Ella Maria Deacon – It’s Time to Get Ready!


I have several quilts in my collection that I treasure and each one speaks to me in different ways. My Beyond The Cherry Trees quilt was a bit of a mystery when it came to it's provenance but I was so enamoured with the quilt I nearly hand quilted it a second time so I could see the quilting designs well enough to share them with everyone. Most people thought I was a little crazy but I thought it honored the maker to show her amazing talent in making the quilt. The 1857 Album Quilt took us on an amazing journey into the life of Laura Ackerman with the friendship quilt made for her by family and friends. The Dear Daughter quilt gave us a glimpse into another period in time with the friendship quilt made for Maxon and Sarah Dunham. What wonderful stories these quilts have to tell!

Are you familiar with this quilt?  Like me, you may have seen it on Barbara Brackman's blog.  Barbara's blogs are a treasure trove of information on antique quilts and quilting. I can't thank her enough for her support of some of my recent projects. It was at her suggestion I pondered the possibility of making this amazing quilt. As I looked closely at the blocks it grabbed hold of my heart! Imagine how much fun it will be making these blocks and all that can be learned recreating this masterpiece.

The quilt is attributed to Ella Maria Deacon. It's in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago which is only a few short hours from my home in Grand Rapids, MI. I hope to find time to make a trip to Chicago to spend some time with the quilt but it may be a few months before I can fit that into my schedule. 

I'm still in the midst of sharing the Cheddarback quilt but I've missed working on a quilt with everyone. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with making the blocks but............. 


Beginning on September 15th

I'd like to make the Ella Maria Deacon quilt with all of you!

It's a big project but oh so wonderful. The blocks in this quilt are amazing - the fabrics are amazing - the sashing and setting triangles are pretty amazing too. The finished size of the quilt is about 106" square.

There's a Facebook group  you can join to share fabric choices, your blocks and help each other as we work together.  As I said, this is a BIG project with 85 blocks (some are repeats) so I've decided to present 4 blocks per month for 21 months. Some of you may want to make 1 block a week and some of you may just collect the patterns.

Important note: Because of the size of this project and all that's involved, I'm going to charge a small fee for each set of four blocks. Each set will be $2.50 for the entire month it's presented (ie. Sept 15 - Oct. 15) and after that time you can purchase the set for $5 which is the same as my retired sets for the free sew along quilt projects.  This was a very difficult decision for me and don't worry, I will still continue to offer my free sew alongs but for this quilt I decided to do things differently.  Your cost is less than $ .62 per block.  I hope you understand. 

I'll present the blocks "bingo style" with a mix of patchwork and applique, simple and more complex. There are 51 blocks I classified as applique and 34 pieced blocks. If you'd like to take a closer look at the quilt I encourage you to visit the blog of  Valerie Langue who owns  The Quilt MerchantShe blogged about her visit to the Art Institute of Chicago when the quilt was on exhibit in 2018.  She took some nice photographs of the quilt with close up pictures of some of the blocks.

I found one book where the quilt is pictured. It's Textiles from the Art Institute of Chicago which was published in 1992. It's still available in all different price ranges and I had to have a copy. The close up photograph and all it reveals about the fabrics in the quilt was worth the purchase.

I'm always asked "what are you using for your background fabric". I'm struggling a little with this one. I tried to photograph the Kona color card but trust me, the colors are not accurate. I thought I was going to use Bone but now I'm debating Oyster or Natural. Val is sending me samples of Putty and a Marcus Fabrics Centennial Solid so I'll post in the Facebook group as soon as I decide.

I'm posting the fabric requirements today. Your background fabric is probably the main decision at this point. There are lots of fabrics in the quilt and you probably have things in your stash. There are several red, green, yellow, double pinks and blues used in the quilt. I'm going to keep my eyes open for the perfect sashing stripe and a green for my setting triangles. I hope everyone will share with the group if they find the "perfect" fabric for sashing and setting. 


Ella Maria Deacon Quilt - Fabric Requirements



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20 Responses to “Ella Maria Deacon – It’s Time to Get Ready!”

  1. Lady Locust September 4, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

    Oh you are a brave one! What an amazing quilt that is, and yours surely will be also.

  2. Chris September 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm #

    Can I say WOW enough times?

  3. Bonnie Vavra September 4, 2019 at 6:49 pm #

    I certaintly understand about the small fee for the blocks. A bargain for sure. Thank you Gay

  4. Christine September 5, 2019 at 6:15 am #

    I am so tempted!!!

    What size are the blocks?

  5. Kathy September 5, 2019 at 6:39 am #

    Wow, this is beautiful. I really don’t think what your charging is bad. However, where do I sign up and how do I get the fabric requirements. I clicked on the fabric requirements which didn’t bring up anything. Thanks for your time.

  6. Ady Hirsch September 5, 2019 at 6:47 am #

    I’m in, and will happily pay. It really is a nominal fee for such a huge endeavor, and I had such fun making the Benjamin Biggs quilt I’m eagerly looking forward to this one šŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

  7. Gay September 5, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

    They’re going to be 9″ blocks.

  8. Gay September 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

    When you click on the link it takes you to the Ella Maria Deacon Quilt page in the online store. You need to purchase for $0.00 the Fabric Requirements just like a regular product. Once you’ve completed the checkout process you’ll receive two emails. The first will be your order confirmation and the second one comes through SendOwl and has the link to the fabric requirements. I know it’s extra hoops to jump through but it protects the integrity of the patterns. Here’s a link –


  9. Barbara Schaffer September 5, 2019 at 5:32 pm #

    Thank you, Gay! This quilt is going to be amazing. And since it is a NJ quilt count me in! I’m really looking forward to it.

  10. LoriD September 5, 2019 at 6:29 pm #

    It is a gorgeous quilt Gay and the price is very reasonable!!

  11. Barbara Brackman September 6, 2019 at 11:22 am #

    So glad you’re doing it. I’ll lurk!

  12. Wendy Reed September 6, 2019 at 5:32 pm #

    O.k., You have finally Hooke come into a sew-a-long. I have been lurking for years but this one really speaks to me and I want to pay since I feel we should all finally support you for all you have done for quilters today!

  13. Karen Cona September 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    What size are the blocks? I have some border fabric in my stash that my work out but I need to know the block size.

  14. Gay September 9, 2019 at 4:25 pm #


  15. Joan Hinchcliff September 12, 2019 at 5:42 am #

    Im not sure if I will totally jump in and complete but I do believe I will be a block collector just in case!

  16. Debbie September 12, 2019 at 7:00 am #

    Count me in!!!

  17. Jacqueline Hale September 12, 2019 at 7:53 am #

    I will definitely collect the patterns. Thank you for another gorgeous quilt!

  18. Sylvia Rasa September 15, 2019 at 10:13 am #

    How do I pay for my first blocks I keep getting zeros. Iā€™m so excited to collect first fabrics.I have got fabric requirements. When will they be available to download? Thanks Sylvia

  19. Irene September 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    Je suis heureuse de vous suivre dans noenelle aventure

  20. Andrea Hall November 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm #

    I’m in love with this quilt! As a sucker for a good sampler, I’m all in. I’ve just downloaded the requirements and purchased the first 2 months of blocks. I did try to register, but that was unsuccessful, but found I could purchase anyway. Looking forward to this. Andrea xx

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