How to Embroider the Holly

When it comes to how to embroider the Holly, we must realize the coloring of the Holly is so strong that unless we greatly modify the greens used by Nature, the result will be anything but pleasing. A very pretty effect therefore is obtained by working the Holly leaves “half solid” with Long and Short stitch, instead of trying to work them in solid embroidery through-out. The stems and vein leaves should be in Kensington Outline stitch, the stems in two colors, one side terra cotta and one side dark green. Between the two outlines a few straight stitches about a quarter of an inch long can be placed. This gives a woody, rugged and strong effect to the stems.

For the leaves the Long and Short stitch will be laid somewhat differently than the usual way. It is always better with one exception, to work from the outline in, that is, to bring the needle up on the outline and send it down within the space which is being covered with stitches. The exception is concave curves. Al-ways embroider these, that is, when the method used is Long and Short stitch or Feather stitch, by bringing the needle up within the leaf or form, and sending it down on the edge, making each alternate stitch Long and Short. See Fig. 1.

Holly - steps in embroidering leaf and stem



The leaves in the background should be darker than those in the foreground. See Fig. 2. A stitch taken with a split thread of Filo Silk from each point straight out as shown in Fig. 3 gives the leaf points a very “prickly” effect.

Shading of holly berry

Finished embroidered holly berry



Make each berry in two shades of silk in Tapestry stitch. Fig. 4 shows the first row of work and Fig. 5 completes the berry.

Be sure to keep the berries round. See Colored Plate below.

Color plate of Embroidered Holly with berries



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