Winter Birch Landscape Completed

Winter Birch Landscape Completed

I have finally completed my winter birch landscape that I have been slowly working on. You can see the prior posts here if you missed them.  I had about determined to skip adding any extra snow in the foreground but then I decided I should try a sample of needle felting the snow.

Nuno Felted Background with Stitched Red Twig Dogwood and Needle Felted Snow Under Dogwood

And, surprise, surprise, it worked better than I thought it would. So I added a bit of snow and then needed to figure out the distant red twig dogwood bushes. (You can see the snow in the final photo.)

Sample of red twig dogwoods drawn with marker on to nuno felt background.

First I tried using a marker on my sample to see if I could get away with something easy. The thinner marker made a very light line and the heavier marker was too heavy. Plus, using a marker on nuno felt gives a very uneven line. On to the next idea.

Sample of needle felted wool thread compared to stitched wool thread.

Next, I tried needling the wool thread into the sample background. It didn’t feel like there was much difference between the stitched bushes in the foreground compared to the needled line on the top left.

I decided I would try a cotton machine thread (30 weight). The stem stitched sample on the left shows two different colors. The redder color is straight off the spool but I wanted the thread to be a bit darker and variegated. So I colored the thread by hand with a black marker. The photo on the right shows the thread before it was darkened (left side) and the thread on the right side of the photo has been darkened with a black permanent marker. It worked perfectly although it’s a little messy on the fingers.

Completed Nuno Felt Landscape Blue/White Background with Appliqued Birch Trees, Free Motion Stitched Branches and Hand Stitched Red Twig Dogwood Bushes.

So here’s the finished landscape. I used the machine thread for the distant red twig dogwoods and you can see the small amounts of snow that I added. I’m happy with it but I will put it on the design wall to look at to make sure it’s finished. Then I will need to choose a “matte” fabric and get it ready for framing. I’m thinking of calling the piece “Winter Color”. Or I could stick with “Winter Birch”. Which do you prefer?


31 thoughts on “Winter Birch Landscape Completed

  1. It’s a beautiful, serene piece and calming to look at. The colours are gorgeous so ‘Winter Colour’ would be very suitable but my vote goes for ‘Winter Birch’.

    1. Thank you! I have enjoyed working out the color scheme as I went along. It appears that Winter Birch is the crowd favorite.

  2. Fantastic, Ruth. It was very interesting to read all about the development of this artwork! The needlefelted snow is great: you didn’t give up and went on trying solutions, it’s very inspiring, as I tend to stop early on, sometimes maybe too early! All the bushes are really a beautiful addition. I liked the foggy look of the thin marker ones, but your solution is much better on the finished piece. The eye is drawn by that blue area in the center, don’t you think? It seems as if there should be something waiting for you there, or a passage a path a secret… I like the “Winter birch” title, the other seems more vague and a bit..rookie-like.

    1. Great comments. My thoughts were along the same line, esp., re the blue. This is a great piece of which I would never get tired of viewing. I deeply appreciate the diary of Ruth’s progress.

    2. Thanks Caterina, it does really help me to create a small sample. How do you know it will or won’t work unless you try it out first? The blue in the center does draw your eye in and seems to be more prominent now that all the details are in.

  3. Just to be awkward – well no ‘cos those birch trunks are positively sparkling, I’d call it Winter Sunshine.
    I think the finished picture is really great. I like the way the eye is drawn deeper and deeper into the wood.

  4. I love it and have enjoyed listening to your process and thoughts. Winter birch for me

  5. The blackened 30 weight thread worked really well for the distant dogwood bush and you were right with the addition of the snow. As for the title, I’m in the “Winter Birch” camp but whatever the name I’m sure it won’t hang around for long!

    1. Thanks Karen, I am always surprised by what a small addition (blackened thread) does to a piece. I still have to finish with background fabric and lacing on to a board. That’s always my least favorite part. But hopefully, I can get it to the gallery soon.

  6. You are so talented! I am so inspired by your “what if”-and-“how about that”-until-it-feels-right approach. You help me realize that it takes time and trying to bring it all together. Thank you! I vote for Winter Birch.

    1. Thanks Kristina, I didn’t use to work this way but I have learned that sampling and trying ideas can really improve the end results. And yes, it takes some time and some “mistakes” but if it is on a sample it keeps you from an unsatisfying result.

  7. I vote for Winter Birch! Plus, that extra black on the thread really does make a difference. I like the end result very much.

    1. Thanks Leonor, as I told Karen, the blackened thread worked surprisingly well. I will have to remember that for future projects where I don’t have the exact color of thread needed.

  8. It’s beautiful Ruth, I live the composition and the way in which you’ve captured the silver birch. I vote for the name Winter Birch too.

  9. Ruth it has turned out extremely well & it is Winter birch for me too.

    With the addition of the darkened fine thread dogwood you have given this piece such depth with the focal point of the blue, drawing one into the depths to explore.
    The ‘horizontal’ snow is just enough to balance the verticality. Well done you for your persistent trialling.

    Can’t wait to see it mounted & totally ready. X

    1. Thanks Antje! Winter Birch seems the simplest title so I guess I will stick with that as nearly everyone seems to agree on it. The blue was a happy accident and not really planned but it certainly works well to draw your eye into the piece.

  10. I love your landscape, the colour is just right, and the dogwood completes the work so well. I like Winter Birch.

  11. Love how this piece turned out Ruth. I agree with Winter Burch.
    Those dabs of snow added a nice touch and I love the depth you got going on.

  12. Ruth, I am so far behind in my comments. I have watch this piece progress, from the beginning. Birch trees are beautiful, but depicting them in fiber would be a challenge to anyone. But, you have the patience and tenacity, to take on these types challenges. This is a gorgeous piece, that reminds me of a serine place in the woods: just waiting for someone to walk upon.


    1. Thanks Capi, I do like the serenity of the woods, one of my favorite places. Perhaps you and Ann can make a snowshoe journey into the picture together 😉

  13. Apologies Ruth, it looks like the comment I typed on my phone at the time did not upload.
    Oh what a lucky person the future owner of this work will be. A treat awaits them. This is such a meditative piece and I love the addition of the additional dogwood in the background. Glad to see that your snow experiments brought about such a successful conclusion too. Beautiful result!

    1. Those pesky phones 🙂 Thanks Helene, I need to get some fabric dyed for the matte around the piece. Glad you liked it.

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