WIP: Maple Leaf Quilt

Most of my projects tend to be big and complicated and take a lot of time. As a result, I have plenty of WIPs (works-in-progress): novels, quilts, me… 🙂 So I’ve decided to post about a bed quilt I’m making even though it isn’t finished yet, because it could be a long time before it’s done.

The center of my maple leaf quilt

Back in 2001, I was part of a quilt block exchange group in the Tompkins County Quilters Guild. We made maple leaf blocks using batik and batik-like fabrics. I came up with an unusual layout for the blocks not long after I received them, but I didn’t actually put them together until recently. I love blocks on-point (so that they look like diamonds instead of a grid), so I found a way to do that with the blocks I had. About half the leaf blocks in my quilt were made by friends. The rest were made by me.

The observant may have noticed that not all my leaves look the same. I intentionally made some wonky blocks using the techniques in Cut Loose Quilts: Stack, Slice, Switch, and Sew by Jan Mullen, and I really liked the results. To me, the odd angles make the leaves look like they’re dried and curly — like real leaves lying on the forest floor. So I mixed in my wonky leaves with the regular ones for a more interesting quilt.

My goal is to make this quilt big enough for our king-sized bed, which means it needs to be a lot bigger than it is at the moment. The final quilt needs to be about 100″ square, so I have to make the center section wider and then add a border or two. I’ve decided to make two strips of blocks to go on either side of the center panel. I couldn’t face making another leaf block (even though it’s been years since I made the last one), so I choose another pattern that goes with the outdoor, autumnal theme: flying geese. I already have a few done…

Wild goose chase blocks

My current goal is to have this quilt finished within ten years of starting it, which gives me at least one more year. Ideally, though, it’ll be done in time to go on the bed for this coming fall. I’d love to have autumn leaves scattered in the bedroom at the same time they are falling outside. But I still have a long way to go.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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