Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sake Boxes - Leaves

The same method is used to stitch the chrysanthemum leaves on both Hanayama and Venerable Friends. First the leaf area is filled with a horizontal layer of flat silk then lines of gold thread are couched on to represent the veins. This is a relatively simple but highly effective way to do leaves.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Another common technique used to do leaves is separated layer. This is how the maple leaves on Hanayama are stitched. If chrysanthemums were the motif I found most difficult on Hanayama, then the maple leaves were the second most difficult. Here the challenge is not to keep all of the stitches parallel but rather to gradually adjust the angle of each stitch to follow the shape of the leaf. This is how the leaves on Sake Boxes are stitched.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

The lobes of each leaf are divided by a vein. The stitches progress up one side of the lob, around the top, and back down the other side much like the hands of a clock rotate around the clock face. The stitches extend from the vein to the outline of leaf with a one point open space between the stitches either side of the vein.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

I find it difficult to judge the adjustment in the angle at the top of the leaf so that the rotation is smooth and the stitches do not become too short.

However, the area I find most perplexing on these heavily lobbed leaves is where one lob meets another. Getting the stitches to radiate around the arc without bunching them up at the outer edge is a real challenge.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

There are plenty of leaves on this design, so as with everything else, I have plenty of opportunity to practice!

Happy Stitching

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