Look closely; can you see it?! This endeavour was close to the heart for me in more ways than one so I call it the Eco Print ‘Love Project’. Come, join in the love…
Since I am in the cold north under a couple feet of snow, eucalyptus holds a huge wonderment to me! I envy the ‘Aussies’ who just go pick up the leaves off the ground and see the Koala’s munching them (another envy of mine). But, I am resourceful. I offered a couple special brides some prints to treasure forever from their cast-offs! What a great way to be able to be able to make permanent keepsakes. Rose leaves do also print great by the way.
Simple Eco Print Method:
This round of printing was a super simple one. Since I had collected the euca and let it dry I rehydrated it in some very hot water for about 30 minutes. It softened up beautifully. I am still figuring out which will ‘gift’ me with the wonderful reds, so it’s a combination of species. I am using vintage virgin wool blankets (the kinds grandma had on the beds to keep us warm in this cold north)
The Symmetry of it all!
Wool needs to be softened up so that it will allow compression for bundling. The wool had a dip in weak iron solution that was warm. (See how the prints were made here) One of the beauties of eucalyptus is that it prints from both sides of the leaf. That is not the case with many of the other species of leaves that I use. That makes it so much more interesting for design opportunity! Woo hoo – Hearts!!!
And, that way less leaves are needed as well! Just plan it well over a centre line and fold over.
After using my alternative processing for a bit longer and hotter than usual, it’s even more fun to unroll!. For extra assurance I do leave them insulating for extra time. Oh, the anticipation!
I’m thrilled with the way they look like heart shaped wreaths. The delicate seed pods also add great texture and details. One idea spurs another… I just can’t keep up trying them all.
Ok, ok… I need to start actually ‘UTILIZING’ all the prints! Cushions are the perfect idea as they really showcase the symmetry of the heart designs since they can sit nicely in a square.
The Simplest Pillow pattern:
My favourite way to make easy cushions is with an overlap button closure on the back. After planning the square front panel, make 2 sections that overlap adequately (2-3″) for the back. The edges should be finished (folded over and sewn or hand stitched as embellishment.
It is much easier to add the button holes at this stage. I like the look of rustic buttons on the back of the cushion and then don’t need to fuss with a zipper. Three buttons spaced across a 18″ cushion is usually enough.
Lay the overlapped back panels and front right sides together and sew all around. Finish with a zigzag or serging to prevent unraveling.
Clipping the corners off will allow nice pointy corners once turned right side out. Steam pressing also makes the world of difference. I used up the striped edges of the Wool blankets for the back panels.
To match the random texture of the prints I love coconut buttons! As a sewist, it has always bothered me to pay so much for buttons! Amazingly these coconut buttons are so inexpensive! They even come in heart shapes! – Perfect! You could also make FME buttons like I did for the mittens.
Most sewing machines have a buttonhole system or attachment. It IS really worth learning or using it! Open the buttonhole with the seam ripper.
In a perfect world I would add piping (the rolled detail in the outer seams) but I don’t think it’s worth that extra trouble. To get a very similar look you can just sew a small (1/4″ – 1/2″) straight stitch around the edge. It will keep the nice crisp corners to your cushion.
My 2 special brides (whom the euca graced their arrangements) now have permanent reminders of that special day with this Eco Print Love. How perfect is the heart shape!?
Wool wears well as since it’s not a blend will not pill like other fibres. It also tends not to stain as readily as a cotton. A luscious pillow like this really deserves some down or feather fill!
Go ahead and show the ‘Love’, even if you are not a new bride. In these crazy times we ALL need a bit more love, and what better way than a gift from nature?! If you are new to Eco printing there are many posts under the ‘home’ menu.