Thursday, November 1, 2018

Throwback Thursday #11 Falling Leaves

Welcome to the eleventh edition of TBT here at mmm! quilts, where we document and talk about our pre-blogging days quilty makes. A big thank you to Andrée of Quilting & Learning - What a Combo, who hosted October's linky and who will also host December's, giving me a break from all the celebrating going on at the end of this month when Dayna gets married, eeek!!
Remember to hashtag on Instagram #throwbackthursdayquilts

This month's quilt is one I named Falling Leaves. Very original. LOL However the design is original.

It actually began my fascination with layers, or superimposed images, in quilting. I made it 15 years ago for a challenge with the guild I was in at the time. Spoiler: I didn't win.

This is based on a sketch on page 55 in Shadow Quilts by Pat Magret and Donna Slusser, a book I own. There are loads of quilt photos and some patterns inside the book as well as detailed instructions for how to create shadow quilts. Unfortunately, there was no pattern for this example of using different blocks in shadow quilts. So, since I wasn't selling the pattern, and I owned the book, I used their sketch as a jumping-off point. They had all the same size of leaves, and not in all the same places as I did mine. Yay for some early-on quilty math and figuring! And a little modern aesthetic too with the leaves spilling out of the quilt centre and into and onto the borders!

I think we were given three, or maybe four fabrics and I can't recall how many we were allowed to add, nor the minimum and maximum size requirements. The black batik with tan leaves on it, the orange and purplish-light brown batik, and I think the orange I used for the inner border as well as a couple of leaves, or it may have been the rust-coloured orange, was another. Maybe there were four?

This is one of my all-time favourite background fabrics, a vintage Jennifer Sampou. LOVE those birch trees. I tried to get the light to show the Sulky Holoshimmer thread I used to FMQ the background with loops and swirls and curving lines, emulating the wind, and I think it was somewhat successful. As you see, I've had a long love-affair with Sulky threads!

I did veins in the leaves, matching thread colours. I can see I used another metallic on the rust leaf, a green and black variegated (think it's called Twist) rayon, and other rayons and cottons. I did a meander with various leaf shapes in the tree body. I remember the reason I traded in the Husqvarna (not the top of the line, but the quilting model I believe) was because it couldn't handle these specialty threads. The Bernina (180 Artista, then top of the line) handles anything and everything and I will never get rid of her.😍

In the border I just did an undulating line and FMQ-traceded the leaf shapes in the fabric. The border is a Benartex fabric! I know because I still have some (hope it's enough!) in cream that I've used and am using in my 150 Canadian Women quilt. It is a most wonderful fabric and I will miss it when it's gone but I'm so glad I bought 4-5 metres of it! I think I only bought one of the green; don't have any of it left. I used the cream in a lightweight quilted cardigan/jacket for the lining and in the outer layer...hmm, I could do a TBT on those quilted jackets...

Here's the back (even a sleeve!):
It's a fabric I used on several quilt backs, a busy one to hide any tension issues, as I was first taught. It's a 'something to do with Gypsies' named fabric. Maybe a Cranston?

The binding was stitched to the front by machine, and hand-stitched down on the back. It's about 1/2", wider than I've been doing for the past several years (about 1/4-3/16" now). I'm pretty sure it's a single fold binding, but I've stitched down the corners on the front and back, so I can't lift it anywhere. I do remember on wallhangings doing single-fold back then; now everything is a double-fold. My LQS at the time, Lori's Country Cottage in Sherwood Park, gave me the stitch-down-the-corner-mitres tip after they lost points in a quilt show for that very thing. Is it standard still?

