Leaves is made from Oakshott cottons from the Ruby Reds range, and black linen for maximum crinkle and contrast with the Oakshott (I didn't prewash the fabrics so it was quite a relief when it survived a wash!). It's often difficult to photograph shot cotton and capture the richness of the colours, but this is how they glowed in the late afternoon light.
The leaves are all different. They were foundation pieced in halves, joined together and appliqued to panels of linen, then machine quilted - some more closely than others. These Oakshotts are all shot with red so that was the obvious choice for a quilting thread which would go with all the colours. I used a lovely shiny 28 weight Aurifil cotton for extra definition.
Once I joined all the panels together I backed the quilt with Ikea nummer fabric - I love the white against the black - and hand quilted the linen background with large kantha-style stitches in Guttermann top-stitching thread. I tried using perle first, but didn't like the effect as it looked too heavy. The top-stitching thread was just right for the kind of contrast I wanted with the machine quilting on the leaves.
The rows are approximately an inch apart and although I marked out lines with taylor's chalk I was quite relaxed about following them so the stitching isn't dead straight, or at completely regular intervals.
The half-inch binding is made of pieces of the Oakshott, varying in width between approximately 2.5 and 5 inches. I think the binding is my favourite bit!
Thank you to anyone who has endured my wittering about this quilt since <cough>November 2012. It took a long time to work out how to realise the idea in my head. I wanted it to have a very organic feel to it and an unapologetically handmade look and now that it's finished I'm really happy with it. (I'd love to make another one using black velvet.)
Thank you to Amy for hosting the Festival! You can find Leaves in the Applique Quilts section.
Entered in the Applique category, Bloggers Quilt Festival
Size: 55 x 60 inches
Fabrics: Oakshott Ruby Reds, black linen, Ikea Nummer
Threads: Aurifil 28 cotton in red, Guttermann black top-stitching thread
Batting: Warm and Natural
Techniques - applique, machine and hand-quilting