After I’d embroidered the ivy leaves, the strawberries and worked up quite far on the trunk and branches, I decided to stitch one of the large leaves. The large leaves are worked in three colors throughout the piece: a dark green, a light apple green and a beautiful teal blue. These colors, in combination with the Wedgwood blue of the background fabric, really look fabulous!
The large leaf is a composition of a set of small leaves within the large leaf. Inside the large leaf shape are lots of little leaves worked in padded satin stitch and their stems are – big surprise – worked in stem stitch! If you look carefully at the photo above you can see that the satin stitch is worked at a slight angle on each of the smaller leaves. Stitching them in this way ensures that each stitch will lie flat over the split stitch outline and the padding. If I had made the first long stitch go exactly up the middle of the leaf from bottom point to top point, the subsequent stitches towards the edge of each leaf may have “fallen off’ the edges over the split stitch. The angle keeps the threads on the top of both the padding and the outline stitching.
The outline of the large leaf was stitched using a double thread couched down with a single thread, just like the stem of the strawberries. I really exaggerated the ruffled effect on the generous curves of the leaf.
For a finishing touch, the area in the center of the large leaf was filled with tiny seeding stitches. It always reminds me of scattering bird feed whenever I stitch seed stitch. In this case, that’s particularly apt as there are quite a few birds on this design!
I think this is one of the prettiest things I have ever stitched! The combination of the single, smooth, satin stitched leaves, the sprinkling of the seed stitch and the ruffled outline in the two green and teal blue threads is simply stunning.
What do you think?
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