A few years ago I made some pieces with loosely tacked maple leaves from a plaid material. I deliberately allowed them to distort and the result was a leaf with texture and movement. I wanted the same thing again for my large framing leaves.
Using my painted cloth I drew an outline. After stitching the veins, I overcast the edges and THEN cut it out. This was all done without hooping or stretching the material taut in anyway.
This resulted in leaves that can't lie flat. Each is distorted somewhere.
Using the real twigs as a guide, I pinned them to the background.
When it's time, I'll anchor them with a few stitches down the main vein only. I need at least a dozen more. So I'll probably just make a few everyday until the FQ is gone.