Thursday, January 19, 2017

McCord Quilt - ReCalculating

I have finished my New Year's goal of 100 Susan McCord inspired leaves.
I string pieced them by hand over freezer paper shapes.
I intend to do a quilt inspired by McCord's Vine Quilt.

In the collection of the Henry Ford Museum.

I did some calculating as to how many leaves I'd need.
Surely 100 was enough.

I drafted a curved vine with a dinner platter.

So. McCord made maybe 25 leaves to a curve.
7 curves to a strip = 175
Per strip! There are 13 strips.
That's 2,275 leaves I'd need.

This curve has 32 leaves.

How did Susan McCord make 2,275+ leaves in one lifetime?
And she used the vine border on other quilts too.

Ocean Wave   Irish Chain quilt by Susan McCord in the Henry Ford Museum's collection

"Re-Calculating" as my GPS often says.

There are lots of things you could do with 100 leaves.

Sort of a Laurel Wreath
25 leaves per block.

Some kind of a wreath?

I'd better get busy.

Well, first I sorted them into 3 sizes. 
Small, medium & large. 
The small ones are not always string pieced. Stripes are good.
I am going to need a lot more small leaves.

I did make some decisions, obviously influenced by Australia's quiltmakers.

Sarah Fielke
From Little Things

Kim McLean

Kathy Doughty's Gypsy Kisses

Marg Sampson George

Irene Blanck's Tribute to Lucy

Jen Kingwell's Midnight at the Oasis

I did this design one once, but it might be good twice with a
different aesthetic.

For the background:
Black & white
and polka dots
and other foulard style sets.
(half drop, diagonal repeats)

So I know Susan McCord's going to Australia.
But how I haven't figured out yet.

See more of my posts on McCord here:


  1. Oh Barbara, I absolutely love this direction you are heading. What fabulous colors and combinations to brighten my screen on this dull January morning. A small quilt will be just as exciting and fun to work on as one with 2,275 string pieced leaves.

  2. I have wanted to make this quilt since I found Janet from Quiltsalott blog, making it and offering her interpretation on her blog, http://quiltsalott.blogspot.com/p/trailing-vines.html
    I don't know if I will ever get it started. Good luck with yours!

  3. This is going to be a beautiful quilt! I love the polka-dot background for it and the best of all - GPS "Re-calculating"!

  4. How did she do it? She didn't have the distractions (perhaps derailment is better term) of cruising the internet or sitting in front of the TV (and falling asleep as I often do :-( ). While I do love the internet for things like your blog, it too often leads to following links to other places and Poof! an hour or two has gone. No, I don't want you to stop linking to wonderful places and quilts, it's more a comment on my time management. Or lack of.

    I look forward to your Australian inspired leafy quilt.

  5. Amazing! I love the colors! I admire your dedication. How did you she do it? No sleep? Elves?
    Keep up the beautiful work. I look forward to updates on your progress.

  6. There is no doubt in my mind that I will accomplish a lot more when I no longer have to leave the house for 45 hours a week. But I fear I will never reach the level of Susan McCord! I think whatever you do with you 100 leaves will be sensational. Kudos!

  7. Thanks for this post combining two of my favorite inspirations right now: Susan McCord's quilts and Australian quilters. Love those polka dot backgrounds! I just returned from Sydney; unfortunately, Most of the time I was there, the quilt shops were closed for Christmas/summer break--so disappointing.

  8. These leaves are wonderful! Can't wait to see what you finally land one.

  9. How on earth did you handpiece over freezer paper? You didn't sew through the freezer paper did you? Please explain.

    I've loved that leaf quilt since I first saw it and I always wondered if McCord made fabric by sewing random strips of different fabrics together by machine and then cut out as many leaves as she could from that piece, then sewed together another fabric out of different strips and repeated the process on and on. I've wondered if I took the time if I could find repeats of fabrics aligned next ti other fabrics, but that would be such a tedious and thankless task, I never really tried to do it.

    Bravo for making what you have, and keep up the project, it will be great.

  10. Why don't you come to Australia??? Material Obsession would love to have you!
    Susan is a favourite fascination of mine and has been for years...have you seen my Wedding Ring and Stars and Stripes fabric from Folk Art Revolution for Free Spirit and inspired by that quilt??? I imagine that without emails and tv there is a lot of time in a day for sewing but it is still a manic achievement what she did with her resources. Thanks for including me in your post! Kathy

  11. Why is that Susan McCord quilt called Ocean Waves? I thought it was Irish Chain.

  12. Susan McCords goes to Australia with Kaffe. Love these leaves in Kaffe! Good job all around!

  13. Kathy. Thanks for the invitation but I don't fly well and a boat trip to Australia might take weeks. I guess I could strip piece leaves all the way.

    I sew to entertain myself while the tv is on. If we didn't have tv (& basketball) I'd get a lot less handsewing done.

    And yes- I do sew through the freezer paper.

  14. One can never have enough leaves! Happy stitching.

  15. Susan McCord's vine quilt is an all-time favorites quilt. I've thought of making a version of it too, but can't imagine doing it now, at least. Looking forward to seeing your version. I love the idea of Susan going to Australia!