By far one of the most popular projects here on Needle ‘n Thread is The Leafy Tree, which developed here over four years ago in 2019. So much has happened since then in the world and personally, that it seems like it’s been much, much longer than four years!
If you’re new to Needle ‘n Thread in the past four years and you’re not familiar with the project, I’ll tell you a little about it. If you’ve been hanging around here with me since the tree first emerged, you might enjoy reading about the 2023 version.
Despite the design being a whole four years old (in tree-life, I suppose that isn’t very old), it still exudes a contemporary and colorful charm – which is why I just love this little tree!
I’ve stitched the Leafy Tree a number of times. When I first started playing with the design, the tree developed in various shades of green. Then I dabbled with a palette that incorporated the autumn color change, and that’s when I was really hooked on the whole project. There’s nothing I love better than the first signs of autumn creeping into the tree tops!
I think the most appealing aspect of working the project is that it involves embroidering so many smaller elements to make the whole picture. Each leaf is its own little project. When you’re moving from element to element on a project like this one, switching color combinations and stitching techniques, each little element becomes its own adventure. It also breaks the project down naturally into manageable parts.
Of course, there’s that seasonal color change, too, that has drawn so many to this project. I tried to incorporate a very slow transition from the green of summer into autumn’s early blush, blending threads to make the change gradual, on the one hand, but still vibrant and dynamic – and even a little surprising – on the other.
Another appealing aspect of the Leafy Tree project is its accessibility. Worked almost entirely with two strands of cotton floss, using simple stitches, embroiderers anywhere from determined beginners to experts can enjoy this project. While the size of the design is small (the tree is just over 5″ tall) and the elements are therefore small, there is nothing complicated about the embroidery. It’s a great way to enjoy stitching with a variety of simple stitches in a lovely range of colors, learning to blend threads to achieve smooth transitions along the way.
The result is a beautiful embroidered accent that will look lovely in any home.
This year, I’ve re-vamped the materials kit for The Leafy Tree. As often (sadly) happens in the needlework world, some of the original supplies (like the original linen I used for the ground fabric) are no longer available.
On the bright side, the kit now contains an even more lovely linen with a beautiful, fine weave, perfect for this type of surface embroidery. The linen has been fully prepared for you, pre-washed and shrunk (so there are no shrinking surprises if you need to wash your project after finishing it), dried and pressed. The design has been transferred to the center of the 12″ x 12″ cut, with plenty of room around it for an embroidery hoop or frame, and for framing the embroidery when it is finished.
The kit also includes a superior quality white cotton batiste to back the embroidery linen. This layer will add more support for your stitching and it will help provide a better, cleaner finish as an extra layer that hides any small stray thread ends that might otherwise show through from the back. In the kit, there are 23 full skeins of DMC’s stranded cotton (solids and Variations) – enough to stitch at least two complete Leafy Trees – and fine embroidery needles.
The instructions have been updated for the 2023 release of the kit, since I re-arranged some of the colors, removing a couple superfluous colors and adding a few more colors to further enhance the project.
With the purchase of the 2023 materials kit, you’ll receive the download for the 2023 instructions booklet. For those who purchase just the e-book for The Leafy Tree (without the kit), beginning in May of this year, you will also receive the 2023 version of the project instructions and materials.
The 2023 kit comes as a bundle with the instructions. If you already have instructions from a previous purchase, you’ll want the new instructions that go with this materials kit. There is no refund on instructions – we’ve priced the kit with the instruction download as part of the kit package. But you can still purchase the individual instructions if you just want the PDF and not the materials kit.
As with most embroidery kits, there are some great advantages to having a materials kit supplied for you:
1. You don’t have to transfer the design. This is always the Big One for me! When you get the kit, you can launch right into stitching! The transfer is clear and crisp. And there are instructions in the kit box on working with the fabric and its pre-transferred design.
2. You don’t have to search for the right ground fabric or figure out if a fabric will work. You’ll have an exquisite piece of high quality linen ideal for hand embroidery for the ground fabric. And you don’t have to worry about what type of backing fabric to use and where to get it – it’s also supplied for you.
3. You don’t have to search for all the individual colors for the kit. They’re all right at hand, in full skeins, with enough to finish the design and then some! In fact, there is enough thread in the kit to stitch at least two Leafy Trees.
So, the Leafy Tree materials kit is once again ready for you, if you’d like to take advantage of its availability! You’ll find it listed here among the embroidery kits available on Needle ‘n Thread.
It’s not a kit that we can run frequently, but since I’ve had so many requests for it over the past few years, we decided to put together a supply of them that should satisfy your tree cravings for a while!
I hope you enjoy it!