A couple of months ago my dear friend Amy Butler asked if I would be interested in making something with her gorgeous new collection of fabric called Bright Heart. Of course, I couldn't say no, especially after seeing Amy's beautiful designs full of amazing saturated colors in the prettiest combinations. Since I typically work in solid colors, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to design a quilt and a pattern that allowed these prints to really shine, instead of cutting them up into tiny pieces. These fabrics of Amy's are so incredibly detailed and beautiful on their own and I really wanted to use them in pieces that were as uncut as possible, if that makes sense.
I had a few ideas in my head, but I eventually turned to a book of tile designs that I have and settled on one that is based on an Islamic star motif. My Marrakech quilt is the result, and the pattern is named after the ancient city in Morocco. I chose to work with six prints from Bright Heart: Feather Fans in Cherry, Folk Bloom in Midnight, Cosmo Weave in Midnight, Oh Deer in Navy, Natural Beauty in Navy, and Coco Bloom in Lavender. Aren't those colors amazing?
And then I got to work and began cutting and piecing. I really loved watching it all come together, and was quite happy when my points met where they were supposed to.
I think the areas of the Bright Heart prints in the design are really quite striking, but I also love the secondary star pattern that is made by the negative space, or background fabric, in the quilt as well.
When the quilt top was finished, I loaded it up on my long arm and quilted it with a freehand organic figure eight pattern. This has become my go-to quilting design, because I really love the simplicity of it, and I feel like it doesn't compete with the design of the front of the quilt.
Here is the finished result! This is the 80" x 80" version, which is a very generous throw sized quilt, although this size would also work on a twin or full sized bed as well. The pattern also includes this design in a small version that finishes at 40" x 40", in case the large one is a bit too big for you.
For the binding, I used more of the Feather Fans in Cherry from Bright Heart to add a bit more of this great pink color to the design.
The background color is FreeSpirit Designer Solids in Mist, which is a really great neutral that works with a lot of different colors, and I used Aurifil Mako 50 Weight thread in Light Sand (#2000) for the quilting, which worked beautifully with both the background and all of the different colors in the prints.
I used Amy's Rhythm Strip in Dark, also part of the Bright Heart collection, for the back. This print is so fun and really has a lot of movement throughout the design. And that lavender and green are pretty amazing together.
If you would like to make your own version of my Marrakech quilt, the pattern is now available as a PDF download in my shop here. Feel free to share your images with the hashtag #MarrakechQuilt on all forms of social media so we can all follow along!
While I feel the Marrakech pattern is best suited for quilters with some experience, I do think that confident beginners would also be successful. I've included twenty-four color diagrams, such as those shown above, as well as step-by-step instructions for both the large and small sizes. I can't wait to see your versions of my Marrakech quilt! And, of course, now I want to make another version in solid colored fabrics.
Amy Butler's Bright Heart collection is available in your favorite independent fabric retailers now.