Conservatory is my second fabric collection for Robert Kaufman and it is available to purchase now. The collection debuted at Fall Quilt Market last month, and I wanted to share it with you here on my blog, too. It contains four botanical prints, in addition to a text print and a geometric pattern that rounds out the collection. The designs were inspired by the lush tropical plants that grow in one of my favorite places, Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio, which I've had the pleasure of visiting for most of my life.
This is one of the large rooms at Krohn. The building was constructed in 1933, at the height of the Art Deco period, and it has so many incredible architectural details, including these amazing glass walls and ceilings. The conservatory is home to literally thousands of varieties of plants, but I chose four as the focus of the botanical prints in my collection.
Monstera, Taro, Paper Plant, and Dwarf Umbrella plant, shown clockwise from the top, are such gorgeous shapes that I thought would translate well onto fabric. I was drawn to their bold designs, in particular, and each one is featured in its own print in Conservatory.
When I was in college, one of my drawing courses had a project where we had to visit Krohn and make line drawings while we were there. That was such a fun process for me and I wanted to capture a bit of that feeling in this collection, so that is where the artwork for the fabrics began. I love that the prints in Conservatory fabrics still have a hand-drawn feeling.
Conservatory comes in two colorways. Sorbet is shown above, and the palette is loosely based on the colors of the sky at dawn and dusk. There are gorgeous pinks, plums, and corals, combined with both light and dark blue. As a big fan of solid cottons, it was important for me to make these prints Kona Coordinated so it is really easy for you to find the perfect solids to use in all of your projects. This colorway coordinates with Kona Salmon, Peach, Primrose, Plum, Lilac, Ice Frappe, and Nightfall.
The second colorway of Conservatory is called Garden, and it contains colors that are more likely to found in leafy plants. There are beautiful blues and greens, with a bit of yellow to make them pop. This colorway coordinates with Kona Wasabi, Zucchini, Kiwi, Sour Apple, Capri, Emerald, and Storm.
I really love how both colorways look together and I had a few opportunities to use them that way, which you'll see in a few of the projects below. And here's a closer look at all of the prints that make up the collection.
Here is the Monstera print, shown in the Garden colorway on the left, and in the Sorbet colorway on the right.
Here's the Taro print in Garden on the left, and in Sorbet on the right.
This is the Paper Plant print in Garden on the left, and in Sorbet on the right.
And here's the Dwarf Umbrella Tree print in Garden on the left, and in Ice Frappe on the right.
Here are the three text prints which have the botanical and common names of the plants in the collection. They are shown in Navy, Ice Frappe, and Sorbet.
And here are the dashes that round out the collection. They are shown in Navy, Garden, Chartreuse, Plum, and Sorbet. These prints make fun blenders and I think the colors are really great.
I had so much fun designing new projects to use with Conservatory. First up is my new Palm House pattern, which is based on a traditional quilt block design (the Amish Star) but with a dramatic increase in scale and a shift in the background space. This is a great project to showcase the large scale prints in Conservatory and I used all eight of the prints in the Sorbet colorway, combined with Kona Pearl Pink, in this one.
The pattern includes instructions to make the quilt in two sizes, 72" x 72" and 26" x 26". Palm House is available to purchase in my shop here, and it will be available soon from your local quilt shop as well.
Next up is my Solarium quilt, which is another great project to showcase the large scale botanical prints in Conservatory. The blocks come together quickly and are a great way to brush up on your piecing skills. Solarium showcases the Garden colorway of Conservatory and I've paired it with Kona White.
The pattern includes instructions to make the quilt in two sizes, 72" x 72" and 36" x 36", and it is available to purchase as a PDF in my shop here. It will be available as a paper pattern in your favorite local shop soon, as well.
Horticultural is unlike any other pattern that I've ever designed. I kept going back to the simple shapes of the four botanicals and thought that they would make lovely applique designs, and that's exactly what you get with this pattern.
It includes full scale templates for all four designs, Monstera, Taro, Paper Plant, and Dwarf Umbrella Tree, as well as instructions for finishing them as either mini quilts or pillow covers. I suggest finishing them with a needle turn applique technique, but of course, you could certainly use your favorite machine applique technique if you'd prefer.
Horticultural is available now as PDF in my shop here, and it will soon be available to purchase in your favorite local shop as well.
Next up is my Hilltop Park quilt. I really love this one! I used 5" charm squares in each colorway paired with a gorgeous Chambray Union denim, also from Robert Kaufman. I chose this particular denim for the color, and was a bit nervous since it's a stretch denim, meaning it has a bit of spandex in in, but it worked just great. I had no problems at all working with it, and I love the texture the denim gives to the finished quilt.
You can see the slight difference in the texture and the way the light reflects off of the denim here. This free pattern will be available in January on the Robert Kaufman website.
This gorgeous quilt is another free pattern that will be available on the Robert Kaufman website in January. It's called Arboretum, and it also uses both colorways of Conservatory and Kona White. You can read more about it here.
Conservatory works really well not only in quilts and bags, but also in garments too, and this next project is a beautiful example of that. This is the gorgeous Pearl Dress by Green Bee Patterns, made by my amazingly talented friend Samantha Lindgren of A Gathering of Stitches. Sam chose my Monstera print in Garden for this project and I think it looks gorgeous. Although the dress is a bit big on my daughter Olivia, she had so much fun modeling for me.
Samantha also made this beauty, which is the Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio. Modeled again by my daughter, this is the Taro print in Sorbet. You can find the pattern for the dress here.
Samantha also made this sweet jacket, which is the the Victoria Blazer, designed by By Hand London and available here. She choose the text print in Navy and paired it with Kona Nightfall on the lapels. So fun! Thank you again, so much, Samantha.
Sandi also made this amazing bag using the Monstera print in Sorbet, combined with the Dash print in Navy and Plum. This pattern is the Poolside Tote from Noodlehead and is available here. I think I need to make one of these, too! Thank you again, Sandi!
And last, but certainly not least, is this beautiful quilt designed and made by my friend Heather Givans of Crimson Tate. This is her Succulent Garden pattern and she chose a variety of prints from the Garden colorway for this project. You can purchase the pattern for the quilt from Heather here. Thank you, Heather!
For more images from Conservatory, I'd like to invite you to take a peek at the Conservatory look book that we've designed and published on Issuu. Conservatory is shipping to your favorite stores now, and I can't wait to see what you make with it. Please share your makes on social media with the hashtag #conservatoryfabric so we can all follow along!