Free Style Stitch for Stems and Bark
Free style stitches can be daunting because they rely on your ability to know where to place a stitch. The instructions below are only a guide. Add your own ideas. And if you don't like what you have stitched put it down for a few days then look at it again. Many times this is all it takes to see what works and doesn't work. Since there are no rules it is easy to take out stitches or cover over stitches as needed.
I used my personal favorite - the medium weight Iris 309 thread. I love the colors: dark and light greens, browns and silver.
Tip - Use thicker, thinner or a bumpy thread to fill in larger spaces like tree trunks.
In Photo 4 I use Straight and Satin stitches to embroider the triangular area where the rose stem was cut from the bush. Refer to The Bottom of the Stem Figures 1 - 5 and Steps 1 -5.
Tip - Whenever possible stitch from the bottom of the plant to the top mimicking the growth of the plant.
The Bottom of the Stem
Note: Sew all stitches close together.
Step 1 (Figure 1 and 2) Take a stitch from the bottom right corner up to the other side of the stem. Make sure the angle is at approximately 30 degrees. Take another stitch from the bottom left corner to the midway point just below the first stitch. Fill in this area with Satin stitches as shown in Figure 2 - light brown.
Step 2 (Figure 3 - dark brown) Add more Satin stitches from the right side moving from the first stitch to the left over a bit of the light brown stitches as shown.
Step 3 (Figure 4 - green) From the left corner add more Satin stitches upward. Take stitches slightly past the first (brown) stitch. Add only enough stitches to create a triangle in the middle of the stem as shown.
Step 4 (Figure 5 - red brown) Take a stitch next to the first brown stitch. Come up slightly underneath the first stitch, over the ends of the green stitches and angle upward across to the left side of the stem.
Step 5 (Figure 5) Continue up the stem coming up slightly underneath the previous stitch and angling outward across to the left of the stem. This creates a twist of stitches along the stem.
Moving up the Stem
Photo 2 shows how the stitches wind up the stem. Were there is a node or a crook in the stem fan your stitches upward and outward. Take extra stitches on top of each other if you would like to raise the crook or leave an indentation. As you can see after the first node I change the direction of the twist.
Where the Stems Branch Off
(Photo 3 and Figure 6) Fan out your stitches. Angle some of your stitches towards each branch. Continue up each branch using the 'twist' explained in Steps 4 and 5.
Below the Buds or Flowers
(Figure 7) Embroider the bud or flower. Below every bud fan your stitches outward to form a cup.