Everything in the Garden's lovely...

February 20, 2019

Whilst I'm always excited to see my Postman deliver the latest copy of Today's Quilter, this month I've been waiting rather impatiently because I couldn't wait to share my latest project with you: the Kitchen Garden.

 

Subscribers already have their copies of issue 46 and it will be on your newsstand any day...

 

When my lovely editor, Fiona, suggested a row-by-row quilt on a garden theme I immediately thought of walled gardens and old-fashioned allotments. My friend Lou, on Instagram (@thelittleredrobin) has created a stunning and wonderfully productive allotment with her husband Russ and was featured in Selina Lake's book 'Garden Style'.  I often referred to her beautiful photos for inspiration. 

 

 

The gentle colour scheme was inspired by a book I've cherished since I was a teenager: Sara Midda's 'In and Out of the Garden'.

 

The book is entirely hand drawn, with delicate watercolours of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Every exquisitely composed page is a delight. Even the end papers (left) are beautifully considered. The vegetables, in particular, are painted with a romanticism normally reserved for flowers.

 

The book is now out of print, but do hunt down a second hand copy if you can.

 

 

I chose a gentle Eau d'Nil - Moda Bella Solid in Breeze - as my background colour, combining it with soft sand and off-white for the vegetable beds.

 

 

Which left me pondering what I would use to capture the glowing colours of the vegetables. As I've never really been drawn to oranges and purples I had very little of either, but then I remembered that Tilda 'Bird Pond' was just about to be released...the big question was whether it would be in the shops in time. I did have some alternatives on standby from older Tilda lines, but was jumping for joy when these pretty bundles arrived (I had mine on pre-order from Sew and So). Aren't those rich, vibrant colours just perfect?

 

 

I augmented the leafy greens with a selection of Moda Bella Solids - Evergreen and Fresh Grass - plus a scrap of Aubergine for the purple cabbages. Luckily it was the perfect time of year to dash out into the garden to check my colour balance ;-)

 

 

I also took the opportunity to have some fun taking photos in our own much neglected vegetable beds. We seem to have more success growing fruit - which, frankly, requires less skill - although our attempts at growing veg were much enjoyed by the local wildlife. I should probably make a quip about sewing seeds at this point...

 

The humble wheelbarrow and garden fork deserved their own blocks too...

 

Although I was working to a deadline I must say I enjoyed every minute of piecing these blocks. Each row only needs a few blocks and every row is like a finish in itself. I can't wait to turn a few of those rows into table runners this spring. Before I knew it I was driving up to Quilter's Trading Post to see my wonderful quilter, Jayne.  I'm always grateful for Jayne's advice on just the right quilting design and - given that it was a busy quilt - she suggested a lovely stipple dotted with tiny leaves that looked like sprouting seeds. And it's actually called 'The Garden'.

 

I wasn't able to get hold of any 'Bird Pond' yardage at the time so I used an older red print to bind my quilt. You know how much I love a red binding.

 

And what would we do without our precious garden bees?...

 

There's also a companion project in The Garden pattern booklet: a fun apron for the Head Gardener in your life. There are lots of options for personalising this project by picking your favourite veg (see what I did there?...).

 

 

I hand quilted my apron - appropriately enough with little furrows - and you can find my tips on hand quilting here.

 

 

But I couldn't make a garden-themed quilt without including the gardener's constant and inquisitive companion, the Robin. They are singing their hearts out in my own garden as I write, staking their claim to a nesting site and looking for a mate. And so the gardening year begins again...

 

Nicola xx

Please reload

Featured Tutorials...

Please reload

Spellbound sew-along...

Click on the Pumpkin to access the block tutorials...

Sailing By Sampler.jpg
S Midsummer Sammpler_edited.png
Tutorials...

Click HERE to access the Tutorials Page

British designs by Nicola Dodd

© CakeStand Quilts 2015 - 2019