Autumn is my favorite season. It’s the time of year when the trees change color, painting the world with warm, vibrant reds and golds. The air gets cooler, sending us indoors, to warmth and fireplaces and hot chocolate.
I have a beautiful maple tree right outside my sewing room’s window. In fall it brings a reddish glow into my studio. Sewing in a warm room, a hot cup of tea at hand, admiring nature, gives me a wonderfully cozy feeling.
It always amazes me how beautiful fallen leaves are, and how unique. Because although there are millions of trees in the world, and thousands of leaves on each tree, each leaf is special and one of a kind. Just like people.
In fall, autumnal colors always creep into my work. They inspire me to make various red and yellow products, and, of course, quilts. This year, I decided to make an Autumn Leaves Wall Hanging. Below I explain how I made it. You can follow these steps to make a wall hanging of your own, or, if you prefer, a table runner.
Fall Leaf Hanging Tutorial
I started by collecting different kinds of fallen leaves during one of my neighborhood walks. I brought them to my sewing room, to use as templates.
Looking through my scrap piles, I found suitably-colored pieces, and made little quilt sandwiches out of them: a backing, batting and top. Then, I placed the actual leaf on the top fabric, and drew an outline around it.
I zigzagged along the outline, and, once done, carefully cut the leaf out along the outside of the stitch. This has to be done carefully, so as not to cut the stitching itself.
I made a little pile of leaves.
Out in the garden, I picked a dry stick. I placed it on my carpet, and started arranging the leaves beneath it. This took a while, as I wanted to reach just the right balance between colors, fabrics, shapes and sizes. (If you want to make a table runner, leave the stick part out, but still arrange your leaves in any shape you want).
Once I knew where each leave goes, I free-motion quilted details onto the leaves. I used a heavy, variegated thread for added interest.
I placed each leaf back carefully. To make sure I have a mostly-rectangular shape, I placed them onto a cutting mat and straightened them a bit. Then I carefully pinned them together.
I delicately took the pinned piece back to my sewing machine, and stitched the leaves together where they touched each other, starting from the top and going down.
When they were all connected, I hand stitched the top row around the stick.
Finally, I found a red string that one of my kids brought home as part of a school project years ago (yes, I collect things that might be useful one days, and some of them do find a new purpose, even if years later!). Viola: an Autumn Leaves Wall Hanging!
I hung this in our dining room, to enhance the autumnal feel. I love how it glows in the light!
And now, it’s time to collect the real fallen leaves out in my yard, so I can add them to my compost bin all year long!