Ferns and Leaves, The Forest Floor

There are some fabrics that are so beautiful and perfect just the way they are, I find it hard to work with them.

Until I started making this quilt I thought that might be the case with the leaf and twig fabric that I used in it.  But as often happens, cutting it up and focusing on small parts of it helped me to use it in a way that makes it mine.

Pairing the ferns and leaf fabric

After  I posted a photo of a fern that I took in the pasture, Vicki sent me a message identifying it as a Sensitive Fern.  It’s called that because the leaves of the fern die with the first frost, unlike so many other ferns that stay green throughout the winter. But the Sensitive Fern also has fronds that are reddish-brown and last throughout the winter which gives the fern its other name, Bead Fern.

It was the discovery of the name and nature of the Sensitive Fern that inspired me to use the fern fabric I had in my stash.  I’ve used it before and had just a small piece left.  After cutting the fern fabric into strips, it was easier to cut up the leaf fabric into small “scenes” that matched the size of the ferns.

As I worked on the quilt I kept thinking of the forest floor.  That was the feeling I wanted it to have.

But the big surprise came today when I was trying to figure out what to do next and I laid out the leaf fabric in large pieces around the whole quilt to that point.  It was so perfect, even beyond what I could have imagined.

I suppose in hindsight, it seems kind of obvious to use the leaf fabric to surround the quilt. But since I don’t plan my quilts, It didn’t occur to me till I got to the point where I could see how well it worked.

The last quilt I made, Shibori Hankie Quilt was all about ice, snow, and winter.  But this one is clearly all about the woods in summer.  I’m not sure how I skipped that far ahead in the seasons, but it somehow feels just right for now.

Some more  “scenes” from the quilt.



7 thoughts on “Ferns and Leaves, The Forest Floor

  1. Fantastic! Love the fabric, love the ferns, love the little winged creatures and fruiting plants. It would be like sleeping in the woods.

  2. All of the quilts you’ve made are beautiful but this one is my favorite. It has an aura of peace and solitude about it… just like being in the real woods. You put this together perfectly!

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