Friday, November 14, 2014

Better Late Than Never! A Fall Door Hanging

I seem to be running behind on my seasons! I just finished my fall door hanging....and just put it up last night. It was too dark to see but I'm sure it'll be awesome in the daylight :-) I guess I'm not that late since there is still no snow on the ground and many of the Canada Geese are still hanging around.
The two foundation paper pieced blocks

I love these door hanging projects because I tend to create them from different blocks and then I challenge myself by putting them together, hopefully into a cohesive whole. They are also perfect for practicing my free motion quilting (FMQ).

This project is made up of four primary blocks:

  • two are foundation paper pieced; 
  • one is an appliqué; and 
  • the other is pieced.

The pieced basket
Appliquéd oak leaf
The two foundation paper pieced blocks are from a miniature collection that I've received through the Quilting by the Square's newsletter (both are from Month #4). I was intrigued by the Twisted Log Cabin. I love the mouvement within it. I couldn't make a fall project without some red maple leaves in it to represent Canada! I love the contrast between the bright yellow and the red.

The appliquéd oak leaf is a block from "Turning Leaves", from the September/October 2002 issue of Quiltmaker. I really wanted to incorporate the black leaf fabric but didn't want it to overwhelm the hanging. I think that it contrasts well with the basket weave type fabric in the other half of the block.

I also found some tiny bits of apple fabric that I had to somehow incorporate. I thought that the basket block would be the best place for it. The basket comes from "Bounty of Baskets" quilt by Betsy Chutchian. The quilt is in the June 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I also wanted to add something within the basket. The free motion quilted plant looks better in person than on the photo. I added some emphasis by quilting several times within some parts of it. The design is from Mary M. Covey's Follow-the-Line Quilting Designs, Volume 4.

Fall Door Hanging
Since the door hanging represents fall, I included flying geese borders that are heading both south and east. Even if the Canada Geese are still here, they are bound to leave soon. I love the sound of they make in the spring, but I find it sad in the fall!

I had a great time quilting the project. As Cindy Needham's Design it, Quilt it: Free-Form Techniques suggests in , I "stitched in the ditch most of the stinking seams". That helps me get into the groove of FMQ and stabilizes the project at the same time. Since I wanted some consistency within the quilting, I chose to use an oak leaf with a nut in most of the brown solid spaces. As Cindy suggests, I let my quilted design go outside of the area. This gives the quilt more depth.
I added mouvement to the quilt by emphasizing the direction of the flying geese with some dot-to-dot quilting. That helps the eyes follow the direction of the blocks.

This door hanging is less densely quilted than my spring and summer door hangings. This was done intentionally to highlight the leaf and nut FMQ. I really like the balance of empty space and quilted space.

On the door before the snow!
What I learned:
  • I keep forgetting that stitching-in-the-ditch is really effective and almost invisible when done with thread that blends in, such as Superior Thread's Bottom Line. I almost always use this in the bobbin when FMQ but I forget how versatile it is. 
  • I bought some shiny light Madeira polyester thread (Polyneon No. 40) last week. It's more than eye candy - I used three shades of gold/brown on the FMQ of the oak leaf with a nut pattern. I then used a couple of shades of green on the plant within the basket.
  • My other two door hangings had our family name embroidered within it. I prefer more anonymity so my daughter suggested I add the house number instead. What a great idea.
  • What's next? Should I make a winter and/or Christmas door hanging before spring?
I've linked my post to a couple of websites. Have a look at what everyone else is doing!


  1. Very nice design, I like all of the different blocks put together.

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I love the challenge of putting all together.

  2. What a great design and just in time for Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks Beth - it's actually way past Thanksgiving in Canada but since I wasn't home I think I'll get a turkey and celebrate this weekend!


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