Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make a Textile Leaf Bookmark or Appliqué motif - Tutorial

Having been involved in sewing and crafts all my life, it's inevitable that, at times, my work sometimes crosses over between quilting and textiles.

By making your own textile leaves using organza, thread and soluble stabiliser, these attractive leaves can be used either as bookmarks for the 'bookworms' in your life, or as appliqué embellishments for your quilts or textile art work. Even with the advent of e-readers and iPads, etc, many people still enjoy holding and reading a 'real' book. Or they are the perfect complement to your glorious collection of 'coffee table' books or quilting magazines that you love to sit and browse through. 

Eucalyptus leaves...

As bookmarks, they make great gifts, especially if you want something unusual and personal that you can produce in a short space of time and with few material requirements. 

This video tutorial tells you everything you need to know to create your own fabric leaves in any shape you like. Inspired by nature, you will learn how to source ideas and images to create a traceable pattern or template that can be used and re-used. 

Essentially, the technique is a form of thread sketching using the free motion foot on your machine. Even if you are new to free motion quilting, a little practice will see you producing these attractive textile leaf shapes in no time at all! 

Requirements are few and only very small quantities of fabric, soluble stabiliser and thread are required, so these leaves are also very economical to make. 

If you don't want to use the leaves as bookmarks (or even if you do!), they can be created in any leaf shape that takes your fancy. 

This one is a Ginkgo biloba leaf - the organza gives it a lovely, translucent effect...

and this is the leaf of the Fittonia albivenis skeleton plant...

I hope you enjoy learning how to create your own beautiful leaf bookmarks or appliqué embellishments.

Deborah Wirsu
To see more of my work, visit my web page


  1. Thanks for this!!! What a cool idea for Christmas gift for those who still read a 'book'!!! Might have to make one for myself too!

  2. Wonderful technique, Deborah. I will definitely give this a try.

  3. Thank you for tutorial! It is really interesting!