Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Maple Leaf Quilt — One Year Later

A little over a year ago, I conceived the idea to make a larger version of this small quilt.

From the start, I planned to have more than one size block — 3", 4-1/2" 6", and 9". I drafted an arrangement of blocks, and began making my Maple Leaf blocks.

But then I decided I wanted to do something different. I drafted several variations — vertical, horizontal, on-point. But I wasn't happy with any of them; they all looked too static.

At some point, I tried arranging them in groups of four, with the stems pointing toward the center, and added a 12" size.

Eventually, I arrived at this design.

I went through my stash and found as many rust, gold, orange, red, and brown prints as I could, and a few green ones — at first focusing on anything that looked "leafy" (leaves, pine cones, pine needles, trees, batiks), but then expanding to include anything in the color scheme.

I bought a few yards of one yellow fabric for all the yellow in the diagram. Anything that is rust in the diagram is one of the various prints. Along the way, I purchased several more prints to make it even scrappier.

I think I've finished making all the blocks, but I'm not 100 percent sure. As I've been making them, I've been putting them up on my design wall. Unfortunately, it's not quite big enough to fit them all on the right side.

In the process of arranging them on the design wall, I decided that leaving them in their groups of four was still not interesting enough, so I started breaking up the groupings, moving one or two up or down and switching them out with blocks in adjacent groupings. The only thing I didn't change was the diagonal orientation.

This afternoon, I started sewing pairs of blocks together. So I wouldn't lose track of what went where, I would take down one pair of blocks, sew them together, take down and sew together a second pair, press the first pair and put it back up, take down and sew third pair, press the second pair and put it back up, and so on. Even so, I managed to somehow get messed up. I had started to sew some of the paired units to other paired units, but then when I went to put up one I'd just sewn, the diagonal orientation didn't correspond.

At that point, I'd been sewing for a couple of hours, and I decided it might be best to call it good for the day.

Update, Feb. 17, 2014: The top is done. See it here.


  1. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

  2. Thank you! I was able to work on it for a couple hours yesterday. I took printouts of both the diagram and photo above to refer to in case I got confused about unit placement again — easy to do especially when they often fall off the design wall!

  3. Oh, my, that is going to be gorgeous! I admire your creativity (and tenacity)!