November 6, 2019

Arboretum

Welcome to my Arboretum, a most colorful forest of fabric trees.

www.springleafstudios.com

This quilt wasn't even on my radar. One day I just happened to notice a few Kaffe Fassett fabrics in brownish colors on the shelf and suddenly quilter's ADD took over. Since it's fall, those browns and rusts were begging to be used and leaves seemed the perfect fall subject.

Inspired by those fallish prints, I looked through my Pinterest board on leaf quilts for inspiration. Several pins sparked ideas. Unfortunately, the pin I was most inspired by led to no further links or information, so I took off on my own.

I did a quick layout in the computer to determine the quilt size and number of blocks I would need and settled on 9 rows with 11 blocks per row for a total of 99 blocks. The blocks are 5.5" x 8" for a finished size of about 60" x 72" . . .  a nice large throw.

www.springleafstudios.com

Next I pulled a ton of prints in a range of fall colors. Starting with the browns and rusts, I added reds, oranges, golds, yellows, greens and even purples. As I said in my previous post, more is more as far as I'm concerned. More variety makes for more interest and more visual activity.

I cut one rectangle approximately 6.5" x  9" from 99 different fabrics. I was determined not to repeat any fabrics and easily found more than 99 in my stash. Next I pulled strip scraps in the same color range for the veins (branches) and cut them 1" wide.

At this point in the process, I planned to add small triangles to the corners of each block to give it a leafy shape. I thought I'd use solids and tried a couple of different light blues as you can see here.


The more blocks I made, the less I liked the corners. Then my husband wandered in and said he liked my trees. So my leaves became trees with branches.

The piecing process for the branches was completely improv. First, I cut a print rectangle in half top to bottom. Then I made angled cuts in both halves. The placement and angle of each cut was random. Most blocks have three angled cuts. Some have only two. Others have four or even five. There's even a couple with just one. The 1" strips were sewn between the angled cuts and pressed toward the strips. When both sides were done, the center strip was added between both halves. The finished block was then trimmed to 6" x 8.5"

www.springleafstudios.com

I auditioned each strip fabric for each print as I went choosing not to cut too many of any one fabric. Some branch fabrics blend with the tree fabric and others have a strong contrast. Having some of each allows for the overall effect to come in and out of focus as you look at the quilt.

www.springleafstudios.com

I had no preconceived idea of how to arrange the blocks but as more of them went up on the design wall I liked the look of the horizontal runs of color that were starting to happen. Once about 3/4 of the blocks were up I could begin to see what colors I needed more of. At this point I let go of the idea of 99 different trees and inserted 5 blocks of the same fabric called Shark's Teeth by Brandon Mably. To me this print looked like trees on hills. Repeating this fabric offered a very subtle pause within the forest.

www.springleafstudios.com

I considered staggering the rows (below left) but it just looked too busy. There's a lot going on with all the prints. Keeping the tree trunks lined up (below right) provides a subtle sense of structure and unity.

www.springleafstudios.com

It was quilted by Cara of Sew Colorado Quilting with a leafy design appropriately called fall foliage. It's subtle but the leaves have branches just like the trees.

www.springleafstudios.com

I had hoped to get some great 'in the wild' photos with glowing red/orange fall foliage. Unfortunately we had a very early hard freeze and the colors just haven't been pretty. I settled for some yellow trees near home. My favorite pic is the opening photo near the city arboretum. The sign is what actually gave me the idea for naming the quilt Arboretum. It seems quite fitting.

Arboretum . . . a botanical garden devoted to trees.

Want to make something similar? While making Arboretum, I discovered that Scott of Blue Nickel Studios has a new pattern called TreeTime that is really cool. Check it out here. Or take a look on Instagram at #treetimequilt. It's a different, yet similar idea and I love what he did with the his trees.

UPDATE: While doing a little online shopping, I just happened upon a new to me tree pattern that is very similar to what I made. The construction method is different but the result is close to the same. The pattern is called Tangled Trees by Lizard Creek Quilting Here's a link to that pattern.

Linking up with Wendy and her Peacock Party.
Also Kelly and Needle and Thread Thursday.
And Cheryl's Monthly Favorite Finish .

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33 comments:

  1. This is such a fabulous quilt, Anne! I was drawn to it immediately! Your sense of color and how you arranged the blocks is just perfect. I want to run home and start one of my own!

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  2. I echo Kathy E., this is fabulous, Anne! Inspired use of your stash, just like your set of fruit quilts.

