Leaf & Thread Designs


Leaf and Thread Designs was created by Annette Giles. Annette was born and raised in rural east Texas and now resides in Maryland. 

Having grown up in a creative environment, and instilled with a love of the outdoors and nature, Annette now expresses her creativity through textile arts. Annette’s exploration of textile arts began in 2018 when she took a class in natural dyes at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Since then, Annette has studied both eco-printing and thread-painting, often combining the two processes. Annette takes inspiration from travelling and often uses her own photos in her work. She also makes use of the bounty of plants available in Maryland in her eco-printed designs.


Eco-printing, also known as botanical printing, is a process that uses plants, typically leaves and flowers, to imprint natural dye colors and shapes onto fabric and paper. Plant material is laid out on textiles or paper and is then enclosed by winding the material over rods or stacked in layers and steamed or boiled to extract the pigments of the plants and leave a print on the target material.

The photos below show plants laid out on fabric before eco-printing and after.

Thread Painting

Thread-painting is a technique for creating stitches with a sewing needle or machine that resemble painted brush strokes. The photo below is an example of Annette’s work using an eco-printed background with fabric applique and free motion machine stitching for the heron.

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