Sunday, March 24, 2013

finished maple leaf rag quilt

Ok, I know that I said that I was going to be sad when I finished with this quilt.  I was sad when I finished piecing the blocks; making the fabric combinations and then seeing them come together was a lot of fun.  But putting the blocks together to make the quilt top was a bit of a pain.

My husband and kids were both sick yesterday which resulted in them all taking a 3 hour nap so I was able to get it finished up.
finished maple leaf rag quilt
I am pleased with how well the points lined up (though they aren't all perfect, this quilt is so crazy they were good enough).  And I made my quilt top a little differently than the pattern described so I thought I would take a minute to explain what I did in case someone else wanted to do the same.

The pattern calls for you to foundation piece the top onto muslin triangles (if you haven't read the pattern these directions may make no sense).  I didn't have any muslin and that didn't sound like much fun so I didn't do it.  After I made all of my 120-something kite pieces, I started cutting strips for each ring of each octagon.  For the outer ring I cut eight pieces that were 1.5"x7", for the 2nd ring I cut eight pieces that were 1.5"x6", then 5", 4", 3.5", 3, and 2" for the other rings.  Then I would center them one on top of another to make a pyramid shape (does that make sense?).    

This way you only need 2 strips of 1.5"xWOF for the two outer rings.  It gives you plenty of wiggle room to trim it down to the right triangle shape.  When I had two pyramids pieced onto a kite, I used a right triangle shaped template (this is the same size as the muslin would have been) to trim it down.  It worked pretty well.
The quilt top is going to have to sit on the shelf until I get back from Utah next week.

Several people have commented asking if this helped get rid of scraps.  Yes and no.  The kites are great for using up scraps, but I did cut into yardage for some of the octagons which created more scraps.  I definitely have fewer scraps now I 'm just not sure how many fewer.  

I am considering hand quilting this one, is that crazy?  My hand quilting experience is pretty minimal, but I am backing this one with Chicopee corduroy and I think that the hand quilting would be a better fit.  Any tips?

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13 comments :

  1. I keep wanting to try hand quilting too, but I think trying it for the first time on a small project might be easier, at least for me! The finished top is amazing. Very impressive!

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  2. This is such a beautiful quilt! I love all the colorful fabrics. And thanks for the tutorial, too!

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  3. Wow,Erica! Congratulations on a fantastic finish! It would look amazing hand quilted if you have the patience to do it!

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  4. So gorgeous! It might be a lot of seams to hand quilt. Whatever you do will be wonderful.

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  5. Erica, this quilt top is absolutely amazing!!! You did such a wonderful job, congrats!!! I think hand quilting will make it even more special.

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  6. First of all that is a completely fabulous finish.
    Secondly, I do have the book and I like your idea about skipping the muslin part.
    And thirdly I don't really have any quilting tips, other than to say I think the pattern and fabrics are the star of the show so I wouldn't worry too much about the quilting because I don't think it will be noticeable.
    !!

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  7. Wow, what a beautiful quilt top! It is on my to-do-someday-list, too.
    I never tried quilting corduroy, so it´s a bit difficult to give good tips. But have you considered big stitch quilting with perle cotton? It is faster than "normal" hand quilting, and I guess the bigger and stronger needle would go through the corduroy more easily.

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  8. Very beautiful! Handquilting it isnt' a crazy idea, but I would definitely check/do a test run of handquilting w/coudoroy on the back, might be a bit thick and difficult to drive your need through and back up.

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  9. Gorgeous quilt! I've hand-quilted a few times (and used a different batting than when I machine quilt) but never with corduroy. Good luck!

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  10. Loving your spiderweb quilt! So fun and scrappy

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  11. I wish I had seen your alternative plan before I made my quilt following the book instructions. I do love my colors but the extra bulk of the muslin is very difficult to seam down near the points. Also it distorts easily so my centers are quite mismatched in some instances. I like you plan a lot better!

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