The next steps (leaves and blossoms) for The Nest also received a good deal of thought - i.e. "just HOW am I going to do this"??? After a plea on my Blog for help/suggestions from readers for a fusible product which would allow me to shape and curl petals, my good friend Sandi Mac told me to try Heat and Bond Heavy. So, try it I did. And it worked!
I chose a mottled green which I thought was close to the proper color of apple tree leaves and fused two layers wrong sides together. I cut out leaves freehand and heating each one individually with a hot iron, curled the edges or shaped them so that they were not just flat. Once they cooled they held the shape! Yeah! That was easy. I freemotion stitched them on with dark green thread, just making a few lines to resemble veins in the leaves. Now on to the blossoms....
I knew that apple blossoms have five petals. I also knew that doing a five petal flower, and curling each petal one at a time, would not be easy. So I cut out two templates- one with three petals and one with two, which I would layer one on top of the other, to yield what I hoped would resemble an apple blossom. I cut out a prototype, curled the petals and it looked acceptable.
The next decision was fabric. Apple blossoms are white tinged with pink, and I didn't have anything in my sizeable stash which seemed to look right (hard to believe, I know! **wink) I finally decided on a tone-on-tone white which would work with the addition of some pink pencil crayon. I fused together two pieces of the white fabric, and drew around the template to squeeze as many blossoms onto the one piece as I could fit. After cutting out the first batch of 25 or so petal components and taking time to trim off all the dark pencil marks, I had an "aha!! moment" realizing it would be smarter to draw out the petals with the pink pencil crayon.. yes indeed, the lightbulb finally came on... I tinged each petal section with a bit of pink, some more than others and then working on one single petal at a time, heated it with the hot iron, curled the petal over a pencil and held it until it cooled. Yes, it took a while...
Then it was simply a matter of layering the two sections to create each blossom, and I sewed them on with small pale yellow seed beads to simulate the stamens. Not perfect... but acceptable. I have to tell you, pushing a (slim) beading needle through all those layers, particularly the stiff flower layers, was not easy.. my fingers grew sore. Guess that's why I gave up after 35+ blossoms.. my original plan was for around 50.
Next.. the nest!
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu