The story of the Maple Street Rag quilt begins in 2008. This is where it all began–> in the Tyler Room on Maple Avenue in Powell River. The fabrics have been cut and organized. (The pattern used is by Karen Kratz-Miller, Scrap Quilts: Fun & Easy.) I have no recollection of how this quilt actually came together. I’m so glad that I took photos! During this time I was working 24/7. I was a full time day programmer at Community Living Place. As well, my home on Maple Avenue, was a home share and respite stay for some very important people in my life.
FWIW it’s one thing to cut strips of fabric from yardage and start assembling the pattern. It’s a whole other thing and much more time consuming to find and cut enough fabrics from pieces & scraps of fabrics. I do love scrap quilting and this definitely is that.
<– Half square triangles for the leaves are all sewn and squared up as are most of the leaf stems. —> There are six half square triangles for each of the 48 leaves. For me most of the work has now been done as it’s go time for assembling the leaves and quilt top.
I don’t remember when I actually began to make this quilt top but it was mostly finished for the quilt reveal at the Maple Leaf party in November 2008. All that was needed was the pieced border. And as I reread the instructions I apparently changed that. Instead of using 3″ squares for a pieced border I used 10″ rectangles…I’d like to think that was being smart not “let’s just get this finished!!”
I don’t know if my original intent was to hand quilt this but it probably was. I loved hand quilting but time was one of those hard to find commodities. <– Here it’s February 2009 and I’m at a Quilted Bear retreat at Harrison Hot Springs. Pretty sure most of my time was spent helping others with their quilts. Makes me realize that I like to be alone when I’m hand quilting, using that time to reflect quietly.
A whole lot of life got in the way between 2010 and 2020. As I wrote last post this quilt came out in 2013 but may or may not have gotten a block quilted. It came out again in 2017 and even crossed the border to Pt Roberts for our Maple Beach quilt retreats two years in a row. One year I was missing the heart template for the centre block of the leaf. I decided to use a different template (a star) as I was determined to get this done! I found, misplaced and found that original template a few more times in the last couple of years. Last spring I made a new template and used it for a few blocks when the original template magically appeared again! When Covid-19 hit last March and I took a leave from my job I found I had more time than I could imagine. This quilt sat out in plain sight and wasn’t going anywhere until it was finished! As September turned to October I was happily counting down and sending updates of how many blocks were left to go.
I started thinking about the binding. Last spring I had started cutting my scraps into usable square sizes. Yikes…but then as I started digging around I found pieces from the quilt. As you can see <— there are lots of small strips ranging from 6″ to 12.” I needed approximately 315″ of binding. To keep the binding from twisting & tangling while I sewed I attached it to a near empty thread cone. A piece of masking tape anchored it and then it was wrapped around the cone. Luckily I have a 5 spool thread stand that held this beautifully. No twisting and tangling!
I have bound a lot of quilts lately using the machine. But I figured that having a hand quilted quilt it wouldn’t do to have a machine bound quilt. Last night I put the final stitch in the binding! I may or may not have done a happy dance! I’ve also gained a little, red hatted helper hanging out with the remainder of the binding. (click on the picture to see all of her, she’s really cute.)
Twelve years in the making! This quilt measures 65″ x 85″ and has wool batting. It’s been washed and dried and is now on the bed! It most definitely will not win any awards. But there are so many memories of other quilts, friends and family in these pieces of fabric that make up this Maple Leaf quilt. The name of this quilt in the book is the Maple Street Rag. Somehow it’s never quite sat right with me. I think for now I’m just going to think on it and perhaps use Autumn Song by Van Morrison to help me decide on a name.
Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe and Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye