I am thrilled to tell you the story of the birth of this quilt, A Morris Garden. It has been in the works since July of 2021 and will be in the hands of its rightful owner in 2 weeks. I loved the process of bringing a quilt to life, and this quilt is no different. I hope you enjoy the story and find a few useful tips as you read about the process of quilting the life into this quilt.
In the summer of 2021, Robin approached me about making a quilt for her birthday. This would be a commission piece that her husband was giving her for a significant birthday. I loved the idea of doing it and signed on. This Free Spirit fabric collection called Seafoam was her choice. We ordered about 5 Fat Quarter packs to make sure we had enough. However, the quilter in me needed to add one more piece as collections often suffer from too much similarity in tone.
See what I mean! That one fabric shows up as a little lighter but the rest are all very similar in tone. “matchy-matchy” is the technical term. In fact, you will see that the lighter green leaf does not really stand out in the actual quilt as being, so a lighter fabric from the Free Spirit Morris line was added.
With the fabric selection taken care of, it was on to figuring out a pattern.
After some looking around, Robin and I settled on something in this order. This pattern is called Kensington Kaleidoscope and was designed by Marilyn Foreman of Quilted Moments. You can find it here. It is a lovely pattern for showcasing a fabric line, which was precisely what I wanted to do.
Necessity is the mother of invention and I made mine similar but slightly different from her pattern. Above, you can see a rendering of the final version in Electric Quilt 8. Yup, the fabrics were downloaded into EQ and I made some adjustments. First, I didn’t have enough fabric to do the kaleidoscope in each of the centers. I had plenty of fabric, but the FQs were not equal sizes and I washed the fabric, so I even had a little less. Second, I also made my blocks a tad bigger, going from an 8″ finished block to a 10″ finished block. I liked that end result allows you to see more of the design while not being entirely focused on the animals in the centers of the stars. Finally, I had plenty of bits of leftover pieces, but no real yardage, so I decided the piano key border would work well.
The other design considerations became the binding and backing. I was able to order both – a binding that was one of the fabrics in the original FQ bundle, Loden in Autumn. The backing is also related to the front, a wide back called Standen Strawberry Thief in Linen. The scale of the print is much larger than the others, which worked out really well for this quilt.
Making the Quilt
Assembling the blocks and pieces went rather quickly. The stars were made first, being very careful about the points. For me, I love “blocks on point” because you need fewer blocks than you would if you placed them the normal way. So a 10″ block is about 14″ accross and 5 will get you a width of almost 70″, the right size for a queen-size quilt!
After, I made the framed square block and started looking at the layout. They went together quickly.
I didn’t take a lot of photos of the piano keys, but the really nice thing about that kind of border is you can adjust a few seams and make it work, which is exactly what I did. I made two strip sets, put the left and right sides on, then made the top and bottom strips and attached them.
The quilting design I chose was Let Love Bloom E2E 1 by Christy Dillon. I liked that it had the scroll work and hearts in it – fitting for this quilt given in love by my friend’s husband.
I love the way it looks on the quilt.
And here is another closeup!
Although I always include a printed label, I wanted to make an embroidered label – my first! I used the BX font called Heart Bean Maze by Itch to Stitch; which is available at Designs by JuJu. I also liked that it mostly connected, like handwriting, so the stops and starts were fewer.
Because I use Embrilliance software, I can use something called a BX font which can adjust in size. I aimed for a 1/2″ tall font, so it would be easily read.
A Finished Quilt
This was my One Monthly Goal and I cut it right to the deadline. I am finishing the blog post before dinner, on Friday the 30th. My friend will get it on the 13th of October, and I can wait for her to hold it!
My husband and I tried to get a big photo of it, but this is a little oversized to allow for some shrinkage. It is about 95″ x 95″, and all the fabric was prewashed.
A Morris Garden 95″ x 95″
Pattern: Adaptation of Kensington Kaleidoscope by Marilyn Foreman
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Select
Piecing Thread: Aurifil Dove
Quilting Thread: Glide Pale Mist
Pantograph: Let Love Bloom
Embroidery Font: Heart Bean Maze
Coming Up on My Blog
PopStar QAL Finish
Challenge Quilt for Rising Star
FQ Support Group Stitch and Quilt Along