Friday, 9 October 2015

Maple Swirls

This quilt was a block of the month quilt from Along Came Quilting in 2009.  My good friend Tara and I did it together--it's a great excuse reason to get together each month to sew for a few hours.  She finished her quilt long ago.

There were a few reasons why these blocks lingered in my UFO (unfinished object) pile for so many years.  1) I didn't have a purpose for the quilt, so didn't know what size to make it and 2) applique!  I'm not great with scissors and I didn't enjoy the thought of cutting and stitching the applique.

When I saw Tara's finished top, though, the applique leaves really made it sing, so I knew I would have to do the applique.

And then I saw a Brother Scan n Cut machine in action!  That's the way to cut out applique (short story--scan in your images, let the machine cut the fabric).  And then I was fortunate enough to have someone be willing to let me play with their Scan n Cut--it took quite a few hours last September to cut out all the leaves, even with the machine.  I truly appreciate their generosity and sharing.

And I had discovered in the 6 years between 2009 and now that you can just 'quilt' the applique and not have to stitch it down first. Yay!  There may be some fraying on the edges over time, but I'm prepared to accept that.

 I wish I had taken a photo of the top before the applique leaves were added--they really do make the top, but you'll just have to use your imagination as to what it would look like without them.

 For the quilting, I wanted it to be all freehand, no ruler-work.  I hadn't stitched down the leaves before quilting--they were to be stitched on with the quilting stitches themselves.  And I decided on each block, as I came to it, how to quilt it.  This would be a light-medium custom quilting job.  No SID, as I was using King Tut thread, which is thick and unsuited to that task. 

 I repeated shapes to hopefully give some cohesion to the sampler block style of quilting.

 The background got a swirly stitching path with lots of movement to simulate the wind, blowing leaves on a fall day. 
 The thread is a varigated King Tut cotton, and I used several different vein designs in the leaves. 

 And the backing is appropriate to the theme as well.
I hope I haven't bored you with too many photos.  I'm thrilled with how this quilt turned out.  And I'm glad I 'aged' the blocks it until now, as I wouldn't have been able to quilt it like this is 2009. 

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