Make Textured Textile Art by Stitching Into Nuno Felt

Make Textured Textile Art by Stitching Into Nuno Felt

Today we have a guest post from Lyn

Last Sandcastle of Summer
Last Sandcastle of Summer

The inspiration for ‘Last Sandcastle of Summer’ came from a recent day-trip to Sandbanks in Dorset.

Day trip to SandbanksWe’ve enjoyed weeks of glorious weather and I love wriggling my toes in the warm sand and watching the sun sparkle on the sea, but the weather’s broken now and I’m not looking forward to the cold of winter. When I got home I looked through my old photos and found some of my grand-daughter playing in the sand.

making sandcastlesI wanted to capture the last of the summer in a picture so I started to lay out merino fibres to make the background beach, sea and sky. I didn’t want to add details such as boats or other people so to add interest I placed three strips of fabric across the wool fibres.

The pieces of fabric were cut from loose-woven scarves that I’d found in charity shops. The blue/white scarf shown on the right has been my favourite for making skies and I only have a couple of inches left – I’m desperately trying to find another!

fabrics sand sea skyThis is the resulting piece of nuno felt, after drying, finished size approx 36cm square – I didn’t worry about the edges because I knew it would be trimmed and placed behind a white mount before framing.

nuno felted backgroundI made a paper template of the shape of the child then tacked it, with large hand stitches, in place on the nuno felt. I also pinned a piece of lightweight interfacing onto the back of the felt – it helps with stitching and with moving the felt around on the sewing machine table. With the feed-dogs down on the sewing machine and a darning foot fitted, I used black thread to make a quick outline of the child.

I removed the template then I cut scraps of organza into small rough triangles and attached them to the nuno felt using fine fusible web. The shadow was formed with dark grey organza and the skin areas were covered with a few pieces of very pale grey.  The hat and clothes have layers of organza – bright on the bottom and darker on the top – in autumnal colours to signal the end of summer.

Tip: unless you like cleaning the sole plate of your iron, use plenty of baking paper under and over the felt during ironing!  Also, the felt needs to cool down before moving it as the fusible web will be stronger after a rest.

Then it was back to the stitching.  It’s all very quick and ‘rough’ – except for the face because the profile needs to be sharp – and the eye was stitched by hand.

To add textural and colour interest, I gently abraded the top layer of organza, on the hat and dress, with the tip of a craft knife.
The lovely ‘quilty’ texture is achieved by the machine stitching on the nuno felt.

close up abraded organza
The finished picture has been mounted with white board and the size of felt that is on show within the mount is 31cm x 22cm.

If you have any stitching on felt pictures that you’d like to share, please leave a link in the comments – we’d love to see them!

22 thoughts on “Make Textured Textile Art by Stitching Into Nuno Felt

  1. Wow! I think that is stunning. Thanks for sharing your techniques. Free machine stitching is on my to do list ( it is a long list ) and that will be very helpful. Thanks Lyn.
    ps – I can relate to the end of the scarf material. I also but lots from second hand shops.

    1. Thank you Jane. Free machine stitching is fun – perhaps you should move it up the list a bit? I get a lot of fabric from secondhand sources, wonderful selection, but the downside is that I can’t order more of the same!

    1. That’s an amazing body of work Mary – three pieces especially caught my eye: ‘Autumn’, ‘Kiss from Heaven’ and ‘Nature’s Serenity’. Thank you for sharing.

  2. A wonderful example of the many possibilities of Nuno Felt! The texture of the organdy is yummy, and what a nice remembrance of a summer day at the beach. Thanks for sharing your technique, Lyn.

  3. Lyn, this piece is gorgeous and best of all besides your great techniques it has wonderful meaning. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to try something new.

  4. Love it Lyn. The nuno makes such a nice background and you’ve represented your last day at the beach so well without making an exact replica of the photo. I’ve done a lot of layering with organza on cotton stitched projects but don’t think I have used it on the felt. Great idea. I love stitching on felt but haven’t been doing much of it lately. Somehow I don’t have enough time for everything I want to do.

    1. Thank you Ruth. I like a nuno background because it gives substance without detail and organza definitely looks good with felt.
      There’s never enough time in the day for anyone who’s interested in creative pursuits – so little time and so many things we want to do!

  5. This is fabulous, Lyn. I love the way you have depicted the ocean waves and foamy sand.
    Thanks so much for sharing your process, it is very inspiring.
    And Mary your “Sunset Silhouette” is very beautiful.

    1. Thank you Carole. I’m thinking of your beautiful stones and felt sculpture when I say that I hope you’re going to have a go at this quarter’s challenge.

  6. Hello Lyn,

    Your last sandcastle of Summer is truly beautiful…. Very creative techniques, thanks for sharing…greatly appreciated. I love adding stitching but never with a machine.. A wonderful memory of the last fleeing moments of Summer.

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