Leaf Stitching

Leaf Stitching is part of an ongoing exploration of stitching with found items. Leaves are collected whilst walking and either pressed and dried for future use, or they are used whilst still fresh. Through experimenting with leaf material Alice is exploring the potential of what she finds in the landscape. Many of theses small pieces will not have a long life span; they can change noticeably over a period of days, or even hours. A photographic record of these works in a publication is available here.

Alice Fox Leaf Stitching red oak square


21 thoughts on “Leaf Stitching

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    • Most of these are done with a cotton/silk thread I like to stitch with and which I dye myself. Occasionally I use commercially coloured threads if I want a bright contrast.

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  5. Hello, Alice. I like your work.
    I had once come up an idea which is similar to yours. I stitched on leaves, however, after it dried naturally, it all get crispy. May I ask how do you keep these work nice and complete?

    • Leaves will turn brittle and fragile as they dry out. I try to dry things flat so that they don’t curl and then after that it really depends how you look after your pieces. The more sunlight they are exposed to the quicker they will fade. Some people use glycerine or other substances to preserve leaves but I prefer to keep them naturally and watch the gradual changes that occur.

  6. You are such an inspiration to everything creative and strong! !!
    Thank you and wish someday to meet you and have a personal autographed copy of your book:).

  7. HI Alice,

    A friend suggested I look at your work as in a similar vein to mine. Yours is so extraordinary, I’m speechless! Especially stitched leaves:) Thank you. I’ll email you a couple photos of mine.


  8. Hello Alice, my daughter has chosen you as an artist that she is exploring for her GCSE art. She is going to produce a response to your work and wanted to work with leaves. Do you have any suggestions to increase the longevity of the leaves so they do not go crispy and fall apart in her sketch book? Thanks

    • Hi Victoria, I don’t do anything to my leaves other than dry them carefully under a weight so that they dry flat.
      Your daughter could try painting them with pva or some other medium, but it will change the nature of the surface. For me, working with unusual materials that have particular properties, it is all about recognising those properties and the changes that will occur – I don’t feel I want to try to stop them. I hope that helps and that your daughter has fun with her leaves.

  9. I’ve been stitching leaves gathered on walks for a couple of years now and, like you, have tried glycerine but prefer the natural process. I’ve found that some leaves last surprisingly well. But the few people who’ve seen them clearly think I’m going a bit mad in my old age! Discovering the work of Susanna Bauer in Cornwall kept me going, but I’m so excited to have discovered your work and your book, which I’ll order now! If you know of any other leaf-stitching fans, I’d be glad to have a name or two.

    • Hi Marly, glad to hear that you are enjoying working with leaves – I’m sure you’re not mad! Have you seen the work of Hillary Fayle? She is another leaf stitcher… there are quite a few of us out there.

  10. Hello

    I am a GCSE art student- how do you sew all the leaves together so neatly, as if I tried, they would all fall apart?

    Do you glue them in the design first?

    • Hi Anya, I don’t use any glue or any support behind the leaves. It comes with practice – and it does’t always work. That’s how you learn to do it better next time. I also choose my leaves carefully. By trying different ones and at different stages of freshness I find which ones are set to work with.

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