It is a delicious joy to be able to use that title — I love puns!
With my big machine still in the shop, I’ve turned to my Pfaff Passport 2.0 to continue sewing. The big quilt is set aside for the moment (the Pfaff is not strong enough for quilting) and instead I’m making maple leaf blocks for a quilt destined for my cousin Jo (sister of Suzy, for whom I’m making the Hawaiian appliqué quilt). The pinkish light comes from a red LED strip which reduces eye strain and the quilt to the left is the one I was working on when the Janome 9400 jammed. As you can see, the machine doesn’t fit the sewing table but I make do.
Just a few of the blocks I’ve done so far — I’ve done about half of the 42 I need and I should be able to get the rest done in the next week or two.
Although the leaf outline is the same for all blocks, I’m using three different piecing designs. The first is “Autumn Splendor” by Bea Yurkerwich, published in Quiltmaker back in 1993 — it’s become extremely popular in the years since then and I’ve always wanted to make one.
I started out using black thread top and bottom but found after my first block that the thread really showed in the centre, and I had several very light fabrics where it would show even more. On the other hand I was afraid that light thread would show up when sewing black pieces together.
Consequently I used this design, based on a pattern from My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe, for the very light fabrics because it has the fewest black/black seams. It goes together quite well and the light thread doesn’t show too badly between the black pieces.
The third design is one I worked out myself (although someone else may well have done it before me) because I wanted a design that radiated out from the stem as real leaves do. It looks great but it’s by far the worst of the three to sew — I find Y seams are difficult by machine, even when stopping points are marked. It also has the thickest build-up of seams, and all the diagonals mean that it’s the least square block when finished. I only had to unpick and re-sew one of the Y seams though, so that wasn’t too bad. Thank heavens for steam irons!
Since the Quiltmaker block is the easiest to sew (who would have guessed?!), most of the remaining blocks will be done in that pattern.