Friday, April 25, 2014

Maple Medley

 A couple seasons back,  I hopped on the bandwagon to sew some Modern Maples blocks in pursuit of making a quilt for cool weather snuggles on the couch.  I was completely smitten by the gorgeous blocks others were sewing and also by the wonderful quilts shared in the Flickr group,
 Seriously, if you haven't already checked this group out, you should.  I dare you to go look and not be inspired to make your own!
Anyways, I had a great time making my blocks, sketched up a layout to try and even made my blocks in 3 different sizes to suit my design.  Once fall passed, I lost focus on this quilt and it languished on my design wall.  No more!  As of this week, it's now a finished quilt.

This quilt has been worth the wait.  There's much about it that makes me happy.  First, can I tell you how much I love that Architextures print from Carolyn Friedlander?  It is just perfect for the vision I had for my quilt and I love the extra visual interest it adds over a solid background fabric.



I knew from the start that it was important to me to create a sense of movement in not only the layout of my leaf blocks, but in the quilting.  Sorting out the layout  was easy compared to the time I spent trying to work out how I would quilt it.  Ultimately, the simplest solution seemed best suited.  Concentric circles radiate from the center of the quilt out to the edges.

Concentric circles quilted using a walking foot for all but the center circle (I used a free motion foot for that first circle) using my vintage 201 Singer. Goes to show you that you don't need a fancy machine to be able to quilt! :o)

The circles are evenly spaced using the seam guide attachment on a walking foot.  I marked only the center circle (with my Frixxion pen) and after than I followed my quilting with the guide arm on my walking foot to make each successively larger circle.  The walking foot did a great job of "walking" over the fabric so that by the time I returned to the start of each circle I did not have fabric gathers.  Better yet, with each successive circle, the quilting became easier because the curves are gentler.  I didn't even change direction with each circle and had no puckers top or bottom on this quilt (that is reason to celebrate! ;o).  The worse part of stitching each circle with a separate start and finish is all the thread tails you end up with.  However, I  really think the circles add lovely texture (after washing and drying the quilt - shown in photo below)  to both the front and back of my quilt, so working in all those thread tails afterwards was worth it.
You may also notice that I used the background fabric for the binding - my thought was that is would make the quilt look borderless or unrestricted.

Another perfect fit, is Martha Negley's "Autumn Medley," for the backing.  However, I couldn't buy it in one continuous piece ( I had 3 odd size pieces to work with), which meant that some careful pattern matching was in order (vertically and horizontally).  The really tricky bit was that the pattern didn't match at both the selvedge edges, but several inches in.  I hate the fabric that this wastes, especially coming from a background of commercial home decor sewing - where pattern matching is done on the selvedge edge.  Pins and a removeable marking pen were involved to get the pattern to line up and I have to say it worked rather well and went easier this way.

A peek at some of the pattern matching involved to make a backing large enough for my quilt.

The colours in this quilt are mostly warm and rich  (lots of Denyse Schmidt fabrics were used ;o) as befitting the fall season, but I did have fun tossing in a pinch of bright green just because.

Quilted using 50wt variegated cotton thread from WonderFil.

My vision for the layout was of leaves being caught up in a gust of wind which sets them swirling and twirling.  Initial sketches helped get me started, but it really came together when I put the blocks onto my design wall.

Maple Medley finishes at 72 x 72.
 Maple Medley is a finish that makes my heart sing and it's a pleasure to count it as my first finish on my list for the second quarter of FAL 2014.

Finish Along 2014
 
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for
Finish it up Friday!

29 comments:

Peg said...

Heart singing right along with you! What a beautiful quilt!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Great job! I love how the circles in the quilting give the appearance of the wind swirling the leaves around.
You are very patient to do each circle separately!! I am too lazy, so usually do one continuous spiral :)

carla said...

Hi!!! Wow!!! It is just beautiful!!!! Love the quilting!!! It does look like the wind is spinning the leaves!!!! Great first finish for 2014!!!! Yaa!!!!

Chantal Thibodeau said...

Great job matching the background. I dit it once, for last quilts, I was lazy (quilt of 80" long, no much room for fitting the motif)

sonia said...

Love this pattern and the backing is just perfect for it. Love the spiral quilting too. Good job!

madfabriholic said...

The circles were definitely worth all the end-burying! They absolutely give the feel of movement you were looking for. I love the different sized maples!

Debbie said...

Oh what a pleasure it is to see this completed quilt! I adore the swirling effect created by block placement and quilting! It's just lovely in every way. And thanks for the shout out for Falling for Modern Maples...

Beth Shibley said...

What a GORGEOUS quilt!

Lisa said...

This is just beautiful!

Wendy Franczak said...

This is so lovely. The quilting really gives this quilt movement too. I feel inspired!

Wendy said...

oh wow Katherine, this is beautiful! The quilting makes it look like the leaves blowing, it has so much movement! Just perfect.

Izzy said...

You absolutely nailed it! Gorgeous movement, the colours, the backing, the quilting... Everything is perfect. Amazing finish!

SuperMomNoCape said...

You chose the perfect way to quilt it. The quilts circle really enhances the swirling leaves look of the quilt. Well done and a great finish! It's beautiful.

Jasmine said...

This is amazing. I really think you met your objective. This quilt has great movement.

Jessica said...

The quilting is perfect!! Love!

Patchwork and Play said...

Modern Maples does make the heart sing! A beautiful quilt Katherine.

M-R Charbonneau said...

It's beautiful, Katherine. Your quilting accentuates the layout wonderfully! Way to go!

Sandra :) said...

It's the DS Swirling and Twirling MM quilt - I think you need to put your guys to work holding it up outside for us! ;)

Kat said...

Beautiful! I love the fall colors and that swirling Architextures background. Way to go!

sewok said...

OH WOW!!! I'm am just flabbergasted about the matching job you did on the back. And then when you combined the different sizes of the leaves and swirled them around and then added that circular quilting. Well, it just had to be awesome and it is. Great job!!!

Carla said...

Gorgeous!! Great job . Congratulations

Jo Ferguson said...

The circles were the perfect quilting choice. It's a stunning finish.

Heather @ Winding Bobbins said...

Very nice Katherine! I love the background fabric and I'm a huge fan of spiral quilting!

wipgirl said...

It looks fantastic! I love the layout and the colour scheme (and fall colours aren't usually my colours).

Lorna McMahon said...

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting took the words right out of my mouth! You just took me back to my childhood, as I pictured those fall leaves on the school yard playground, swirling across the tarmac, while we played. Sew glad you finished this gorgeous quilt!

Renee said...

What a lovely quilt! The architextures is a perfect neutral/background choice and the quilting add so much movement to the leaves!

Little Treasures said...

Wow! It's absolutely amazing!

Sarah said...

Looks great! We didn't get to see the whole top though! I love circular or spiral quilting.

evaj said...

It looks fantastic your quilt Katherine!! and the quilting is perfekt!!!Hugs Bambi

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