I'm actually calling this the Vintage Maple Leaf Quilt because it's from a "vintage" pattern, but it has been quite the adventure. This is definitely a quilt of firsts:
- first applique quilt (yes, I've done applique blocks, but never a whole quilt)
- first quilt with wool batting
- first quilt with double batting (one layer cotton, one layer wool)
- first quilt completed with rulers (I did do those fabric Valentines for my grandson with a ruler, but that was less than a metre of fabric)
- first quilt that I've taken off the frame and reloaded it sideways
- first quilt I've had to do three passes over - one for the horizontal borders and sashing plus the leaves, one for the vertical borders and sashing and one to quilt the white background in the blocks
- first quilt I've used 2 different colours of thread to quilt (an army green for the borders, sashing and leaves and white for the block backgrounds)
- first time I've completed a quilt from a pattern that I've had for over 43 years (while I may have some books that are older than that, I don't think I have owned any of them for that length of time)
I bought the Versa Tool because it's supposed to be good for applique and stitch-in-the-ditch. I didn't find it really improved my accuracy for applique, and I only did enough stitch-in-the-ditch to get from one diagonal line to the next in the block backgrounds, so that would have required a quick switch back and forth from the Straight Edge to the Versa Tool and back again - not worth the effort, in my opinion.
And my free motion quilting on the leaves was terrible. I couldn't stay on the edge of the leaves. And when I did the veins and had to travel back over my quilting, I often ended up with loops instead of my stitching going over the previous path. And what a hassle to switch between colours frequently! I was up late that first night and went to bed discouraged, and could hardly sleep because I was trying to figure out how to get this quilting done. I had pretty much made up my mind to remove it from the frame, rip out all of my stitching and just use a pantograph. I do have two different maple leaf pantographs, after all. And that was what I had originally planned on doing. But I also knew that an allover pantograph just wouldn't do this quilt justice. Those leaves needed to pop, which is what I wanted to accomplish with ruler quilting.
- Quilt the horizontal borders and sashing, plus the leaves.
- Reload the quilt sideways to quilt the vertical borders and sashing.
- Switch to white thread and quilt the block backgrounds.
|Original Pattern: Maple Leaf Quilt from Scraps, published in Family Circle magazine in March 1977|