Growing a Garden…

…Quiltmaker’s Garden that is! In our March/April ’12 issue on newsstands and at now, we unveiled our 30th anniversary quilt.

QMGardenquilt1 Growing a Garden…

Quiltmaker’s Garden

It’s a beauty and we just love it! QM’s editor-in-chief, June Dudley wanted something special to commemorate this milestone, so we decided to design a quilt that highlighted patterns from our past 30 years. Mind you, we work way ahead of when an issue actually arrives in your mailbox – we started this design in August 2011!

It was time to research! Each staff member has a full set of Quiltmaker issues for reference. Here’s the set that lives on my bookcase. You’d be surprised at how often we pull out old issues to look for something!

QMissues Growing a Garden…

Quiltmaker Magazine Issues

Carolyn Beam, QM’s Creative Editor, and I combed through all of the old Quiltmaker issues to gather ideas for blocks that we could include in our yet-to-be-determined design. Here is a sampling of all the blocks we marked as possibilities.

previousblocks Growing a Garden…

Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!

One thing became clear: we definitely had a floral theme going on! The idea of a gazebo with all of these flower blocks growing up around it was our starting point. So with a simple sketch and a collection of blocks, I set off to start designing!

ideas Growing a Garden…

Preliminary Sketch

First, I drew up a gazebo design and began to fill in the spaces with the blocks we’d selected, making sure everything was based on the same grid size so that blocks and patches would fit together. This is an early version with a plain background and a lot fewer flowers.

prelimsketch Growing a Garden…

Preliminary Design

There were many versions as I continued to rearrange, re-size, add, and delete elements to get to the finished design. A lot of input from fellow staff helped along the way. Finally, I also had to be sure you could actually sew what I had drawn on the computer – minor detail, you know!

renditions Growing a Garden…

Multiple renditions!

Once we had a final design, it was time to find some fabric. Carolyn and I dug into our scrap bins and sample fabrics to find just the right ones. See, our sewing room looks just as messy as yours at home!

DS CB FABRIC 036 Growing a Garden…

Carolyn and Denise play with fabrics

We called upon our longtime home sewer, Peg Spradlin, who herself has been with Quiltmaker for over 20 years, to put together this quilt. She was the obvious choice given her history with us and the fact that she had sewn quite a few of the original quilts that this one was based on!

The March/April ’12 issue contains all of the materials needed, as well as instructions for the first of the five parts. We are very proud and excited about this series quilt and we hope that you enjoy sewing your own version.

About Denise Starck

I am the Graphic Designer for Quiltmaker. I really love what I do and being able to combine my two passions, graphic design and quilting, into every day is fantastic! I've been quilting for over 14 years and enjoy all types of quilting.
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10 Responses to Growing a Garden…

  1. Connie Tessier says:

    Love this quilt! I just finished picking up all of the background fabrics needed, so I’m finally ready to start. I was wondering, what is the name of the Sky/Petunia blocks, and which issue did they come from? Will there be a list with the sources of the blocks? It would be great fun to see which years of the magazine this lovely collection of blocks came from. What a fabulous quilt design you’ve come up with to showcase them!

  2. Gail Dooley says:

    What a beautiful idea. Makes you feel like Spring is already here.

  3. Denise says:

    Yes, the butterfly blocks are larger than the bird blocks. If you do make your own version of Quiltmaker’s Garden, we would love to see it!

  4. gkathgoldin kathy says:

    i have looked & looked & can;t get past the garden.I just founf out about this. So I hope I am not too late. I had to decide-which was #1. uggh.
    very very hard…. As a woman & artist I go with colors & flowers & birds & butterflies.
    and then what can I actually make? What will have memories for me & for my kids and grankids and I have 2 great greatgrankids 9(at50) factoring that in It has to be
    The Gazebo -GROWING A GARDEN- grew up next door to my grandma & granpa tey had trellis & side of brick house full of roses-an apple orchard a8 she filled her water dish 2X;s a day for her cardinals & shooed away the black birds from her beauty birds & butter flies around her flowers & trellis & clematis, roses.. This is what remember of memories.

  5. Marilyn says:

    I just love the look of this. I am sure going to be doing it. There is a question though. Is it my imagination or are the butterfly blocks bigger than the blocks with the birds?
    Just wondering?

  6. Claudia says:

    So, you call that messy? You ain’t seen nothin’! Love the table leg extensions. My back is loving that idea. Can’t wait until you get to the rose blocks.

  7. kwiltnkats says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed a step into your design process. What a gorgeous quilt design you’ve come up with for the big “30″. Sandi

  8. Leanne says:

    I love the fabric room! How I would love to wake and find one just like it in my house…mess and all!

  9. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    This is beautiful – I love the gazebo!

  10. Reeze says:

    Absolutely love this quilt.

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