Modern Maples in Little Apples by Caribousmom


Modern maples quilt
Top Assembled


This month's project for the Pretty In Patchwork Sew Along is the Modern Maples quilt (on page 23). I've decided to make the full size quilt and raided my stash for fabrics. Some time ago I bought quite a bit of the Little Apples collection by Aneela Hooey and this fabric really reads "modern" and "autumn" to me. After auditioning several solids for the background, I've decided to use a Bella solid - Sienna. I don't normally use brown in quilts, so this is stepping out of the box for me. But I thought gray or white (my other choices) did absolutely nothing for this brown it is! I hope to start cutting this one soon.

July 14, 2013: I am SO far outside my comfort zone with this one. I really hated all the big brown 12" blocks...the brown just was taking over this quilt and I'm not a huge brown person to begin with. SO, I decided, what the heck, try something different. I have some great linen which has brown tones in it and I've decided to substitute some large squares of that where there would normally be brown squares. I don't know if I'm going to love this, hate it, or just feel so-so about it...but, I'm going for it. I've pieced the first two rows and started laying out the rest as I go. I'm zig-zagging the seams where there is linen because of the fray potential.

If I had a slash through option, I would use it - forget everything in the paragraph above. I'm insane. I've ripped all the linen out. I'm back to solid brown. I don't know, maybe a colorful border will help. We shall see.

July 20, 2013: Top is finished. I decided to use the advice of Sewbusy64 and make some reverse leaf blocks. I also kept some of the solid blocks and then decided to put a 2.5" white border around the whole thing just to give the quilt a little light. I don't love this one, but I don't hate it either which is a good thing :) My sister, Paula (+dtscrapper ) has affectionately duped this quilt as the "compost" quilt. LOL. It is always good to keep a sense of humor when you are struggling with a quilt. I'm planning to use a turquoise print for the binding on this one...and I have 3+ yards of red fabric from the collection for the back which means I'll be doing some piecing there too.


Completed Top
Binding (turquoise) and backing fabric





Great fabric choices Wendy- and I love the brown! I think I'm doing my borders in an olive green and I had a similar hesitancy since my first instinct is just white or grey also- these projects are so great for getting us to get out of our comfort zones a bit- and I love where yours is going!


Love this fabric choice and if I can step out of the box, you can too.


I am making a quilt from this same fabric, but using a tone on tone white print to set the cute and colorful prints. It looks great with the brown. I am making mine for an 11-year-old grand daughter.


I can already tell this is going to look Amazing as always. You will probably have it finished by tonight so I wont have to wait to long to see it. :)


Mymble Thanks! I think it is good when I am forced our of my comfort is all a big learning experience...and who knows, maybe after this I won't have an aversion to brown anymore :)

Quilt455 Good point - I should practice what I preach, right?

Charwirfs Oh, I'd love to see the final quilt! I bet your 11 year old GD will love it!

Skynme Ha ha - no pressure, right!? lol! Thanks for the vote of confidence!


Well you are far braver than me going with the brown.I love the Little Apples fabric! I'm waiting to see if you'll convert me over to brown!


I think this fabric looks good against the brown. But if you are not loving it, what about just adding more leaves instead of just plain brown squares. I like it though.


I think it looks fine sometimes I don't really like my quilts and then when I stitch them they grow on me. I think once you finish it this quilt will have personality and it will grow on you too.


I like it too....I think the quilting can change the whole outlook


I like the brown...but i understand about it being a strong might consider a border around it...white or snow...could soften it..but i dont the others have said...the quilting could be all it really will need...either are doing a terriffic job...will be really great and i think you will come to love it!


Terryt1955 Well first have to see if I convert myself. LOL!

Robynn I'd thought about adding more leaf blocks...but part of what I like about the pattern is the asymmetry of it...and so I think I'm not going to mess with that.

Skynme I know what you mean - I have some ideas for a border that might make me see this one differently...

Sewbusy64 I am going to have to think about the quilting and what I want to're right that sometimes that makes all the difference.

Mymble Yes, a strong presence...good choice of words! I'm thinking of a border (or two) using some white and maybe a color...just to brighten the whole thing up...but I'm going to wait until the top is all pieced first before I decide.

