I realized that I forgot to talk about how I tatted the stem of the maple leaf in the last post. Here's the picture again so you don't have to scroll down.
The pattern calls for ending with a simple chain for the stem. I didn't do it this way for two reason. First, I don't care to end with an unattached chain if I can avoid it because then you have to hide both ends in the same chain, and I can never manage to do this without looking sloppy. I want to hide each end in a different ring or chain. Second, I needed a way to attach the finding. So I left a short length of bare thread and made one DS over the finding just like you would over a plastic ring; this basically amounts to making an "up" lock join followed by a "down" lock join (it's also the same movements you use to make a split chain), and is much more stable than simply making one lock join to the finding. Then I used encapsulation technique (which also uses similar shuttle movements to a split chain) to cover the bare thread and work my way back to the main part of the leaf. I was then able to hide each end in a separate chain.
On to today's leaf. This time I made Tammy Rodgers' maple leaf for the first time.
In this case, I started with the stem (and I think I should have made it a little longer, but it's OK). I made the first few stitches in balanced double stitch, also known as double double stitch. Then I made a few stitches in half BDS, where I did the first half stitch like normal and the second half as for the BDS; this was inspired by a comment made by Sharren on Isdihara's blog. Then the final few stitches of the stem before starting the main part of the leaf are normal double stitches. This resulted in a thickening at the far end of the stem like you would see on a real leaf, although it's hard to see in the photo.
The thread is "Autumn Medley" by LadyShuttleMaker in size 80, and obviously I added beads.
In all honesty, I like the way Karey Solomon's maple leaf looks better. However, Tammy's leaf is also very pretty and much easier to tat; it could even be done by a beginner. And isn't it neat to see how two completely different methods and styles can be used to tat the same thing?