©2011 Ruth B. McDowell
I made a Moth Orchids quilt in January of 1992 which appeared in my book "Piecing: Expanding the Basics" on page 41. The design, as was typical of my quilts at the time, was of a pieced rectangular orchid block (actually half of an orchid) set amid a background of squares and rectangles or other fabrics. The original quilt had 8 orchids and was 106" wide (2690 cm), very large for a wallhanging. I was happy with the quilt when I made it, but over time it began to seem to me that there was too much background for the flowers. So, I cut the pieced, and quilted, and bound quilt up into 3 major pieces, sewing two of them together for the body of this quilt. From the remnants of the original quilt, I removed 3 of the orchids from the background of their blocks (with a seam ripper, leaving the quilting and batting and backing under these flowers) and appliqued them by machine with a buttonhole stitch on top of and at angles to the pieced orchid blocks. A time-consuming process!!!!
Moth Orchids 3 has 2 of the original pieced orchid blocks and 1 of the appliqued blocks. After the flowers were in place, I changed a few of the background fabrics to bring the composition into balance, using some fabrics that were not available nearly 20 years ago. In this quilt I added new material at the top and right side of the section cut from the original quilt. Then did additional quilting on both the flowers and the new background pieces. I'm very happy with the final result!