The French Wreath

The French Wreath

After researching kit quilts for a quilt study presentation, I became intrigued with the Anne Orr graphic style quilts. Although they were modeled after cross-stitch patterns they reminded me of pixilated Photoshop projects.

Anne Orr presented her first cross-stitch style quilt pattern in 1933 and continued to publish this style of quilt patterns into the 1940’s. My friend owned an Anne Orr ‘French Wreath’ quilt that I am able to use as my study quilt. A picture of this quilt is also on the cover of Uncoverings 1990.

I used Photoshop to map out and design my pattern. I decided to use only the central wreath of the quilt in my study quilt. In addition, I changed a few of the flower shapes and decreased the size of the borders. This quilt is made from 2000 squares all cut to the same size. My squares were cut at 1-½ inches to finish at 1 inch.

Lockport Batting and Anne Orr had published some of Anne Orr’s patterns in 1944 and Dover reprinted these patterns in 1990. In the pattern books it is recommended to work with a 10 x 10 grid. However, I choose to strip piece 5 – 1 ½ inch rows/strips together as much as possible to save time. Therefore, I ended up working with a 5 by 10 grid.

When I had pieced 10 rows of 5 squares together, I joined them to another 5 by 10 square unit making a 10 x 10 block of 1 inch squares. To match the seams I used a three pin method that I had learned from watching an episode of ‘Simply Quilts’ a long time ago. One pin is used to hold the seams together. Then the other two pins are placed so one is on each side of the seam. Then the center pin is removed before sewing. After stitching the 20 – 10 by 10 blocks together I added a 5 inch border.

The quilt was machine quilted in a simple grid pattern. The finished quilt measures 45 by 55 inches.

One thing I learned from this project is that stitching together 2000 squares takes a lot longer than one would think.