Maple Leaves and a Quilt Built on a Legend

Good afternoon from 24 Blocks. Today we’d like to feature two quilts made by our readers from the traditional Maple Leaf patterns, and another quilt fashioned after the story of the sinking of the ship “The Rouse Simmons”. Both patterns are just a few of the many that have historically been based on trees and leaves. Besides versions of “Maple Leaf” there also are patterns named “Autumn Leaf”, “Oak Leaf”, “Tree of Life”, “Ohio Shade Tree”, “Weeping Willow”, “The Broken Branch”, “Apple Leaf”, and others. In addition to Christmas tree patterns, traditionalists made many forms of “Pine Tree”, “Live Oak Tree”, “Lone Pine”, “Dogwood”, “Tree of Paradise”, “Tree Everlasting”, “Tree of Heaven, and even “Tree of Temptation”.

from Nancy Evans Bale: “I saw this pattern on the front of a quilting magazine about 10 years ago. I loved picking out the material! It was my first (and only) blue ribbon winner at the Ky state fair.

Those of us who have attended the Kentucky State Fair know that the quilting competition is stiff! We’d like to congratulate Nancy for the Blue! There are so many differing subtle prints used in the fabric but yet they all seem to reflect the shading of fall maple leaves. It really is well done!

from: Mildred Brown Clift: “Maple Leaf quilt I just finished. I enjoyed these colors in the foliage last Fall in Arkansas.”

We not only love the colors in Mildred’s Maple Leaf, but also her wonderful border. As with all the tree and leaf quilts, there’s so much opportunity to reflect the colors of our own regions.

from: Denice Korcal: “Here is the whole Rouse Simmons quilt.”

The “Rouse Simmons” was a three-masted schooner that went down in Lake Michigan in 1912, during a terrible storm. It was carrying a load of 5,500 Christmas trees for Chicago and was nicknamed “The Christmas Tree Ship”. 17 died in the sinking. Over the years, pieces of the wreckage were found. Included in that was a message in a bottle that had been corked using a piece of pine from one of the trees. It read, “Friday…everybody goodbye. I guess we all all through…Leaking bad…God help us.” The ship became immortalized in legend, in music and art. Several patterns for quilting pick up on the theme.

A close up of the wonderful quilting in Denice’s is below. It seems to pick up on the waves. It is lovely work!

from: Denice Korcal: “A couple of years ago I started to play with tiny blocks after reading 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doaks. Then the project stayed in a drawer until I heard about the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Rouse Simmons in Lake Michigan. I started working on it off and on, and now I am happy to say it is completed.”

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