The pace of my quilting has slowed quite a bit since I started a new job in March, but the travel ban gave me an unexpected two-week staycation in July. I put it to good use, and here is the result: A Walk in the Garden.
Finishing at a whopping 88” x 107”, it’s the second-largest quilt I’ve ever completed (and only a couple of inches smaller than the largest one, The Color of Time).
Finishing the top and backing took most of my vacation, so I decided to send it out to a long-arm quilter instead of trying to do it myself.
This turned out to be a great decision. Richla Ramsey of Got Kwilts? did a wonderful job, and she did it super fast. What would have taken me several weeks on my domestic sit-down machine, she did in one day. I love the flowing pattern she used (we chose it together; it’s called Ogee from Anne Bright Designs). She filled it with a double batting, one layer of Dream Orient and one of Dream Wool, which gives it a wonderful weight and lovely drape.
The quilt design is an adaptation of a smaller quilt pattern called Use Your Illusion by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs. My friend and colleague Rosanna von Sacken commissioned the quilt as an anniversary gift for her husband, and she and I collaborated on the adaptation.
We picked Use Your Illusion as a base after paging through a lot of quilt pictures to find out what appealed to Rosanna. It was a fun and easy pattern to work with. The striped blocks are paper pieced, and once I figured out the color placement and printed the scaled-down patterns on sheets of newsprint, it was a snap to put the blocks together.
The Kona cotton solids were chosen to compliment the color scheme in the room where the quilt will live. From top to bottom, we picked Sage, Tarragon, Celadon, Leaf, Oasis, Copen, Astral, and Prairie Sky. The original pattern uses a single color and white, so I spent a while playing with the placement to get the colors to flow down the quilt just right.
Rosanna also selected the border and backing fabric, and I think she made a fantastic choice. It compliments the sage and denim tones of the solids really well. It’s Blueprint Basics Wide Floral in Denim by Robert Kaufman.
The name A Walk in the Garden came to me early on, but I couldn’t put my finger on why, so I didn’t commit to it at first. Often, a quilt’s final name will come to me as I’m piecing, but I never thought of this quilt as anything else. I think it’s because the striped blocks remind me of those English hedge mazes, and the floral border is like a scattering of wildflowers all around the maze. At any rate, when it was done and I was making up the “About this Quilt” sheet that I complete for all my quilts, I had to write in a name, so A Walk in the Garden became official. I think it suits.
It’s now with Rosanna and her husband in its forever home. Doesn’t it look lovely on her bed? Rosanna, enjoy your Walk in the Garden!