Sticher’s Garden – A Quilt Beginning

Posted 9 December, 2014 by Trish in Crafty / 18 Comments



Oh good. I just took a look at my “2104 Things” thinking that I had on my list to take a photography class this year, but it’s not on there. Because goodness knows that there are enough things on the list that I haven’t done and won’t do this year (I’m looking at you 10K race).

Maybe I should have put it on my list to take a sewing class this year, because I could certainly cross that off my list!  By pure happenstance, I stumbled upon a new (to me) sewing machine shop in my hometown and I noticed a lovely quilt hanging on the wall that could be made during one of their sewing classes (see below screen shot for examples…and all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them).

stitcher's garden

Ever since Scott bought me my current sewing machine (three years ago), he’s been nagging me to sign up for a sewing class to learn how to use my machine. I can sew in a straight line (mostly), so what do I need a class for? But when I saw this quilt, I knew it would be perfect! The quilt is called the Stitcher’s Garden Quilt and the shop is holding a once a month, 14 month long class to teach the techniques. The quilt focuses on applique, which scared the crud out of me, but after three months I’m in love!

As you can see from glancing at my blocks below and the ones in the image search, I’ve taken some creative liberties with my blocks. I could have used the fabric the shop provided me (which would be the more nursery pastel colors in the top left), but I wanted something a bit more modern and fresh. I chose to use a gray background with very very bright prints from Kaffe Fassett along with some others from Westminster Fabrics. Kaffe Fassett prints are notoriously colorful and while my stitching doesn’t always compete with the brightness, I’m loving the way these blocks are turning out.

Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block One

stitcher's garden block 1

stitcher's garden


I used a quilting guide on my machine for those straight lines. This also was my very first ever attempt at applique. I had no idea it would be so much fun! I love testing out all of the stitches on my machine and playing around with the different looks. I also do a fair amount of unpicking–there’s nothing more frustrating than spending my stolen time unpicking bad stitches but it happens!

Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block Two

stitcher's garden block 2

stitcher's garden


These blocks should have borders on them–that’s why the edges look so unfinished. We’ve been instructed not to do any piecing until the very end, which works for me as I have no idea how I’m going to pull all of these colors together! I pick the fabric for each block as I go along. Nothing is planned in advance.

Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block Three

stitcher's garden block 3

stitcher's garden


The downside? Doing the background stitching on the blocks takes quite a bit of time (there is a thin piece of batting behind all of the squares). All of the background quilting should be done before class, and I can rarely finish an entire background in one sitting. I tend to pick it up and put it down in pieces–5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. I try to do all of my applique in class and when my classmates look at me funny I remind them that I have two small children at home and this is my productive time!

It is fun to get away once a month and I look forward to picking out the fabric from my stash for the next block. As luck would have it, we are working on two blocks December 30th. Hopefully I can remember to report back in a few months to share some additional blocks.

And those hexies? Still chugging away! I’ve started sewing flowers together while we watch Gilmore Girls in the evenings and I hope to make some headway on an upcoming roadtrip this winter.

One stitch at a time! Thanks for indulging me in sharing… Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday


18 Responses to “Sticher’s Garden – A Quilt Beginning”

  1. These are so pretty! Almost makes me want to learn how to sew. I love the idea of once a month classes – so much easier to fit into the schedule.

  2. Oh that looks so pretty! I have never tried quilting, I recently just restarted cross stitching, but yours looks beautiful it makes me want to try!

  3. This sounds like a fun activity, and once a month seems more manageable than weekly. I basically know nothing about quilting but I just wanted to say that these look great and I really love the bright colours you chose.

    P.S Photography lessons are going on my list for next year!

  4. So impressed with all that you achieve especially with two little girls. The stitching is beautiful. I wanna make a quilt! Actually, I discovered my last month in Alaska that the little community I lived in had a monthly quilting circle. Hell yes I’m going to join next year. I would love to make a patchwork quilt out of all the baby clothes etc that I’ve saved over the years.

  5. Trish, I am DYING to make this quilt, but I can’t find the pattern anywhere! Do you have any idea where I could buy the pattern?

    • Hi Jeanna! I had my monthly class last night and asked my instructor how one would go about getting the pattern. She told me that you have to go through a dealer. She said that her store could sell you the pattern and instructions. She also mentioned that it would be about the same cost as the 14 month class!? But if you want her information, let me know and I’ll shoot you an email.

  6. Thanks so much Trish! I think that might cost more than I am hoping for — I’m going to keep looking, but I sure do appreciate you taking the time to check for me! Have a wonderful day!!

  7. MarleneC

    I took this class in 2011 and was the first to finish my quilt. It was my first quilt. I learned a lot. I found I didn’t need all those different feet–mostly the open toe and when it came to quilting I wasn’t sure what to do because all of the blocks had the quilting done before the appliques were put on. I ended up stitching in the ditch and doing some echo quilting around the applique and meandering in the sashing. I applied buttons and even some butterflies I had purchased. It is a happy quilt. I am just wondering if you finished your quilt.

    • Hi Marlene–thanks for the comment! I have not finished my quilt yet. I had my third baby just as the class was wrapping up so I’ve finished most of my blocks but haven’t done the sashing yet to put it all together. I would love to see your finished quilt!! And yes–we talked a bit in the class about how to quilt since a lot of it was done while sewing the blocks. I plan to do some echo stitching like you mentioned. Did you quilt yours on a regular machine or a long arm? Trying to quilt this beast frightens me. LOL! Thanks for the visit. :)

      • MarleneC

        Hi Trish,
        I quilted mine on a domestic machine. It is queen sized. It is done with batiks and I exchanged some fabrics for what I had. I suggest for anyone taking the class to measure each background piece as my instructor cut a couple of mine smaller. Thankfully, those were cut a bit smaller before stitching the blocks together. We never discussed how to quilt it and it is great you were able to do that in class. Each block was fused to batting and I went ahead and used a regular size batting and then the backing. That made the quilt a bit heavier. I’m took some pictures but do not know how to get them to you.