Here's a better look at details of Lucy Boston's Keyboard Patchwork (to which I linked yesterday), and in re-reading that chapter in the book I see that Lucy herself described this as "an investigation of the colour possibilities of black, white and grey with minute additions of brown and blue", while her daughter-in-law Diana says, "this arresting patchwork is a fine justification of Mies van der Rohe's dictum, 'Less is more' [which we were talking about the other day]. It is usually the favourite amongst visitors to the house who are struck by its modernity and sophistication." One more thing to note is that it is thought this piece was started in 1967 when Lucy Boston was 75, and it was when she was in her 80s that "her production of patchworks was most prolific".
Lucy's work with the needle gave rise to more than quilts and hangings; 'while her fingers were busy stitching, she must often have been planning her books':
"I am writing like one fiend-driven, partly because of panic poverty, partly by a promising idea. I promised Bodley Head to have a rough draft to read to them on Sunday week! So I press on headlong. Thirty-four pages of (I think) stunning magic have led me to a dead stop. I thought ideas would come when I got there but they don't. The patchwork seems to help. The garden is nowhere, forgotten."
"I had been repairing the old patchwork curtains hanging in the dining room, in which every piece of material was pre-1803*. As one turned over the folds, it was easy to pick out the clothes of the whole household, young, adult and old, everyday or best, master or maid. It grieved me to have to cover any of them up, but a hole is no use even historically. Out of this study of ravishing hand-printed muslins, cottons and cambrics - the quality of the materials themselves was a joy to the eyes and fingers - came the idea for The Chimneys of Green Knowe."
*Yes, I have typed that correctly.