The idea for a lush, tropical design had been knocking about for a while. So when I was flipping through the file of my gran’s old needlework transfers, photocopies and tear-outs, looking for an idea for this year's free design, this one jumped out at me.
Like Blue Bird and Minikin Garden previously, I’ve taken a vintage design and reworked it into a modern embroidery pattern, filled with different stitches to encourage you to get embroidering in July – the month that culminates in World Embroidery Day on the 30th.
Unlike Blue Bird and Minikin Garden, which started out as vintage iron-on transfers, Leafy Tropics is based on a photocopy of what looks a bit like one of those old colour-by-number designs as it’s carefully numbered. Who knows where my gran found it originally, but the elements are so beautifully retro and well suited to embroidery that it makes a great design, one I've stitched using deep greens with touches of vibrant red, orange, yellow and blue.
I used rows of tightly packed blanket stitch in my Wild Pods pattern and loved the way it turned out. The upper leaves lent themselves to a repeat of this stitch idea, although I graded the colour this time from yellow through light to dark green as it made up quite a large part of the overall design. It's a really effective and lovely looking way to fill an area with embroidery.
The pattern is available to download for free from my Craftsy shop and you can share your work with me on social media @kfneedlework or using the hashtag #kfneedlework. Remember to use the tag #worldembroideryday as well if you decide to embroider Leafy Tropics in July.