Thursday, October 20, 2016

WIP: Improv Fall Landscape Quilt


Fall/autumn is easily my favorite season. Sometimes I think about moving to a completely different part of the country, just to have the experience of living somewhere besides NJ/PA, and then I remember that I'd miss mid-Atlantic fall too much. Every time I see a colorful tree, I'll say, "Oh wow, look at that one!" and my husband says, "Yes, it's a tree!" He's just teasing since, after ten years, he's quite familiar with my fall behavior. :)

The best part of fall is when the trees are juuust starting to transition. Since last year, I've been thinking about this tree in my school's parking lot. Look at how it changes from the bottom - from green, to yellow, to orange, and finally to red. A full range of fall color that will become even more pronounced still. The color lover in me sighs in delight every time I see it. That is no exaggeration.

So, this fall, I set out to make a modern, improvised landscape quilt for my own satisfaction that can double as a class sample for my brick-by-brick improvisation method. At first, I was building my tree from the right corner, but I'm loving the idea of the colors actually progressing to the top like a full tree.

You'll notice that purple was an unexpected addition. On Instagram, @annettezee suggested that I add purple/wine to the mix. I love the idea that while the "tree" is brilliant at the moment, it's also becoming a little more muted (and purple - because purple is the best color ;) ).

I started building the quilt in half, so I can piece in some "branches" - I may take out the ones I've done to readjust the contrast. In the end, I'm looking for a no-applique piece.

I have more tree transition pictures to share in The Wonky Press to come, as well as in the future "finished quilt" post for this quilt! It's not a deadline project so I have a feeling that, at the very least, I will finish the top by the time fall is coming to a close. I might pause on the quilting so I can consider it a little more. Overall, though, it's been an exciting exercise in using scraps of fabric that somehow mesh as a whole.

Have you made any projects inspired by fall colors? If so, I'd love to hear about them and/or see them!


  1. The color gradation of fall is seriously beautiful, and you are nailing that tree inspiration in this quilt top, Jess. We had a tree in our yard when I was in high school (I have no idea what kind, sorry) that went to full magenta in its spectrum, so adding that in feels right to me!

  2. Love what your doing with fall colors. Can't wait to see the finished product. It's a great season.

  3. I'd love to roll in that pile of leaves you posted at the top--your feet look poised to leap! When it's done--whenever--you've got to take it to school for everyone to admire. Bravo!

  4. I love what you are doing with this tree. I too love fall and watching the colors change. It's just more subdued in Nevada. Today, I pointed out a bright yellow poplar to my friend and she laughed at me. But seriously, It is beautiful and I can't wait to see more.

  5. This looks like an October Glory Maple, but I could be wrong. I am certainly not a tree expert :-P
    This creation in progress is incredibly pretty. I love fall too. We live in Northern Virginia just east of the Blue Ridge and further west of the Cesspool
    The colors are changing. Fall is my favorite season too.

  6. That first picture with all the scraps on the floor just calls out to me. I love scraps in color order. Your project is off to a fantastic start. My last quilt inspired by fall colors is the Cranberry Tart quilt that is currently out for quilting. It's not literal, but I purposely used scarlet, pumpkin, yellow and plum - same as yours minus green =)

  7. Beautiful color combo! Love it!

  8. I love this quilt and your explaination of the inspiration for it. I'm currently making the cat treats quilt from SewFresh Quilts with a decidedly fall like palette...although around here almost all the leaves are gone. Trying to hang on longer I think.

  9. When I was in university there was one tree on campus that always changed in one big stripe of red down once side while the rest stayed green for a while before it all turned red. I loved that tree! Your quilt is looking great so far :)


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