Here's the label:
I have always labelled my quilts, and I'm so glad I have. This one turned 15 in October! I almost always stitch them onto the backing and then quilt through all the layers, as it's more secure and harder to remove. I used a Pigma Micron pen; today I use them rarely, preferring either a fine Sharpie (archival) or a Pentel Gell Roller for Fabric that Preeti gave me.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Outside Stars by Stitchin at Home
Size: 27.5 X 29" (I've never washed it, and didn't prewash the fabrics)
Fabric: various, including 'Nature Studies' by Benartex, 'The Nature Collection' by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman
Backing: Cranston VIP Fabrics?
Batting: flannel or flannelette
Quilted: on a Husqvarna I had at the time; I know because I bought my Bernina on Grey Cup weekend 2003!)
Threads: pieced on either the Husqvarna or my Elna Air Electronic with 100% cotton GĂŒtermann; quilted with Sulky metallic, Holoshimmer, rayons, and either Mettler or GĂŒtermann cotton

A couple of shots from around my 'hood (dispelling the myth that all of Canada is covered in her entirety in snow from now until April lol).
a Burning Bush - not mine! But we bought one last weekend to plant in our yard somewhere. As Janine said about a black maple (one of my mystery, now-solved backyard trees), "it is LIT!"

As I said in yesterday's post, we are at the pinnacle of colours at this time of year, everything from rich green grass, that is still growing, to yellow-greens of weeping willows, dark green of some oaks and maples, golds, yellows, oranges, rusts, reds, crimsons--!! I just love autumn.

Subdivision adjacent to mine; a maple of some kind; it makes me think that the Goddess (God, the Universe, Allah, Jehovah, the Buddha, Mother Nature, etc) has dipped her trees in Fall Icing.
No apologies for sounding like a gushing nut; I love love LOVE our Earth and my heart breaks for how we are hurting her. Look closely and you may see Lake Erie melding into the sky between those two homes. (no police have shown up at my door...yet... for lurking and taking photos as I stop and hop out of my SUV😎). Something I saw on my Lancashire friend Sue's Instagram yesterday made me stop and slap myself. She's trading in her cleaning stuff for household, safer, gentler to the Earth cleaning agents, like baking soda and vinegar, both of which I use from time to time, but now will instead of the Lysol. Think about it; small changes CAN make such a difference if we each contribute.

Looking forward to reading about your pre-blogging quilt makes. Link up below.


  1. How awesome to see that your fascination with shadow quilts goes back so far. I love it when we get a creative itch that turns into a story arc. And the leaves going across the borders: my favorite detail!

  2. Hi Sandra! HAHA - just about every quilt I've ever made is pre-blogging. I could add many links or write many posts if I had pictures, that is. Anyway, I just LOVE this windy quilting and that background fabric is fab. Nice and low volume and perfect for this application. I've not tried Sulky thread . . . yet. I have a spool that hasn't been opened. Maybe I'll have to change that sooner than later. I gave up on my Husqvarna because of the throat size but Lily is still around for sewing. I love my new Elna for quilting though even though I lusted after a Juki. What a full throwback quilt, and the timing of all the falling leaves is just perfect. Happy Thursday to you! ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. I love to read these posts, Sandra, and I'm amazed at what you can remember about your quilts. While I don't label my quilts like I should, I used to take photos and put them in a journal with information. Now my blog has usurped that. I really should label though, huh? Okay, I need to go pull out my quilts and see if I can find a throwback! Anyway, your quilt is lovely; I never get tired of quilted leaves!

  4. I love how this quilt foreshadows (Ha!) your more recent shadow quilts. Maple leaves falling in front of an evergreen--yes, just like in nature. And the leaves spilling out over the borders! Perfect with that windblown quilting. So often I look at blogs on my phone. It's convenient. But I'm so glad I was on my computer when looking at this post because it shows just how much I miss when I look at those tiny photos instead of the larger ones on my computer screen--all the details in those fabric designs and your quilting. I truly think Autumn leaf quilts are my favorites. And for the record, in my mind, you won that challenge.

  5. Putting labels on right from the start, wish I would have done more of that. Love how your leaves go into the borders.

  6. Great quilt. I've always wanted a burning bush. There may be some places with snow, but they can have it!!!!

  7. Hi Sandra, I really like how you layered that quilt pattern. It's very effective - and lovely. Glad you're enjoying the fall. Our leaves have mostly fallen but the snow isn't here yet :-)

  8. I specially love how the leaves are falling out of the border. Beautiful quilt, Sandra! I love the background fabric, Thanks for posting a closeup of it. The trees are gorgeous, don't you just love the stunning shades of autumn!