Leaves, Partial Seams, and a Question

Today I added three more leaves to the Blushing Aspen table runner I've started. It takes quite a while to make one leaf, and I was pausing between each one to do some other things around the house. When I started on the fourth one, I was just kind of tired of working on it, and so I quit for the day. Here's where I left it:

So now all you smarty pantses (and I mean that in the best way possible) who were so quick to point me in the direction of partial seams tutorials, I have another question for you. All of the tutorials I saw had nice symmetrical blocks, even though the parts of the block did indeed center around a middle piece. I get the idea with the partial seam after watching the tutorials. Nevertheless, my leaf section here seems to add another level of complexity since I have those sections at both ends. How would you do this? I've numbered the leaf sections so that you can make your suggestions using the numbers.

Since I've been staring at this and thinking about it all day, here's what I've come up with. Obviously, I'll have to make all of the leaves before I can do any of it. My confusion comes from thinking I might actually have to do two partial seams to sew the whole thing together. But where does the second partial seam go?

Here's what I'm thinking (if I can hold my thinking together enough to write this): I start with the plain center section at the bottom. Do a partial seam where the 3 leaf connects, then start with #5 and go around counter clockwise. So...Partial seam at leaf 3, then 5, then 6, then 4. But then how do I do that and still add the small upper section (with the small leaf)? Leaves 3 and 4 are already sewn together, right? How do I add the small leaf section? Do you see the problem I'm having here?

I'd love it if someone had a solution for this little puzzle because my brain is hurting trying to make sense of it.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Cathie said...


My best quess:

Attach very small leaf to section 1
Attach section 2
Attach small plain square to section 4 leaving the seam open a bit near 6
Attach section 3 to 4
Attach 5 to 3
Attach 6 to 5 and closing up the partial seam

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Cathie sees it pretty much the same way I do. My suggestion is to first set it aside for a day or two and then come back to it fresh.

gayle said...

The way I see it, sew both little squares to piece 4 with partial seams. Then sew on piece 3. Then 1, then 2, then complete the partial at that end. Then jump down to 5, then 6, then the last partial.
That's what I would do, anyway.

Kristine said...

The first seam that you sew will be just a small bit, enough to have the straight edge for the next piece. So if you start with 3 and the plain center, sew just the bottom of that seam, leaving enough room to fold piece 3 away when you sew on piece 4. Usually after sewing the last piece to the center, you would complete the original partial seam. But in this case you'll want to keep the end between 3 and 4 open. I would start the same process for the top with piece 4. Sew the center leaf on enough to have a straight edge for piece 3. Sew piece 3, 4, and the center together. Move around clockwise, pulling back piece 4 to sew piece 2. Complete the seam between 2 and 4.
Now that I've written a book, I hope that helps some!

Kristine said...


Some pictures so you can visualize it.

Debbie said...

Ditto to the above....Cathie laid it out. It always taxes my brain to figure partial seams out...but they work.

Doreen Auger said...

Any of the above will give you a gorgeous finish. It can give one a headache, though!!! LOL!!!!!

Dana Gaffney said...

You made my brain hurt just reading that, good luck :)

Sally T said...

I vote with Gayle! Sew the partial seams to leaf 4 on either side. Then work your way finishing seams around each small center. (And by the time you read this, you have probably finished it and the quilting and are considering a label while the apple pies are baking.)

Barbara said...

You know what, Gayle? I think you've nailed it. I don't receive email notification of your comments, and so I needed Sally to clue me in. Thanks for that. I see what to do now.

quiltzyx said...

Yay, glad you got some excellent helpers here!

Brown Family said...

You have a lot of good suggestions! Good luck!