You will find small leaves in great abundance on the Secret Garden Hummingbirds project!
And while stitching too many of one shape in an embroidery design can become tedious after a while, the nice thing about leaves is that there are So Many Options for embroidering them.
Today, since some of you have expressed interest in starting the leaves, I thought I’d give a brief overview and some pointers, so you can plow full speed ahead.
For the small leaves on the project (these are the scattered, smaller leaves without the double line around them), I plan to use a few techniques to fill them.
The photo above shows a leaf worked in fishbone stitch, which is a perfect stitch for the small and medium-small leaves on the project.
I’m still working with two shades of green in the needle. You don’t have to use two shades, but I like the additional twist of a different shade here and there.
The darker leaf in the photo above is worked with fly stitch. You can find instructions for fly stitch leaves here. I started the tip of the leave with a twisted chain stitch, to give it a curled tip. That’s covered in the tutorial for fly stitch leaves, too.
In fact, you can find a whole list of 16 different tutorials for embroidering leaves right here.
Many of these tutorials are suitable either for the small leaves or the medium-small leaves. There aren’t too many, though, that are suitable for the very large leaves in the design, which we’ll discuss later.
When two or more of the small leaves are grouped together, work them in different shades of green. Otherwise, things will look a bit too flat. With the leaves in the photo above, I’m not too keen on the light green stem working straight into the light green leaf, so I’ll probably touch up the stem and the base of that leave with a little darker green.
For the smaller leaves, I’ll be using primarily fishbone stitch and fly stitch leaves, though I might throw in some satin stitch or other techniques here and there, just for variety. We’ll see as we go. I have a couple experiments I want to play with, too, so we’ll go into more detail on those farther down the road.
So, if you’re itching to get started on the leaves, feel free to peruse the various tutorials for embroidered leaves to see which techniques you’d like to use on your project!
If you’d like to follow along with the Secret Garden Hummingbirds project, which features a design from “Secret Garden: an Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book” by Johanna Basford, you can find all the articles relating to this project arranged in chronological order in the Secret Garden Project Index. Among the articles, you’ll find plenty of tips and techniques that will help you with your own embroidery projects.