The Stillwater Bridge

Stillwater Bridge, MN

Anyone who travels to Stillwater, Minnesota is familiar with the silhouette of the Stillwater Bridge.  It is the unofficial symbol of the city and is featured on the logo of many Stillwater based companies.

Stillwater Bridge, MN

It is a 1000 foot Vertical Lift bridge that spans the St. Croix River connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Stillwater Bridge, MN

After years (probably decades) of legal wrangling, the bridge is now being replaced.  Ground breaking for the new bridge began this week.

The old bridge will remain open for pedestrian and walking traffic only…(perhaps even wooden alligators will lumber across–see photo below.)

Stillwater Bridge, MN

I am thrilled that the new bridge is finally being built, but I will remain loyal to photographing the “Old Bridge” on a regular basis…

Stillwater Bridge, MN

Tuesday Tutorial-The Welsh Leaf

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Good Morning Quilters and Quilt-lovers!  Today is Tuesday and I have a tutorial for you of my All-Time Favorite Quilt Motif–The Welsh Leaf.  I saw this on a Welsh quilt years ago and have stitched it onto many of my quilts since then. It is on The College Doodle Quilts and The Quilt I Threw Away.    It looks great in all sizes and in many variations.

To begin, draw two lines.  In the sample below, the lines are 4 inches apart.  Next subdivide the lines by drawing perpendicular lines every three inches.  The size of the box is not that important–This motif will fit into your quilt in any size.  I like a 3:4 ratio, but I have stitched square leaves that looked great, too.

This is a “two-pass” motif…(three-pass–if you include the filler)…

The first “pass”  is stitched like a boxy version of The Open Leaf (see that tutorial HERE)

Begin by stitching along the bottom rail and curving up toward the top rail, then stitch across the top rail.  Stop here.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Now stitch almost straight down and then back toward your starting point.  Leave a small gap for the “second pass” stitches…

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Reverse directions and follow along the bottom rail stitching into the second drawn box–

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

The entire sequence looks like this:

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Stitch as many as needed to fill your border.

Once you are finished with the “first pass”, draw a diagonal line across the leaf from tip to opening…This line will serve as the center “vein” for your “second pass”.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Begin the “second pass” inside the first leaf.  Stitch curvy lines up the leaf, then stitch back down the leaf…If you would rather have pointy “veins” in your leaf, that would look nice as well.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

When you finish the veins in the leaf,  echo quilt along the bottom and into the next leaf.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

If you would like, you can fill in the space between the leaves with a few echo-quilted lines…sometimes I add spirals between the leaves.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

I just love the character of The Welsh Leaf.  Even when they are not perfectly uniform, they add charm to any quilt.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, The Welsh Leaf

Later this week:  Stencil Winners!!!  A million thanks for all of your fabulous Time Management Techniques!  Please check out the comment section of the past several days–your tips are very helpful.  (I have been working on “Swallowing That Frog”!—more on that soon!)