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Celebrating Imagination and the Wonderful, Wild Ride that is Life

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Falling Leaves Quilt

I wanted to take a bit and relish the experience of having completed my banner quilt (the one up there in the banner!) and show some details of it from start to finish.

This particular quilt journey started when I found the hand sewn blocks at a garage sale. There was a whole group of them...most of them in 1930's era solids and a few in prints. I bought them for very little more than a few pennies. But like many quilters I honestly can't pass things like this up when I see them in garage sales and the like. Knowing that someone worked their heart out to create something special, something I'm sure they loved, only to have it remain unfinished and eventually sold for pocket lint is just too much for me to bear! I particularly enjoy things that are unique, hand sewn, and/or show a particular spark of something...whether it's excellent craftsmanship, unique design choices, or just Something that catches my eye, I don't know what it is exactly but I know it when I see it! And these blocks definitely had IT!

There were easily enough blocks for a whole quilt. Each block consisted of a very unique leaf which was usually cut from a bright solid or in a few cases an interesting patterned fabric. Each leaf was appliquéd onto a square of muslin. In this case it was very thin fabric...more on that later! Around each appliqué the used the standard blanket stitch. Additionally the same black thread was used to embroider the stem of each leaf as well as the leaf's veins in chain stitch. See? Unique! Original! That fun spark that caught my eye!!!

Here's a photo of what they looked like:

In order to deal with the somewhat fragile nature of the background fabric, I cut squares of muslin and glue basted (just a couple of dots of Roxanne's Glue Baste-It) in the seam allowance.

Then came the fun part...deciding what I was going to do with them! At first I thought I would just sew them together to simulate falling leaves...simple, right? Yeah, well, that's just not me. Instead I bought about a billion trillion fat quarters of mismatched (but matching to my eyes) fun, colorful fabric to use as sashing between the blocks. I also bought some adorable gnome fabric (leaves, right?) to use as cornerstones between the sashing. Plus let's not forget this freaking awesome bird fabric and well, sure, I might as well buy some mushroom fabric (theme, anyone?) so I can fussy cut them for the borders. And just like that what started out as a low cost easy peasy quilt turned into an expensive adventure! Here's a close up of the top as I had it laid out before sewing:

And here's a closeup of the completed top:

Here's a picture of the entire top showing the fussy cut borders (my design wall was too small at this point!):

What can go wrong with mushrooms, gnomes, and birds?

This quilt ended up being the perfect size for our queen bed. Here's a picture of Baloo as a puppy enjoying the completed quilt. Because he is what we affectionately call "a chewer" (understatement) and he is now a full grown puppy, the qult is put away until I can trust him. In the meantime he can destroy a cheap Target quilt!

This is the first of what I know has become a line of "rescue" projects. I LOVE taking these incomplete makes and turning them into something that is totally me. I also hope that the completed piece reflects the feeling of the original maker. Hopefully she/he would be proud of what we accomplished together.

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Evidence of a Life