Friday, June 26, 2020

Zen Garden

It may have taken two months, but I have certainly fallen in love! Have a look at my finally finished Zen Garden quilt and tell me you aren't in love too!

Zen Garden quilt made by QuiltFabrication

Made from the Zen Garden pattern in Jo Avery's book, Patchwork & Quilting Basics (affiliate link) from C&T Pub, 

I'd say this is one beautiful garden quilt!

Zen Garden quilt in full

Using the multi-colored floral fabric as my color inspiration, I pulled oranges, reds, yellows, and greens from my stash. 

fabric choices for the Zen Garden quilt

And this pattern is perfect for including those bold striped fabrics. Paired with quieter blenders, they all play well together. 

As for construction, once I had all the pieces cut, the two different sized blocks were easy to put together,

fabric strips for Zen Garden quilt

especially during an early morning chain piecing session!

early morning chain piecing

When it came to the layout though, I didn't follow Jo's exact instructions. Instead, I put all the blocks on the floor following the quilt diagram in the book. That way, I could be sure I wasn't putting the same fabrics together, OR putting too much visual weight in one area by value, OR creating pattern clashes. I want the crickets to chirp and the birds to sing about my garden quilt - can't you hear them? 

Zen Garden blocks laid out on the floor

Once I had the top assembled, the idea of how to quilt it didn't take long. Though the blocks are along the lines of a traditional log cabin, the overall layout of this quilt says modern, which meant Zen Garden needed a modern quilt design. And I found the perfect pantograph, Bebop, full of repeating circles, which is not only a modern design, but in itself is quite zen.

Bebop pantograph quilting on Zen Garden quilt

Just look at the contrast those circles create with the squares on the quilt - the perfect pantograph indeed!

Can you tell I really have fallen in love? I'll be keeping this one as another summer/fall quilt for display in the living room, and for the occasional snuggle when the nighttime temps fall.

As for Jo's Patchwork & Quilting Basics book (affiliate link), I just can't say enough. Patchwork & Quilting Basics (affiliate link) is not just for those who are new to quilting - it's perfect for any quilter. The book is full of simple patterns using traditional techniques and blocks but with a modern twist - the types of quilts I'm drawn to, and the style of quilt I try to design. I found several of her quilt patterns I'd like to make, such as the Stream Quilt,

Stream quilt by Jo Avery

or Dancing Pandas. Both are simple, yet eye-catching.

Dancing Pandas quilt by Jo Avery

Even though you may have plenty of quilt books on your shelf, if you're looking for a more modern quilt sewn with traditional techniques, this book is for you!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. I was skeptical when I first saw the colors of the quilt (not MY faves), but it's beautiful. Maybe I just need to branch out.

  2. I would have taken the time to layout all the blocks as well. Beautiful quilt and balance, Susan. I can hear how fun this one was to make in your post, too.

  3. Bright, cheery colors indeed. Another lovely finish.

  4. It has such a fall garden feel to it, I imagine curling up with it and readying a book out on the deck;)

  5. Such great colors. I love it!
    Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net

  6. Have been watching for a pattern for my granddaughters - love this one! Have the perfect fabrics and waiting on the mailman to deliver my book. Thanks so much for this happy quilt post!

  7. Oh I do like it!!! it is so pretty!!

  8. Hi Susan! I saw this recently on IG and I just LOVE it. I have to say the fabrics translated even better into the actual quilt. And the different sizes of blocks are really a cool concept. Thanks for linking up today. ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. Your Zen Garden quilt came out great! I love the autumnal color theme, but without explicitly fall/harvest/holiday themed prints. I also love the intentional way you utilized striped fabrics to add that extra level of detail. I have probably already asked you this before, but do you follow paper pantographs freehand or is your system computerized? Your BeBop design looks fantastic, with such beautifully smooth stitching and rounded swirls. I need to find some more "beginner friendly" pantographs to practice with because the first couple I tried were way above my skill level and the results were pretty discouraging! :-)

  10. I really like the way it turned out. Nicely done.

  11. Ha, you didn't even need to ask. I totally love this quilt. It is so you, I was surprised to find you hadn't designed it from scratch. Great colours, great finish quality, as always. Thanks for linking to the Chameleon's Colour & Inspiration party. :)

  12. I hear the crickets chirping and the birds singing. 😅 I love the subtle variation among the background fabrics, and the color scheme is really effective.

  13. It's hard to go wrong when you take your lead from Jo Avery! This sounds like it was a fun and fast sew. And you're right: This design is the perfect venue for those striped fabrics. Well done!


Thank you so much for just made my day!