Flashback Friday: ‘Autumn leaves’

This quilt has come up in conversation lately, I have been using it to keep warm on the couch while watching television in the evenings, and all the autumn leaves are falling in my neighbourhood. It must be time to go back to 2009 to when I first became seriously interested in quilting and made this quilt.

I did not have a finished photo of it, so this week I took the camera out to my neighbour’s lawn and photographed it among the autumn leaves. Technically, we are in the beginning of winter, but our winters are mild and start late, and it still looks and feels autumnal outside.

Autumn Leaves quilt, pattern by Lyn Lang (Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol. 8 No. 2), made by Granny Maud's Girl

Photographing this quilt among the autumn leaves just seemed right.

Autumn Leaves quilt, pattern by Lyn Lang (Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol. 8 No. 2), made by Granny Maud's Girl

This quilt normally lives on my living room couch, not on my neighbour’s lawn.

My autumn leaves quilt was made using a pattern by Lyn Lang, found in Australian Patchwork & Quilting, volume 8 number 2. That was not a recent issue even back in 2009! I saw the pattern in a back issue when a friend of a friend came to our sewing group seeking help with making the pattern. I saw the pattern and knew I wanted to make my own. It seemed so appropriate for my Canadian husband. I even bought many of the fabrics in Canada and the USA while visiting friends and family.

Autumn Leaves quilt, pattern by Lyn Lang (Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol. 8 No. 2), made by Granny Maud's Girl

The small squares in the border were fun to randomly piece.

At that time, I had not yet built up a fabric stash. I started with a layer cake and added fat quarters and other small pieces of autumnal colours. The main background fabric is a tea stain, and the others are all greenish or brownish creams. Avoiding cream fabrics with pink or yellow tones to find others that blended well together was a challenge.

The only other challenge in this quilt was getting the top, middle point of each leaf just right. I got the hang of it eventually, but I would probably sew just those three pieces using foundation papers if I were to make this pattern again.

I added extra blocks to my version, making it larger than the pattern. With it so big, I had it professionally quilted in an all-over leaf design by Donna Lawrence of Calico Quilting on her long-arm machine.

Would you believe that I initially started this quilt with the idea of making something to protect the couch from the dog (and the husband)? Yes, I was still that new to quilting. Let’s just say that the dog is allowed on the couch more than on the quilt.

Autumn Leaves quilt, pattern by Lyn Lang (Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol. 8 No. 2), made by Granny Maud's Girl

I particularly like the way each leaf block is set slightly off kilter, not square.

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37 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: ‘Autumn leaves’

    • It wasn’t my very first, just an early one.
      I cannot remember if the pattern was on the cover. I got hold of a back issue, but I cut out and retain the patterns I like and recycle the rest. I don’t have space to keep whole magazines!

  1. Oh, r.e.s.p.e.c.t! Not a wonky seam in sight, and your first quilt. You obviously started as you meant to go on, already obsessive about accuracy! It’s a very beautiful quilt, and a lovely tribute to the Canadian in the family.

    • It really wasn’t my first. I had tinkered and made a few before it, but it was made about when I joined a quilting group and started to think of myself as a quilter and not simply a seamstress who had made the occasional quilt.

  2. This is lovely Carla. I do like the shading on the background of the blocks. You must have had to take care with the block placement when you were assembling it. My mum would love it – she loves autumn leaves. There’s no leaves left on our trees in Wellington, New Zealand. It’s officially winter here now – high of about 12 degrees C today, despite being sunny all day.

  3. Absolutely beautiful quilt. Love the offset blocks. Very nice work. We are in the middle of summer here in Chicago! Hot..hot..hot!!! Autumn sounds pleasantly cool.

  4. So I pull out Vol 8 No 2 and yes, it was the cover quilt (published in 2000). I loved this quilt and it’s on my bucket list sort-of. I have a different pieced leaf I want to use. Your quilt is very lovely and I think it would be a great couch quilt.

  5. I’d hate to know what Winter weather actually is to you, if you feel like it is currently feeling like Autumn LOL. It’s so cold now, already! brrrr. I can’t believe you made this when you were new to quilting; it looks fiddly! But it’s lovely!

    • I just came home on the train from the city and some women are wearing sandals and sleeveless tops in town! I have lived in far colder climates, but I must admit that I too, like you, feel the chill.
      I seem to have a fondness for fiddly.

  6. Why am I surprised to see this? I love everything you make, and have been planning to make a maple leaf quilt for a friend who came on holiday with me to Vermont last year. And lo, you have already made a totally beautiful one! I love it, it’s gorgeous.

  7. This is such a gorgeous quilt for an early one! I started small, and I have so much respect and awe at those of you who BEGIN by making giant quilts. I made wall hangings as wedding gifts, and one 60″x60″ (that I thought was giant at the time) simple picnic quilt as my starters. I can definitely see why the dog is allowed on the couch more than the quilt–it’s a work of art!

    • I live in fear that my hubby will spill red wine on this. It lives on the sofa and so does he; it is just a matter of time.

      I have always seems to be in the bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew-and-then-chew-like-crazy camp. Go hard or go home, I say! 🙂 More seriously, this was one of my early ones, but I had made a few baby quilts as warm-ups. Same principle, just bigger, right?

    • I occasionally see copies of the magazine pop up in friends’ destashing efforts. I could keep an eye open for you.
      A more reliable method would be to contact the publisher. I would also try looking for back issues or sending an appeal through any forms of social media you have access to.
      Also, I have a contact at the magazine. I will see what I can do to help from my end.

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