24 October 2006

Patchwork

I still remember my first sewing project. We lived near Lincoln, Nebraska, at a temporary AirBase named the same. There was a young tree living just over our patio wall - I could just get my arms around his trunk. I don't remember exactly what kind of tree he was, but the leaves that had fallen were an incredible shade of red with little smudges of gold. They were smooth on my cheek, and looked to me like bits of soft leather on little stems. I remember thinking to myself, what a nice blanket they'd make for my Raggedy Ann doll.

So, I gathered up about 20 of the brightest leaves, and with a pair of small safety scissors, I clipped off all their little stems. I sneaked an embroidery needle and some red thread from my mother's sewing basket. I sewed the the leaves together...I think I made about 6 fat stitches in every small seam. I was really quite proud of my work.

I lay the blanket over my Raggedy Ann that night, and thought she looked quite comfortable.


Within days the leaves had become brittle, and lost most of their pigment. And my mother was more than a little annoyed to find my bed cluttered with the hundreds of little brown crumbs they'd turned into!

oops.


Here's a better way to save those pretty leaves...

You'll need a warm iron; wax paper (about an inch wider than the leaf) ; a paper bag or a thin towel; one heavy book; and a newly-fallen leaf.

  1. Set your iron to warm/permanent press (not hot, and turn off the steam).

  2. Lay towel or paper bag down on a hard surface.

  3. Lay a piece of wax paper on top of that.

  4. Place your leaf in the center of the wax paper.

  5. Lay another piece of wax paper on top of the leaf.

  6. Now fold over the paper bag or towel, over the top of that.

  7. Set the iron down for about 10 seconds or more, to set the wax.

  8. Place the ironed wax paper/leaf inside the pages of a heavy book, and leave (hehe) there for several hours...or a day.

3 comments:

ValGalArt said...

This sounds like a fun project, I remember doing this when I was little and I loved it!!! I love all of those rustic colours too! Your leaf blanket is a wonderful story and would meake a charming illo...

Anonymous said...

I still use a bookmark from Canada made a similar way by a penpal 30 years ago! Charming and crumbly :)

Ginger*:)* said...

I have always loved doing this. I have such tender memories of gathering leaves with our tiny son (he now has his own tiny son) and making wonderful leaf-stained-glass images to hang in our windows. I must run out now and gather some spectacular leaves!

Thanks for this.