Color Palette

Mum’s Garden {Design Process}

When I purchased all the Kona Cotton yardage from my local quilt shop that is closing, I was intrigued by the Yarrow/Spice/Burgundy color combination. Last week I decided to start thinking about what I could made using those fabrics. To start, I went to my cut up Kona Cotton color card and found the color swatches for the 4 fabrics I planned to use (I added in Bone which I also purchased at the same time).

Thread Color Selection

Thread Color Selection

I also cut my Aurifil thread color card to make it easier to color match thread color to fabric selections. The first thing I did was evaluate the fabric swatches against the thread colors at different times of day and under different lighting conditions. I made my selections and placed an order with Hawthorne Supply Co., which stocks all the 270 Aurifil thread colors.

Thread Color Selection

Thread Color Selection

My thread order arrived on Tuesday night, and I’m really pleased with the color matching. I selected:

  • 2311 Muslin to match Kona Bone,
  • 2140 Orange Mustard to match Kona Yarrow,
  • 2350 Copper to match Kona Spice, and
  • 2468 Dark Wine to match Kona Burgundy.
Fall Mums - photograph by Patrick Donnelly

Fall Mums – photograph by Patrick Donnelly

After placing the thread order, I got a bit stumped in terms of design. The palette made me think of fall which made me think of fall color and leaves, but that wasn’t sparking anything for me. So I went through photos on Unsplash, and I found this lovely photograph of fall mums taken by Patrick Donnelly. What I was attracted to in the mums were their darker centers with lighter / brighter edges and their radial / rounded symmetry.

Mum's Garden - Initial Design

Mum’s Garden – Initial Design

From inspiration to the above initial design took hardly any time at all. Even the name – Mum’s Garden – fell quickly into place.

Initial Design - Pieced

Initial Design – Pieced

The piecing of the initial design came together so much quicker than I anticipated, even with all the curved seams! The more I worked with the design and color palette, the more I fell in love with it. The current piecing would finish at 48″ square, which just isn’t big enough. So I went back to the drawing board and have a plan for expanding the quilt top out to 60″ x 72″.

Additional Piecing

Additional Piecing

The additional piecing I have planned includes smaller curved piecing (the curves already sewn finish at 6″, and the ones shown above finish at 3″) to combine to make a 6″ finished “star” block. To reduce the number of seams, I started exploring if I could make the star with 5 pieces without the need for joining smaller blocks.

Additional Piecing Practice

Additional Piecing Practice

The first star block I pieced (upper left) was a little bit wonky, so I tried sewing with the convex pieces on top instead of on bottom for my second attempt (upper right). However, my second attempt was a lot worse than my first, so I went back and refined my cutting and I’m really happy with how the third block (bottom) came together. I suspect I’ll be back soon with a pieced quilt top!

And yes, I am now looking at how I pieced the center of the quilt with entirely new eyes. Who knows, I might make a second version of this quilt just to test out piecing the center differently as soon as I finish this version.

21 thoughts on “Mum’s Garden {Design Process}

  1. I loved seeing your design process. I can’t wait to see the finished quilt.

  2. Cindy says:

    WOW! I love this design and the colours!

  3. Shannon says:

    A total stunner, Yvonne! Love it and can’t wait to see version #2 😉

  4. So fun to see you using this quartet of color, Yvonne, and you’ve come up with a brilliant design! Love the curved piecing too! Looking forward to seeing the finished top, and how you quilt it!

  5. Cocoa Quilts says:

    Looking forward to seeing the final quilt top. And then I am sure the quilting will be fabulous!

  6. Jan Ochterbeck says:

    I love, love, love this color palette!!! Your interpretation of the inspiration photo is lovely – a modern take on a traditional theme. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on this one and the finish.

  7. Heather says:

    Really cool! Lovely your quilt, colors, design… thanks for sharing! Such inspiration! Stay well:)

    1. heather says:

      sorry, love (not lovely….) 🙂 oops

  8. Debbie says:

    oh this is fun to see your process (and excitement) with this project. Love it so far!

  9. Rochelle Summers says:

    Love the design process and the colors you selected for this quilt. I was wondering about the piecing of the center area as a whole piece and then you did it! I am looking forward to seeing the rest of this quilt and how you decide to quilt it.

  10. This is really fun Yvonne! And I’m in awe of your precision piecing – well done!

  11. vivian383 says:

    I’m amazed! You put together colors that really are not my favorites but made such a striking quilt pattern out of them. And if you publish a pattern for it I would want to buy it and probably make it out of the same colors. Till then, I will certainly enjoy the process, just like all the other readers!

  12. Either way you piece it this is a real beauty Yvonne! I love the palette from the get-go; think I said then that it reminded me of my barberry in bloom right now!

  13. These are terrific. I love that you tried a color scheme outside your normal range, but it is truly delightful! Can’t wait to see how this progresses!

  14. patty says:

    Cool design! Looking forward to seeing your project progress.

  15. Liz Wilson says:

    Wow, just, wow! When I first saw the palette, I thought to myself, what are you going to do with those? I’m floored by the end result. It is a beautiful pattern and will look great in so many other palettes too.

  16. Anja Clyke says:

    This design is amazing. I can’t wait to see the fabric version. Good luck.

  17. Esther Dunn says:


  18. I love what you’ve done with the colours and the picture inspiration! Piecing those stars all as one rather than with four blocks would certainly make the process faster and less bulky.

  19. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    The colors are so gorgeous. They remind me of beautiful fall days and warm spices. Curved piecing, oy! I’m so impressed with your design. My mind would have automatically steered clear of anything with curves, simply because I don’t trust that I can sew them! LOL Looking forward to seeing your finished quilt!

  20. Kate Swallows says:

    Thanks for sharing your creative process. It’s always interesting to see how quilters create. You’ve come up with a beautiful design to show off those amazing colors.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)