I saved my favorite leaf for last. After free motion stitching a center vein, I worked three loops of outline stitches. I then appliquéd the leaf down with a feather stitch. I think the feather stitch creates a really nice edge finish for the wool pieces.
The final section of the circular design consisted of a center bud motif, two petals, and two leaves. Using a dark gold embroidery thread and a decorative seed stitch, I worked a diagonal crosshatch pattern on the surface of the yellow bud, something often seen in crewel work.
I then finished the edge by couching yellow perle cotton with a blanket stitch.
Couched Perle Cotton
Next, I positioned the red petals in place and secured them with a decorative triple-circle stitch down the center.
Decorative Center Vein
The edges were appliquéd in two stages. First, I worked a reverse blanket stitch in a matching embroidery thread.
Reverse Blanket Stitch
I then switched to a green embroidery thread and couched lime green perle cotton next to the previous round of stitches.
Double Edge Finish
The third and final step of the motif was the leaves. After free motion stitching some veins down the center of each leaf, I raised the feed dogs and couched green perle cotton around the edges.
Free Motion Veins; Couched Perle Cotton
I added a simple scroll design below the bird, which I free motion stitched with dark green embroidery thread.
Free Motion Scroll
As the final embellishment, I beaded the bud motif between the crosshatching. I also added beads to several of the leaves and the scroll below the bird.
This particular design will eventually become a pillow, but I’m sure I’ll be using the same technique to embellish other items with these fun-to-make felted wool appliqués.
N. Rene West