Tuesday, April 15, 2014

sugar maple :: Acer saccharum :: love of leaves

So glad to hear from people far and near who are interested in stitching/beading/following along with the leaves.

For mine I have decided to make 2 blocks of each leaf to eventually piece into a quilt. Representing each in green as well as their fall coloring and also common name and scientific name. Kinda nerdy but I like it. I painted my green leaf with a wash of Pebeo Setacolor Transparent fabric paint. I used that same green and also a bit of turmeric! in water for the yellow leaf. ( I have a hot iron handy to quick set the wet paint (or turmeric) so it doesn't bleed too much. Keep the iron moving or you will get steam marks in the color. Be warned this may transfer some color to your iron. ) For light colored paintable fabric your own repurposed (or thrifted) all cotton sheets make for some quality yardage and that's what I have used here.

This is the back of the green leaf showing the piece of flannel backing for stability. I like to just use a simple backstitch to embroider the line work.

I finished up the yellow leaf in between other things today. My back doesn't do well with lots of sitting so I have one of those sort of kneeling office chairs for computer work. This makes my lap not at all horizontal but Eva still insists on sitting on it sometimes - claws out of course to secure herself against the slope.

I am so excited to have some Indiana friends and neighbors along for the leaves. Please let me know if there's anything I can share or show you. I have everything on hand to get you started. Also, thanks to all who shared their links in the comments of the last post. It's very inspiring to see what everyone is working on.

Friday, April 11, 2014

for the love of leaves :: won't you join me?

I have been craving something a little different to mix things up around here - something a little more interactive to offer all of you in addition to all of my talking to myself. So as we head into spring I am offering up an invitation for you to join me in making some stitched leaf quilt blocks. I have been dreaming of a quilt of drawn/stitched leaves for a long time and haven't managed to bring it into being - so more fun and more likely to happen with some company I hope. Or you could stitch along and make a pillow cover, tote bag, curtains or whatever. Even though I am about to lay out my own wordy plan - I really see this as a very open-ended and informal adventure - just for fun with whomever might be interested - a means to a sort of sewing circle built around a love for leaves.

I will share my leaf drawings for you to use if you choose. Each can be transferred to fabric by sunny window tracing method or whatever works best for you. (In the spirit of sharing I kindly ask that you use these for personal use only and not on anything you plan to sell.) Of course you could and should draw your own leaves and use those too, especially leaves from your neck of the woods. The rest of the world's leaves will be very underrepresented with what I have available here in Indiana. You might also be willing to share those with neighbors of like-leafed areas. I will share my stitching progress as I go along and I am really hoping that if you choose to join me you might do the same.

I think this could be something my family and I can enjoy collaborating on as spring turns to summer break - a leaf collection to someday snuggle up with. I am really just so excited to see the leaves here and it's always an event that offers me lots of inspiration and momentum so I thought it would be fun to share that. The leaves here haven't actually emerged yet but luckily I pressed lots of leaves last season - and so I do have a bit of reference on hand. I will start this off with an old favorite for the first block…

Sugar maple :: Acer saccharum

I plan to use a 12" square piece of fabric for each block and will likely use a bit of flannel on the back to add stability for stitching the lines. I am going to try and keep it simple with stitched lines and using fabric I have on hand. I am hoping you might do whatever sounds fun to you. If this is all new to you and you want to stitch along, I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.

Not so wordy from here on out. Just leaves and stitching and sharing. All posts for this project will be under "Love of Leaves" in the Posts by Label section in the side bar to the right. Hope some of you will join me.

Happy weekend and happy spring.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

green outside the lines

I am still working on these pieces so far referred to as connections. Each of them a part of something(s) I have plans to bring together. I have been working with this one to hang on to some of that spontaneity of a sketch - with the color and the line. So between them all there will be a little bit of wandering back and forth. Everything feels a bit lighter with the arrival of spring. This is me lightening up a little.

The spirals in the tulip leaves get me every time.

and two weeks later - completely unfurled and reaching for the sky.