My Long Leaf Quilt in Kept is another version of the project, but this time made using templates.
My first Long Leaf was pieced using foundation paper piecing (FPP), and with this one I knew I wanted to use the other option, which is by way of template piecing. You can either use the paper templates included in the pattern and trace them out onto template plastic, OR you can use the Long Leaf Acrylic Template set. I really like both technical approaches. FPP can be a little more forgiving, if you are new and getting used to working with a consistent seam allowance and pressing evenly. Template piecing can be a bit faster, and I find it fun to cut through a stack of your fabrics and watch the triangular pieces stack up quickly.
Then you can get straight into laying out your pieces and figuring out how you want your colors and fabrics to go together.
I often get asked how I pick my colors, and the truth is that most of the time I go with my gut. My gut this time was telling me grey and yellow. I have no idea why, but as I pulled and moved around fabrics that’s what I kept coming back to.
The Placement and Border
Long Leaf has 3 different block heights. You want to keep each height consistent within the row, but you can totally change out the row order in your final layout. On the Blue version, I cycled between the different block types, and on this one I grouped all of the shortest rows together first, then stacked the middle heights together and finished up with the tallest blocks on the bottom. I like how this allows the motif to feel like it’s getting stretched out as you move down the quilt.
You can also play with the exact fabric placement within each row. I did this by laying out each piece that I cut and moving them around until I liked the order. They often are repeating throughout a row, but then I swapped out sections to break it up a bit.
With the other version of Long Leaf, there is no border. I just wanted the blocks to create an overall pattern. On this version I added a simple border to the top. This creates a bit of a resting space, and also an opportunity to showcase a special print or color that you want to give a bit more prominence.
Similar to my other Long Leaf quilt, I quilted an all-over meandering motif. This one is a bit looser, it’s maybe a bit more curvy, and it was a lot of fun to free motion quilt.
The reason I quilted this one in this way is sort of similar to my reasons in how I quilted the other one. The all-over design doesn’t compete with the piecing, but instead it evens things out and gives it a little bit of a texture when you look a little closer. Using printed fabrics can let the quilting recede a bit, especially if you choose a thread color that blends in.
Another direction to go with the quilting would be to employ different densities of stitching in either the motif or background sections. That could be a great way to add emphasis.
The Long Leaf sections are really easy to rotary cut from using the acrylic templates, and it goes pretty quickly. I am usually cutting at least 2 layers, or 4, or sometimes 6. It just depends on how comfortable you are with the cutting as well as the thickness of the fabrics you are using. Especially with the longer templates, the Jen Kingwell template grips do just the trick to help grip the fabric. I’ve attached those to the templates that I use myself.
If you’d like to see me using the templates, here’s a look using them in the Ray Quilt Along.
Pattern: Long Leaf Quilt Pattern