The Quilting Makes the Quilt
I finished the two Maple Leaf throws. Yay!!!
Here’s the first one:
And some closeups:
And now for the second one:
And a closeup; hope you can see the variegated colors in the quilting:
I don’t know which is my favorite. I love them both. What do you think?
Now on to those three table runners………….
I am so excited! I finally found the perfect backing fabric for the Maple Leaf throws.
So let the quilting begin…………………….
And I’ve decided to go really bold with the second throw and the table runners. Up until now I’ve quilted with threads that blend because I haven’t felt my quilting was good enough to let it pop. But I’m getting braver, and I’ve ordered a variegated thread in autumn colors to quilt an all over pattern called Leaf Pile. It should be fun. I hope it’s fun. Now I’m getting nervous. Until next time………
Sometime during my twenties way back in the 70s, I started a quilt using a simple Maple Leaf block pattern. I had read that museum quality quilts were hand pieced and hand quilted. So I was determined that I was going to make a museum quality quilt. Oh, did I mention that this was to be my first quilt ever.
Thirty-five to forty years later, I had hand sewn each and every piece together with a 9″ plain white muslin block between each Maple Leaf block giving it a checkerboard look. There were 99 blocks in all.
So now it’s time to quilt it. But…….there…….is a problem. What, pray tell, is the problem you might ask. Well, I simply do not like this quilt top. I guess I did when I started it, but it is boring. All the Maple leaves are turned the same direction. Somehow I got all the brown leaves together, all the red leaves together, all the yellow leaves together……Well, you get the picture. What was I thinking?!!
So today in about an hours time, I reduced my quilt top to this.
Yep, that’s all the blocks separated by colorways into eight stacks. Wish I had taken a picture before I took it apart. Oh, well. So now where do I go from here. Pinterest seems like a good place to start and did give me some inspiration for these blocks.
I am making two throws – one for my husband and one for me – that will adorn our recliners during the Fall season. Each throw will have 18 Maple Leaf blocks in it. Here is the layout.
Oh, did I mention that I already know how I will be quilting this one? I usually make the quilt top, put it on my longarm, and stare at it for a few days before I know how I want to quilt it. So this is a first for me. No, not taking a quilt top apart to remake it. I’ve done that before. It is the first time I know how it will be quilted before I get the top put together. I would show you a picture of the quilting, but the picture is copyrighted so can’t do that. So you will have to tune in here at a later date to see.
Here is a picture of my grandmother’s quilt top.
As you can see she did the appliques diagonally across the block. I would have expected them to be put into a quilt top on point. There is also a lot, a whole lot of white background. Some quilter’s may have loved having all that back ground to fill with quilting, but I didn’t have a clue what to do with it.
One day while looking through a rather old quilting magazine, I ran across a picture of a little quilt with only four blocks. Two Sunbonnet Sues and two Overall Bills surrounded by sashing and then a couple of borders. But this simple little quilt gave me the idea of making four smaller quilts from Nanny’s quilt top. And being one who likes to have a complete plan, I started searching for quilting design ideas. My go to is Pinterest. Click here to see what I found.
Okay. Now I have a plan. But remember that the appliques were diagonal, so I had to cut them down. And in some cases I had to sew some background fabric onto a corner. I ended up with 10 1/2″ blocks which would finish at 10″. Perfect for making 25-patch blocks. All I needed were a whole bunch of scraps from which to cut 2 1/2″ squares. I had fabric strewn all over my sewing room for several days while cutting all these squares. I also had to cut lots of 2 1/2″ squares from the background fabric. Did I say that this background fabric was flour sacks? I didn’t quite have enough but did have some from a previous quilt that I had refurbished. Yay! I’m on a roll.
After picking up all the fabric I had all over the place, I started sewing. It went fairly quickly. Then I designed the embroidery for the other block I needed for the quilts and started embroidering. I showed you part of the quilting in the previous post. Here are two of the quilts completed.
If you have inherited a quilt top and don’t know what to do with it, make something else out of it. It’s okay. It’s yours now. Enjoy it.
I have been very busy the past three months or so doing embroidery work on three quilt blocks that have been include in my sister’s quilts which will be their Christmas presents. It all started with a quilt top that my mother gave me that her mother had made. It was one of her first quilt tops – an appliqued Sunbonnet Sue which had 11 Sunbonnet Sues and 2 Overall Bills. I was at a total loss as to do with this quilt top until I saw a Sunbonnet Sue wall hanging that had 4 Sunbonnet Sues in it and 5 25-patch blocks. I decided right then and there to divide the quilt top so that my 3 sisters and I would each have a part of Nanny’s quilt top.
It dawned on me very quickly being a math teacher that 13 is not evenly divisible by 4. And I wanted to use all of the blocks in these 4 smaller projects. And there was the problem of having the 2 Overall Bill’s. As luck would have it, the Overall Bill’s had matching Sunbonnet Sue’s, so those 4 blocks would go into one quilt. Now to divide the remaining 9 blocks into ones that looked good together.
I ended up with a pink and green; light blue, yellow and red; and medium blue, gold and deep red colorways. Now to find out which sister to give each of them to. So I polled them. I gave them a list of the colorways and asked them to choose their favorite. Luck was with me on this one as they each chose a different one. Can you believe that? LOL
Now, as you may recall, I needed 4 Sunbonnet Sue blocks to make each of these wall hangings and I only have 3 for each of them. So what to do. I decided to make an embroidered block to fill in. It was all hand embroidery which I don’t really enjoy doing so had to force myself to work on them. But after about 3 months the embroidery was complete. Yay!
Now the real fun begins – quilting the quilt. Most of the quilt is ruler work with a straight ruler for the cross hatching and various sizes of circle rulers. I felt somewhat like a contortionist quilting around those circles. The rest is FMQ. I have finished the quilting on 2 of them and am working on the hanging sleeves and binding. Here is a picture of one of the quilted embroidered blocks.
I recently took a FMQ class to help me get over my fear of FMQ. So I took it a step further and challenged myself to do a different FMQ design in every block of a little cheater cloth quilt I was using for practice. There are 30 blocks in all. I did FMQ on 28 1/2 of them. Just couldn’t keep my hands off my ruler. LOL
Keep in mind that these blocks are only 4 3/4″ square, and the FMQ is micro-quilted. Here are pictures of my favorites:
Hope you find some way to challenge yourself to do something that helps you stretch your abilities.