More leaves are falling here in North Carolina and the air is crisp and clear. Since leaves are such a popular quilting motif, I thought we might explore some more designs, using more leaves.
Meandering leafy vines make great edge-to-edge designs, or a fill design for any shape on your quilt.
You can use the familiar leaf shape, simply attaching them to a vine as you meander and fill your quilt. Alternate adding leaves to both sides of your meandering vine.
Try it with just single leaves attached to the vine.
Pro Tip: Mark your meandering vine with a removable marker. Then stitch along the vine adding leaves as you go.
Or two together might be twice the fun:
My favorite is a cluster of three together:
Make it fancy by adding in swirls here and there:
We can use the S shape to create lush ferns on our quilts. The creation of a fern-like leaf is a bit different from the leaves we have been stitching. Rather than stitching the S for one side of the leaf, then stitching a mirror image S to form the other side of the leaf, to create a fern leaf stitch an S shape then echo that same S for the 2nd side.
Let’s dive right in and stitch a fern frond.
First stitch your spine from top to bottom. It is a long and lazy S shape!
Pro Tip: When first getting started with any new design, it is a good idea to draw the design first. So substitute the word “draw” for the word “stitch” in these directions.
Then start adding in the leaves. Stitch a lazy S away from the spine and then echo that same S as you stitch back toward the spine.
Add more leaves up one side of the spine. At the top I like to make a little swirl or curl. You can get creative here and make any shape you like to make the transition to the other side of the spine. A tear drop or a leaf would work well.
Next start stitching leaves down the 2nd side.
And continue to add more leaves until you reach the bottom.
You don’t have to have the same number of leaves on both sides. Just fill the space and don’t worry about lining them up side to side.
Once again, you can get fancy and add in some swirls.
Pro Tip: When filling an area on your quilt with a fern frond extend the leaves as you need to, so that the space is filled. There are many shapes of ferns in nature so it will look fantastic no matter what shape results.
Can you come up with a way to use more leaves? We would all love to see your drawings or stitching in the comments! How about some leaf wreaths?
by Mary Beth Krapil, Handi Quilter National Educator