When something catches my eye, I try to think of a way to incorporate it into one of my creations! And because I love the colors of fall, a silk plant that had leaves in various shades of reds, golds, and greens was just begging me to use it! So, I used it in a table runner!
Out of one silk plant, I was able to have enough of these same leaves to create 6 kits that were included in a class I taught back in 2009. I also supplied 6 more kits but the leaves were red, silver, and black. I wish I would have kept a set of these leaves because the table runners looked stunning!
If you find a silk plant that has some leaves that you would like to incorporate into a project, prepare them in the following manner:
1) Carefully peel the silk leaf away from the plastic veins that are fused to the back of the leaf. Silk leaves also come in packages at the craft stores. 2) Place the leaf in a saucer, right side up. Using a Q-tip, spread Fray Check over the entire leaf. It’s alright if the color bleeds onto the saucer. Let the leaf dry on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Trim away any frayed ends from the leaf.
The other leaves on this table runner are machine embroidery designs stitched on green, burgundy, and beige organza. If you can’t find any silk leaves, you can create some that are just as beautiful from the extra designs included with this pattern.
I recommend that all of these designs be stitched on 2 layers of organza along with a piece of water-soluble stabilizer. This way, the leaves can be burned out cleanly with a stencil burner, eliminating any little “hairs” that often stick out of the satin stitched outline.
For the applique designs, the fabric needs fusible web applied to the wrong side. The applique pattern is then traced on the paper backing of the fusible web. Carefully fussy cut out this applique piece. The applique is done this way because the satin outline is not very wide and trying to trim the applique in place, with all of the tight curves, proves to be challenging even for the experience appliquers! Once the placement line is stitched, remove the hoop from the machine and fuse the applique in place.
Place the hoop back on the machine and stitch the tack-down line. If you were careful with the fussy cutting and precise placement, all of the raw edges will be caught in the tack-down. Continue stitching the rest of the design. This applique can be done with cotton, silk, or satin fabric, what ever suits your fancy!
Four designs were created with the use of Mylar in mind. Each one has a little different effect. These designs stitch a placement line first to show where to place the Mylar. The "fill" then stitches out. Do not remove the excess Mylar until the fill has finished stitching out completely.
The Mylar design below, on the left, has a similar appearance as the silk leaf on the right, with the metallic sparkle being a very subtle element! Burnt orange thread was stitched over copper Mylar using a less dense step stitch.
The Mylar design below uses a feather stitch, or chicken feet as I call it, stitched over light copper Mylar with a piece of yellow organza over it to mute the sparkle of the Mylar a tiny bit.
The gold sparkle of the Mylar on the design below takes away from the fancy stitching that makes up this embroidery design. Covering the Mylar with a piece of organza would mute the sparkle but is would also preserve the integrity of the large areas of Mylar if this leaf undergoes a lot of wear-and-tear. Either way, this design looks great!
Have some fun experimenting with different combinations of organza, fabric, transparent colored Mylar, and metallic Mylar! You won’t know what looks good unless you try it. A table runner incorporating all of these different medium leaves would look fantastic!
The green center of the table runner is cut out and centered on the background fabric. It is set in place using 505 adhesive spray. The center is then stitched about 1/4 to 1/8th of an inch from the raw edge to anchor in place.
A quilt sandwich is made with the top, batting and backing fabric.
The center is marked in 1 ¼ inch squares and quilted.
Fusible gold bias tape is pressed around the raw edge of the center piece and zig-zagged in place with gold metallic thread.
I’m not so much a "quilter" by most standards, but I do like using decorative stitches for “quilting”. I alternated rows of the honey comb stitch and the double swirl stitch all around the green center using the width of the foot for spacing.
After the binding is put on the table runner, tiny glass beads are stitched at the intersections of the quilted squares in the center, and the leaves are stitched in place around 2 opposite corners.
This Pattern Pak, Maple Splendor, can be found on my website.
Another project where silk leaves were used was on a jacket. The leaves were treated with Fray Check the same way as mentioned above. The leaves were stitched cascading down the front and back of the left shoulder.
The cuffs on the jacket were also quilted using the double swirl stitch, my favorite.
A few more examples of decorative stitches for quilting.
Honeycomb and stipple stitches.
Leaf and honeycomb stitches.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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