I was leafing through some photo’s from the summer recently, when one of the shadows of our Horse Chestnut Tree (or Buckeye) caught my eye: the shadow of each palmate leaf clearly projected onto the ground below. I decided to experiment with the leaves and make a cushion. I scaled up the leaf image and made a tracing to use as the basis for fusible applique. Then I pieced a background from a packet of charm squares from Moda’s ‘Dream on’ range, to make the cushion more interesting.
Then I appliquéd one plain and one marbled fabric leaf with a machine blanket stitch and a bright variegated thread (YLI, Rio de Janeiro from Luana Rubin) and then I quilted in the ditch between the squares and then over the squares in a grid with a pastel variegated thread (YLI ) before quilting the veins of the leaves with the Rio thread. The pastel thread for the grid quilting didn’t stand out as much as I had hoped, so I added another layer of diagonal quilting in both directions with a bolder quilt stitch, and that gave me the desired effect. I put a light blue border around the cushion that matches the backing fabric.
Ultimately, I am quite pleased with the cushion, although it is an unusual colour combination for me: I graduate more towards dark and country colours, so try to work out of the box every now and then with brights or pastels, just to see where it takes me!