Winter Birch Continued

Winter Birch Continued

Blue and white nuno felted background with tulle pine tree shapes on the left and birch trees cut from silk paper on the right.

Here’s where I was with Winter Birch the last time I wrote about the project. I was trying to decide how to represent the pine trees in the distance. This is black tulle burned with a heat tool to represent the trees.

Tulle pine trees created by burning with a heat tool in greens and navy blue.

I made more tulle trees in the same manner with dark green and navy blue tulle. In theory, it seemed like a good idea to overlay these over the black tulle trees. But then when I did that, the trees were just a mish mash and you couldn’t really see them. So I decided to just use the black ones.

Nuno Felted background with silk paper applique birch trees over tulle pine trees. Audition of how pine trees will look in the distance.

Here are the black trees with the birch in place before I stitched them down.

Nuno Felted background with tulle pine trees hand stitched in place with feather stitch. Close up.

I hand stitched them down with a dark variegated thread and used feather stitch. It added a little bit of green but nothing you could see from a distance.

Nuno Felted background with handstitched silk paper applique birch tree over tulle pine trees.

Then I moved on to the birch trees on the left that are in the background. I hand appliqued the silk paper birch trunk in place and then free motion machine stitched the branches. I want the branches to overlap and not appear all on one “level” so that is why I am stitching each trunk and branches separately.

Here is the progression of the stitching on the background birch trees. This always takes longer than I think it should. But I did like alternating between hand and machine stitching.

Nuno Felted background with four handstitched silk paper applique birch trees on the left over tulle pine trees. Auditions of foreground birch trees overlapping other trees in the distance.

Here I am auditioning the foreground trees over what I have stitched so far. I think I will probably stitch down the background birches on the right side first but I do like to see how the overlapping trees affects the piece. I am also trying to decide if I should attempt adding more snow to the picture. What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Winter Birch Continued

  1. It’s quite fascinating watching the progress of your pictures Ruth. I think perhaps a little more snow in the foreground might be a good idea. You could perhaps audition that if you have any small white neps to scatter on the picture?
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    1. Thanks Ann, I will definitely try some different ideas for snow in the foreground and perhaps on a few branches. I’m not sure I have nepps though. I’ll have to see what is lurking in my stash.

  2. Agree with Ann that watching the progress of the picture is interesting and also agree that ‘auditioning’ the snow would be worthwhile rather than actually going for it then perhaps needing to remove it 🙂

    1. Thanks Ladies! I will definitely audition my snow ideas before stitching anything down. Got to see what I have that might work.

  3. Soooo …. I love birches and this type of scene. So, I am already in love with this piece. Learning about your approach using silk is fascinating to me and inspiring. I would love to know whether you are using a specific type/grade of silk (or reclaimed). I also ‘vote’ for more snow in foreground although I would tend to felted vs neps. I could imagine a rock or small bush fitting in well (red twig dogwood …). I struggle to use machine stitching (cannot set my machine up properly, it seems). But I really love the creative way that you have varied hand and machine stitching to excellent effect. In earlier articles on this piece, I did not fully comprehend what you meant by burning the tree segments. This showed it to excellent effect and it is exciting to see your creativity. In case it got lost in my rambling comment – this piece is wonderful, and I learned tons from following your articles on it. Thank you for sharing so generously.

    1. Thanks Linda! I’m glad that you are enjoying learning about my process. I am actually not sure about the origin or type of silk that was used for the silk paper. My friend had a bunch of silk fiber and gifted it to our group to use. It comes in the form of silk top or roving.

      I will see what I have for snow. I like the idea of the red twig dogwood bush. We have a lot of those here.

      I’m sorry to hear that you are having difficulty getting your machine set up for free motion. Are you able to lower your feed dogs? That is the most important part, next is investing in a good darning foot. That is a foot that moves up and down on a spring as you stitch and allows free movement of your fabric/felt under the sewing machine needle.

      Again, thanks for your kind comments!

  4. It is looking great Ruth. I vote for some snow. maybe some prefelt with some stitching to make it lumpy like the forest floor. I like the red dogwood idea for the foreground too.

  5. Fascinating seeing the progression.
    Your colour palette is subtle and I love the fact that you are layering the branches to each group of trees.

    Some snow in the foreground that gently disappears behind your foreground tree trunks, would add a little extra something. Could you needle felt in ‘cloud-whisps’ of white-ish wool tops gradually adding more for depth of colour?

    1. Thanks Antje! I have tried some different types of snow and haven’t liked any of them. I am afraid that the silk of the nuno felt will prevent easy needle felting. The wool tops are definitely the best option but I am not sure how to attach them at this point.

  6. Like all of your works Ruth, this is going to be a real visual feast for the lucky owner. So much will be discovered with closer viewing. I love the feather stitching on the tulle, great effect! Looking forward to following the progression of this picture.

    1. Thanks Helene, the feather stitching made the pines more interesting. The picture is progressing and just needs a few finishing touches. Watch this space!

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