How do Moda Designers’ Gardens Grow?

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.dp_pat-sloan-1I 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!Pat Sloan sunflower

Pat Sloan day lillies

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.Pat Sloan Sweet Life Sew Along block 2bOne 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. pat sloan verbena

Pat Sloan white flowersWhen 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!pat sloan friends forever 1

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!

Pat Sloan Lets go Sew pattern

Next is Janet Clare.

dp_janet-clare-300x282-1 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.

JClare ChairsThe 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.dp_barbara-brackman-300x282I 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. Brackman garden1The 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.Brackman garden2 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.

precuts Morris jewels
Lynne Hagmeier enjoys the non-green aspects of her garden as much as the vegetation.
dp_kansas-troublesI don’t have much of a green thumb, I just grow whatever the deer won’t eat and fill in the bare spots with garden junk. I collect birdhouses made with odds and ends and place them strategically around the yard for bird watching. When flea market shopping with the grandkids, we watch for old wheels, interesting silverware, rusty parts, and thing-a-ma-jigs. They claim I grow more rusty junk in my garden than flowers!I love instilling in them that even castoff parts can be repurposed and enjoyed in the garden.

Lynne Hagmeier garden 2


Finally we’ve got Kate Spain, a gardener extraordinaire who is not afraid of hard work.dp_kate-spain-300x282You 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:Kate Spain garden BEFOREThis is after we rototilled and plotted out the patio:Kate Spain Garden1Here is the patio with stones in place (all put there by Pete and me!), before the stone dust was swept between the cracks:Kate Spain Garden2And 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.Kate Spain Garden3Another view…Kate Spain Garden5Here’s the shade garden with a little wall I built with stones we dug up throughout the yard:Kate Spain ShadeGarden1And here it is now:Kate Spain ShadeGarden2It 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.Kate Spain Garden ColorsI 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.Kate Spain CanyonInspiration3Kate Spain CanyonInspiration2Can’t wait to see what’s blooming tomorrow! Happy gardening!

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