THANK YOU ALL for the encouragement...I hope this one grows on me!


LOL I don't think your insane (most recent para of your description). I think you're just trying to make this quilt work for you, and there's absolutely nothing insane about that! ;) The brown is a very strong 'presence' but I'm sure you will figure out just what this quilt needs to make it work.

You do very well 'listening' to your your gut. :)


Love your print fabric and the brown is a pretty brown BUT I think the solution we talked about and you decided it going to work much better for you. When I think of all the beautiful quilts you have made, I think of happy, happy quilts. This one does not say that to me. And the good news is you didn't get the whole thing put together and then decide you didn't like it. Follow your heart, it has worked beautifully so far for you.


i have total faith when all is said and done this will work as you will follow it where it leads you...and never ever again forget how you feel about brown;-)


AllPatchedUp I think I may have the solution thanks to Sewbusy64 who suggested a 'reverse block' (ie: make a brown leaf with pattern background instead of a solid brown square). I whipped up one and yes, it looks good. I'm going to make a few more and then I'll take a photo and see what you all think...but it breaks up all that solid, heavy brown, which it needed.

Quilt455 yes, yes - it helps to talk it out. I am struggling, but determined to make this one work.

True thanks! It helped to have that chat yesterday too - we were both dancing around the need for more light fabric...and then Sewbusy64 gave me the answer...I also think I'm going to add a border or two like we talked about.


Caribousmom Gee!! Now I feel so important!!! LOL I hope it works ...look forward to pics.


Good to hear!! Hope it works out! :)


AllPatchedUp thank you!

Sewbusy64 LOL - well you were a big help - I definitely liked your suggestion!


Looking good- and the turquoise border will do even more to relieve the intensity of the brown- this will be a decidedly Autumn quilt- nothing wrong with that:))


You have done I knew you would!!! The reversed blocks, the white and then add in the binding and it works!!!!!!!! Yes it does:-). And that backing is the icing in the cake. Nice job.


oh....I LOVE it!! I love turquoise block with the brown leaf It makes just enough difference to lighten up the brown yet not immediately noticeable. Awesome


I am chucking at Paula's nickname! And watch, this quilt will end up being used a lot because you're not afraid of spilling on it or ruining it. You'll bring it on picnics, hikes or star watching and lovingly will say "Grab the Compost" before heading out the door.
And even though it is brown the reverse leaves were a good solution as is the white border and beautiful aqua binding. Why do I have the feeling that the red backing will end up being the top when the quilt hits the ground?
Good save!!


I love Threadbias...and this is why. I post a quilt which is decidedly not what I would consider my best effort and I get so much encouragement from my fellow quilters. Thank you all!! Means a lot to me!

Mymble It is very autumn-y, isn't it? Well, that is sort of what I was going for! Thanks for the encouragement!

True You are far too kind - but thank you! And your help was very much a factor here!

Sewbusy64 That idea of reverse blocks was SUCH a good one - thank you again. I do think those blocks helped rescue this quilt!

Terryt1955 LOL. Yup - grab the compost and let's go!!! There will be NO brown in the you may just be right that this quilt will end up being used flipped over more often than not :)


Love the turq in there!


I love the reverse blocks! And really-the very cute fabrics take center stage and brown is only the background. Your quilt looks great! I finished mine today and it is a different sort-of quilt for me to make as well, but happy with the end-result, but totally get what you are talking about!


Aizome Thanks - it kind of gives it a little pop, doesn't it?

Sewzalot I love those too - so glad it was suggested (just another reason to be a member of Threadbias!!). I love your version of this one - so pretty.


Yup, I am back!!!!! I can not believe how much I love how this one came out since you know how I also feel about brown. This is great. I love the reverse blocks and the white boarder does brighten the whole thing. Wow, you somehow turned this whole thing around and have a very pretty quilt. Great job my friend. Proves that you should never give up!!!!


Quilt455 I've missed you!!! Came by the office today just to see if you made it in (and was glad you took the extra day - good for you!!!). Thanks for the encouraging words :) Can't wait to catch up in person hugs

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