How to Embroider Leaves for Beginners
Hand embroidery is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not hard to see why – the beautiful works of art that can be created with a needle and thread can be found all over Pinterest, and they’re truly stunning! But for those of us who are new to it, it can be tricky to know where to begin… or how on earth to create all those beautiful stitches! So we asked the talented Kelly Anne Jordan to put together a fantastic introduction – and here it is! In this fun tutorial, Kelly Anne takes you step by step through a range of stitches, teaching you how to embroider a variety of leaves as you go.
Once complete, you’ll have a beautiful catalogue of new stitches which can also be hung as a piece of home decor… plus some new-found knowledge to take your embroidery hobby to the next level! You will learn several different stitches as you explore how to embroider leaves, that you can use on so many different things, including clothing, cushions, and just about any fabric project you want to add a personal touch too!
Time it Takes to Make: 1 – 2hrs
You Will Need:
- Embroidery threads in several greens
- Embroidery Hoop 7”
- Embroidery needles
- Fabric 9”x 9”
- Frixion Pilot Pen (is removed by heat)
- Glue gun
How to Embroider Leaves:
In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to embroider leaves using a selection of seven useful stitches, that you can then go on to utilise in later embroidery projects, as you progress!
For a 7” hoop, cut fabric to approximately 9”x 9”.
Print out the pattern and trace on to the centre of your fabric with a Frixion Pilot Pen,
Then put your fabric in to the hoop, ensuring that it is taught.
Step 3 – Fly Stitch Chain:
Bring the needle out from A, and put it in through B. Then, bring it out through C, which lies between and below A and B. Pull the needle out from over the working thread, as shown in the picture. This creates a ‘V’ shape.
Now, to create the ‘Y’ shape, you need to make a tail. So, put in the needle a little space
right below C.
Make a fly stitch. Continue for the second fly stitch in such a way that when you bring out
the needle for the tail, it is brought out from the end tip of the previous tail.
Step 4 – Fishbone Stitch:
To begin with, bring the needle out through point A, which is the top tip of the centre line. Put it in through B, to make a single straight stitch.
Now, bring the needle out from point C very close to A on the left of the line, put it in through point D very close to B on centre line. Again pull out the needle through point E very close to A on the right.
Now continue this pattern moving left to right – right to left, making sure all the stitch points lie close to each other to avoid any visible spaces.
Step 5 – Satin Stitch:
Start by outlining the leaves with a back stitch.
Begin by bringing your needle and thread up on the edge of the your backstitches (start the satin stitch in the middle of the shape, as it helps keep the stitches straight). To make the first stitch, bring the needle back down directly across from where it came up.
To make the second stitch, bring the needle back up right next to where you started the first stitch. The key to a smooth satin stitch is positioning the stitches close together without overlapping.
Bring the needle down next to the first stitch.
Continue in this fashion until you reach the bottom of the shape. Now, come back up to where you first started and stitch the top half.
Step 6 – Detached Single Chain (branch):
Use a back stitch to make the branch and the detached single chain for the leaves. To work the detached chain stitch, bring the needle up through the fabric at your starting point A.
Insert the needle again at the starting point A and out from point B; pull the needle out from over the working thread.
Insert the needle back into the fabric on the opposite side of the loop of thread, tacking it in place.
Repeat the process to make additional leaves.
Step 7 – Chain Stitch Leaf:
Start by bringing the needle up through the fabric at your starting point. Insert the needle again at the starting point, and bring the tip up through the fabric a short distance away, then place the working thread behind the needle, and pull the needle through the loop.
Repeat this process to make additional stitches. End the length by making a small, anchoring straight stitch at the end of the final loop to secure it in place.
Chain stitch also makes a terrific filling that works up quickly to create solid blocks of colour in your embroidery.
Step 8 – Woven Leaf:
Lay down stitches horizontally, as illustrated.
Now, we start the vertical stitches. Begin from the top side of the laid stitches, as shown. Take the needle under every alternate stitch.
When the end is reached, take the needle into the fabric, bring it up again from a little distance on the side, and make a return journey. Continue this process.
Step 9 – Brick Stitch Leaf:
Start by working long and short stitches for the first layer. Make a short stitch, and the next stitch should be double the size of the previous stitch.
Now work on the second row, filling with straight stitches. Note that the stitches will be of the same length but it will give a brick-like effect due to the first set of stitches that we have laid. You can work in a similar way until the end of the pattern.
Remove the piece from the hoop and iron, this will remove any of the trace marks. Before you put the piece back into the hoop, trace around the hoop on to some felt and cut out, this will cover the back of your work. Now put your piece back in to the hoop and ensure that it is taught.
Trim off the overhanging fabric so that there is enough to adhere this to the inner hoop, then glue in place.
Use a glue gun to adhere the felt circle to the back of the piece.
Now your work is complete – and you’ve learnt how to embroider leaves! There’s nothing left to do but hang it up using some twine, and start thinking about your next project.
Looking for more sewing ideas? Check out the rest of our sewing articles, projects and tutorials right here!