Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Let's have some fun with leaves.
Gather a selection of autumn leaves while you're out walking your dogs.
Arrange them on a copier and print onto fabric. You may use the prepared printer fabric or iron a piece of light colored fabric to freezer paper. White will give you the most vivid color.
I love this part! It's difficult to tell the real from printed, isn't it?
Remove the paper backing. Iron a fusible bonding product to the back. I like Pellon Wonder Under. Cut out the leaves. You could outline them with fabric marker first, for more definition. I didn't.
Cut a piece of background fabric and quilt batting (a piece of felt, or scrap of wool is fine, use what you have).
Arrange the leaves on the background fabric. Just play with them until you're pleased. I machine-stitched my leaves, so I removed them and fused them one at a time, in order to overlap them. Remember to use a sheet of parchment or press cloth when you iron them on.  Continue until all your leaves are fused and machine-stitched. 
Now get out your embroidery floss and Perle cotton and embellish with hand-stitching.
I chose a pale yellow cotton velvet for my background (8 X 10). I wanted the added texture. Use a variety of simple embroidery stitches to add stems and berries, etc. Take a few pics while you're gathering leaves and use them for inspiration.
I added poke berries, branches, a sweet gum ball, and a little metallic thread for dewdrops. The possibilities are endless. Now I get to decide whether to back it, and use it as a wall hanging, or stitch it onto a pillow or tote bag.
Use your imagination and add your favorite embellishments. I think it would be fun to stitch several individual leaves to frame as a group.
Hope you're doing something with leaves, besides raking, at your place. XO.

Materials and Supplies

selection of autumn leaves
printer fabric
copy machine
sewing machine
background fabric and batting
a selection of embroidery threads and needles
fusible bonding product (Pellon Wonder Under)
buttons and other embellishments, as desired

If you're not a fabric person, you could just copy some leaves on paper to use for collage backgrounds, and scrapbooking.

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