After a busy day off this quilt, I’m back to work.
The green corners surrounding the central circle are to contain trailing wreaths of ivy. But I didn’t want flat, featureless ivy leaf outlines, nailed down to the background and stiffening everything. I wanted something that would ‘live’ a little more, perhaps have some movement. I looked at individually seamed and turned leaves, but they were too clumsy, and the turned corners weren’t sharp enough. I needed the back to be good too, in case the edge of a leaf lifted or curled, so I couldn’t simply turn an edge under. I wanted the leaves to be firm and substantial too, to give the illusion that you could run your hand over them and get the same crisp rustling as you’d get with real ivy. After some thought and a few tests, this is what I’ve come up with.
The advantage of this method is that I can actually mass produce the leaves. I’m going to layer two different shades of green on either side of a sheet of thin cotton batting. That way I can use both sides of the leaf to give a bit of visual interest.
I’m using one of the silver gel pens I tested for the lettering. It makes a perfect template marker, and will be hidden under the zigzag round the outside of each leaf. Because it’s pale, and being metallic it catches the light, it’s easy to see under the needle too. I have 4 different leaf sizes to give visual interest and texture, which also helps to make best use of the fabric and minimise wastage, or at least scraps too small for me to use elsewhere.
I’ll be stitching the leaves on only partially, leaving free edges and tips for a richer textured and layered effect.
But that’s something for another day.