Saturday, March 30, 2019

Leaves, leaves & more leaves - Strawberry bush, WIP

I have been stitching leaves, leaves and more leaves and almost called this post '50 shades of green'.

The leaves I showed you in My Last Post are now finished, with fine wire and blanket stitch edges, ready to be cut out and attached to the main embroidery, once that is done.

Three little (tiny) white flower shapes are also ready. Each flower is only about 15mm (5/8") across, so they really are quite small. Photographing white on white is near impossible, but I hope you get the idea. I will talk more about these later, when you can better see what is going on.

I am still pondering whether to embroider a couple of my strawberries as 'slips' to get them really raised. Rather than spend time stitching samples, I decided to embroider the strawberries that I know will be on the main embroidery first. That way I will be able to gauge if I need to do a couple separately or if I can achieve enough raised effect simply by adding multiple layers of padding. But I can't embroider the strawberries until the stems and leaves are done.

I used my trusty old stitch combination of whipped stem stitch for the stems (the top one in the photo). I like this combination because it gives me slender stems that are still quite raised off the fabric.

I start by working two (or more) close, parallel rows of stem stitch and then whip them closely together. Usually when you whip stem stitch, you will go under each stitch only once. To get these stems, I whip them as closely as I can. The effect is almost like trailing, but I find this method much easier to control. (Sarah Homfray has a great vidio tutorial for trailing here)

The plant's roots are worked in blanket stitch and added the two new shoots, before moving on to...

... you guessed it: Leaves, leaves and more leaves.

The large leaves are all embroidered in much the same way as the detached leaves in the Previous Post. Since they won't be cut out, they don't need the blanket stitch outline, so I neatened the edges with stem stitch instead.
I have a rather substantial stash of green silks: yellow greens, olive greens, khaki greens, blue-greens, grey-greens... the list goes on - yet, getting the greens just right was not completely straight forward. I had to stitch one of the leaves twice, because I just didn't like the combination / distribution of the green shades... Sigh - I wish I wasn't so picky with these things!

This is where it is at. So far, so good, and I must confess I am looking forward to using a few other colours than green next.

Toadstools & Brambles
I usually stitch my raised embroidery on silk, but for my Strawberry Bush , I have chosen to use this natural coloured Linen/cotton blend. The style, shape, size and colours of the Strawberry Bush are very similar to my Toadstools & Brambles and I am hoping the two pieces well make a nice little pair, so it made sense to use the same fabric.

Now that our grape harvest is over (yeah!!!), I hope to be able to finish this project in the next week or so. As you know, I have a terrible habit of setting myself crazy deadlines so time will tell how I go. Either way, I hope to have more to show you next week.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find time to stitch or do something else you really enjoy.

Best Stitches,


  1. Hi Anna! As I wrote here before: you do magic with your embroidery needle and thread, this is so gorgeous! Your work with toadstools and brambles is a true piece of art!!!
    I've read your comment on one of my previous blogs, I fully understand it. But I was and still am too busy in real life, my sincere apologies for neglecting it since then.
    Hugs, Ilona

  2. I love how the leaves turned out. They look so natural. And I love green, so the alternative title works for me. :)