We are going to stick with our S shape again and keep creating new designs with it. It’s the perfect shape for quilting leaves. We all love to quilt organic designs on our quilts, flowers, leaves, etc. Organic images are very forgiving. No two leaves in nature are exactly alike. So you don’t have to worry too much about making these designs uniform. Another walk in the park! Or maybe this week will be a walk in the forest, amongst the leaves?
You can create a leaf shape with simple curves.
It works, and looks even more like a leaf when you add a vein down the center.
But when you add the subtle curve of an S shape in place of the simple curves, it really says, “LEAF.”
Practice quilting leaves in all different orientations. Then you can start putting them together into usable quilting designs. One of my favorites is a border or sashing design where the leaves alternate pointing up and pointing down as they scamper across the border.
Stitch path for alternating leaves
Let’s break down the stitching path of this design. Start at the bottom of the first leaf and stitch up the right side with a lazy S.
Pause at the top to create a sharp point then stitch a mirror image lazy S down the left side of the leaf.
Stitch the vein up the center. You can make this a lazy S or a simple curve. Both those shapes look great as the vein. Stitch up and then backtrack back down to the bottom of the leaf. It doesn’t matter if your backtracking is not perfect. However this is a good opportunity to try to improve your backtracking skills. 😉
To connect to the next leaf stitch a lazy S that scoops under the leaf you just stitched and goes up and over. The mantra I use here is “under and over.”
That lazy S sets you up for stitching smoothly down the right side of the leaf that points down.
Once again pause in the point. If you need to remind yourself to pause, add it into your mantra. “Under and over, pause in the point …” Then stitch up the left side of the leaf.
Stitch the vein, in and out.
Another lazy S connects to the next leaf but this time you go over and under.
Now just repeat as many times as you need to fill your border!
Pro Tip: The stitching starts on the right side of every leaf. It doesn’t matter if it’s pointing up or down. Always go right. The S shape connectors set you up for a smooth transition into the next leaf if you go to the right.
This is the perfect design for fall quilts! Doesn’t this put you in the mood for some leaf peeping? Come to North Carolina for some spectacular views!
by Mary Beth Krapil