Fabric Collage Landscape Part 1

I was inspired by Antje’s post recently about creating a fabric landscape. I have had this on my list of things I wanted to do for a long time. So thanks Antje, for giving me the push to get it started. I have piles of hand dyed and commercial fabric. Many are just small pieces and scraps and I thought this would be a good way to use some of them up.

First I needed to find some inspiration. I looked through my photos of Glacier National Park and I wanted to create a landscape featuring Hidden Lake where we had hiked several years ago. Sadly, that was one of the years that we had thick smoke in the area from wildfires so my photos were not impressive. So I googled images of Hidden Lake and found one I liked to use as inspiration.

I used heavy interfacing as a backing and then started putting together my sky fabrics. In Antje’s post, she didn’t mention anything about fusing the fabric down as I would normally do so I decided to just wing it. I added threads over the top and then started stitching.

I started with light blue thread and stitching across trying to catch all the various elements down. I switched to a darker blue thread and then to two tones of orange thread. It was a little frustrating as pieces moved as I went but I just kept going.

I had less control over where each piece of fabric was and that made it less “perfect”. But that’s OK because I was trying to see if I could do a piece that was more “abstract”. (Not that I ever get too abstract.)

Then I started finding the mountain fabric colors and giving them a trial against the sky. I did put fusible on the backs of the mountains so I could iron them in place before I added the “texture” on top.

I continued to play around with a variety of fabric pieces to get the mountains the way I wanted.

Then I moved on to the green mid ground. On the left, I am trying the fabric I might use to see if it is the correct value and color. Then I cut out pieces to the correct shape for the mid ground area with trees.

I realized at that point that I would need to place the water before I attached the green as there was water on the left hand side underneath the green “fingers” of land that stretched into the lake. So this is a trial for the water.

Then I needed the reflection of the sunset in the lake. I tried a piece of cheesecloth on the left but it was a bit too pink and also too textural. I wanted the water to feel smooth against the textures of the trees and foliage. So I found a couple of pieces of hand dyed sheer silk organza and gave them a try. It’s looking better but still feels a bit dark in the reflected area. I also tried the green in the foreground. It’s looking more like a landscape but I still have a long way to go. It takes a lot of time for the trial and error of finding the right piece of fabric for each portion of the landscape not to mention the time spent stitching.

I hope you don’t get tired of seeing the process of this fabric collage as it appears there will be several posts to go before it is completed.

This entry was posted in free motion embroidery, Free Motion Stitching, Mixed Media, Surface Design and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Fabric Collage Landscape Part 1

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    I found your post totally fascinating, and it really is looking like the google images.

  2. Merle says:

    I love seeing your exploration and process, very inspiring.

  3. annielynrosie says:

    We both love to see process photos! It’s coming along nicely Ruth.

  4. tesivaara says:

    Loving how this piece is progressing! Love the sky and the mountain fabric looks perfect!

  5. It’s great see your process and different trials of fabric. It’s coming along nicely. I look forward to seeing more progress.

  6. Antje says:

    Great to see what you have achieved thus far Ruth.

    At the workshop I attended we were told to apply a strip of fabric onto the main base layer (this could be flat, part scrunched, pleated etc), then stitch the entire length in the middle to anchor it (nothing was fused). Continue stitching lines the entire length each side of the midline as follows 1. 0.25cm from midline, 2. 0.5cm from 1, 3. 1cm from 2, 4. 1.5-2.0cm from 3 etc – sort of Fibonacci, but not perfection. If you change top thread colour repeating this Fibonacci method allows for ‘blending’ of the colours.
    Loose threads applied can get caught so fine netting was useful before stitching. The coloured netting was also useful for subtle colour changes/enhancing areas.
    Stitching is completed for each of the layers (sky, far distance, distance, middle, foreground) before moving forward to the next layer.
    Obviously coming forward in the layers the stitching becomes more specific to each area/texture.
    Hope this explains the process we used a little more.

    Re your reflection of the sunset….you could achieve this with some ‘blingy’ scraps or use some gorgeous top thread colours when stitching – Fibonacci but closer together.

    Looking forward to watching your progress. Although extremely time consuming I found it quite therapeutic.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks for the explanation Antje. Makes sense to stitch down the strips of fabric one at a time. I ended up doing it differently and the mountains etc. are much bigger pieces of fabric instead of strips. I am making it up as I go along but that works for me as I like to work experimentally. I guess I will have to try another one with the strip/Fibonacci method once this one is done. I am liking the results so definitely will do some more.

  7. Antje says:

    Just to clarify….the strips can be scrunched pleated etc not the base layer, which obviously needs to be flat!!!
    With all the stitching the work becomes very stiff.

  8. Pingback: Fabric Collage Landscape Part 2 | feltingandfiberstudio

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