14 June 2018

Leaf Me Alone!

This was another of my three-day weekend goals. Didn't finish by the end of Memorial Day Weekend, but I am making such good progress!

I had planned to quilt this monster by hand from the day, back in about 2007, when I first started it. When I went into WIP-finishing mode while trying to make quilts for all the kiddos in my extended family, the possibility of free-motion quilting it popped in and out of my head just so I could get it done. My sweet sister-in-law Donna had staked her claim on this one when I finished and posted the second block on my blog, and I've been promising her it would be a birthday or Christmas present ever since. Her birthday was in May, so it was a goal (once again) this quarter.

I couldn't find the leftovers panel I planned for the back; I had created a few more of the smaller blocks with leaves I'd not used in the original project. I suppose some day that will re-appear, and then I can make yet another quilt from the leftovers of a dress that is so old, it's actually yearning to find usefulness in the scrap pile now.

Rather than cut the dress up (just yet, may still one day), I used the leftovers from the backing for Cool Side of the Rainbow, which was a wide cut from the Cosmos black used in the Cool Side of the Rainbow. The colorful hand-stitching on the back looks so cool against the neutral Cosmos!

I searched my embroidery stash and found a nice collection of DMC perle cotton I'd bought on clearance many years ago. I had every color I'd need but purple, and I thought I'd be able to pick up the purple the next day on the way home from work. Turns out the reason the perle cotton was on clearance is the crafts shops I normally try to avoid because I can never escape spending only what I plan to spend had quit carrying DMC perle cotton. Wasted trip. BUT... get this... I didn't spend a dime!!! I think I must have shattered a world record!!!

I decided to start quilting, even though I didn't have the purple. After the first block, I absolutely LOVED the look of the pearly perle, and I was so glad I'd decided to do this by hand rather than by machine!

I looked online to see if I could order a purple perle cotton. I found some at three different places: Herrschners, Joanne's and DMC. I could go to Joanne's and save shipping costs, but I didn't want to take the chance I might waste gas and time because the color I need wasn't in stock, so I decided to order online. I wouldn't need the purple for a while, so there was time for it to be shipped.

Shipping at Herrschners was outrageous, and Joanne's (which also has a feature to check if it's available in a local store, and the color I wanted wasn't stocked anywhere in the Denver metro) wasn't that much better, although it was less. DMC had free shipping if I ordered more than I needed. This project was turning out so wonderful, I don't mind rebuilding my perle cotton stash. I ordered every shade that looked like it might include purple, plus a few that were just too gorgeous to pass by. I spent a whole $20. Well worth it, don't you think?!?

One of the coolest aspects of this project is quilting by hand, which is how my paternal grandmother quilted. Free-motion quilting had not been discovered back in the 50s and 60s, when she was an active quilter. I even have a collection of embroidery needles she used, and one from this package is what I am using to hand quilt Leaf Me Alone. My sister-in-law told me she has a leaf-themed quilt fashioned by my maternal grandmother, which also was quilted by hand.

I hit the halfway mark during our recent trip to Moab. I worked on the quilt in the car on the way to Moab, and I worked on it each evening, even though Moab was WAY too hot for a blanket on my lap!!! We won't even talk about how many times I accidentally stabbed myself in the bumpy car, but I did manage to keep the blood off the quilt.

I am thoroughly enjoying this process, but I think the next hand-quilted quilt will be in winter, when I need the extra warmth while I work!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.


  1. haha she got in there and staked her claim. Imagine it is quite different by hand. Never thought of it being warm, but with the heat could add to it as you go at it. Winter does sound like the better option.

    1. Much slower by hand, Pat, but I also think more enjoyable. And definitely more pearly!!!

  2. This quilt is looking very beautiful. You hand quilting with big stitches is impressive and compliments the block well. How will you ever give it up now?

    1. Ha ha, Tu Na! I do love it, but I think I love my sister-in-law more. :). Besides, I’ve got a green batik quilt top I’ve contemplated doing by hand, and I bought eight balls of white perle cotton, all ready to dye!!!

  3. I am loving this! How do you get such consistent stitches though with that heavy thread? sandralpanagos @ gmail

    1. Thank you, Sandy! That's a HUGE compliment! They actually aren't as consistent as they may look... especially when I was working in the moving car!

  4. The Perle cotton is gorgeous on that quilt (which seems like an old friend - I'll miss seeing it in your posts when you finish it and send it off)!

    If you do happen to get a spot of blood on a quilt, your own saliva will take it right out. (Ask me how I know....) :)

    1. Thank you, Sue! And it seems we've had this blood on fabric conversation before... more than once! I was lucky this time, but there have been saliva-dabbed spots removed in the past, thanks in part to your advice!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails