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3160 Parsons Rd NW
Edmonton, AB, T6N 1L6


Edmonton based custom long arm quilting. Custom quilter at Sparrow Studioz since September 2011

The Secret Garden


The Secret Garden

Sheila Van Der Linden

  Where do I start with this quilt? I love, love this quilt, and yet, it is so different from anything I have ever done before. It matches nothing in my house, and is way more Victorian that any decor style that I like.

   So why do I love this? I bought the Robyn Pandolf fabrics at an estate sale. I loved them because of their vintage look, but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. Then last fall I was working in the Creative Stitches show in Sherwood Park. I started playing with the Brother Embroidery machines. I found a beautiful paisley design, picked some pretty Glide thread and bazinga! I was hooked! It was so easy and so fun! So I decided I would make some blocks to match this fabric, because why waste the pretty designs?

   So that was the beginning of The Secret Garden. I just picked more designs that went with the big centre one, and before I knew it I had 6 blocks that needed a fabric frame around them. I found the block design in a magazine. It was perfect for the large floral print fabric, so I adjusted it for the embroidery blocks. Some pretty striped tone on tone for the sashing and borders, plus a little help from my husband for the pieced border, and the quilt top was ready for the long arm.

   Now for the quilting. I knew I wanted to challenge myself, and do ruler work on this. Also I really wanted the quilting to be the focus. So I put 2 layers of batting in this quilt. The first layer is Hobbs 80/20, and the second is wool, also from Hobbs. I used Invisifil thread in a light cream colour, and Deco Bob pre-wound bobbins. Invisifil is 100 weight and Deco Bob is 80 weight, a good pairing that works well in my machine. I also used a smaller needle.

   The outer border was free motion on a pre-drawn grid. I used the blue wash away pen from Clover. I started with stitch in the ditch, everywhere, and as I moved down the quilt, ideas started to come for how the blocks needed to be quilted. I don't always know what to do right away, so I do what I am certain of, while I am thinking of ideas for the unknowns. It was slow work, but not everything that is worth waiting for comes quickly. 

   So why do I love this quilt? It has so much of me in it.  It's my design, my quilting, and so much of my time went into this one. I stepped outside of my comfort zone, pushed myself farther than anything I have ever done before. It's also a reflection of the love and encouragement I get from my family and my Studio mates. Without them I would not be where I am! So thanks everyone! Ron, my kids, Joanne, Matt and Bradie! You all rock my world!