Charity Leaf Quilt

full view

full view

This quilt started without a plan, except to finish up scraps of yellow, orange and red fabrics from a previous quilt project. The scraps were cut into rectangles that were 4″ by whatever length could be cut from a piece. These 4″ wide pieces were sewn together to form strips.

In making this quilt, I set up some rules and then deliberately broke them.

I decided to trace leaves on all of the light colored pieces, then colored each with texture rubbings. The exceptions were a leaf on a medium value piece, two  paw prints instead of leaves and leaving one light colored piece empty.

leaf detail

leaf detail

paw print detail

paw print detail

For the alternate rows, I found a purple fabric that was long enough, but not wide enough. A light purple fabric was the right size to stretch the purple, but to contrasting. So, using the same texture that was used in the leaves, I textured the fabric to darken it and tie it in with the rest of the quilt design. I split the purple off center and inserted the textured fabric then cut the pieced purple into horizontal strips.

For the quilting pattern, I wanted to tie it into the leaves and visually reinforce the horizontal lines. In the wide warm color rows, I chose to create a undulating vine with alternating leaves. So the quilting pattern would be more dynamic, the leaf direction alternates with each row. Also to prevent the pattern from creating columns of repeating leaves, the start of undulating line was offset an inch with each row. For the purple rows, to reflect the vine pattern, I used a undulating wave stitch that was also stitched in an undulating wave. The seams between the rows were quilted with a zigzag on the seam.

The perfect backing fabric was a few inches short of being long enough. This problem was solved by adding a wide strip of the light colored purple with a label in it horizontally. I did not measure the length correctly and it was still short by about 1/2″, so another narrower strip was added at the other end of the backing. The mistakes along with setting up rules that were broken add more character and interest to the quilt than it would have otherwise had, making it a better quilt.

quilt back showing one end with label strip

quilt back showing one end with label strip

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