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  3. This is a beautiful and inspiring quilt! You write so well and thanks for such clear simple instructions for this quilt. Your quilts are always gorgeous!

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  4. What an awesome quilt! So, so pretty.

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  5. Absolutely lovely! Fall is my favorite season and you have certainly captured it! I do miss CO (moved to Florida to be near grandchildren a couple years ago). Best weather of anywhere!

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  6. Anne! This quilt takes my breath away! I actually gasped when I saw the first photo. I love everything about this one...the colors, the layout, the organic yet subtly structured branches, and the fact that you just spontaneously pulled the whole thing together. So, so, so beautiful!

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  7. Now this post is why I love blogs. A beautiful quilt and a wonderful telling of its story - thank you!! I love how your leaves became trees, and the 'pause' you added - really lovely. Your Arboretum is just a delight!

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  8. Sigh, you know I literally want to make every one of the quilts you create! The colors and design of this one is just fabulous, I just want to sit with it, pet it (well zoom in at least!) and take in the beauties created by Kaffe, Brandon with a little Martha Negley and Amy Butler and your mastery of putting them together. Enjoyed reading your creative thought process, lots of good lessons in that.

    Sue/Suzanne
    Summer_Song_Cottage on IG

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  9. What a breathtaking quilt! It is truly a masterpiece!

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  10. I agree with many of the commenters Anne- this quilt is breathtaking, fabulous and absolutely lovely! Another wonderful quilt!

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  11. that is a wonderfull quilt for these colours thank for showing, excuse my englisch, I am from North Germany Frauke

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  12. I really like this! And it's better as trees I think. The brilliant fabrics really make this work.

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  13. This is really stunning! The colors and your process are spot on for the design.

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  14. Ann it's so so so gorgeous! Now I want to stop everything and make one! You did such a fine job of sharing how it was made. I will check out Cara as a quilter... I need a longarmer. LeeAnna (in Aurora... blog not afraid of color)

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  15. What a wonderful forest of trees you have, full of glorious colour. Such an inspired design you came up with.

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  16. Anne words fail me! Such a beautiful, beautiful quilt so full of colour that it positively glows!I have the original tree pattern from Blue Nickel studios but I much prefer your quilt here. No fancy corners, your husband was so right with his comment, the focus is on the fabric and the colour. I would love to make a quilt similar to yours - I have no shortage of KF fabrics!

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  17. I totally loved this post.
    I read it from top to bottom, then scrolled back to catch different parts again, like the idea of using the Shark's Teeth fabric. You always teach me something in every quilt you make. I didn't notice the fabric at first glance, but it adds a subtle texture while giving the eye a rest.

    Bravo! to you on this wonderful quilt. We once made trees for one of our MidCentury Modern bee months. This shows how wonderful a whole quilt can be of these improv trees. I love it!!

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  18. Anne, I am swooning over this one! The colors and patterns are amazing. I am adding this one to my bucket list.

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  19. Gorgeous and Scrumptious!!! Love what KaHolly wrote :-)
    This is going on my to-do list right now. I am adding these blocks to my RSC2020 :-) What have you done, Anne? Caused a revolution of creativity and beauty :-)

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  20. What a gorgeous quilt. Sometimes the most fun makes are the one that change and evolve as we work on them. :)

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  21. Ooh,I love it & an amazing range of colours & fabrics from your stash. Well done & take care.

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  22. Your quilt caught my attention right away on the linky today with Meadow Mist Designs. I thought of the block I asked the Mid Century Modern Bee to sew for me in my month. I like my quilt, but yours is spectacular with the colors you chose to use. I might have to make another quilt with my blocks using some leafy color prints. Thank you for telling us how you accomplished such a lovely quilt.

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  23. What a gorgeous quilt--I love how warm it looks...hugs, Julierose

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  24. This is fabulous -- so rich and vibrant.

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  25. I love your quilt! Thank you so much fro walking us through the creation process, it is very inspiring.

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  26. This is just a fabulous quilt all around. I love how it evolved from leaves to trees, just love when quilts do that. I also love when bloggers share their creative process, so thank you! I think this would qualify as a DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it!) which you may like to link up at the end of the month on my blog where we share these squirrel moments! I also can see this as a fabulous RSC project for 2020....may have to do my own spin on it, but I'd credit you for sure for inspiration!

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  27. Wow... this is gorgeous. What a perfect use for Kaffe Collective fabrics. Thank you for sharing your process.

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