The Morris Workshop by Barbara Brackman - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

The Morris Workshop by Barbara Brackman

Barbara Brackman, quilt historian and fabric designer for Moda, is with us today to talk about her latest release, The Morris Workshop. Naturalistic prints range from light to dark, from soft and subdued to warm and rich, with all sorts of whispering, arching floral blooms and leaves. We recently featured our quilt kit Morris’ Butterfly, which I think showcases the range of depth in this line. The Morris Workshop exudes an air of refinement that everyone can appreciate and admire. Another gorgeous classic from Barbara for sure!

I am a designer for Moda and a quilt historian. I live in Lawrence, Kansas, in a Victorian cottage with a small dachshund named Dottie Barker, named after a poet from the 1920s. She hasn’t come up with any poetry yet but she loves to nap on my fabric.My latest Moda collection is called The Morris Workshop. It features late 19th-century designs from England’s William Morris and his associates, who were among the most accomplished designers of the British Arts & Crafts movement.

I have lots of pre-cuts to work with (a real perk for being a designer) and I’ve been playing around with the new pre-cut half square triangles from Moda called Turnovers. Here are just three possible compositions I’ve played with using a pack of Turnovers.

I’ve been fascinated by the Arts & Crafts movement for several years. My sister has a California bungalow and we are always looking for period fabric for her house, which led to the first Morris collection I did a few years ago called A Morris Garden. These designs are all in the public domain so the main difficulty is coloring them correctly and giving quilters four or five colorways that are all consistent with Arts & Crafts philosophy. This collection has some good copies of the indigo that Morris liked so much. I called it Kelmscott Indigo after the printing house that he ran. A lighter blue colorway (below) is named Wardle’s Sky Blue after Thomas Wardle, a dyer who worked with Morris.
Civil War Homefront is my next collection, due out this Fall, and it will have individual prints named for the make-do recipes from Southern homes during the war. Turkey Tail Fan, Cracker Pie & Hickory Hoops are some of the substitutions that Southern women invented. I made Cracker Pie myself when I was a poor college student. You make an apple pie but instead of using apples you use crackers. With enough cinnamon and sugar, it’s pretty good. The collection will feature paisleys and stripes and lots of small prints in madder reds and browns and indigo blues. Below is a picture of the quilt top that was the inspiration for several of the fabrics and the colors.
Check out my blog for more info on my work!

Barbara Brackman
Barbara Brackman’s Material Culture


  1. Okay you've just made my day!!!! William Morris is my favorite designer of all times!!! I must get some of those fabrics to add to my stash.

    Thank you

  2. I am Hello how wonderful twice the joy!! I am so glad I happened on this site. My advice to this couple would be to learn to laugh and enjoy these children your time with them is so short and precious. Have a Wonderful time with them all. I would love to win a giveaway for the first time. Thanks so much, Mary