Oct 30 08

Metamorphosis of a Leaf

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted…this is Halloween season so my time has been usurped by scary types of creative endeavors, but I’ve had some time to make a bit of headway on my leaf quilt. This first photo shows a leaf block in its most rudimentary stage…actually, this is a fusible-web backed leaf just lying on the block:

…kind of boring at this stage! Next, I cut out a stylized vein line from the center, then fused it to the background fabric. (I thought I had taken a picture of this stage, but I can’t find it). There is great contrast between the gold and the purple, but I wanted to highlight the edge of the leaf just a bit, so I threw a temporary stabilizer behind the block and did an orange satin stitch around the edge:

This partially edged leaf gives a better idea of how this step adds some zing to the block:

Next, the temporary stabilizer is torn away and I free motion-embroidered the inside of the leaf with a trilobal polyester thread:

This closeup gives a better sense of the finished leaf:

Here’s a closeup of a fern on another block for the same quilt top:

…and here is a weed from another block:

…and here is a picture of the blocks pieced together:

I’m going to free motion embroider some vines onto it before I put it into a quilt sandwich, but I’ll post pictures of it once it’s quilted. In the meantime…Happy Halloween!!


  1. Fulvia Says:

    Patsy, why do you remove the stabilizer (after you have satin-stitched the veins but before you quilt the inside of the lef)at this stage? Thanks.

  2. Sally Bramald Says:

    Lovely. I’m so pleased we have you back blogging again.

  3. Elsie Montgomery Says:

    I love this! I’ve been wanting to do a leaf quilt for a few months and this really boosts that desire… but I already have over 20 UFOs. Those leaves will have to wait.

    Great job and good photos too! Thank you.

  4. Liz Says:

    The leaves are gorgeous! Great use of color. It’s amazing how the orange stitching changed the whole look on the first leaf.

  5. Anna in Sweden Says:

    This is so beautiful!

    I have a award for you in my blog, http://sy.lugnagatan.net/
    Thanks for all your inspiring pictures!

  6. Patsy Thompson Says:

    Thanks to all of you for your nice comments! Here’s the scoop on the stabilizer:
    The rule I’ve followed is that anything that has either batting or
    fusible web underneath it does NOT need to be stabilized, but
    anything else DOES need to be stabilized for free motion embroidery.
    That leaf has a layer of fusible web underneath. Because the satin
    stitch has one part that falls OUTSIDE the area of fusible web, I
    needed to put a temporary stabilizer underneath it while I did the
    satin stitch. I didn’t need a stabilizer for the embroidery inside
    the leaf since it’s stabilized by the fusible web, so I removed it.
    I COULD have left it in place for the leaf embroidery and THEN
    removed it, but it would have been a royal pain in the you know what
    to remove at that point.