A while back, I purchased Moy Mackay’s book Art in Felt and Stitch. I like her use of bold colors and particularly like her flower and bird pieces. While chatting with Cathy (Luvswool), I learned she also had Moy’s book and we both liked one particular vase of flowers in the book called Anemones. We decided to do our own interpretation of that picture below. (The quality is not great because I took a picture of the picture in the book.)
Moy lays out her fibers from start to finish, with “brushstrokes” of fiber, much as a painter applies paint to the canvas. When she is finished laying out her merino roving, she then felts the entire picture as one piece. Later, she needle felts details and then embroiders with machine stitching.
My approach was a bit different, in that I prefer to layout my base first then wet felt it so that I end up with a pre-felted white base on which to paint my picture. I had previously used this technique in creating other felt painting and so was comfortable with the approach. After my white domestic 56′s base (2 layers) was completed and dry, I began the process of laying on merino fibers in various colors, not exactly the same as Moy. I added tussah silk highlights and then wet-felted the entire piece.
After drying, I began to needle-felt details, such as shadowing for the vase, some detailing for the flowers. I chose not to machine stitch or hand embroider, rather I allowed the needle felting to be my finishing.
Newly armed with a stapler gun and some stretcher bars, I backed the 12″ x 12″ piece with blue commercial felt and framed it.
I chose to follow Moy’s method as mentioned above in Cathy’s description. For me there were a few firsts — I had never “cut” roving, had done free motion machine stitching or embroidered felt.
I made the base from batts I had made using dark colors, then added the lighter accents, the vase, then built the picture from the background forward laying out the background leaves then cut the flowers and laid them out. I added some silk embellishments, angelina and nepps, then I wet felted the piece.
After it was dry, I needle felted around the vase and added needle felted shadows on and around the vase and some details in the flowers. My challenge came when I started the machine embroidery. The felt around the flowers was thick because of the layering of the background leaves. My machine wasn’t happy about that. After a couple of broken needles and a lot of frustration, I finally finished. I added a couple of hand embroidered flower details to finish it. I enjoyed trying a new technique, but will keep in mind the potential thickness issue when doing anything similar again.
After cleaning it up a bit, it is now sitting in the “to be framed pile.”