When I talk with quilters, I find that in addition to fabric, they frequently love gardening. There’s something very similar about putting together a quilt—taking into account color, scale, texture, and pattern—and combining plants in a flowerbed. I’ve asked some Moda designers to share their gardens with you and you’ll see what I mean. (You’ll also see that their gardens are as diverse as their designs!)
First up is Pat Sloan.I started to garden as a teenager when I lived in Brussels Belgium. In the Grand Place they had a market during the summer weekends. I bought a begonia, then tomato plants, and from there I’ve had flowers, herbs and the occasional veggie somewhere in my yard!
Many of my quilts include flowers, from a daisy or rose that I grow in my garden, to simple posies like the ones in the basket on my quilt The Sweet life. Those add that little splash of flower and are so easy to stitch.One of the happiest things I can do is visit a garden. I love to plan out all the flower beds, and buy flowers like I would fabric, planning how they will look together.
When I created ‘Friends Forever’ I was thinking about my grandparents. Their neighbor was an amazing gardener and he would give my grandparents boquets for their kitchen table.. my grandparents never did do any gardening!
For my Let’s Go Sew, I added my mom’s favorite, the rose! She love pink best, if she sewed I’d make her one with pink flowers!
Next is Janet Clare.
We live in a commuter town about 40 minutes outside London. Our house is Edwardian (built around 1908) and we have been renovating it for the last 12 years. The garden has been sadly neglected and I suspect the last time there was a green-fingered gardener living in the house he was an Edwardian too!
But, we do have space for a table and chairs (all thrifted and gathered over the years), all mismatched and wobbly. I cover them with quilts, blankets and cushions and we sit outside as often as time and the British weather allows.
The garden is very green and wild and we have two large oak trees which are home to bats, birds, squirrels and bugs.We also have lots of sky which I love. Our neighbours are all tucked away and no-one over looks our garden.
Trees, sky and a comfy chair are all I need in a garden.
Here’s what Barbara Brackman has to say about her garden.I moved last summer from a Victorian house in a grove of oak trees to a 1970s house on top of a rocky hill. Under the oaks I got good at shade gardens, appreciating the subtle greens of hostas. But now I am thinking sun, sun, sun and color, color, color. I’m starting small with a strip in front of the front deck. The photos show the sun garden in June. I’ve always concentrated on foliage but now it’s flowers. I am planning vegetables for next year.
I am also in the habit of container gardening so I can move the plants around as the sun shifts throughout the summer. I don’t need to follow the sun anymore but do love the color of the pots. The colors in the garden definitely show up in my latest line The Morris Jewels, William Morris prints in colors he’d never thought of.
Finally we’ve got Kate Spain, a gardener extraordinaire who is not afraid of hard work.You may remember her garden from two years ago, including the 7,000 lbs. of stone Kate and her husband hauled in as part of their landscaping project. Here’s what’s happened since:
I love to garden and some of you might remember that two summers ago, Pete and I endeavored to transform our “blank slate” backyard into a retreat for birds, butterflies, bees…and us. I always enjoy seeing before and after photos, and when I sifted through my pictures documenting our progress…even I was surprised! For fun, you can get your bearings by keeping your eye on the bird feeder in the corner. It was one of the few things that didn’t move! So, here’s what the yard looked like when we moved in:This is after we rototilled and plotted out the patio:Here is the patio with stones in place (all put there by Pete and me!), before the stone dust was swept between the cracks:And here it is now! I start just about every day out on that bench, sipping coffee, watching the birds and seeing what’s grown overnight.Another view…Here’s the shade garden with a little wall I built with stones we dug up throughout the yard:And here it is now:It seems that we grow vegetables, flowers and inspiration! I find so much happiness outdoors and every season offers something different in the way of color/texture/shape. I often stroll around taking photos of details that catch my eye. Before I start designing a fabric collection, I refer to these photos as starting points to build palettes and designs around. Here are some I took the other day that may turn into something eventually.I also love succulents for their distinct edges, shapes and layers. We have a bunch of different varieties along the bed borders and in planters. These are some that I drew and included in Canyon.Can’t wait to see what’s blooming tomorrow! Happy gardening!