Precious Metals II

It’s not a secret that I’m drawn to the ginkgo leaf. I love seeing them on and off trees. Click on an image for a larger view.

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Nature has a beautiful way of shedding and arranging the leaves.

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I’ve enjoyed using these photographs for some fun sketching.

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In 2011 I created a small piece called Precious Metals. It won an award and sold almost immediately, leaving me little time to enjoy it.

Franki Kohler, Precious Metals, 12" x 12", 2011

As the season changes to fall, I’m reminded again of the beauty of this leaf as it changes color and falls from the trees lining my street. I was thinking of Precious Metals and decided to create another version of it. It didn’t take long before I had formed an idea. I started by bringing out possible materials to use. Then I created a design directly on the background fabric using a water erasable fabric marking pen. Once my machine was cleaned and oiled, I started the thread sketching using a gold thread over gold organza.

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This organza has tiny bits of sparkle attached to the surface — perfect. When the thread work is done I carefully trim away the excess organza fabric. Here are the gold leaves finished. I am doing this thread sketching through all three layers of the quilt. Because of that — and the added layer of organza for each leaf — there is no need to use an embroidery hoop or pins to stabilize the fabric while I stitch.

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Next I used silver metallic thread over a silver organza. It’s difficult to see the organza against the light oatmeal fabric, but it lends just the extra sparkle I was looking for.

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Copper was next up — here is the orange tulle in place:

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With the thread sketching complete, I turned to auditioning possibilities for quilting and beading. I was thrilled to see a bit of the fabric I had used on Precious Metals for the binding. It is so perfect for this combination of gold, silver and copper.

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I liked the idea of using Superior’s variegated metallic thread to quilt the background. I had a good start on quilting but quickly decided I didn’t like the look — it was too distracting, stealing the thunder from the central design of the ginkgo leaves. So I spent some quiet time taking out the quilting. Instead, I used YLI 100-weight silk thread, color 239 on the top and the same thread, color 242, for the bobbin.

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I love the way silk thread loses itself in the thick pile of this fabric. It creates a subtle overall texture on top of a heavier texture already there.

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And the bobbin thread accomplished the same goal on the back.

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And the beading has begun.

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I am loving this quiet, meditative hand work. Stay tuned for the finish. And oh! Happy Fall.

8 replies
    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      The best thing for me is that with this small piece I actually got my quilting legs back. I can envision moving on to finish a large piece that I brought with me. Yeah!

  1. 379christy
    379christy says:

    I’m happy to see you are enjoying this piece right from the start. You didn’t regret selling the prototype and you’ll be loving this piece as long as you own it!

  2. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I love your gingkoes, especially the ones hanging on my Studio wall!! Our trees haven’t dropped any leaves yet, but with the cooler nights we’ve been having, I can tell they’re thinking about it. 🙂 Love the new quilt!

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Thank you Suzanne. Fall is my favorite time of year and the ginkgo leaves at our front door steps feel like such a gift!

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