How about a quilt with floral fabrics as an indoor garden? Spring is a yearlong season when you are surrounded by flowers at home!
If you do not have a green thumb like yours truly, cultivating flowers of the textile type can be a fantastic alternative! Garden Gate, my newest quilt, just published in the June 2023 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, might convince you to try my gardening tip! Garden Gate was made with the Sundance collection by Moda Fabrics. It measures 64-1/2″ x 78-1/2″ with blocks that finish at 12″.
As soon as I saw the Sundance collection, I knew I needed to make a project with it. The amazing colors, beautiful prints, and variety of textures tugged at my heart. I also knew I wanted to use dark blue and cream to frame the fabrics somehow. That’s when I began to explore the blocks in EQ8.
As you can see, I designed Garden Gate using EQ8 by The Electric Quilting Co. (affiliate link), which allowed me to audition the fabrics I wanted for the block I selected. Otherwise, I would have had to actually assemble the blocks to see how the fabrics looked together – not an option when you have precious little time to sew.
It is easy to decide what to keep and what to eliminate until I achieve the look I want. I do it all before putting a rotary cutter on the fabric! When you take a look at American Patchwork & Quilting, you will see color alternatives, too. Sometimes, we like a quilt but wish we could make it using a different palette. With the software, I try out various fabric collections or color combinations until I find the one that speaks to me.
I love to design quilts and write patterns so others can make them. I meet a lot of creative people who would like to do the same. Go for it, even if you begin with pencil and paper. As you are happy with your designs and your friends want to make them, consider moving on to using the software. If you are interested to learn how I design and write patterns for my quilts, check out the online course I developed. Turning my hobby into a business has changed my life in amazing ways and paved the way for the life I am living right now. Who knew?
Going back to the Garden Gate blocks: when it was time to sew them, I stitched the fabrics into strips, pressed them carefully not to stretch them, centered a ruler on the strip sets, and cut. Four units made a block. The blocks come together quickly – I did make sure that the seams matched, or the design would have come out wonky.
I go very slowly and check the seams as soon as I am done with them. This way, I do not have to backtrack, although it happens sometimes that I miss some points. If I can’t live with them, I will change them, even if the quilt top is already done. However, my quilts are not for quilt shows and judges’ eyes. Just saying.
Notice how I made sure there was contrast within each section of the blocks and between the units that formed the 12″ blocks. My choice of fabrics added depth and movement to the quilt. I also contrasted the scale of the prints to emphasize the design. I like mixing print scales and color values to create a scrappy-looking quilt that is pleasing to the eye.
What do you think? Was I successful in my quest to build a garden with fabric flowers? You may want to use these floral fabrics as an indoor garden, too, by making this quilt!
Let’s say you prefer to work with batiks. I made this sample block using a more limited palette and love how it turned out! A whole quilt made with these fabrics would calm down a busy room decor or add color to a monochromatic area of your house, bringing a soothing vibe reminiscent of sacred geometry.
You could also make four extra blocks and turn them into throw pillows, adding squares to the corners as I did above and, perhaps, framing the block with strips to get it to 16″. It would be a fast project and would tie the elements in the room together.
Floral fabrics always cheer me up. I designed a quilt called In the Sunroom that would look great as part of your year-round home decor. Check it out!
Here it is in all its glory. I need to keep it in my office, not the family room, so I can look at it all day long, particularly when the weather is cloudy, and the mood is more subdued. It will make me sing!
The American Patchwork & Quilting cover quilt is gorgeous! Garden Gate is the first quilt featured in this issue, but you will be glad you got the magazine when you see all the other projects in it. This year, the magazine is celebrating its 30th anniversary – I am so happy to be part of the party. Join us by turning floral fabrics into an indoor garden with my design, or by making all the other quilts!