Friday, October 18, 2013

Modern Maples top done

This quilt top wasn't really finished in one day - I've been steadily working on it for a couple of weeks now. I started with this lovely stack of fall fabrics and about 4 yards of Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen in a sandy/taupe beige color way.

In my version I opted to fill all the negative space from the original pattern with smaller leaves - 6" and 9" finished.

Adjusting the size of the blocks is not difficult. The maple leaf block is basically a version of a nine-patch block, so instead of each section finishing at 4" for a 12" block, I scaled the sections down to finish at 2" for a 6" block and 3" for a 9" block. The stem sections for the 12" block are cut at 2", so for the 6" version I cut them at 1", and for the 9" version I cut them at 1.5".

In this shot you can see the seam lines between blocks a bit more clearly. In order to "size up" the smaller leaves to fit the grid created by the 12" blocks, I bordered the 9" leaves with a 1.5" border on all sides. The 6" leaves were paired together with 6" background blocks into a four-patch block or bordered by 3" of background fabric.

And here is the "ugly duckling" fabric I mentioned yesterday. It caught my eye at a sidewalk sale five years ago where it was priced at $3/yard.  I have no explanation for buying it other than the fact that it looked so dimensional and I was caught up in the frenzy that is a fabric clearance sale. I honestly had to touch it to verify that it was printed cotton and not a chenille textured fabric. I really liked the colors, it had the requisite "bold, bright and loud" factor, so I just blurted out, "I'll take seven yards!" Why seven? Who knows?  I guess I thought it would make a great quilt backing that would probably require five yards, and then I might want to use it as a border also, so that might be another two yards. So yeah, seven seemed like the right number.

Since then it has been languishing in my fabric stash just waiting to be put to use. I'm so glad I didn't give it away or chop it into fat quarters for an "ugly fabric" guild challenge - which was my most recent plan to put it to use - because I think it is THE PERFECT BACKING for this quilt :)

Good things come for those [fabrics] that wait. Aaannnd wait.

P.S. This version of the Modern Maples quilt will finish at 63" x 85" finished (twin size). It will be late November before I get this one back from the longarm quilter, and (sadly) the spectacular sight that is Fall in the Midwest will be long gone by then...


  1. Love your ugly backing fabric! It's a wonderful counterpoint to all the leafy angles on the front. The process of quilting is filled with many satisfying moments, but few equal finally finding the perfect use for something that's been aging in the stash for years!

  2. Your autumn fabrics are lovely and the pattern with the different sized maple is so refreshing. The backing fabric is amazing - lucky you for spotting it and being able to buy seven yards.

  3. I sure like the combination of block sizes...really makes for a "modern" quilt from a traditional block!


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