This was one of those projects that people do - or I do, do you? - when there is something else quite pressing that should be done but is somewhat distasteful. In this case, vacuuming and mopping and doing some general cleaning up were the items on my to-do list that had been successfully avoided until about 10pm on the evening before I was leaving for an arts festival and C's mother was arriving. So of course I decided that this was the perfect time to make leaves using the serger and some wire, one of those ideas that come in bushels when there are other more important things to take care of.
The serger/leaf idea worked quite well. I think it could be done on a regular machine using a zig zag stitch. The beauty of the serger is the blade that trims as you sew, making a perfect edge. Here's the scoop: cut out a leaf shape, stitch all the way around, insert wire all the way around using stitches as a channel. I made some flowers by cutting strips of fabric, sewing a loose running stitch up one side which were tightly gathered and then the edge twisted into a spiral. I ended up pinning the entire wreath together rather than sewing it, so it can be taken apart simply when the time comes (next deadline, perhaps...). The wreath itself is a foam mold from the craft store, wrapped in a Guatemalan print fabric. I pinned some buttons into the flower centers to cover the spiraling and for a little extra sparkle.