Monday, October 01, 2007

Make Your Own Fall

As a New Englander stuck in LA, I get most homesick at this time of year. LA knows no fall. There's no such thing here. It's kind of like summer stops and then...nothing. It's not hot anymore but nothing really changes. When four distinct seasons have been ingrained into your soul every year since you were born it can be very hard to do without. It's kind of like living in a time vacuum. There are no signs that time is passing.
The other day I saw that they were selling cute little gourds and pumpkins at Trader Joe's and it reminded me of the first fall we spent out here, two years ago, when I first bought little gourds and pumpkins at that very same store. The memory made me very excited. It actually gave me that feeling I've been missing. It gave me a sense of a new kind of fall, in my new(ish) life in LA. Even though there are no changing leaves, the change in produce works for me and I'll take what I can get.

Since I need to cobble together some semblance of a New England fall here, in addition to my gourds I'll hang this sweet little garland that I made last year. It was as easy as pumpkin pie to make so I thought I would share a little "you-know-what" tutorial with you.

You will need:
  • several different patterned cotton fabrics in fall colors (I didn't use fall novelty prints. I don't like to be too literal.) The colors I used were dark brown, goldie yellow and dark orange with a little red in some of the fabrics.
  • several different colors of wool or wool blend felt, all in fall colors (the number of different fabrics is up to you)
  • 11 feet of natural or brown raffia (you can get this at any craft store)
  • thread, also in a fall color
  1. Click here for the leaf template.
  2. Print out the template and cut that baby out.
  3. Using the template, cut out ten leaves from the cotton fabric and ten leaves from the felt.
  4. Pin cotton/felt pairs of fabric together, right sides facing out, sandwiching the raffia between the two. Space the leaf pairs one foot apart, leaving one foot of raffia on either end of the garland. Don't line the leaves up, all pointing in the same direction. Make them a little more random (like they're falling!).
  5. Top stitch through the leaf sandwiches mimicking the veins of a leaf (see the picture below), being sure to catch the raffia.
Ta-da! You're done. Hang it up and take a picture!

(Seriously though, send me a picture.)


  1. your garland is great. Having spent my life with four distinct seasons I know I'd go absolutely loopy without them! I can imagine the leaves in mottled batiks, scattered on a thanksgiving table....

  2. That looks so cute! I've lived in Northern CA my whole life, so seasons are kinda iffy for me. Yesterday my friend was talking about how dogs and snow... and I got this blank stare over my face....

  3. As a Canadian living in the O.C., I can relate to your homesickness at this time of year. I love the idea of the leaves. Thanks for sharing!

  4. what a great idea, and they look lovely by the window! I don't get to see much of fall either, so perhaps I 'll try to make some. Thanks!

  5. Somewhere in the county there must be some maples or sweet gum trees and they are changing color... I know it's not New England and it's not abundant and surrounding. Try finding one lovely tree, lie down beneath it and get lost in the view...
    As for me, I am going to make your leaf garland, open all the windows for a *cold* feel and then I will bake a pumpkin pie. In So Cal we really do have to make our own Fall. Thank you for sharing your beautiful method.

  6. oh this is so lovely, I've just made bunting, and now I want to make this!

  7. Anonymous1:26 PM

    I was just at my sister's house last Friday and even though the leaves are off the trees here in Vermont, she had earlier picked up all kinds, all colors and merely put a little roll of tape on their backsides and taped the lovely leaves to her windows !!! It really was a glorious site. I never knew that they would retain their brilliant colors like that. I've tried dipping in wax ( cooked them dark )...pressed between wax paper sheets --again cooking them to a dark color ! Now I can't wait for next year. It seems to me that she did press them in a book a day or so to flatten them. If you remind me next Oct. I'll send you some leaves and you will think you are in New England!!

  8. Monica3:27 PM

    I know this is an older post, but I thought I'd let you know that the link for the template isn't working anymore.

    I also wanted to say that these are really cute :)