Saturday, November 1, 2008

Granito leaves, revised

Note: These are new pics and revised directions.

I am always looking for a better way to do a stitch. Not always does it have to be faster though. Sometimes I enjoy slow, detailed and some would consider tedious. In making the previous pink linen daygown over the summer, I enjoyed the embroidery but will admit that about half way through the 17,000 satin leaves I was about to lose my mind. I wanted to be done. I loved the project but enough already! So I came up with a way to do a quicker leaf. In describing it to some friends I conveyed how I discovered this half way through that project but wasn't willing to unstitch the first 8,500 leaves so had to finish them the original way. The consensus was that not all leaves are the same. True but since I had started down one front and was working my way around the other front, the two sides wouldn't have matched. Normally if you wouldn't have been able to tell, I would have switched methods and forged on. But I do believe you would have been able to tell the difference so I plowed on with the original leaf.

So here are the steps for a quicker yet sweet looking leaf I call a granito leaf. This may not be an original idea, but it was to me. Mirella Arroyo has a flower she calls a "Claudette flower" because the person who first showed it to her was named Claudette. This could be a "Martha leaf." Nah, probably not.

note: As always click on the picture to enlarge.

  • To give granitos a uniform size and look, always use the same number of stitches. If you want to vary the size of your granito or granito leaf, then you would vary the number of stitches used. This granito is 8 stitches and then 2 "magic" stitches.
  • I take my first stitch entering the fabric where my granito will lie, Point A. I don't use a waste knot for a granito. When you have this much thread piled on top of itself where you have entered/exited the fabric in the same holes it is not going to come out.

  • I exit at what will be the bottom of my granito. Point B. I take a half space back stitch, exiting on the back of the fabric I split that thread to secure it.
  • This is the bottom of the fabric where I am stitching back down from the top, you can see the needle splitting thread.

  • I now begin using a sewing motion to form my granito. Exiting again out of point B and re-entering at point A each time. That thread tail I will snip off after a couple of stitches.

  • Take two straight stitches in and out of the same hole,

  • To fatten the "belly" of the leaf, for the next 4 stitches I will throw the thread off to either side. This gives the belly of the leaf a more rounded look. Alternate one side, then the next for the 4 stitches.
  • I also use my thumb as a guide and controller. Below I have moved my thumb to the side, but as I am stitching I often will have my thumb on top of my stitches.

  • Take 2 more stitches over the center of the granito. You should have a nice plump round granito made from 8 stitches.
  • Now come the "magic" stitches to give the granito its leaf shape. For the last 2 stitches I move my point A, one to two threads above my granito. This one actually looks like it might be 1.5 threads above the granito. The stitches will go over the center of the granito.

  • Completed stitch. I will take my thread to the back and tie it off by running under my previous stitches a couple of times. Kind of cute!


  1. Neat idea. Now back to my bunny blanket and James Bond.. :) Rainy days are good for something.

  2. I need to practice these more. I am cutting the ones I did in my silk sewing companion out and trying again. Thanks for the tut@

  3. your work is just amazing. I need to come and watch you stitch. your threads lay so smooth and shiny. You are so talented.

  4. Beautiful work, Martha and a great tutorial. Thanks.

  5. Thanks guys! I hope it was valuable.

  6. Thank you Martha. I had to laugh though, when I saw the post title. I thought "Who is Granito? And where did he go? HAHA!! I am a bit clueless sometimes.

    But the embroidery is beautiful.


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