether it was literature, horticulture, topiary, needlework or simple everyday life, bore the imprint of her unerring sense of beauty and quality.” (Lucy Boston Remembered: Reminiscences Collected by Diana Boston)

What a legacy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

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240 thoughts on “Lucy Boston Patchwork in The Quilt Life”

  1. Lucy Boston is such an inspiration! I simply have to get started with Inklingo…it’s the only way I could ever make one of the Lucy Boston quilts.

  2. Inklingo is on my list of things to do-when I find my “round tuit”! just not into that yet-still using “old” way-speciality rulers! 🙂

  3. Joined in the fun with Celtic Solstice and the Lucy Boston blocks intrigue me. Thanks for the opportunity of a $50 certificate. Just maybe I’ll be lucky this time??? As for Facebook, seems they ask daily for where I was born but I ignore it. It is possible to give VERY limited personal info to open an account!

  4. I am brand new to Inklingo, just printed my first test! Would love to win the gift certificate. Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. Linda, thanks for the chance to win. I have been fascinated by the Lucy Boston POTC since I first saw it here. Of course, that would be my furst purchase if I won the $50!!

  6. I really like the Celtic Solstice collection, and I have already used the diamonds in another project. Thank you for this suggestion, Helen

  7. Lucy Boston’s POTC quilt is beautiful. This is definitely a quilt to make using Inklingo. Hopefully, I’ll be getting a new printer soon! Love your posts!

  8. I absolutely adore the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses and this would be such a fantastic opportunity to learn the Inklingo way to piece! Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I just found your webpage this morning….How EXCITING!! So much that I have missed. Hope to catch up with all this fantastic information. Inklingo?? Never heard of it….but will definately be incorporating it into my quilting. Thank You!!

  10. I just think that being creative is a lot of fun but also to have spectatular results requires thought and it shows! Great job!

  11. This Inklingo is very intriguing. Love the Lucy Boston and the Leader and Ender Lozengers and am all about saving time and fabric! Thanks, Linda!

  12. I’m just learning about inklingo and hope to try it soon when I have some extra time. The Lucy Boston quilts are lovely.

  13. I love using Inklingo for the new leader and ender quilt, I would never make it if I had to draw all those lines.. and waste all that fabric. Great idea Linda

  14. What a great article on POTC anD Lucy Boston. I have enjoyed working on the pickled clamshells. No more tracing templates. Print, cut and go! Thanks for such a great product and for the chance to win.

  15. I’m new to EPP and Inklingo but I’ve been traditionally piecing by hand and machine for about 15 years now. I’m still trying to get all the kinks worked out of ironing on the freezer paper well enough to keep it on the fabric through the printing process. I discovered inklingo in Bonnie Hunter’s last mystery quilt – Celtic Solstice. I hope to make a king size quilt from this mystery much quicker thanks to Inklingo!

  16. Am a fairly new beginner with EPP, although I’ve been doing conventional quilting for over 15 years and needle-turned applique for about 4. I’ve been frustrated with EPP so far due to the amount of time it takes to trace shapes, cut out, either finger-press, glue or a combination of both BEFORE I take even one stitch. Your product videos have convinced me that this will not only speed up the process of EPP but should put the enjoyment of piecing back into my projects. Thanks so much, Linda, for your brainy ideas — I can’t imagine even one EPP fan who wouldn’t be thrilled to use your method.

  17. WOW!!! Everything about Inkling is just amazing. I am taking it all in, and going to start very soon. So many ideas, so much great work done by so many. My turn is coming!!!

  18. Well Linda I switched to inklingo for my POTC blocks. I love it. I don’t know why but the epp was bothering my hands. I am even using it on started blocks. I just take out the templates and slip in a fp template, press, mark w/ pencil. I trim the seam allowances after piecing. Then print remaining pieces with inklingo. Works perfectly. Since I have a tendency to put in hexes (small directional prints) upside down, I am putting an error on the back of each hex. Saves on frogging. Thanks Linda and Monkey.

    Love Christine

  19. I love the Lucy Boston blocks! I want to start one but am trying to decide how I want to do it. Maybe winning the gift cert. would encourage me to try the Inklingo way!

  20. Looking forward to learning this method of sewing quilt blocks. I want my blocks to be perfect if possible. I have been quilting for about 20 years and I am now retired and doing much more quilting.

  21. Love those pinwheel blocks on point! Looks like a pattern idea for my first Granddaughter’s quilt. Thanks Linda and Monkey for all you do!

  22. I was a fan of Lucy Boston’s books before I came across her body of works in quilts!

    Inklingo makes POTC look doable and I have it on my “to do” list.

    In the meantime , I will look at the many Inklingo projects I see online. They make me happy every time I see another fabulous project! I follow the projects on Facebook and online on the Inklingo blog, and thru Linda’s newsletters.

  23. dear linda, I can’t remeber if I had already put a coment, but I can tell you those blocks are fascinating.
    I have never thought of using those Elongated Hexagon before the lucy boston quilt, it is brilliant!
    marie from france

  24. My dream is to make a Lucy Boston Quilt, the design is so versatile! And Inklingo makes it so easy!

  25. I wonder if Inklingo can help ease the difficulty:
    “English Paper Piecing is the slowest, most difficult, and least precise method in my book, but that was the method used in England at that time”
    Imagine marks that locate each stitch so that the stitches are correctly lined up with the fabric held alongside each other but slightly apart
    Then when you pull on the thread the two pieces are perfectly joined
    Your system is so powerful – the possibilities are endless
    See what you’ve begun – so exciting and inspiring

  26. Thanks for the information published in Quilt Life, this is my first introduction to Inklingo and I am looking forward to becoming familiar with all of its features and using your resources for my quilting.

  27. I am thrilled with using Inklingo and have already told most of my quilting friends. Don'[t know why they haven’t started using it too. I’ve even blogged about it.

  28. I love Inklingo and lucy bostons quilt. One day I will start it. Need to find the right fabrics for it! Or maybe scrappy? The Inklingo shape collection is already availabke for me. I also love tiny blocks, so I would love Inklingo to get more and more tiny shapes! I make 2 to 3 inch blocks! And there are not many collections for tiny blocks like this! I hope there will be more soon! Thanks for all you hard work!

  29. I’ve got to get brave and try the printing: I finally have a new printer, so I have no excuses, do I? Great write-up about Lucy. You sure know alot about her!!

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