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. 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.

43 comments:

  1. Must be something in the air. I've just started a block print using heart shaped leaves. Leaves are so beautiful. Happy spring to you.

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    1. Happy spring to you too. The printing sounds nice. Leaves offer up so much inspiration, I am getting anxious to see the trees leaf out here.

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  2. sounds like fun...something to incorporate into a work in progress. thank you.

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  3. this looks like it would be both fun and interesting. I am game! I live in Canada(Manitoba) so my leaves will probably be quite different from yours. We are still under a foot or 2 of snow and more snow expected this weekend.

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    1. Yay! I look forward to seeing your leaves and hope the spring thaw comes your way soon.

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    2. my post about my leaf is up here:
      http://marshaleith.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/for-the-love-of-leaves/

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  4. My Bead Journal Project for this year is all about leaves, I traced in the fall. I've been doing one per month since October. Of course I don't know the names of most of the leaves, but it's fun! This will be a very rewarding project for you.

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    1. Hi Anne Marie. Your bead work is lovely!

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  5. I found your blog through jude hill's link - I love the idea of a leaf quilt and working along with others.

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    1. I am thankful to Jude for sharing! and I hope you will join us.

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  6. You have inspired me to collect leaves from my garden to trace and embroider!:)

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    1. That sounds beautiful. A stitched garden album.

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  7. Wow, still snowing in Manitoba! It's sunny and Springlike here in London, England. Every morning I go out in the garden and see what's bursting into life today - so exciting and full of promise for the summer ahead. We have had shedloads of rain for months and months so everything should be really lush this year. Not so good for those folks who've been flooded out of their homes ... My Mimosa tree outside the kitchen doors is in full blossom, so it looks as if the sun is flooding in, even when it isn't! The leaves on the potted fig tree are just unfolding - they are my favourite leaves in the garde, so maybe I should wait for those ...

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  8. Also working on a leaf project. I used three leaves embroidered by an Aghan woman ( www.guldusi.com) I asked my friends to send me fabric and textile leaves and added my own to make a 3d piece

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    1. Hi Marijke. Your coats are beautiful! I love the snake coat with the shaped leafy collar.

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  9. I recently sketched autumn leaves (they slowly turning all sorts of colours here in Australia), I wish I had time to sew along - maybe I'll find the time, but for now I'll watch your progress and learn.

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    1. Hi Zoya. Sounds great. Just fun to know who's out there, so thank you. I enjoyed looking through your sketches and painting on your blog.

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  10. Yep...it must be that time of year...we are all playing with leaves...mine may be quite different. It's a 12" x 11" leaf I'm beading! I'll cut it out and attached to a quilted background. Does this qualify to play along with you and others?? You can see my progress so far here:
    http://robbiespawprints.blogspot.com/2014/04/april-already-yikes.html

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    1. Absolutely! Your beaded maple leaf is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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    2. what a beautifully beaded leaf Robbie!

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    3. Thanks to you both (Susan and MoCrow!). It may take me until fall to finish but I'll keep at it!!

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  11. What a great idea! I'm looking forward to seeing all these leaves unfold.

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  12. Love this circle of leaves idea . My sisterinlaw teaches machine quilting directly on leaves, (they lift off easily ) though I have not tried this idea it might work for some leaves, hand stitch as well ?

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    1. Hi Linda! So sorry there was a hiccup somehow getting this comment published. What an interesting technique you have described stitching directly over the leaves and then removing them. I am curious about this now. Thanks!

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  13. hi susan. lindamorris here i am attempting a new blog http://looktothisday.wordpress.com/ ...mo kindly added your link for me under comments with my april moon post. i traced some grass and outlined a la your direction, thank you very much for good idea and yes id love to join the leaf circle here (tried commenting ystrdy but had some difficulty)

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    1. Hi Linda! Your grass is beautiful! I really like the look of the pastel crayon and the moon! At some point I hope to create a post linking some folks who have posted their results, but I will let you all know first. Thank you and so glad to have you along!

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  14. I have plans to do some leaf sun prints...soon I hope. I'm thinking to make a lightweight curtain to partially block people standing at the front door seeing all the way down the hall to the kitchen, but to let the light come in...that's the plan in my head anyway, I'd like to join in with your circle of leaves if it looks like happening. I 'found' you via Jude.

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    1. Hi Nanette. That's exactly what my little front door curtain is for. : )
      I look forward to seeing what you come up with and happy to have you along!

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  15. It found you a few days ago through Jude's post and am so happy I did. just wonderful

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    1. Hi Laura. Thanks for saying hi and so glad you stopped by.

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  16. Hi Susan - I finally got started on my unidentified leaf. I originally commented on this post on April 11, when we still had snow. Luckily the snow is about 99% gone. Here is a link to my post:
    http://marshaleith.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/for-the-love-of-leaves/
    Like Nanette(who commented on April 25th), I will probably also do some sun printing with this same leaf. And maybe some gelatin monoprinting too.

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    1. You have a wonderful start with your leaf. I am hoping to do some sun-printing soon too. I look foreword to seeing your mono printing.

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  17. Waiting for the solitary fig tree at the end of the block by my granddaughters house to be unwrapped after our hard winter, may pound one leaf than draw design on top of that.

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    1. A fig leaf will be lovely. Hope you saw Linda's new pounding and stitching results on her Looktothisday.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Vicki. Great to have you along!

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  19. What a wonderful idea. Over the last week or so I've been using leaves for printing on both paper & fabric...so this another area I can play. I found you through Jude's site too.

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  20. Wonderful. I would love to join in. Hope I can gather enough goodies before the snow comes here in NH.

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