Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Learning the Art of Cherokee Leaf Pounding

example for us newbies
This past weekend it was my great pleasure to attend a workshop put on by Alabama Folklife Association with instructor Rosa Hall and her daughter Monica to teach the art of Cherokee leaf pounding.

No, we are not sure the Cherokee actually used this method. But one of our National Heritage Fellow quilters from Alabama Bettye Kimbrell did. Her work was so gorgeous!

selecting our leaves
 So a group of us met at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve to practice transfering leaves to fabric. It requires a hammer or hammerstone, some earplugs, a piece of wood, some newspaper, paper towel, masking tape, leaves... and imagination!

perfect-sized hammerstone!
I discovered pretty quickly that I like using a stone better than a hammer (I like the way it fits in my hand), and I like pounding it in my lap (like Bettye did!) rather than on a table. This requires some padding under the board to protect my legs, obviously! Thankfully my tablemates were far better prepared than I, and I was able to borrow some muslin.

my practice piece
I wasn't expecting to enjoy the process so much, but something about the repetitive movement and the physicality of pounding those leaves was relaxing and meditative to me. I loved my results and can't wait to try some on my own! I really want to try transferring some designs to men's handkerchiefs -- because my father always carried a handkerchief, and aren't they the perfect size? I *might* even quilt them. We'll see!

1 comment:

  1. This looks really great, Irene. I've never heard of this. I think I will see if I can try some with Ingrid. Your idea of doing something with the handkerchiefs & perhaps a quilt too will be wonderful!


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