I told you about Bettye Kimbrell and her method for making quilts using a leaf pounding technique. She taught me the method to get the best results when transferring the shape and color of leaves onto fabric. Make sure to read all about it in our October/November 2013 issue! You can tell from her photos that she’s had plenty of practice, both with the leaf pounding and her subsequent quilting of the fabric. Look at them here if you missed my previous post.
When I started practicing the leaf pounding at home, I decided to do my samples on 6 1/2″ squares, rather than a length of fabric. It seemed more manageable, especially since I had no idea how it would turn out. I tried all the leaves I could get my hands on and found that some leaves really do work much better than others for this technique. Houseplant leaves work really well.
We photographed some of my squares to illustrate the article, but I made way more samples than we used. The green is less bright now, but they still look great. After the article was done I knew I wanted to make something with them. What would be the best use of them? I don’t have the skill or patience to make quilts like Bettye’s but I love doing patchwork so I focused on that.
I had the idea that the shapes and soft colors of the leaf prints would look pretty good with batiks, especially earth tones. Luckily, I had a bunch of header cards with batiks of all sorts. Header cards are great, but you have to be sure about your project before you cut into them – they’ll yield just a few patches and then they’re gone! I cut some 6 1/2″ batik squares, just to see how I’d like the look of everything together.
I liked the basic look of it so I kept cutting. Now I’m torn. I really like this quilt top, and the fact that the leaf pounded squares blend with the batiks but aren’t overpowered by them. But it’s so simple! Should I have designed something more challenging? On the other hand, if I like how it looks, does the complexity of construction matter? I don’t know.
So it’s just hanging out on my design wall. I have plenty of stuff to work on while I decide, but I’ll have to make a decision eventually. I don’t really need another UFO. My husband suggested that if I really like this design, perhaps I could do something a bit more unique on the other side of the quilt, which appeals to me. I should probably just sew this top together to free up my design wall and figure out what I need to make for Christmas presents and so on. I can’t believe it’s that time again already.
What kinds of Christmas presents are you planning to make this year? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter! If you’re at a loss, check out the Best Christmas Quilts 2013 issue. You can find it at the Quilt & Sew Shop. There’s also lots of ideas on our Pinterest boards. Maybe some on Instagram, too. We have some videos on our YouTube channel that may spark an idea or two as well. So many choices!
Happy weekend everybody! If you need me I’ll be sewing in my studio.