Moss on a Piece of Driftwood

Moss on a Piece of Driftwood

I have had this idea on my to do list for a while so I was glad to give it a try. I have seen several different ideas of felting on a stick or piece of driftwood and wanted to give it a try. Then I am planning on adding further embroidery to give the “moss” more details.

Piece of driftwood behind pile of green wool bits

I have a bunch of driftwood from my friend Deb so this is another way to use it. I pulled a bunch of different green wool from my stash and mixed it by hand. I suppose since this is all made from my stash, this qualifies for the 4th quarter challenge too!

Hand carded green wool

I then used my hand carders to card the colors together but I didn’t want it to be a solid green. I just did a rough card to mix the greens slightly.

Then on to wrapping the wool around the end of the stick. I wrapped it diagonally with one layer, tacked it down with a bit of quick needle felting and then wrapped another layer in the opposite diagonal direction. I then began squeezing and rolling the stick around on a ridged surface before I wet it down getting some air out of the wool. I think if I had wet the stick first, that might have helped with wrapping the wool a bit tighter around the stick. I’ll try to keep that in my brain if I do this again.

Piece of driftwood, one end covered with felted green wool.

Then I wet felted the wool by rubbing and then rolling the stick wrapped in a towel. I also did a bit of “bashing” the stick but had to be careful not to break off any of the wood bits.  This is how it looks now. I am planning on adding a variety of hand stitching to give more texture. I also might cut back the felt in some areas to allow the wood to show through. I haven’t tried stitching on this type of surface so it might be a bit of challenge. But I’ll just give it a go and see how it turns out. Do you have any suggestions for particular stitches or how best to handle the stitching? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


26 thoughts on “Moss on a Piece of Driftwood

  1. That’s another interesting post, we all seem to be thinking outside the box. I like your mixture of greens for the moss.
    I think a curved needle might be useful here and/or a tapestry or other blunt needle to save you sewing through the wood! I would think just random stitches on and through the fibres, just ordinary straight “mark making” stitches and perhaps some fly stitches. You could try adding some french knot “lichen” in places too.
    Several years ago I was able to buy a couple of hanging basket lining “stuff” which was in fact waste wool which had been dyed a patchy green and included what looked like the sweepings from a mill floor. It really looked like the mossy licheny growth you see on old tree branches. It would have been just the thing for this project. Unfortunately it seems that it is no longer on sale.

    1. It’s fun to try new things and I have a long list of ideas that take a while to come to fruition. I had already considered that a curved needle would be useful. I am interested to see what you made from the waste wool.

  2. It’s an interesting concept. Love how it looks even at this early stage. The variety of greens is great.

  3. What a fun experiment. Possibly a second application of wool which is not quite so tightly felted would give an enhanced mossy texture. .

  4. Firstly, the variety of greens you chose for the moss is really good and realistic. Second, yes to removing some of it from the branch here and there, because that’ll lend even more realism to the whole thing.

    Third: what will you make of the branch once you’re done? It would look great as part of a naval-themed arrangement.

    And, lastly: I bet Antje will know which stitches to use! 🙂

    1. Thanks Leonor, these comments aren’t showing up correctly when I come on to answer. Weird, yours didn’t show yesterday. Anyhoo, I have no idea what I am doing with the branch when it’s completed. Yes, I will consult Antje with her vast knowledge and sampling of moss.

    2. It’s about time someone else complains about comments not showing properly! (Sorry, Ruth, I guess misery loves company?…)

  5. A great mix of greens, Ruth. I think it has lots of potential. I like the idea of cutting the felt, and maybe embroidering onto the bits of felt that get raised as a result (rather than cutting them off). I’m not knowledgeable enough about different embroidery stitches but I’ve spent enough time looking at moss & lichen on twigs to see you could include lots of great textures including some beading & some stump work. Look forward to seeing what you do next.

    1. Thanks Lindsay, I love the idea of cutting and leaving the raised bits to add dimension. I will definitely try that. I’m not sure I have the correct beads for this project but I think the stumpwork is a good idea.

  6. This is a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to see the next iteration. Since it seems to be driftwood, perhaps some embedded shells or other things related to water.

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like the idea. I’m not sure what will happen next but embedding other items is an interesting thought.

  7. I’ve done a similar thing before and built up my “lichen” using free motion stitch on disposable fabric with the addition of hand embroidered Colonial Knots. If you did some of that you could could slip stitch it to your felt and achieve more depth.

    1. Thanks Karen, that’s a great idea. I hadn’t been thinking in the machine direction so always glad to hear other’s ideas to add to my own.

  8. Another person who loves the variety of green colours that you have Ruth, so lovely. I think embroidery on another fabric, or even soluble fabric might be an idea? I was thinking how I could felt on a piece of driftwood, I would probably end up with it broken! I am looking forward to seeing how you add stitching too.

    1. Thanks Marie, the mixture of green colors did work really well. I like the idea of using soluble fabric with hand and machine stitch. I am definitely going to give that a try. And I thought that the driftwood would break and I did lose a few small pieces off one end but overall it was fairly simple.

  9. Great impression of woodland moss covered branch in terms of colour.

    Karen has some fab forest floor ideas & as mentioned above achieves interesting texture using soluble fabric etc. if you were to combine that with cutting & raising some areas of your felt, you’d be on to a fab finish.

    1. Thanks Antje! Karen did have some great ideas that I’m planning on incorporating. I’m looking forward to getting started on it but currently working on collages, color studies and canvas work for class.

  10. Love the green blend! Your idea of a little bit of cutting back to show the wood should work well. You’ve had some great sewing ideas in the comments above and as an avid embroiderer we’re sure you’re going to come up with the perfect plan.

  11. Cool branch. I think you need to rag then ends of the “moss” it looks to strait in the picture. Around here lichen on trees is mustard yellow( not hot dog mustard). some loose at one end chained stitch might be nice texture.

    1. I agree that the ends are currently too straight. I am planning on making it more organic with cutting and stitching. I have used a loose single chain stitch for lichen before. It worked well so I may use it again.

  12. Just lost my post for some reason, drat! This one may be a bit shorter.
    Back from holidays so just catching up.
    I love your green mix choice, so organic and restful.
    I think you have posted part 2 and I don’t want to read it until I post this.
    To me the felted stick is a blank canvas. Definitely holes or maybe slashes like a little creature has been at it. Lichen? Fungi? Various colours.
    Excited to see your choices.

    1. Thanks Helene, sorry you lost your post. I looked to see if it was in trash or drafts but nothing there. Glad you like the mix of greens, it will get more greens as we go. I do think I want to add some lichen and perhaps fungi. We’ll see how far it goes.

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