It's Sew Emma Spotlight: Rooftop Orchard - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

It’s Sew Emma Spotlight: Rooftop Orchard

Hi Jolly Jabbers,

Thomas Knauer here, designer of the Pear Tree collection and the new It’s Sew Emma pattern, Rooftop Orchard.

I have been in love with Google Maps for a long time, or to be precise since I figured out I could wander the rooftops of neighborhoods the world over. I’ve spent entire afternoons wandering through Philadelphia, indulging my fantasy of living in a skinny row-house near Rittenhouse Square and having a million and one tea shops, restaurants, toy shops, and general awesomeness at my fingertips.

What I also love is the slightly wonky geometry of old cities, cities that emerged over time with plans following the fact, laid out in response to what was already there over the course of centuries rather than in a matter of years in careful, subdivided precision.

But what I especially love is when, during my satellite meanderings, I come across a rooftop garden. Most often it is just a cluster of planters (it still amazes me to be able to see them, even if just barely), but once in a while I find a full-blown oasis on the top of an apartment building. These little spaces, floating on the urban skyline, never fail to bring me joy.

From all of this came Rooftop Orchard. I love the meandering paths created by the uneven spaces between the offset squares in each block. The transpositions between solids and prints that offer different rhythms depending on which way you approach the quilt. Like a city seen from above, it appears both simple and complex at once. But for me this quilt is about much more than the shapes it is made of; it is about all the stories contained under all of those roofs, and all the stories told and shared under quilts.

That is why I am so grateful to Kimberly and everyone at Fat Quarter Shop and It’s Sew Emma for doing this quilt with me, for bringing it to life. If you are a store owner interested in this pattern please contact United Notions, the pattern is IES-114.



  1. I love the idea of little oasis' like this as well, how cool! Great line too, I've been swithering over picking up the entire collection… Maybe next payday ;o)

  2. love this quilt and love this fabric. I wonder what this quilt would look like in another fabric, since I can't be buying anymore right now and goodness knows I have lots in my stash.