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.
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...