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Found-Things Appliqué

Each fall when I pull out my warm jackets, I usually find a collection of found objects in my pockets. These consist of a combination of small, smooth stones, acorns, beach glass, seeds pods, and other odds and ends. I am always looking for material for inspiration either for a project or just to get me thinking about design possibilities. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and it has some of the best opportunities for finding natural objects.

Recently I went on an expedition to find things for a simple wool appliqué project. The leaves were just starting to turn, and there were a variety of seeds on the ground. I looked for small sized objects in a variety of colors. I sometimes pick up more than I need, because once you sit down and start the design, you can always choose not to use something. It’s nice to have options, though.

Once I had my collection it was time to pick out my background fabric and start placing my findings in the design I had in mind. For this project I chose the layered cotton in Goldenrod. This is one of our new products that is available in our online store. I chose to lay out my objects in a wreath pattern.

After I had an idea how I want my design to look, it was time to interpret it into wool shapes. You can actually trace the leaves in order to make your freezer paper pattern or make a simple drawing to trace. Some things, like the berries and small leaf stems, I chose ahead of time to stitch on.

Next, it was time to pick the wools. I chose colors that are muted and autumnal, and pretty close to (or inspired by) the actual leaf colors! I like these hand-dyed wools mixed with a few solids to give the piece some texture that mirrors the look of the natural leaves.

I stitched the piece and finished it as a pillow for my fall décor. Leaves are great inspiration this time of year. Not only can you get the shape, but they also have great colors as a guide. Time to go out for a walk and find your own inspiration! Make sure to share what you’ve made by tagging me in your posts on Facebook or Instagram, or share a photo in the comments below.

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