Friday, November 18, 2011


Since I had finished what had become my comfort quilting, I decided to go back to work on my Doodle Squares to keep up my free motion quilting practice. After all, the VESTA show is fast approaching and I have less than half the number that I had last year to sell. And decided to move from the safety of the well known pattern to the risk of trying something new.

Now if you know me well, you know drawing is not my strong point. But I have learned that if I really, really, really look at something, there is a much better chance that I create a good-enough approximation of it. And if I can draw it, I can perhaps quilt it as well. I have been quilting oak leaves and other smooth edged leaves for years, but I always wanted to do a free-motion maple leaf. I have been studying, i.e., really, really, really looking, at sugar maple leaves on my early morning walks with Terra for the past month or so and remembered reading somewhere that if you start with the veins, it's easier to draw a leaf. I tried a couple with pencil and paper and lo and behold! they each looked like a good-enough maple leaf. So on to thread and fabric:

Now, it's lucky for me that no two maple leaves look exactly alike so there is a great range of acceptability and I think I could use some more practice getting the shape a bit fuller but I was pleased that my first attempts did resemble maple leaves--closer than I have ever gotten before.

Usually my Doodle Squares are reversible and for the back of this one I had chosen a batik that I loved with these great green dots on it. But--repeat after me--a print or heavy texture hides quilting stitches.  I know this from years of trying to hide my quilting stitches, but, for some reason, I forgot that cardinal rule when I was choosing the fabric.  The leaves are difficult enough to see on the top but on the back they become an excellent example of camouflage, a Can-you-find-the-hidden-leaves-in-this-picture game.
I even outlined all the leaves in a dark purple that should have contrasted with the background. They still didn't show up.  Oh, well. . . 

And if you are still with me, thanks for the company.


Denise :) said...

Your maples leaves look great. And that batik you used on the front is scrumptious! But you're right -- as lovely as your backing fabric is, the quilting is difficult to see. But the fabric is so pretty, it's almost okay! LOL! :)

Anya said...

I think those leaves look pretty darn good!