Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Easy, Breezy Trees

I've been asked about the technique used to make trees like the ones in the Queen's Garden below. I use this technique often, and it is so just won't believe it!

To begin, hoop your project so your work area is nice and flat. For this tutorial, I just hooped a placemat as my work area. Next visualize where you want the bottom and top of your tree. The photo has labels to show my bottom and top points...but you can just remember where you want yours. You will need the thread you wish to make your tree trunk from. I have used all types of fiber, yarn, and threads for this technique. Your choice will depend on the type of tree you are considering...birch would be good in white and black yarn...pine would be in browns...etc. For the tutorial I have chosen white so it will show up well in the photographs. Next, you need to select your stitching thread...for the tutorial I will use green so it will show up; but, in "real life" I would have chosen the same white thread as the trunk is made of.

Here are my supplies:
 Next, take the threads you want your tree trunk made from, fold them in half and find the middle. Lay them vertically with the middle point at the bottom point of your tree. Stitch over this group, couching the bottom in place.

The amount of threads you use for your tree will partially determine how big it is. You can take several in your hand and just twist it to see how big around the trunk would be...too big?...take a few away; too little?...add some more. You want to have enough to create a good solid tree. Another trick, is to twist the trunk tighter to make it smaller...with a lot of threads used.

Next, bring the threads together and twist to form the trunk. Pin this vertical trunk at the top to hold in place. I pin a little on the right then on the holding a corsage in place.

If you are left handed, you probably twisted your tree counter-clockwise...while right handers usually twist clockwise. Either will just need to look at the directions of the twist for the next step.

Bring your stitching thread out at the bottom of the tree. If you twist clockwise, it will need to start on the right side. You want your couching stitches to follow the twist so they are hidden as part of the trunk. The bottom stitches in this picture below are a little to horizontal...while the upper ones are more in line with the "twist"..and that is what you want to achieve.
 Stitch the trunk down until you reach about 1/3 to 1/2 of the distance between your bottom and top. Now, start to open the threads above the last couching stitch...these will be the large limbs of the tree. Determine if you want to continue with a center limb or have all the limbs go "out" at this point. This will depend on the type of tree you are trying to depict...and the area you have to cover on your project. As you open the tree up...couch the major limb down.

Continue to couch all the major limbs down. You might have to use more than one needle/thread...or just move around on the back of your work. Next, open the individual threads up to make tiny limbs. These can be couched some.
Lastly, thread each thread individually into your needle and pull to the back so that the tip of each tree branch ends where you want them. Viola, you have the structure of the tree!! Now, stitch leaves...add leaf beads...add leaf sequins...add flowers...let your mind and needle bring your tree to life!

Try it!


Unknown said...

That is a fabulous idea Kathy. It could be done on a block in fine thread as well. I must give it a go. Thanks for sharing. Joy...NZ

Mascottblog said...

Thank you ! the photos are very clear !

Unknown said...

wow thankyou for instructions great tutorial, i will at some point try this, thanx for sharing, love your work by the way x

crazyQstitcher said...

Thanks for sharing a great tutorial.
I've done similar but no-way as well.

I'm off to try for the finer arrangement of the crown. :-)

Sarah said...

I tried this today and loved the results!