A new picture: A lighthouse

A new picture: A lighthouse

I seem to be in picture mode. I wanted to do something with water but not necessarily as the main feature. I thought about a beach and that was my intention as I started but as was looking for pictures and some of the cliff-top pictures really took my eye.

I used a nice thick piece of wool prefelt that I bought at the Almont Fiberfest a few years ago. It is 4inches by 6 inches, 10cm by15cm  I think it is wet felted on a flatbed machine. It is course wool and more solid (felted) than the thin needle felted prefelt we usually get. It is much closer to being felt.  I would love to get some more but don’t know where to find it.  If you know let me know.

I start with what is farthest away, sky and water. When I do sky, it’s always cloudy and I have to do a google search to remember if the sky is darker or lighter near the horizon. The wool I used for the water has a few bits of sparkle in it. I think that’s what is making the white dots in the picture.


Then some land and the rocks. I used a mix of 3 grays so the rock wouldn’t be flat.

Added the lighthouse and the path


Then I used throwers waist to make the white water around the rocks and some whitecaps. At this point I gave it a light felting mostly to sink the silk into the felt so it didn’t look so much on the surface. . There was still more needling to do though. I added the top of the lighthouse and started the stitching.


And as usual when you start stitching you start unstitching. The grass stitches here were much too small. The path needed changing as well as being far too straight it was much too wide.  you can see how all the extra stabbing pulled the piece in even though I was poking up and down and not sidewise.  I stretched it out.

Back to stitching. I am using 4 colours for the grass, 2 shades of gold and 2 of green.


I added some small blue dots for flowers.


Then the foreground grass


Then some french knots for more flowers. I used a couple of shades darker blue for the foreground.



This is a close up of the stitching.


That’s a lot of pictures but I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression.  Stitching really helps a picture pop. And as I promised picture without Sheep. I can do it. LOL

So a week has gone by since I wrote up this post ready for the 4th of February. After a comment from a friend, and looking at it after a break from working on it,  I decided to fiddle with it more.  First I ripped off the path it was far too white, I remade it with some light gray. I did want it to be distinct but not a lightning bolt from Zeus. I added a tiny little dock, not easy but that’s what I get for working small.  And the sky was too much open space so I added some birds, again very fiddley. I did add some slight shading to the lighthouse but it doesn’t really show in the picture the wight really reflects.

so here it finished again. I hope you like it.




23 thoughts on “A new picture: A lighthouse

  1. Beautiful coastal picture! Loved the progress photos – it’s always interesting to see how a picture develops.

    Using more than one colour for the grass gives depth and the french knots work well as flowers.

    Letting the picture rest for a few days resulted in the lovely addition of the birds – they really finish the scene and bring it to life.

    1. Thanks Lyn, I am really pleased with the grass. I should call them weeds really. The colours are all similar but mixing them made all the difference. I cursed the birds. Using a little bit of wool, they disappeared and then you add some more and suddenly they are pterodactyls. I need to try some bigger pictures.

  2. Lovely picture, so cute! I like the effect of mixing colours & the depth that gives your picture elements. Very interesting to see how your picture developed too.

  3. Thank you for sharing the process. I love the lighthouse picture and the techniques could be used on other images too. Have you checked National Non-Woven or Living Felt for the “prefelt”? They have great selections.

  4. The progression pictures are a huge help for me. I have a “wool dept” in my sewing room filled with beautiful roving, bats, embellishments and a felting machine and a fear of starting the projects in my head. The interesting thing I took from you post was to consider the shrinkage…thanks for noting that. I loved the picture!

    1. Thank you I ma glad its helpful. Just remember that you are learning and the first few will not be exactly what you want but it is all learning and you will get better. learning and practise is not a waste of fibre. Is your felting machine a sewing machine type? try plying with some scraps on a back ground.

  5. It’s great to see the progression and even the parts that were changed or unstitched. Your picture ended up with good depth and it’s amazing the lack of sheep. 😂

  6. Ann your lovely picture has a great feeling of depth and perspective so typical of views from cliff tops.
    All further enhanced by using the different colours in the grass (& the different sized knots too) which has really made the cliff top & foreground ‘pop’….inspired!

    Showing your process including the ‘don’t like/undo’ elements is valuable to all of us – thank you. Even meticulous planning often needs tweaking! Kudos to you too for the patience with your birds.

    Hope the sheep behind you were calm & not trying to head-butt you 😂🤪

    1. Thank you Antje, I think it’s important to show it’s not always right the first time and that it’s not always finished when you think it is. The sheep are all well behaved. The ram is in the barn. Though 90% of ours have been very well behaved.

  7. I really enjoyed this piece and seeing how you built it all up. Thank you for showing the steps and how you kept changing it. A super post and a fabulous picture.

  8. Loved watching the step-by-step. The lighthouse is very cute but my favourite has to be the grass. It looks so good, Ann! Well done.

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