Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lady's Mantle Emerging

Over a year ago, crazy quilting teacher, friend and herbalist Betty Pillsbury published this post on her blog, Green Spiral Herbs...


Betty and I first met in Candace Kling's ribbon workshop and ever since, I have admired her skills not just as an award-winning crazy quilter but as a gardener, an herbalist and a healer.

During Hurricane Irene, Betty suffered significant flooding and damage to her property, her gardens and her home. Though she considered herself lucky compared to some of her neighbors who lost everything, it was still a significant blow to her business and livelihood. The Crazy Quilt International Group responded with the New Gardens for Betty project...where members each made hearts for Betty as a sign of their love and support.

When I thought of making a heart for Betty, I immediately thought of her anointing herself with magic in her garden last April...and of the picture of Lady's Mantle that I had "clipped" from her blog and had placed in my inspiration file...


The water droplets, the shapes of the leaves, and the idea of magic all made this post and this picture something I wanted to remember.

Named because the leaves resemble a lady's mantle, I was infatuated with this plant and went to Flickr to search for photos and to get a better understanding of all aspects of this plant.

And wow.


Having never seen this plant in person, I fell in love with the images of this herb.

It's beautiful. The curves, the peaks and the valleys, the creases, the way the leaves open and unfurl. Add water and this plant really puts on a show. Wow again.

What better plant to send to Betty than her own magical Lady's Mantle.

So I set about fusing painted interfacing to some Hanah silk ribbon and cutting out the leaf shapes which you saw last week. I used one of those Clover mini irons to press the creases into the leaves to get that pleated look.



In order to get the "dew drop", I sewed the beads onto the leaves with a water soluble stabilizer backing.

The stabilizer really does what it says...it stabilizes the fabric, threads and beads so the thread doesn't slip while helping the fabric manage the weight of the beads.


The stabilizer also gives the leaves a tiny bit of glue which helps the fabric to hold its shape and some sculpting of the leaves as they dry.

I wasn't sure if the creases would make it through the dip in the pool...


But they did.


Next up for me is a project for the Annual Christmas Ornament exchange with my Crazy Quilt group this Saturday. Betty's magic will have to simmer for a few days.

See you next time...

20 comments:

Rachel said...

Your leaves are fantastic, Susan, vivid re-imaginings of the leaves in your photo inspirations. I'm sure that Betty will be thrilled!

kaiteM said...

you've really instilled that magic into the lady's mantle leaves, i feel as if one could wish upon each leaf.

MosaicMagpie said...

There is something so special about those that find nature feeds the soul. I love the fact Betty touches the dew to her face. The fact that she honors the plant with this ritual, is much like the way you have here as well. Your thoughtfulness will touch her heart I am sure. The beads you added are the perfect touch.
Deb

Catherine said...

I loved this post! Betty's part was so fun to read. I love how she annoints herself with the dew! How fun! And wow, your leaves look so real!!

Suztats said...

Wonderful creation of the Lady's Mantle leaves in fabric. What a thoughtful way to send Betty a 'new garden'.

Shirlee Fassell said...

The leaves are magical.. the water soluble seems to give them a glow. I have some water soluble in my drawer and have never used it ... time to experiment thanks!!

Wendy said...

Wow, Susan...
You always amaze me with YOUR Magic!
=-)

Elmsley Rose said...

Just absolutely lovely!

Judy S. said...

Gosh, Susan, these look very real! Great job! BTW, I think you're an excellent writer already, and this post is proof! :)

Carol said...

Always amazing, always creative and always knowing just the right symbol to be the perfect gift.
xx, Carol

Wendy said...

Your leaves are so realistic! I love the dew drops on them! Betty will be so pleased with these...cannot wait to see the finished item for her....

Createology said...

If only the world knew how much detail and time and research and love you put into your amazing works of art. Your leaves are beautiful. Jingle Bell Hugs...

Пенелопа said...

My God, what a beauty ... Unusual leaves! Bravo!

éoline said...

Do you know I put the same kind of article with my work on my blog at the same
moment (http://blogicietmaintenant.blogspot.com/2010/04/gouttes-de-rosee.html)? it's really funny!
I love
Alchemilla mollis and their water pearls ... Your work is beautiful!

Evy said...

I have a real admiration for your work and know how to make.
Meticulous and precious, every point to its place, and the whole gives a tremendous work.
I am impatient to discover this new ended project!

Beautiful day

Marjolein said...

Great pictures!
Astonishing leaves, love them ;)

Mary Corbet said...

You are AMAZING, Susan. Amazing. The leaves are perfect - the dew drops, spectacular!

Linda H said...

Lucky lucky Betty! As always your work is amazing Susan. I love the leaves of Lady's Mantle, especially after a rain or heavy dew. You have captured them perfectly. Can't wait to see the finished heart....
BTW, I have several large clumps of LM to divide next spring.. too bad you weren't closer...

Marsha said...

The leaves are just right. You need one of these plants for your garden. They are easy to grow and fun to see in the morning. Your work is an inspiration.

Elizabeth said...

I ADORE Ladies mantle and I ahve ahd it in everyone of my gardens!! It si just such fun to watch it in all of it's growth stages and when it rains "OH MY" It is covered with tiny little leaf hairs that keep the rain drops shaped in perfect droplets and when the sun comes out they shimmer like diamonds. Surprisingly enough, the most luscious Lady's Mantel ever grown in my garden, grew in the sucking clay of the Pacific Northwest. !! You have done an amazingly fabulous job on these leaves and Betty will be blown away!!!

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