lizetta loves

patterns of London

Last week, I got involved with the #jointhepatternparty Instagram challenge. Each day, people would respond to a pattern prompt and my feed came alive with colour and creativity.

I took part in the first pattern party back in May, using it to encourage me to rediscover some clothes hidden away in my wardrobe and reimagine patterns around the flat as items of clothing. This time round I used it as an opportunity to be creative in a different way, combining my cross stitch addiction with my love of London.

For a long time I’ve been fascinated with everything to do with London transport, especially the design elements. If you regularly use public transport in London, you may have noticed that the seats you sit on as you go about your London travels do not all look the same. In fact, for over 100 years a lot of thought has gone into the design of the moquette (French for carpet) that is used for the seating.

Some of these patterns have become iconic, and you can now buy furniture for your home in some of the most memorable designs. I thought these designs would translate well into the world of cross stitch so set out to find a suitable moquette to suit each of the prompts:

  • geometric
  • botanical
  • spots
  • painterly
  • checks
  • monochrome pattern clash
  • rainbow pattern clash

You can click through on each image to see the full Instagram post for each pattern. Which one is your favourite?

1930s
1930s
1980s
1980s
1990s
2010s
2010s
 

I’ll admit, some of the prompts were a challenge (spots and patterns clashes don’t feature highly) but there was a good enough range of pattern types that I managed to find something each day to at least loosely fit the bill. Not all these moquettes are in use today, but you can see how the times have influenced patterns over the years.

This was a great way to be creative everyday (one of my current aims) and combine two of my passions. I’ve got a few more that I want to do next and then I’ll work out what (if anything) I’m going to do with them – anyone fancy stitching these patterns for in your home?

I’ve got a couple of cross stitch projects on the go, but I’ve also got a long list of ideas for patterns I want to create myself that continue to represent my love of London. Keep your eyes peeled.

For more information about the history of the moquette and past and present patterns, I can recommend Seats of London by Andrew Martin. Check out @jointhepatternparty to find out more about it and dates for the next one when it’s announced.

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