by Elizabeth Hartman
Real tropical plants can be finicky. Making them in patchwork ensures they can survive year-round in any climate. The leaves in Leafy can be made with fat quarters, fat eighths, precut 10” squares or scraps. Use fat eighths or fat quarters to make each leaf with a single fabric, as in my Large Quilt. Use 10” squares to make scrappier leaves, as in the Small Quilt and Pillow Cover shown on the pattern cover. Large multicolor prints, subtle monochromatic prints, and bold solids will all work equally well in these projects!
Rather than using a single background fabric, Leafy blocks use different background fabrics for each block or set of blocks. This can create a scrappy low-volume look, as in my Small Quilt, or a riot of color, as in my Large Quilt.
The leaves are pieced using conventional patchwork techniques. No templates or paper piecing! The skinny stems are created by starting with strips that are a little too wide and them cutting them down after sewing. This is similar to the way Preppy the Whale and Bjorn Bear’s mouths are made and makes it a little easier to keep those skinny pieces straight.
The pattern calls for precut 2-1/2” strips because precut rolls can be an efficient way to purchase a coordinated variety of solid strips. The 2-1/2” strips will be cut into skinnier strips to make the blocks. If you already have a lot of solid fabric scraps on hand, they can most likely be substituted for the 2-1/2” precut strips. Page 13 of the pattern talks more about how to use scraps to make Leafy projects.
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