Sunday, July 03, 2011

How to make Carolyn's Flower Garden quilt

Carolyn's Flower Garden
For newly retired co-worker Carolyn
Liberated Quiltmaking technique
Original layout
Mostly from stash
57" square

"Just in time."

How I did it: When I found out that Carolyn, a co-worker, would be retiring in about a week, it caught me off guard.  I have made quilts for many people who have retired from my office, but hers kind of sneaked up on me.  I decided I needed to make her a quilt, as well.  From a couple of conversations I found out that she plans to do more gardening after she retires and that her favorite color is purple.

I adapted a simple flower design in Electric Quilt, then gathered up purple, green and yellow fabrics from my stash.  I constructed the flowers in the Liberated Quiltmaking style so that each was similar but not identical.  I also used my Organized Chaos technique to distribute the flower blocks in the quilt.

Quilt top without border

Wide green border added

I added a white-on-white sashing in a wide width to take up space, and a wide green floral border.  A different white-on-white print went on the back of the quilt.  These three fabrics were new.

I finished the quilt the night before Carolyn's last day, nine days after I began.  When I handed her the bag with the quilt in it she hugged me before she even took out the quilt.  She said she knew what it was.  (I'm well known in my office for making quilts.)  She loved the quilt and I'm so glad I got it done in time before she left.

Lessons & tips: Wide sashing can fill up space, saving you time by not having to make as many pieced blocks.

Resources: Electric Quilt

It took me 9 days.

It made me Happy


  1. This is exceptionally pretty, Debbie. It has that fresh but still somewhat scrappy look that is more like a painting than a quilt in so many very artistically beautiful ways. I call this style 'modern' yet it is more than that. It is a very uniquely lovely quilt and anyone would adore getting this one!!!

  2. This is a very pretty quilt. Thank you for showing how you made it and for sharing it with us! I like the sweetness of the flowers up against the wide white sashing and the dark border. It looks to me like the border and the background for the flowers is the same - in any case it sort of completes the quilt so it's a bunch of flowers....

  3. Thanks, Michele. It's interesting that you mention "modern" style. I joined the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild about a year ago, mostly because they seem to accept my unorthodox and whacky self-taught methods. Additionally, it seems that in my efforts to create quick quilts, my designs are simple, "clean," architectural and graphic. Perhaps the resulting modern look is not so much trying to cut corners as it is my true style. Something for me to ponder.

  4. Thanks, June. The dark green border is a different fabric than any in the main part of the quilt, but it does relate to the various greens in the background of the flower blocks.

    As part of my Process Pledge* I try to show my thinking and design decisions as I go. You probably have done this already, but if you look in the Labels area at the end of a blog entry, then click on the quilt's title, you'll get a list of all the entries for that quilt. I don't usually provide detailed dimensions for cuts of fabric, but you can follow my steps in the process of making the quilt.

    *I, ________________, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

  5. That's funny that I clicked on this quilt. I had these blocks out of my orphan box today. My neice made them the wrong size for the block lotto. I have 8 blocks one size and one block 1.5" smaller than the rest. I guess that will be the "feature" block in the center of a baby quilt. We will have to "make it work". I love the way you lightened up this quilt with the light background. Great idea! The wide green border really makes it nice too.


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