Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Falling Leaves--A Small Quilt

Early last fall while surfing on Pinterest (I'm a little ashamed how many of these start this way) I stumbled onto a blog of a quilting genius.  Her name is Kathleen and her blog is Kathleen Quilts.  At her blog every friday is Free Motion Friday and it is simply my favorite day of the week.  If you have a quilt and you find yourself stumped on how to quilt it; she encourages you to email her a picture (taken straight on) and she will do a mark up of how she would quilt it (drawn in steps).  I couldn't believe what I was reading, it seemed almost too good to be true.  The best part is it wasn't too good to be true!

After I finished going back to the beginning of the Free Motion Friday blogs, soaking up all the inspiration, I rushed to my pile of UFO's to find the perfect one to send to her.  I came up with a wall hanging called Falling Leaves from 101 Fabulous Small Quilts.

For months the back ground and leaves had me stumped.  I made several attempts at coming up with something but absolutely nothing suited me.  (I wish now I had kept some of them)  I decided this would be the perfect quilt to send her because I was at a complete loss.

A few weeks later when I logged on the check out the Free Motion Friday post I squealed with delight because she had chose my quilt to talk about!  Check out Kathleen's post and what she had to say about it.  Thanks to her big juicy quilting brain, I now had at least some sort of plan for quilting; I just had to figure out what fillers to use.

Even though she had already drawn out a plan for me, I decided to draw it out myself with the fillers.  Drawing can help you figure out what you need to do first and how to move around the quilt.  Since I do my quilting on a sit down machine, I'm not locked into quilting a row of quilt at a time.  I can move the quilt around however I need to.

I made a few changes to her original design.  Instead of doing continuous curves in the small colored blocks I did a little loop and changed the design in the leaves just slightly.  I really had not given pebbling a try so I wanted to stick them in the area around the center.  I went with back and forth curvy lines in the area outside of the center square and inside the center leaves.  Now came the bigger question...could I pull this amazing design off?  Could I do it justice?  Could I bring it to life?  Well, you'll never know till you try.

I started off by stitching in the ditch and working on the center leaves.  

I try to use matching thread colors in my top and bottom threads and almost always match it to the front of the quilt.   Not everyone likes the way it looks on the back, but I do.  It can make for a very colorful back.  Until this point, I used what ever embroidery thread the local quilt shop sold to quilt with.  I suffered through lots of thread breaks and frustration.  I had heard of Aurifil thread from Pat Sloan's blog and decided to give it a try on this project.  I had colors in my thread stash to match everything but the background fabric so I figured I would order an Aurifil to match it.  I have never turned back.  I can't stop saying how much I love their thread and so many colors to choose from.  I started out with the pebbling of the background.  If I had used the cheaper thread I probably would have thrown this project out due to the thread breaking, but this thread held on like a champ and laid nicely.  

This is an up close picture of my pebbles.  They are far from perfect.  You can see all kinds of little eye lashes, which resulted from foot/hand coordinating speed issues.  (After I washed the quilt most shrunk some)  Never let small imperfections slow you down, it's how you learn.  This is a picture of the pebbling form a distance.  To an untrained eye all they see is the fun texture not my tension issues.

Here is the finished project.

I entered this wall hanging and few other projects in our local quilt show today.  I have to admit I'm a little nervous because I have never entered anything I have quilted into a show for judging.  Keeping my figures crossed that the judge will have some good things to say and good advice on how to improve.  


Wyatt846 said...

Your pebbles look fantastic. I tried them and the back looks like a rat's nest. Front not too bad. I follow your blog and enjoy it very much.

Stitchin At Home said...

You did a great job! Quilting looks terrific.

Mary said...

That's a LOT of Quilting. Thanks for sharing your process.

Julie said...

I think you did a fabulous job! Around here we say, "A man on a galloping horse is never going to see that!" All they see is the beauty!

Julie @ Pink Doxies

Tish Stemple said...

Thanks :) I think I really like that saying

Ariane said...

This quilt is beautiful!! They quilting is amazing!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Gorgeous quilting!

Marcy said...

What a lovely quilt with beautiful quilting.

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