Wandering in the Queen’s Garden

In March, just before our state went on lockdown, some friends visited for a weekend and were enchanted with the Queen’s Garden (QG) quilt (pattern by Esther Aliu) in our guest room.

My original QG center. It is purplicious!

This was my first Esther Aliu pattern. I absolutely fell in love with applique and Esther’s patterns and have made many since then, as we saw in my blog two weeks ago.

Silver and Brad wanted their quilt “exactly” like the guest room quilt, knowing that “exactly” was not a precise term. For one thing, being artisans themselves, they know that no two handmade items are ever precisely the same. And then there is the matter of fabrics used a couple years ago being no longer available. Plus, as artists we learn and grow and explore in new directions.

So I embarked in a vein very similar to the original quilt: green and purple batiks, both plummy and violet with a hint of gold and a tease of blue. Some old fabric scraps and some new ones. I brought in more greens in the center. I used slightly bolder hues, but it felt quite familiar as I wandered. I began hoping that this new quilt would develop it’s own personality.

The first square of the new QG
Square 2

Square 3

Square 4

The center block.

The original quilt has a subtle gray pattern on white, with soft gray sashing. The background for this new one, chosen by Silver out of my stash, has an off white background with pretty white scrolls. I searched for a compatible grey for the sashing, but after 6 attempts (some ordered up and some from stash) I was realizing that beige plus grey was not happening. Hmmm, maybe I needed a new direction. I recalled an elegant taupe fabric with white dots purchased at a going out of business sale and pulled it out.

Immediately I was captivated with how the more sophisticated pattern worked with the scroll design in the new background and how the taupe brightened the pale beige. In my mind’s eye I could see the entire quilt, complete with stitching designs and thread color, unfolding. It was like fitting a key into a lock and having the door spring open. The path opened before me; no more wandering.

QG center with taupe sashing and a couple birds having fun!
Setting triangles
Corner triangles.
The new QG center!

The colors are a little brighter and bolder than the original; I brought in more contrast. And I “greened” it up by choosing fewer purple/lavender shades in the backgrounds. Silver is not a “purple girl” and often wears green, so I veered in that direction. That change has also brightened the look of the whole top.

Silver did have one surprise up her sleeve; this quilt is not destined to be a Queen size, but a King size! This made me rethink the rest of the quilt as Kings are wider than they are long. EQ8 to the rescue to design a new series of borders.

Along the way, I found this wonderful fabric in a large scale print that incorporated the purples, fuschias and tonal greens. Perfect for an interior border.

EQ8 rendition of the borders.

I then presented Brad and Silver a choice of keeping within the purple family for the outside border, or continuing along the “greener” path. This fabric was originally purchased for another project, but I could see it hitting all the notes for this tour through the Queen’s Garden. Green, gold, a splash of blue and soupcon of purple.

The garden is under construction and next week, you will begin to see the quilting emerge.

Happy quilting!



  1. Oh Lennea a lovely lovely stroll through your purple Queens Garden for Silver, she will love it, may be more than yours even! SO enjoyed stopping each time and enjoyed your ramblings as well as the photos. You write such a great blog. Thank you it takes me to another wee happy place for a while. Cheers Glenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Glenda! You help me keep motivated to keep the blog going. During the pandemic, this can be a struggle at times. But knowing you are looking forward to it makes it all worth while.


  2. Hi Lennea! I enjoyed this walk through your garden very much. I’m not a purple fan but I do like each version . . . but maybe Silver’s a wee bit more. I look forward to seeing this whole project progress. Thank you for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s