Mary's Veggie Garden

February 23, 2014

Autumn Oaks, a Rocking Chair Quilt

Filed under: Quilts — marysveggiegarden @ 10:26 am
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Rocking chair quilts.

We have two rocking chairs in the living room. During the winter we keep the thermostat set cool and cover up with a lap blanket when reading.  However, with the open back on my chair, I still felt a draft from behind so I decided to make small quilts for the rocker backs.

Click on any picture to see an enlarged version.

Like many quilting projects this one started at a workshop. I attended Ami Simm’s ‘String Quilting’ workshop during the Dutchess Heritage Quilt show last October. During the workshop I made 3 strip sets, each composed of two 1″, two 1.5″ and two 2″ strips, plus a solid strip cut to the same width as the strip set.  I cut four blocks from each strip set. (I could have cut a fifth block but I wanted matched stets of blocks for this design.) My blocks finished to 8″ square. The remainder of the strip sets were used as quilt backing.

Quilt backs.

Quilt backs. Labels are free motion quilted on starched fabric.

Fabrics: 100% cotton. Prints were leftovers from the Stitcher’s Exchange table at the quilt guild. The green is Moda Marbles Hunter. The orange/rust/brown colors of the prints echoed the colors of autumn oaks which inspired the quilting. Batting is Pellon ‘Natures Touch’ 100% cotton.

Quilting: The striped triangles were quilted simply: stitch-in-the-ditch using a walking foot. The solid sections are free motion quilted with a pattern of oak leaves in the autumn sun.

Free motion quilting.

Free motion quilting. One leaf.

Free motion quilting.

Free motion quilting. Another leaf.

Each leaf is unique. During November I collected lots of fallen oak leaves then stored them in a large paper envelope under a book, to dry and flatten. I sorted them by size, discarded any with curling edges then selected my favorites as quilting templates.

Oak leaf template.

Oak leaf template.

I affixed the leaves to the quilt top using double-sided basing tape with the smoother side of the leaf up so the quilting foot did not catch on the mid-rib. I taped down the points because otherwise the quilting foot sometimes slid under the leaf instead of over. I quilted around each leaf, snipped off the stem, added a line of echo quilting, then removed the leaf to stitch the ribs.

The sun rays were marked with chalk. (Looking at my photos, I see that I should remove more markings.) I was almost half done when I discovered how to quilt all the straight lines in a triangle without breaking thread. I had to diagram the quilting directions because I kept forgetting the sequence.

A practice piece, showing the sequence for quilting the lines. Step 4 is all the inside rays, down and back, and step 56 is all the short rays touching the diagonal.

A practice piece, showing the sequence for quilting the lines. Step 4 is all the inside rays, down and back, and step 6 is all the short rays touching the diagonal.

After quilting this practice square I realized that by marking the outside rays first, I could place the leaf so that it did not overlap and break the outside lines of quilting.

Autumn Oaks

Autumn Oaks

This was my first project for FDQ’s UFO challenge.

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5 Comments »

  1. Love them!

    Comment by Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA — February 23, 2014 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  2. Beautiful! And, yes, warmer for not having a draft on your back. I loved your using real oak leaves. Roseanne

    Comment by Roseanne Ashby — February 23, 2014 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  3. You are amazing Mary!!!

    Comment by terri m. — February 23, 2014 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  4. I liked the sequencing for your quilting lines – what a great way to do them! Thanks for sharing your idea/technique. Turning the strip piecing into rocking chair quilts – what a creative idea!.

    Comment by Ginny — February 24, 2014 @ 9:48 am | Reply


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