Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #20 - Walking Therapy

I missed last week's WW.  I knew it would happen eventually and was just hoping it would not be a slippery slope and the end of my WWs.  But my friend Hattie told me to take a Mulligan.  In golfing terms, that's a "do over".  And that's just one of the things I have learned on my daily morning walks at Ridley Creek State Park.
.  The park  was an estate at one point with a stable, several stone houses where the help lived and a mansion.  Most mornings, rain or shine, heat or snow, I meet at least one friend at this woodsy park.  We walk a paved 5 mile loop, solve all the world's problems, share recipes, stories about our families and talk about crazy TV shows.  Often, it is my therapy session.

As we enter the loop part of the walk, we cross the creek.  There is wisteria growing up a few of the trees.  It is amazingly beautiful.  Or I should say it WAS beautiful.  A few years ago, I guess they decided that the wisteria was invasive and they cut it down.  We were devastated.

This year it has finally started to return.  It will take a few more years for it to return to its former glory.  I hope that the park workers find something else to do to occupy their time and will not cut it down again.

So the return of the wisteria has become the topic of this week's WW. 

I decided to make 3-dimensional wisteria leaves.  I do enjoy making "fabric foliage" and like it when it adds to the depth of a piece.  Some of you have asked how I create them.

I started with a green batik.  Batiks are tightly woven and therefore don't fray as much as some other cottons.

I iron paper backed fusible web to half of the batik.

Remove the paper and fuse the fabric to itself.

Then I iron a piece of freezer paper to the fused double sided batik.  If I wanted all of the leaves to be identical, I would have made a template to draw the leaf shapes.  I also could have cut out the leaves free hand without the freezer paper.  This time, I didn't want the leaves to be identical, but I wanted them to be about the same size.  So I drew the shapes and then cut them out.

The freezer paper peels off easily.

 Then I use free motion quilting to attach the leaves.  I don't get too close to the edges because I want them to curl up a bit.

This is my finished block.  I used the buttons that I had and quite truthfully, it looks like grapes, not wisteria.  The leaves are not grape leaves.  It's really all about the color.  As soon as I can, I will look for some lilac colored buttons.

I am heading to the wholesale quilt show in Kansas City today.  I hope to share anything that I find that's new and interesting. I'll blog is I can.   Maybe I'll find some lilac colored buttons!


  1. Nice little tutorial. Thank you for sharing with us. Isn't it amazing how some people just have to cut down something that's growing. You can always tell city people who move to the country when they cut down the trees so as to make their property look like a parking lot.

  2. Great tutorial. Love your leaves and your use of buttons!

  3. That looks beautiful, Cheryl! You are so good at making minis inspired by your wanderings.
    Have fun at the show! Can;t wait to see what you bring back.

  4. Great interpretation of wisteria. The good thing about it is that it is almost impossible to kill. Unless they burn it out it will keep coming back.
    have fun in KC!

  5. i just love this.....thanx for the tutorial

  6. What a beautiful quilt. Thanks for all the tips & inspiration.

    Have fun at Quilt Market. I look forward to hearing your insights and seeing your photos.

    I also just released a post with some insights on a few new products to be introduced at Quilt Market.


  7. Sweet wee quilt - love the buttons

  8. And I thought we were celebrating with some vino! :) Yes, now I do see the leaves are not grape leaves! Years & years ago, in my previous lifetime, I lived in Ridley Creek State Park (ah, to be young again, and in love with a park ranger - first love is sooo sweet, and turns soooo bitter, all too soon!). It was the little log cabin/grist mill right in the bend of the creek, by a you know it? Sorry, that's all my memory allows.

    OK, I googled, and I believe it's at the dam, near the intersection of Bishop Hollow & Barren Rds. I do remember a dam being in the "front yard." We had no heat in the grist mill portion, only a wood stove in the cabin part....used for cooking and heating. Yes, it was cold!

    Funny to see "Sandy Flash Drive" - I spent about 8 years in Castle Rock, most of it looking for his hidden treasure! (noooo, never found a trace)

    wow - those are memories that hadn't seen daylight in about a hundred years! (seems like, anyway!)

    Have fun in KC, the state!!

  9. hope you are enjoying QM @ KC. Does this mean you are doing the flowers (buttons) over? a true mulligan...two wisterias? couldn't see if you stitched the 'grape' buttons down. I like it either way. Bring back inspiration for us.

  10. I love the piece. And thanks for sharing your leaf technique.

  11. I just found your blog from Beaquilter. Your book looks inspiring. Love the leaf technique!

  12. Just found your blog from Beaquilter and love the looks of your book. I am a new blogger, myself at Come visit! I just started it last weekend, so there isn't a lot there. I'm a new follower!


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