I’m excited to have Niña Klinck as a guest blogger. You may remember that I have shown some of her work on the blog previously. She has an a great new use for leftover leaves that I wanted her to share with you. You can see more of Niña’s work at fatquarterstudio.com. Please leave her a comment on the jes’ sayin’ tab.
Enjoy Nina’s blog post.
I’m Niña Klinck. I’ve been a quilter since the mid 70’s and before that I swear I was born with fabric in my hand! I’ve written a little, taught a lot, and done many things…all of which have been incorporated into my quilting in some form or another. One of my ‘things’ is finding interesting tools, whether it be at the hardware store or the quilt shop.
Back in 2011 on my way home from a retreat, I saw these interesting rulers…wavy swirly things in 3 sizes and I was intrigued. I brought them home and they hung in my studio with the rest of my rulers waiting for inspiration.
Well, that opportunity showed up in the summer of 2012 when I was making a ‘Guest Book’ for a friends’ fall wedding. I made a background scene of our Vermont hills with a hand dyed sky and a leafless tree just off side of the center sitting on the top of a hill. Remembering the Leaves Galore templates, I created leaves out of scraps of batiks (of which I have WAY too many!)….hundreds of them. The guests signed the leaves and after the wedding we sewed to the leaves to the tree. However, I wasn’t prepared for how many leaves I would have left over. It is very addicting cutting these out when you have a lot of color choices!
Jump forward a couple of months to my fall classes. I was looking for a way to introduce these rulers because they offer so many options. I liked the tree idea I had used but wanted to do something different that would be easy, satisfying and doable within a class.
Enter ‘Birds of a Feather’.
Each student chose 2 fat quarters of fabric before we started. After showing them how to apply Mistyfuse fusible web to the fabric, I showed them how to use the rulers for creating leaves. We free cut the trunk and limbs of the tree and then applied the leaves. We did cheat a little…I had a basket of leftover prefused scraps (never throw anything out!) that I shared so they had many options of small pieces that could cut any way they wanted. The birds are my own pattern.
As you can see, each one is different and stunning in their own way.
When class was over, my wall hanging sat there for a while looking for a way to become something. I didn’t know whether to leave it alone for teaching the next class, or to finish it. As a teacher, I am very conscious of showing my students how much easier things are than they appear, so I try to keep things very simple but interesting. However, my mission this year is to finish off a stack of UFO’s that need to be done or gone. With that in mind, I first stitched down the leaves, limbs, and birds with a fancy stitch on my machine and a constrasting thread. I randomly free motion quilted this piece, which was pretty easy, but I wasn’t sure about what to do with the border.
Enter Leaves Galore….again! I had so many leaves left over after this class and 3 ‘Guest Books’, I decided to try them as a border.
Remember the leaves are prefused, so I randomly placed them on the front with a little more than ½ of each leaf hanging off the edge, and lightly fused them down. I flipped the quilt over, folded the leaves to the back and lightly fused again. I did this for each edge. When it was all tacked down, I applied steam to the fused leaves from the front. After it cooled, I put a 40/3 variegated cotton thread top and bobbin in my machine and free motion stitched around the pointy ends. Because the leaves have more on the back than on the front, the sewing caught them in the back as well thereby securing the entire ‘binding’. Stunning as a border!!
I haven’t stopped exploring these rulers. There will be another unusual quilt to talk to you about soon.