Releafed- a quilt



This quilt began many years ago as a sample, experimenting with direct printing using a dye product for which the printed image develops in the sun. It was a fabric sample that hid in my fabric scraps until one day several weeks ago I came across it while was searching for something small to do between other larger projects.

The center fabric that was printed from real leaves with Inkodyes in a purplish color looked like it needed more color to bring it to life. To color in the printed leaves, pastel dye sticks by Pentel were used. The scattered leaves had no focal point and therefore not very interesting to me. That is probably why the piece of fabric languished in a box of scraps for years.

Taking a leaf from an Oak Leaf Hydrangea in our garden, I made rubbings to give the design more depths with a second layer of leaves. These rubbings were made using pastel dye sticks and then more color was added by coloring them in with the dye sticks. A pigment pen was used to sharpen the edges of the leaf rubbings.

Still, it was missing something. Using a piece of mesh fabric, I filled the background spaces with rubbings of the mesh. The background rubbing did several things: grounded the leaves so they were not floating, connected the leaves, and added a color that finishes a split complimentary scheme. The complimentary color for purple is yellow, so the yellow green and the yellow orange are the split compliments.

The quilting pattern is a simple repeat that I made on the computer from the tip of a leaf in a rotating pattern. The quilting was kept simple so it was not a distraction from the leaf prints and to keep the project short and simple.

The purple border and the orange tan binding finish the quilt and tie into the colors in the center.

This spring for the second year in a row, many of the trees in our area were stripped bare by inchworms. I was very relieved when the trees releafed. Unfortunately, I believe that many homeowners had bare trees taken down due to mistakenly thinking they were dead.

This quilt also got releafed with a second layer of leaves. I am also relieved that the leaf print sample was finally turned into a lovely quilt. I saw potential in the fabric and could not scrap it permanently.

The “Releafed”  quilt was an enjoyable and rewarding project.

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