My Maple Leaf quilt has been an extremely long drawn out affair. It all started way back in 2001 when I took part in a Birthday Block swap with members of the Australasian internet group Southern Cross Quilters. We were put in groups of 12, and each month we made and sent off blocks to the person celebrating a birthday that month. For my birthday, I requested a 12in Maple Leaf block, and posted out the pattern and supplied the fabric for the background. Most of the blocks arrived in time for my birthday, so it was exciting opening up the envelopes to see what was inside.
The blocks then sat in a box for several years until 2006 when I finally stitched the blocks together, and made the half square triangles for the borders. It was sandwiched together and I started machine quilting around each block. Then just prior to Christmas that year I received my cancer diagnosis, which put paid to any quilting for some time as my life was taken over with months of treatment and recovery. As I slowly got my life back on track again, the Maple Leaf quilt, together with my Christmas Stars quilt, which I had been working on as well, held too many memories of this upsetting time, and I couldn’t bear to look at them. I did finally return to quilting again, but worked on other projects.
I finally completed the Christmas quilt late last year, and started work again on this quilt last month. With most of the quilting already done, all I had left to do was to quilt the borders, and inside each leaf, then attach the binding. So after all this time, it is finished at last.
Most of the blocks came from Australia, one from Corpus Christie in Texas, and I stitched the final one. The quilt glows with autumn shades of red, russet, brown and green, and it is now residing on the back of the couch. Many thanks to all the ladies who took part in this birthday block swap.