Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Autumn Leaves Applique
If you've seen much of my work, then you know I do most of it by hand. Machine work...not so much. To me there is just nothing better than sitting with a needle and thread, sewing quietly and with purpose. It is a great joy. I have some really nice friends who tend to do all their work using the sewing machine....ALL of their work. Naturally, I get the usual jokes about being "archaic" or a "dinosaur." I don't mind. I admire their work....it's really wonderful. I like my work...it's wonderful too...and sometimes the more tedious it is, the more I like it.
One time we were in one of those discussions comparing handwork to machine work. My friend, Jim, challenged me to make a totally machine made quilt. So, I set out to do just that. This basket full of autumn leaves is the result. Well, OK, I failed the test because I handquilted it. But, the TOP was totally made on the machine!
I drew it out on paper, cut out the leaves and the basket and went to work doing machine applique. It was kind of fun figuring out how to place the leaves. Did I enjoy doing the machine applique? NO. But I did it anyway. (I appliqued these using a very small zig-zag stitch...it's ok...but it always looks better to me when someone else has done it.)
Notice the flies? Jim gave me two of them and dared me to sew them to the quilt, so I did. They are plastic.
After I did all the applique and added the plain borders....I decided the quilt was just that...PLAIN! So I played around with other leaves to see what I could come up with. At that time, my son was home. He walked into the room as I was talking to myself and asked what I was doing. I explained. In my hand were five leaves and I was having a difficult time choosing their placement. Scott said, "Well, don't fret over it...just throw them down like playing cards and wherever they land will be the right place." Simple for him to say...difficult for me...I fret over the least thing. So, I told him to go ahead and throw them down and wherever they landed, that's where I would sew them on. He did. And, so did I. So those five leaves on the border were added by my son that day. A lesson for me in spontaneity. Also in "not sweating the small stuff." (I really should listen to him more often!)
When I put the quilt up on the wall to check it out...I thought it still needed something....but what? Of course, my mind always goes to "more hand stitching" so I decided to embroider a line using the Herringbone Stitch....in a meandering design. I really liked that!
Then, of course, next came the quilting and that's where I really, really failed. No way could I try to machine quilt this. So, my friend Jim won that challenge...I couldn't make a quilt that was totally done on the machine. He just loves to win!!!
Fall is my favorite season......I love the falling leaves, the chill in the air on a clear, bright blue sky day, the crispness. It's such a brief season. Here in Arkansas, at this very moment, it is raining and chilly. I sense that autumn is quickly slipping away and winter will be here soon. Too soon. Maybe that's why I love Fall so much....it's never here very long. Sort of like the time I have in the Nest..time spent out here is never long enough. Enjoy autumn, wherever you are!!! Pat
**I forgot to mention the fabric on the back of the quilt is a wonderful leaf print...and you can see the hand quilting there. No matter what I do...my post photos seem to never show in the order I placed them...so aggravating...I really didn't want you to see the back of the quilt first! Well, have a great day anyway!