024 – Ginkgo Leaf 1 WIP

by Mei-ling

For something quite small (it’s roughly 4in from top of stem to opposite end) this leaf is taking a long-ass time getting done, mostly because the stitches are so damn tiny. Other factors include a sore neck, lower back, and this idiotic Simpsons game I have on my iPhone. But it’s definitely getting done! See for yourselves:

IMG_1853Continuing with the buttonhole stitches. Buttonholes allow you to cut the fabric without it fraying/coming apart. This is because each stitch is a little knot.


IMG_1854 Laying down the internal skeleton.

An interesting thing I learned when I was doing some preliminary reading on ginkgo: their vein system is unique to plants, because they start from the stem and divide in twos, fanning outward. They do not reconnect to each other to form a network. Neat, eh? So this has definitely factored into the design of the leaf. Above is my first attempt at a skeleton that is structured like the ‘real thing’ and would also be completely posable. I took 16 strands of thinner wire and twisted it by hand the length of the strem. Then the “spine” will split into the 16 strands which will be spaced out across the leaf and sewn down. That’s the plan, anyway!

IMG_1855 (Thumb for scale.) Have couched the spine, and now am working on satin stitching over the wire. Am trying it with the stitches running perpendicular to the shape first, though my first choice would be that they run parallel. If I’m desperate for parallel I think the only way to do it would be to embroider another piece and attach it over the spine. Yikes.

IMG_1851The beginnings of a serious callous! Excited! Remember kids, wherever you have a callous, that bit of your body is invincible!