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Lesson 2 (continued)
To Pattern Page
Leaf Four   Leaf Five

Leaf Four and Leaf Five are a bit more complex, in that they have more than two subsections. However, the individual sections are not a bit more difficult, so don't let that intimidate you if you are a beginner at paper piecing. Putting a complex paper-pieced block together is no more difficult than completing any other block.

Use the little symbols in the seam allowances to help identify which seams should be sewn together. Match those seams for sewing, however, by the end points of the seam line as you did for the first leaf blocks. The first time you make these patterns, you might want to mark these symbols on the back of your paper if you are using my method of piecing from the front. Then you won't have to search under fabric edges if you're not sure how it goes together. Had you noticed that the printing on the pattern sections can also be used as a guide for identifying "right end up" for the sections?

The thumbnail image gives you a possible leaf/background coloring, but you can always "eliminate" a leaf by coloring it as part of the background or reverse the coloring with darker leaves against a light background. You will also find useful to have some blocks in which the contrast is created by color changes rather than sharp value changes. The thumbnail also tells you the order in which the sections of Leaf Five should be sewn together.

I'm guessing that by now you are fairly comfortable with these patterns, so I won't elaborate on the construction details for these two blocks. However, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask.

Leaf Four is my favorite of all these leaf blocks. I like its balance of light and dark and variety of shapes. I often include more value changes as well, making the lower leaf cluster seem to recede into shadow. But it appeals to me most because it always seems to make up with a special kind of grace and rhythm as if a light breeze were tossing its branch.

I also find these two blocks just as effective when placed with the leaves going up or down. In one of the samplers for Ozark Garden II, I have used Leaf Four "upside down".

Gallery Time

Because there are so many possible ways to color these blocks I hope you will send some samples for the rest of the class to see. When we get to Lesson Three and see how many images have been posted in the Gallery, (have you sent yours?) I'll give you some suggestions (in the discussion forum) for using them to make a virtual quilt of your own.

And now that I think of it, I have just the thing for that purpose--one of my sons created a virtual quilt script that I've been saving for a later class. If you will send us the images, it will be perfect for this. You can send Carol a photo, a small scan, or just send the block along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and we'll do the rest.

In Lesson Three, we will combine leaf and flower techniques in combination blocks. By now you should have the feel of all this, and know what fabrics and colors you want for the flowers of your quilt. These are what make your quilt glow, so choose some clearer, brighter colors (in more than one value, of course) that will serve as accents. You will want some "shadowed" flower colors too. You may also want to think of your quilt as a "spring", "summer" or "fall" quilt, each of which calls for a distinctive set of colors. Invent or borrow some new flower types such as using a tulip shape to go with the "tulip-style" leaves of Flower 2.