Thursday, April 9, 2015

Making a Leaf Wall hanging - A Tutuorial

Hey there! Welcome to my blog. If you are visiting from Instagram Welcome! I am thrilled you are here. OK, today I want to show you a quick tutorial on how I make my little leaf quilts. They are 100% inspired by the amazing UK artist Ingrid Press. I first saw her work back in 2009 and fell madly in love with her simple style. I HAD to make one for myself that very day. I am not sure how she goes about her process, but I know how I do mine so I will show you my technique.

First this is Ingrid Press. Isn't she a handsome woman. So dignified. Behind her are some of the quilts she has made. I searched the web for these images. Sarah Fielke had done an interview with her for her Sewn website but I couldn't find that link. The website must be gone. So sad. It was a really good interview.

Here are some more of Ingrid's leaves

And here even more.

I went through quite a kick making quilts inspired by Ingrid Press. This is a baby blanket I made and then gave to someone. I can't recall who, but I do know I never got a thank you. Oh well. I don't give my stuff away any more. Took me some time but I finally learned.

So, are you ready to get started? The first step is to make a quilt sandwich. Then cut out your leaf shapes. I just cut mine straight from my green scrap bag. After I have cut the shapes I pin baste them to the quilt sandwich. Make sure your pin passes through all 4 layers (leaf, top, batting and back). This is the only basting to do. No spray, no thread...just some safety pins.

See. Pretty easy so far.

Now, remove the pin from whichever leaf you are going to begin with. With your free motion quilt foot and your feed dogs lowered, pull the bobbin thread up to the top of the quilt by taking a single stitch. This is key to keeping the back looking nice.

Take a couple stitches in place and quilt your stem line up to the top point of the leaf. This one curves a tad. Yours doesn't have to. I used Black thread so you could really see the stitching. Please feel free to match your thread to your leaves.

I got carried away and quilted this one without taking pictures. The quilting isn't perfect, the black thread was really heavy so it left big knots on the ends of the veins, but I like it.

We will go slow here. See, I have quilted the center stem and traced over my stitch line to quilt the top two veins, traced over the stitch line again to come down to where the next set of veins will go.

Just carry on in this way until all your leaves are quilted. 

Next you can switch out your thread to match your background. I just did simple straight line quilting.

Obviously this is a different quilt. I was finishing this one before I thought to take pictures.

You quilt right through your leaves. It really isn't too noticeable if your tension is good, which mine isn't. I need to have my Bernina cleaned and serviced.

So there. All done. My next tutorial will be on how to do a Facing Binding. I think they are pretty swanky and if you have never tried you should give it a go on something small.

I would love to see what you make if you decide to make a leaf quilt of your own. Tag me on your instagram!

Tia Curtis


  1. OH, I really like these...I think I am going to have to try this out and soon! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love the tutorial and examples. With this type of quilt (wall hanging), do not wash them as the leaves would fray? Or is that part of the charm? Although, I see it taking away from the crispness of the leaves.

    1. I washed the first one I made and it actually did very well. There was so much quilting that the fraying was minimal


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