Gingko leaves have long been a favorite subject for quilters. I’ve seen many wonderful quilts that feature the fascinating shape of these leaves. Ginkgos are a primitive tree form with a distinctive leaf form of many closely spaced veins that radiate in a fan shape from the stem. In the fall, the leaves turn a vibrant yellow. And each trees drops its leaves all at once, as if on cue.
On the East coast, Gingkos are not common. Whenever I’ve found one, I liked to collect leaf samples. I discovered in October that Deerfield, Mass (where I was teaching my 5 day design class) has a Gingko tree. Hazzah! I dutifully collected some leaves, and ironed them between pieced of waxed paper so they’d travel well back to Vancouver. I’d also recently discovered a Gingko tree in downtown Portland. Fabulous.
And then, two nights ago, in a steady rain, I found not one, but a WHOLE ROW of Gingkos at a local mall. I was in heaven! It turns out Gingko trees grow well here in the Pacific Northwest, and are a favorite for their stunning fall foliage — beautiful yellow showcased against the green of our many firs.
So there I was, standing in the rain, marveling at the bounty of Gingkos I’d just discovered, and free to choose from an abundance of leaves.
I was also charmed to discover that some of the more broadly shaped leaves curl. This makes it a bit of a challenge to iron them flat….but I like challenges.
So I now have a prodigious collection of Gingko leaves, some large some small, some with dissected edges, others with gently rippled curves. I see a variety of Gingko leaf patterns in my future. Yeah!