Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Autumn Leaves Applique






If you've seen much of my work, then you know I do most of it by hand. Machine work...not so much. To me there is just nothing better than sitting with a needle and thread, sewing quietly and with purpose. It is a great joy. I have some really nice friends who tend to do all their work using the sewing machine....ALL of their work. Naturally, I get the usual jokes about being "archaic" or a "dinosaur." I don't mind. I admire their work....it's really wonderful. I like my work...it's wonderful too...and sometimes the more tedious it is, the more I like it.

One time we were in one of those discussions comparing handwork to machine work. My friend, Jim, challenged me to make a totally machine made quilt. So, I set out to do just that. This basket full of autumn leaves is the result. Well, OK, I failed the test because I handquilted it. But, the TOP was totally made on the machine!

I drew it out on paper, cut out the leaves and the basket and went to work doing machine applique. It was kind of fun figuring out how to place the leaves. Did I enjoy doing the machine applique? NO. But I did it anyway. (I appliqued these using a very small zig-zag stitch...it's ok...but it always looks better to me when someone else has done it.)

Notice the flies? Jim gave me two of them and dared me to sew them to the quilt, so I did. They are plastic.

After I did all the applique and added the plain borders....I decided the quilt was just that...PLAIN! So I played around with other leaves to see what I could come up with. At that time, my son was home. He walked into the room as I was talking to myself and asked what I was doing. I explained. In my hand were five leaves and I was having a difficult time choosing their placement. Scott said, "Well, don't fret over it...just throw them down like playing cards and wherever they land will be the right place." Simple for him to say...difficult for me...I fret over the least thing. So, I told him to go ahead and throw them down and wherever they landed, that's where I would sew them on. He did. And, so did I. So those five leaves on the border were added by my son that day. A lesson for me in spontaneity. Also in "not sweating the small stuff." (I really should listen to him more often!)

When I put the quilt up on the wall to check it out...I thought it still needed something....but what? Of course, my mind always goes to "more hand stitching" so I decided to embroider a line using the Herringbone Stitch....in a meandering design. I really liked that!

Then, of course, next came the quilting and that's where I really, really failed. No way could I try to machine quilt this. So, my friend Jim won that challenge...I couldn't make a quilt that was totally done on the machine. He just loves to win!!!

Fall is my favorite season......I love the falling leaves, the chill in the air on a clear, bright blue sky day, the crispness. It's such a brief season. Here in Arkansas, at this very moment, it is raining and chilly. I sense that autumn is quickly slipping away and winter will be here soon. Too soon. Maybe that's why I love Fall so much....it's never here very long. Sort of like the time I have in the Nest..time spent out here is never long enough. Enjoy autumn, wherever you are!!! Pat

**I forgot to mention the fabric on the back of the quilt is a wonderful leaf print...and you can see the hand quilting there. No matter what I do...my post photos seem to never show in the order I placed them...so aggravating...I really didn't want you to see the back of the quilt first! Well, have a great day anyway!

8 comments:

StitchinByTheLake said...

Pat the herringbone stitch really adds to this top and I would never have thought of it. Your son was right about the placement of the leaves - just letting them fall where they would was perfect. I wish I could hand quilt like you do but my arthritis just won't cooperate with me. :) blessings, marlene

Judy said...

What a fantastic quilt Pat. I wish I had half the patience you do. Your son's throwing the leaves was an awesome idea. And yes I notice the flies. I always enlarge your pictures to get a good look.

sparkle jars said...

I love the little bug on the leaf. I need a Jim in my life to challenge me. :-)This was a fun post. The quilt is beautiful.

Jacky said...

I love your autumn/fall quilt Pat, and yes, I have to agree, the placement of the leaves (with the assistance of your son) looks great!!!
The herringbone stitch looks really effective, what a clever idea.
Your friend Jim sounds to have a wonderful sense of humour - those flies!
Well done in "nearly" completing a quilt wholly by machine.

Willow Witch said...

Pat, sorry that you lost the bet but.. it is a lovely quilt. I like the herringbone around the edge, you always have such wonderful ideas!

karenfae said...

Patricia I love your fall basket wall hanging. I ran across your blog when was doing a search on Arkansas Quilt blogs to see where all the other Arkansas quilters are :) and I found you. Great stuff, I have added your blog to my blogroll and will look more at it over the next couple days. I feel also that fall is coming to an end soon - I am over in NorthWestCentral Arkansas if that makes any sense to you - half way between Little Rock and Fort Smith! I'm kind of on the edge of the central area and also the northern area.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

karenfae said...

Oh and I forgot to ask you, my husband wants to know if your husband is Bill Eaton that worked at ANO
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Diana said...

i sewed yesterday to Christmas Tunes...kind of early, but I was making a Christmas present so I figured I'd get into the mood. lol.

i think your quilt came out quite lovely! nice selection of colors! :)

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