Friday, 11 April 2014

Maple Leaf Quilt {Finished}

Thanks so much for all your lovely wishes after yesterday's post. My little girl is heaps better today and we managed to get a decent amount of sleep last night, so I'm feeling almost human again today. I also managed to get the Maple Leaf/wedding quilt finished last night, and I couldn't be happier with it. The weather has conspired against me (it is POURING today), but it didn't stop me taking a huge number of indoor photos ;o)

As I mentioned previously, the fabrics I've used in this quilt were chosen quite deliberately. My brother and his finace said they love red and blue, so I pulled a bunch of reds, orange-reds, navy, aqua and green-blues and tried to include lots of fabric that will mean something to them (bikes, tea cups, forest-type images, houses etc). As Charlotte said, it's a bit like an adult i-spy quilt :o)


I wanted to give this quilt some subtle movement with the quilting, so I chose to follow the diagonal created by the leaves and straight line quilt the background (which stabilised the leaves at the same time). The quilting is all free motion quilting - I could probably have used my walking foot for this, but I MUCH prefer doing this type of quilting using my FMQ foot. I find it less boring, and because these were relatively short lines it wasn't too difficult to keep them straight(ish). Any longer, and it involves a bit more quilt wrangling and I get more wonky patches when I need to pause mid line. I find the texture is a bit different too when quilting straight lines using FMQ compared to a walking foot - partly because they aren't truly straight, and possibly because the walking foot flattens it more? I'm not sure.


I didn't mark any lines, but by starting along the edge of the HSTs, I was able to keep them relatively straight. I think the slightly organic straight lines really suit this quilt anyway (although maybe that's just my inner perfectionist making excuses for the slight wonkiness?) A small warning - pulling a quilt diagonally through the machine is a lot more work than straight up and down (which is what I usually do when I FMQ straight lines) and my shoulders are paying for it. I could have rolled my quilt up along the diagonal to do it, but I would have struggled to fit it under my machine, especially for the centre blocks.

Once I'd quilted out the background, I had a bit of fun quilting the leaves. Some of them are quilted using the fabric as a guide, or as inspiration.





A few have swirly, air-current kind of quilting.


I used Aurifil 50wt for all my quilting, apart from the very dark navy leaves. I had a small spool of 28wt Aurifil from a sample pack I won ages ago, and the colour matched perfectly so I had my first experience quilting with a much thicker thread. It was exactly like quilting with 50wt, but the stitches show up much more - I'd love to use it again.



I had a bit of fun with this block - I was thinking topographical map lines when I quilted this one, and I really love how it turned out. Another idea to keep in mind for future quilts!


And I can't seem to quilt anything without at least a few pebbles.


I think my favorite blocks are those with straight lines though (and almost wish I had just done all the leaves like it.)



The back is a really cool HST design fabric I picked up from Spotlight - it felt like the perfect accompaniment to all the HSTs on the front.


Quilt Stats:

* Block - the traditional Maple Leaf block, made at 15"
* Size - 75" square
* Fabric - the background is Kona Ivory, along with various fabrics, including Lush Uptown, Botanics, Architextures, Denyse Schmidt, Tsuru
* Quilted - on my Bernina 440QE

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Free Motion Friday and Gemma's iQuilt linky party!

I hope everyone has a great weekend (and that this rain stops before the wedding tomorrow!)

xx Jess



30 comments:

Renee said...

It looks just gorgeous! You captured the colors and quilting really well!

riddleandwhimsy said...

I just had to pin this; I love everything about it!

Ella said...

It's a beauteous finish to that quilt!

Debbie said...

oh I've been enjoying watching this one from day one - what a wonderful finish! Love your quilting on it.

Dianne Neale said...

Fabulous quilt - the quilting is just perfect. Have a nice day

DeborahGun said...

what a finish. You have done an awesome job. Just love the design and the fabrics you have used.

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Wow awesome quilt Jess :) Ok question time: when you quilted the leaf and then the sections up to the leaf , did you backstitch at to lock the threads in place and then tie off on the back?

Catherine said...

Thank you for all the close-up photos of the actual quilting. I've yet to jump into FMQ, just a bit scared. I sent my first quilt away to be quilted edge to edge but was slightly disappointed as it did not highlight the best bits of the quilt.
One question as I'm not an expert on machines either. Does your Bernina have lots of space for the quilt or is it like an ordinary machine?
I'm sure this quilt will be loved by the happy couple.

Gunilla said...

Lovely quilt and beautiful quilting!

Flying Blind... said...

Oh it looks amazing, well done - hope the rain goes away in time for the wedding xxx

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Stunning! The quilting is amazing!

Sandra said...

It's gorgeous - a lovely quilt, I love your fantastic quilting! What a great gift for the couple - I'm sure they'll love it!

Charlotte said...

it's perfect!!!!!!

Maryse said...

Makes me want to make one for myself...Us, Canadians love our maple leaves...oh and maple syrup too...:)

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

It is beautiful! I was wondering which foot you used for the straight lines...I use the walking foot but find it still pushes the fabric around a bit...I will have to try it with the free motion foot next time. Your quilting is just gorgeous!

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Wow this is every bit as gorgeous as your sneak peek suggested in your last post. I love the quilting, the different patterns add so much to it. I must try straight line quilting with my free motion foot because I have some pressure issues with my walking foot which are making it almost impossible at the moment. Is it hard to regulate the stitch length on the straight lines with the fmq foot, thats my biggest concern.

Wendy said...

it's fabulous! such amazing texture. Have a wonderful time at the wedding.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful quilting, it adds such depth to the already wonderful quilt.

Katy Cameron said...

Love how this turned out! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and the wedding is nice and dry :o)

Beth said...

OOOH! The quilting is so great. The straight lines!!!!!! I think they are even better because it's not 100% straight line quilting. Really lovely.

Gemini Jen NZ said...

That is an AMAZING quilt! What a huge amount of work you have put into it - well done!

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Absolutely love this! The fabrics are beautiful. Your quilting is amazing! Those FMQ straight lines look perfect! Bravo!

Allison Babcock said...

So beautiful! I really love the quilting. It's a fun little touch to changed up most of the leaves.

Carol said...

Your quilting is very inspired! I love the way you used a traditional block with modern fabrics - the look is so fresh.

Michele said...

Really, really fabulous. Congrats on a job well done.

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Really beautiful.! Love the close up shots of the fabric so we can appreciate the gorgeousness (that's a word). I also love how you have done the SLQ with your free motion foot. I agree, I think the walking foot would have been too rigid :)

Heather @ Winding Bobbins said...

Very lovely, and 75" square is a perfect throw size.

AnnMarie said...

This is utterly fabulous ~~ everything from the deliberate fabric choices to the quilting!

moira said...

it's fab and the backing is perfect

Willit Neverend said...

Awesome!