Gum Leaf Sketching in Thread – art in textiles!

I’ve gone off on a tangent this time from using shades of grey thread (see the emu egg).  I decided to look at the effect on the desaturation of colour by letting the grey from a background fabric show through the stitching.

When I was looking around in my stash for grey fabric, I decided that I didn’t want to use a really “flat” fabric, and turned to some felt I had stowed away.  In choosing the felt, I was hoping that the stitching would sink at least part way into the felt fibre and therefore “mix” in with the background colour more than if the thread was just lying on top.

So, how to do this project?

Usually, I work with outlines of my subject matter, but this time I didn’t want there to be any definitive outline to the leaves.  Therefore, I had to put any diagrams on the back of my work.  I drew up the diagram on the stabiliser that I had backed the felt with:

View of stabliser on back with drawn diagram.


To get the gist of the diagram onto the front of my work, I free machined over the border and some of the directional veins of the leaves (working with the back of my work uppermost) with grey in the bobbin – so that the grey would appear on the front:

Front view of vague outlines.


Then the fun and games began!  – sketching in the leaves with different shades of colour – including an area of complementary contrast in a saturated red.

Leaf sketching in progress.


Feeling like it's working!


Nearly there!




I’m very happy with how it turned out.  The blending of the background with the stitching worked well.  Mind you, although it was great fun to do – there was an awful lot of concentrating going on …. so I went and had a “put my feet up” and a cold drink!  LOL!


8 Responses to “Gum Leaf Sketching in Thread – art in textiles!”
  1. Sally K. Field says:

    Nice work! Thank you for sharing the technique you used.

  2. Willa says:

    That looks great. Nice to see how your work begins and ends. Inspirational.

  3. Wen Redmond says:

    This is a stunner! I love the way one of the leaves falls off the piece.

  4. Martha Ginn says:

    Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing the “beginning from the back” technique. I love the simplicity of the thread stitching.

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