5 Ways to Embroider Leaves

Flowers and leaves are some of my favorite subject matter to embroider. There are so many possibilities and variations you can use for leaves! Here are some of my favorites.

Padded Satin Stitch

padded satin stitch leaf

This stitch is a combination of a split stitch and a satin stitch. First, make a split stitch around the outline of the shape. Then, make satin stitches (or straight stitches side by side) on top of the split stitch outline. This will give your stitches a more raised look.

Fishbone Leaf

fishbone leaf

This stitch is a “self-padding” stitch, and is worked from the tip of the leaf down to the base of the leaf. Starting with a straight stitch at the top of the leaf and ending about 1/3 of the way down, straight stitches are made, alternating sides and crossing over one another at the base of each of the stitches.

Fly Stitch Leaf

fly stitch leaf

A single fly stitch is made up of a horizontal stitch that is pulled down and secured in the shape of a “v” with a straight stitch in the middle. The fly stitch leaf is formed when these stitches are stacked on top of one another.

Short and Long Stitch

short and long stitch leaf

This stitch blends colors together, also known as “thread painting”. Using a series of short and long stitches, the colors are blended together. Take care to vary your stitches quite a bit; you don’t want to simply alternate short and long but do many different variations and lengths of stitches to really blend the colors together. Use 2-3 color gradients for this.

Satin Stitch

satin stitch leaf

The last way I like to embroider leaves is by simply using a satin stitch. I make diagonal satin stitches down each side of the leaf, which forms a “stem” in the middle of the leaf. To make sure each side is even I like to draw a line down the middle of the leaf before I get started.

If you’d like to see how to stitch each one of these leaves, I’ve made a video here!

If you liked this post, you should check out my favorite stitches I use for flowers!

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5 ways to embroider leaves