Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Daughters of Sarah Morrell

Way back when the Saturday chapter of the SSS still met on Saturday mornings at PP, we were thinking about our next project. As we have said before, we originally met to do a class with Di and just decided to stay together. We had completed two projects and then Merri and Di started discussing quilts that thy liked that might be suitable for our next project. Of course it turned out that the quilt they both loved was the same one; the Sarah Morrell quilt. The original quilt was made in Pennsylvania and New Jersey around 1843. It is an album quilt which alternates pieced/applique blocks with broderie perse. Well at first we thought it was a bit daunting - but of course none of us would ever admit to anything being too challenging so we all decided to give it a bash. Here's the original

Some of the blocks are really gorgeous, some of them quite damaged.

Well we launched into the project and Di decided that the centre block needed something a bit more definite, so drafted a new block for the centre. Here is Di's version of the quilt.

Beautiful, yes? I would like to show you some close ups, but this daughter of Sarah is currently sojourning in Amsterdam! The pieced and applique blocks were relatively straightforward to do. Choosing beautiful fabric for each piece helps with the overall look of this quilt.

The next version is Merri's. Merri chose a beautiful pale ice blue background fabric.

The broderie perse blocks challenged our skills as floral arrangers, and our fabric stashes. Most of us didn't have a lot of large scale floral pieces to use.

You will see as we go through, that some fabrics appear in many quilts. Many of our sessions were devoted to sharing our fabrics and arranging these blocks.

Designing vases helped to fill the spaces.

The scale would suggest that these are the biggest flowers you have ever seen - but hey - it's not real life is it? We all love Merri's version. I think this now lives with her mum. I think Merri did her BP by hand - very dedicated.

Next up we have Meghan's quilt.

Meghan's background is a neutral with some strong blues throughout.

She has used some interesting figures in her quilt blocks.

And some bird life.

I'm not sure where Meghan's Morrell resides - and I don't know if it's hand BP'ed. I'm sure the girls will let me know and then I'll edit the post. Here is another way to incorporate a vase.

My quilt is next. Well actually it is still a quilt top - rather than a quilt.

Wow - I like it better in the photo than in the flesh! Here are a couple of close ups of pieced and appliqued blocks.

The background of mine is from the original Charleston collection.

Some bright blue from the first Smithsonian collection - it was one of my favourites. Sorry about the wobbly photos. The quilts are big and I couldn't get far enough away - or get the girls to stand far enough apart to get a straight hang.

Another luminous blue. I hope I have some more.

My BP blocks are machine appliqued. I love my Bernina and have no patience to do it by hand.

Each of these flowers is a separate bloom but look they are painted on.

The possibilities are endless if you can find the right fabrics.

My Morrell currently resides in a cupboard in my study. It will see the light of day one day.

Here is Sue's. It is a similar colour scheme to Meghan's.

Sue's quilt lives on her bed - that's a strange place for quilt Sue! Here is a beautiful red block.

And a couple of her BP blocks. Again not sure but I think Sue did hers by hand too.

I love these blue flowers

And another appliqued block.

Kerri's Morrell is still a work in progress. Here are some of her blocks.

I love the one embroidered with her initials. There are plenty of places in the quilt where embroidery can be added. Pulling out these blocks has spurred Kerry on to finish a few more blocks. So when she' s done I'm sure she will show you.

Here is a close up of the centre.

Now last but definitely not least is Ann's Morrell. As you can see this is very different. Ann made this quilt for her daughter and she asked for a yellow and blue quilt. It is not Ann's colour scheme of choice, and of course this palette limited the fabrics Ann could use. She's done a fabulous job in spite of the difficulties. Have a look.

Isn't it stunning?

Qhite different isn't it?

Don't you love the teapots?

Very French provincial colours.

Well I hope you like the variations. I think some of these will be at Quilts in the Barn for closer inspection.

The pattern for this quilt is now available at Threadbears, and for European readers, at Petra Prins Patchwork and Quilting. I hope these pictures give you some inspiration and ideas to design your own version of Sarah Morrell.




