Leafy Tree SAL

Having finished my Stitching for the Soul book last month I then spent a few days deciding what project to stitch next. Having done a few more of what I would call textile art embroidery projects recently I was in the mood for some more traditional style of embroidery, more of the neat and pretty style rather than the frayed edges and running stitch style!

Last year sometime (or it may even have been the year before!) someone at Embroiderers Guild mentioned the Mary Corbett Leafy Tree embroidery. I had a look and ended up buying the e-book. During a recent organising day I came across it again and thought Ooh, I like it! When I originally bought it I had immediately ordered any extra DMC colours I needed so hopefully everything will still be ready to use.

Mary Corbett has an excellent website called Needle ‘n Thread, she has lots of designs both free and for sale including the leafy tree one. She has written lots of embroidery books too.

I printed off the design slightly bigger than it’s meant to be – 120% so it’s about 6″ tall, I thought some of those leaves at 5″ would be pretty small! Just that extra 20% also meant it didn’t particularly affect the thread use too, two strands of DMC would still be fine.

I found some lovely old linen to embroider on from my stash. It looks like it was a pillow case, not sure where it came from as I don’t recall cutting one up! It’s a lovely weight of linen to stitch on anyway. I’ve used a square of calico as a stabiliser too as although the linen is a pretty high thread count it’s still a lot of embroidery and hopefully the calico will stop it from stretching and distorting in the ring. It’s also useful for hiding the start and finish of threads.

I traced the design using a lightbox and a pilot silver gelpen. I like the silver gelpens for marking fabric, Sarah Fielke suggested them for applique and I’ve been using them ever since. You can get archive quality, acid free ones too. The silver shows on both light and dark fabrics and if it’s not quite covered by stitching a little twinkle of silver isn’t as noticeable as a black line.

All the leaves are different, using quite a few different stitches and combinations of stitches and the colours fade from dark green at the bottom to orange and red at the top, so as well as learning new stitches and how to use them it’s also teaching colour use. There’s over a hundred different stitch or colour variations!

I started with the dark green leaves at the bottom. The little leaves are mainly fly stitch or fishbone stitch, others include wheatear, twisted fly-stitch (which if I’m understanding the instructions is just an uneven fly stitch) and fern stitch over satin stitch. There’s instructions in the e-book for all the stitches.

I’ve also started the trunk and branches which are stitched with stem stitch. I got a bit confused here with the instructions as I could only find two browns in the list of colours but the instructions talked about mixing three colours. I sent an e-mail off via the web-site, thinking someone might get back with in a few days. Mary herself replied within an hour, clarifying that although she used three Madeira threads in the original, she had since found two DMC threads mixed was sufficient. She’s going to have a look at the e-book to try and make it clearer. I was quite impressed! Sometimes you get the feeling from a website that it’s a big business, when actually it’s not, it’s still very personal.

I’ve started the trunk and branches, I’ve actually used three colours in the end as I happened to have the floss that was in between the two recommended ones. I’ve grown more happy with the effect as I’ve filled more in. It’s grown a lot quicker than I anticipated too.

Next time I share this with you in three weeks time I will hopefully have finished the trunk and branches and have stitched a few more leaves.

This stitch-a-long is organised by Avis from Stitching by the Sea, please follow the links to see how everybody else is progressing with their stitching.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen  

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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23 Responses to Leafy Tree SAL

  1. This looks very interesting – can not wait to see all the colour variations you are going to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. endrickwater says:

    This is on my list of Mary Corbett “things to do”. It’s a brilliant teaching sampler, that’s for sure. And you’ve made an excellent start.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathie J says:

    This embroidery is beautiful and such a change from your last project. You are stitching quite quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your work is beautiful. I was following Mary – need to get back to that as she does some beautiful work! This is a difficult level of embroidery and you are doing a wonderful job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. claire93 says:

    ooooh this is a lovely design!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carole says:

    Wow, that is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see how it develops 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lindashee says:

    Beautiful design and so much progress done already !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharon says:

    This is a very beautiful tree design. Anxious to see this develop. I know it is going to be wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laura says:

    I have followed Mary for a long time…love this project! You tempt me all over again, Margaret! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jane M says:


    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is already beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, I’ve been eyeing that one more than once, too! Love the colour combination, and forms of nature anyway. I’ll watch eagerly as you work on this!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jude Ebsworth says:

    I have followed Mary’s Needle’NThread for a long time. She is wonderful, always helpful and a excellent embroiderer and teacher. I look forward to seeing your progress. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laura White says:

    So pretty! I like doing the fly stitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. kathyreeves says:

    A nice change for you Margaret, but a lovely stitch sampler too!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rutigt says:

    Love your new project!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. anne54 says:

    I recognise many of these stitches from the stitching wheel sampler. This is a stunner, Margaret, and you will be an expert on creating leaves when you have finished!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. That is an amazing tree design and impressive stitching on your part for the branches and leaves!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You find such interesting projects Margaret. Both this and the photo of your children (next post) are great. Sorry not been too well and now I am playing catch up yet again. x

    Liked by 1 person

  20. wybrow1966 says:

    I love her website too – she has some wonderful ideas. Your tree looks amazing and it is coming together so quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Amanda says:

    That is lovely Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

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