Friday, February 24, 2017

Seasonal Mash-up

My calendar says it's winter, the temperatures outside say it's spring--trending toward summer (very strange in my part of the world; we had our bedroom window open last night)--and my quilting life has definitely been autumn this week. But that's okay. I've seen a lot of holiday quilting (looking at you, Lorna, and anyone quilting along with you) and summer quilting (at least for where I live--looking at you again, Lorna). Anyway, I have an autumn quilt finish!!

I started this quilt in late August 2015. I pieced it in just a few weeks but then decided to hand quilt it. It became my travel project, taking much longer than it needed to--and in recent weeks, my evening obsession.

I think I've done about 10 posts on this one in addition to some Instagrams. If you'd like to see the posts, click on the Fall Maple Quilt label on the right sidebar. 

This quilt has seen a lot. It's traveled to northern Michigan at least once, maybe two or three times. It's been to daycare at the Grands (for naptime when I didn't fall asleep myself) and on several train trips, one to Colorado. It has a small smudge on the back from one of those train trips and has a tiny repair where I had to patch in a piece of fabric with some fusible web where fabric along a seam started to shred while I was quilting (but with the busy fabric and dense quilting, no one will know it's there except me--and even I have trouble finding it). Most glaring to me is the wonkiness of the quilting in the border. I started out with parallel lines about 1/4 inch apart. By the time I got to the end, the lines were 3/8 inch apart and nowhere near parallel to the edge. But I don't mind. The texture looks fine. And this quilt border represents a triumph for me since I worked on it while I was pretty much incapacitated in other ways with a broken shoulder. 

The best thing I learned making this quilt is that if it's too hard to see what you are doing when you're quilting, you can quilt from the backside instead. I did that on all of the blue parts of the quilt. I was using a variegated blue thread (and often poor lighting in hotels or on the train), and quilting from the back just made more sense. This worked because I had already quilted around the leaves and borders so I could see exactly what needed to be filled in. 

Here are a few close ups, then I'll give you the details. 

Here are the details:
Pattern: From Ruth B. McDowell in her book Piecing Workshop
Technique: Freezer paper piecing, which I learned from Ruth's book, not to be confused with foundation paper piecing
Front Fabrics: All scraps from my stash. 
Batting: Mountain Mist polyester 
Backing: Moda Bella Solids in Feather
Quilting thread: Blue variegated (#570, Little Prince) Treasure Cotton Hand Quilting thread from Superior Threads; other various colors of random hand quilting threads from my stash
Binding: 1/4 inch batik (cut 2 inches wide) from my stash. I usually use 3/8 inch binding, but I didn't want this one to show much. I thought of using colorful scraps, but decided that I wanted the leaves to stay in the spotlight. My quilt edges are often just a bit ripply even though I really try to keep everything straight. This time I measured my binding each time I turned a corner and made sure that it matched the measurement for the length of the quilt side as determined by the diameter through the center of the quilt. I think I did better, and blocking may take out any irregularity that remains. 
Embellishment: 5 ceramic buttons from a collection I bought a few years ago from Sandra Lance, a ceramic artist who was living in Vermont at the time. I love how they blend in with the fabrics but shine like little gems.
Size: 28 1/4 inches by 36 1/2 inches. I don't plan to wash this, so that's the finished size.

I'm looking forward to hanging this quilt next fall. Not that I want that time to come any time soon. I want to enjoy each day until then just as it comes. No wishing time away.

Oh no, I just realized that I have no hand project to work on now. I may need to do something about that. I do have 2 WIPs to finish--my hexies quilt and the ever-with-me Lake Michigan quilt. That lake quilt always gets pushed to the bottom of the WIPs for some reason--maybe it's a confidence problem? It's near the top now. No where else to go! I do have another quilt that's been muddling around in my mind. I suppose I should also call that a WIP because now there are fabric bits scattered all over the guest bed, too. The muddling is not just in my mind anymore. More on that next week. 

Have a lovely weekend, no matter what season or pseudo-season you are in right now in this wonderful seasonal mash-up!

I'm linking up this week with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh Scrap



  1. What a lovely quilt! And hand quilted when you had a broken shoulder??? Amazing and inspiring.
    Sylvia at Treadlestitches

  2. I love it! The colours are beautiful and the quilting really enhances the design. Amazing finish!!

  3. A small quilt with such a tall tale :-D a combination of seasons, travel, ups and downs, smudges and tears. Sounds a lot like The Quilt of My Life! And there are buttons to show every challenge and every triumph. Terrific.

  4. i love it! very modern looking and i like the button touches. great job!

  5. Very pretty, love the addition of the buttons.

  6. Beautiful quilt - I too love the buttons. xx

  7. This is beautiful! I love the mix of colors and especially the blues. I really admire your hand quilting, the one thing I have no patience for. The buttons make for some nice jewelry!

  8. What a beauty! I love the way you have the leaves scattered across instead of in a more traditional layout. And, as everyone has said, THE BUTTONS :)

  9. Congratulations on a wonderful finish! This quilt has so much personality with all the hand quilting. I love the maple leaf pattern...that one is new to me. It must feel really good to have it completely done :)

  10. Janine, your stitching leaves me in awe. The tiny pattern on the blue sections is so pretty. You must be a very patient quilter. It really pays off too. The buttons are a great embellishment. How fun to bring this out in the fall (which will be here in a hurry because time is just marching by so fast these days.)

  11. Lovely! I like the texture hand stitching has given it, and the pretty buttons, and the way that because it has been all over the place with you it will always be full of memories now.

  12. Beautifull... And... The left side is fantastic!

  13. I am in awe of all those tiny little stitches! What a beautiful quilt. It's hard to think about fall anything right now...bring on spring!

  14. This little project is so cool looking. I love the colors. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  15. Your quilt is just beautiful! The leaves are such an interesting pattern, and so much pretty color. I just finished a hand quilting project, too, and am missing it, so I know how you feel!

  16. I thought I recognized that pattern. How lovely that it's finished and such a great reminder of fall.
    Thanks for the idea to quilt from the back. That would help on some of my machine quilting, too, after the ditch stitching.
    I have the same spacing issue with my quilting. Recently I've started quilting further apart then coming back to fill in, dividing by halves until it's good or I'm tired. But the different widths add character to yours. If you hadn't written it was a mistake I'd have thought it was your artistic choice.

  17. The second I saw your photo at Oh Scrap I knew it was a Ruth McDowell, and had to go read about it. Love your quilt! I'd also like to ask where you got your quilting foot for your Singer. I have a treadle machine and would like to quilt with it. TIA!

  18. It's a stunning autumn quilt and the blues really add the touch of the sky on those sunny fall days. Your quilting is excellent and doing it on the back side sure helped with the lighting problems. Where there's a will, there's a way. Congratulations!

  19. love the quilt and the quilting....wonderful details. Thank you for sharing!