  1. Wonderful!! It's so great to see all the variations your group has made. I have the pattern. Maybe someday!

  2. it was so interesting to see these quilts. thanks so much for the photos. I have bought the pattern from Di and have made eight blocks but have yet to tackle a BP one! Not quite sure how I shall go about it yet so it was great to see both hand and machine examples in your photos. Beautiful quilts!

  3. What a quilt show. It is so neat to see how each quilter makes it her own.

  4. We are patiently waiting for some of Di's patterns to be available in the US...........

  5. Oh my! Such talented ladies. Each quilt is beautiful. And creative use of prints for the broderie perse. I never would have thought of using the light blue background but it is a fabulous choice.

  6. Oh Deb, thanks so much for sharing these photos! They are all so beautiful! I love it that each one went their own direction and they are all unique. I've just started the bp on mine, so these give me lots of inspiration. Thanks!

  7. I am speechless! the quilt is just beautiful and I love how you all added a bit of yourself in the quilts.
    for me since this quilt is from NJ I really need to make it as well
    the blue and yellow is so creative, she did a great job !
    oh I guess I need to order the pattern, thanks DEB!

  8. Just beautiful! All are amazing & individual!

  9. l can't wait to see these quilts for real in October. l have made a start on my Sarah Morrell, must get back to it after this wonderful inspiration. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  10. Many thanks Deb, I am 3/4 of the way through my quilt started in 2008 and have finally decided to finish it. Di mentioned that you were to have a blog about the Morrell lots of inspiration in the photographs you have taken.

  11. Wow! What a lot of inspiration here! This has opened up a lot of possibilities for fabric choices that I didn't see before. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I love them all of course but I really, really love Ann's blue and yellow. So different and happy?? Look forward to seeing some of them in the barn...

  13. What a treat to see all the versions, they're all so inspirational. It's fantastic to see the yellow and blue.

    1. Marjolein, Iam from Holland and a quiltfriend of mine saw in the magazine the Sarah Morrell quilt. We became very enthousiastic and start with the quilt. It is nice to see how many variation the quilters make.

  14. Thank you so much for the show and tell Deb (must have taken ages to upload those photos).
    All the quilts are stunning in their own right and I am amazed at the broderie perse you have all done. It was good to see a photo of the original too.

  15. Thank you Deb and everyone else for sharing your wonderful quilts. I love how everyone's quilt is different. Were they all quilted by different people? I hope to see them IRL later in the year.
    I love the variety of techniques in all the blocks. I have been able to learn lots of new things making this quilt. Only 21 blocks to go now!

  16. It is wonderful to see this quilt in different colours. I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt which I have now given to my DIL and she has it on her bed.

  17. They are all fabulous...what a great display they'll make at Quilts in the Barn. Thanks for sharing the pics with us, I'm having a 'second wind' with mine and the photo's will kep me motivated.

  18. The quilts are wonderful - and very inspirational. Can you tell me more of the exhibition at Quilts in the Barn . Dates and location. Hope to be travelling in the southern states during October/November

  19. All incredible!! Thanks so much for showing them!

  20. The quilts are fabulous,thank you for all these pictures, have already the pattern.

  21. THese are fabulous! You've inspired me SOOOO! I'm happy that I've found your blog and will put you on my list so that I can see when you put up a new post! :)

  22. Thank you so much for the inspiration, ready for when I start mine. Just collecting a few bits first and watching and waiting.

  23. Thank you for the show of this lovely quilt

  24. Pffff, am all quiet and not able to speak for a few minutes pffff absolutely gorgeous, all of them!! Have put your blog on my bloglist, will be back often hihi! Happy sewing, Daniëlle

  25. I think they are exquisite...perhaps I slot this in on the to do list...that would make th 30 spot. Hmm!

  26. Thanks for sharing these quilts! I love the french provincial - I'm a yellow lover. The new centre block is great. I found the blog today thank's to Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts. I am now a follower. On to read about the Art Deco. Love it too! thanks for some beautiful inspiration.

  27. These quilts are really beautiful. I would dearly love to make this quilt but I cannot seem to find the same fabric or anything suitable for the broderie perse, can anyone please advise.