Visiting a fabric store is just what the doctor should order every quilting and sewing enthusiast to do, especially when you haven’t been able to get out and visit one recently. PANICO’s, my favourite fabric store is 100 miles away in Stockton-on-Tees. I visit it every time I go to the North East to my bubble family – and cannot leave without buying some lovely fabric. Even better, as PANCICO’s UKQU.co.uk ambassador, I was delighted to be asked to review a 10 fat quarter pack of the beautiful MY REDWORK GARDEN fabric by Moda.
I was delighted to find this lovely quote on the selvedge of several of the fat quarters in my pack:
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” – Audrey Hepburn
My Redwork Garden, designed by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda is a range of reds and creams which complement each other extremely well. The fabric is of the usual high quality Moda produces. It handles well, sews like a dream and there was very little fray during making up the quilt top. I tested some by handwashing and drying naturally and they did not shrink at all. When pressing the fabric with a medium/hot iron it handled well and did not bow out of shape.
Here are the 10 fat quarter designs included in my pack:
WHAT TO MAKE?
So, what to make with this beautiful fabric? Inspired by the ukqu.co.uk successful September Garden Flower Blog Hop #GFBH2020 I thought I would carry on with this theme. I wanted something that would show off the designs of the fabric rather than it being lost by cutting up in smaller pieces. I came across this website and these great free Turning Leaves patterns.
Please visit their website at the link below if you want to download either of the patterns for your own personal use.
The Turning Leaves pattern (above) yields a quilt top of either 54” or 58″ square depending on which version you choose. I wanted to make one approx 45” x 66” to meet some of the various sizes for several charitable quilt projects so I adapted the pattern using the measurements below:
For a quilt top approx. 45” x 66” you will need 24 blocks.
6 – 10” x 10” squares in dark fabric (Red)
6 – 10” x10” squares of light fabric (Cream)
48 – 3½” x 3½” squares in contrasting fabric (White)
LEAF STEM BLOCKS
24- 3½” x 3½” squares in contrasting fabric (White)
24 – ¾” x 5½” strips of brown or dark green fabric
18 – 1½” x 9½” strips in contrasting fabric (White)
5 – 1½” x 40” strips in contrasting fabric (White)
2 – 3½” x 40” strips in contrasting fabric (White) for the top and bottom
2 – 3½” x 66” strips in contrasting fabric (White) for the sides
MAKING THE QUILT TOP
I tend to start with the fiddly bits of a quilt, but you can do it in any order you like.
CONSTRUCTING THE LEAF STEM BLOCK:
Take 24 of your 3½” x 3½” squares and cut them in half diagonally.
Using the ¾” x 5½” strips in a brown or green fabric, sew one side of the strip onto one of the triangles using a ¼” seam – you can chain stitch the remaining pieces if you wish.
PRESS open with the darker fabric towards the contrasting (White) fabric – this will make it easier to sew the other half of the triangle in place.
Now take the remaining triangle, line it up against the other and sew to the other side using a ¼” seam. PRESS open.
TIP – if you are struggling to find the centre to ‘square’ up your block try doing what I did. Take a thin strip of paper and tape it diagonally to the back of your ‘ruler template’ like below (1). Make sure the paper strip bisects the centre so you get the desired ‘squaring’ when you trim the ‘leaf stem block’.
Now line up the ruler template using the brown leaf stem as the centre line like below (2). TRIM to 3” x 3” square. Repeat for the remaining leaf stem blocks. Place to one side to use later.
MAKING THE LEAF BLOCKS
Take one red and one cream 10” squares and place Right Sides (RS) together.
Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner (a pencil line is fine) and sew ¼” either side of the centre line.
Cut the block in half on the diagonal line. PRESS open. This makes 2 large Half Square Triangles (HSTs).
Next place a 3½” x 3½” square at either corner of the block that has NO SEAMS. Mark a line diagonally and sew along it. You can make some bonus HSTs by sewing ½” away from the centre line (shown below as the red line).
Cut halfway between the two lines (shown here as a blue dotted line).
Repeat for the remaining leaf blocks. PRESS open
Here is the stash of HSTs left over from the blocks, they can be trimmed to 2½” square – handy for a border or another project!
CHECK POINT: Before adding the Leaf Stem block lay out your ‘Turning Leaves’ design – this will determine which end you sew the Leaf Stem blocks on. It’s easy to get it wrong if you are only using 2 colours – I speak from experience because that’s exactly what I did in the picture below and had to make up some more!
Now take your Leaf Stem block and line up the centre of the brown strip along the seam line. Draw a diagonal line from the corner as shown below.
Sew along the diagonal line, trim ¼” away from the seam line and PRESS open. Repeat for all 24 blocks.
Trim all the blocks to 9½” x 9½” square.
Put 4 blocks put together with the LEAF STEM at the CENTRE. Lay out the remainder of the blocks in your chosen combination. The final picture in this blog shows the layout I finally settled on.
Now you are ready to add the SASHING/BORDERS
Starting with the top row and using a 1½” x 9½” sashing strips between each leaf block sew using a ¼” seam. Repeat across each row and PRESS.
Add a 1½”x 40” sashing strip between each row using a ¼” seam. There are 5 rows to sew in this pattern.
Add the 3½” x 40” sashing/border strips to the top and bottom using a ¼” seam. Don’t worry if the strips are slightly longer, you can just trim them back.
Add the 3½” x 66” sashing/border strips to both sides using a ¼” seam.
Give it a final PRESS and your Turning Leaf Quilt top is now finished.
All that’s left to do is Layer, Quilt and Bind as desired.
The great thing about this pattern is that you can adapt it to suit your needs.
• Make the leaf squares bigger or smaller to change the size
• Increase the sashing size (the pattern says 2½”)
• Add a contrasting border after sashing
• Use up your fabric stash for the leaf squares.
I hope you enjoy making this quilt top as much as I did. A huge thank you to PANICO’s for the fabric and ukqu.co.uk for linking me up with them.
I must also give a HATS OFF to Panico’s for their sterling work in keeping their customers safe and ‘stocked’ with fabric, wool, notions and selling or servicing sewing machines during these last 7 months. They have barely had any time off, supported their local community by delivering locally where possible, and Carl and his team remain upbeat about the ongoing situation.
Why not check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/panicosfabrics and if you can’t find what you want then ring them or send them a message. You’ll be sure to get a prompt reply!
Did I mention that as a member of ukqu, PANICO’s also offers a discount on the fabric you buy when you visit the shop. Even more reason to visit!