how a calla lily quilt was inspired

My "Light Upon the Earth" quilt story

Tags: applique, color wash, flower, quilt pattern

If you've been following me for a while, you may have heard this story or at least part of it as it was posted on Blogspot and may well be there still. It's a story about my "Light Upon the Earth" quilt - how it came about and transpired over a number of years.

original light upon the earth color wash quilt

Light Upon the Earth

My "Light Upon the Earth" quilt story

Calla Lily appliqué creation – the idea.

In general, my designs usually start out by seeing something or being asked a question. In the case of "Light Upon the Earth", I was asked, have you thought of making a Calla Lily quilt design? And actually, the answer had been yes! I had already made a stained glass lily quilt however I was currently working on my color wash series at the time so I decided, why not set about creating a Calla Lily color wash quilt too. Some research began the journey.

I opened the encyclopedia to reveal that its real name is Zantedeschia (it’s a good thing I’m writing this, as there is no way I can say that). Common names include Arum Lily, Calla and Calla Lily (much easier to pronounce). And another useful piece of information I found was that it is erroneously spelled as Cala Lily.

I also know that the Calla Lily is often known as a Christmas Lily and has often been used in many paintings, one in particular being Georgia Okeeffe’s artwork.

So, upon collecting all this data, it now seemed like a great reason to turn the Calla Lily into a color wash quilt. Since so many already enjoy this beautiful flower in many different ways, why not a quilt pattern? 

calla lily photo

As it happened, while I was thinking about all this back in 2006, I happened to be attending school to which I walked every day and I noticed along the entire length of a church that I passed, a garden of Calla Lilies coming into bloom. As the spring days turned into summer, I watched and observed these flowers opening day by day until I decided it was better remembered by capturing a snapshot on my camera (actually, it was more the fact that I kept forgetting to take my camera with me). After several weeks went by, and I realized school was coming to an end so I would no longer be taking this path, I finally snapped these amazing flowers for life time memories to use in my quilt designs.

calla lily photo Ruth took while walking home from school

You can see a couple of my snap shots here in my post.

So, with all these points of interest, photos and Christmas time looming, I set to and began drawing the design. The ‘idea’ is only a small part of the creation process but sometimes it takes a while to develop an idea. Several weeks turned into almost a year before this was made into a design and published pattern.

A Transformation

It wasn't until one morning in 2020 some 11 years after the pattern was released while I began updating my website and seeing all my color wash patterns displayed, it finally came to me why Light Upon the Earth quilt was never as popular online as my other color wash patterns, yet in person, I always received many compliments about it.

Can you see why? It dawned on me that almost all my other designs have some form of small inner border!

I decided to see how it would look to add a border on Light Upon the Earth too.

What do you think? It has made an amazing difference in my opinion and because of this, I decided to update the pattern to include it. Without interfering with the original instructions, I added a simple border that can be added or not.

I don't know about you, but this new look has inspired me make another color wash quilt.... so I've headed to my stash and pull some fabrics in the same background shade as the Calla Lily quilt, will you join me?

color wash fabrics

Shades of purple are just one possible option for my new color wash quilt

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1 comment

Yes, with the narrow border the Calla Lily just pops out. I love it and one day I will try it too

Bozena Dub

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