Slow Progress on Forest Floor

Slow Progress on Forest Floor

I have made a bit of slow progress on my forest floor piece. If you missed my first post, you can see the beginnings here.

Nuno felt background with small stitch samples of running stitch and wrapped cords.

The next step was to do a bit of stitch sampling on the tree trunks. I had been making some wrapped cords that I thought might look nice stitched down to give tree trunk texture but they were too large a scale for the size of the trunks as you can see on the left side. Then I started searching for a stitch that I thought would look nice as texture on the bark. After looking at some complex stitches, I suddenly remembered the KISS principle (keep it simple …). So I decided to try running stitch. It is a much better scale and simple to stitch, the winner!

So I stitched on both trunks. The left photo was taking a look at how they were going to be on the background. I decided they still needed more stitching and added a bit more running stitch. I used a lightweight wool thread as I didn’t want to have a contrast from the wool trunk to a shinier thread such as cotton or silk.

Nuno felted background with stitched felt stumps, felt rocks and cheesecloth moss.

Now on to adding more of the foreground elements. Keeping in mind that I want to highlight the streak of “sunshine” from back left to right foreground, I placed three pieces of felt cut into perhaps rock shapes as well as adding some “moss” with cheesecloth. This is how far I have gotten. I think the rocks need some stitching to add a bit more shadow/darker values. That’s the next thing to sample.


22 thoughts on “Slow Progress on Forest Floor

  1. Wow, I’m loving the colors Ruth, its going to be a stunning piece when it’s finished, how long have you been working on it as I think I must have missed the beginning.

    1. Thanks Veronica, I started this piece in early October. I usually seem to work a bit faster than this but I have been traveling and busy with other projects.

    1. Thanks Karen, I do have to remember that simple stitches are effective most of the time to make “marks”. Cheesecloth is really useful for texture in landscapes.

  2. I like the tree trunks; the stitching with wool works well. I was going to say that I liked the way the shadows behind the edges of the rocks make them look 3D, but on looking again I realise that that makes it look as if the light is coming from the front of the picture not from the back. Some shading on the front of the rocks should work, though I wonder if some transparent fabric like organza or chiffon might be more subtle than stitches, so close to the front of the picture. Though of course I suppose you’d have to put some stitches in somewhere to hold the fabric down. “Blades of grass” perhaps?
    Whatever, it’s going to be a cracking picture.

    1. Thanks Ann, yes, the one rock especially needs to have a few changes in the “light” situation. I may need to just change the piece of felt to something darker as I have extra. I do like using sheer fabric for shading though so we’ll see what happens. I most likely will stitch the felt in place with very small stitches. There will be much more greenery and flowers to come which will add more depth.

    1. Thank you! Using simple stitches can be effective without trying something complex. I just have to keep remembering that 😉

  3. Love how it is coming on Ruth. The tree bark looks great & yes simple is often very effective. To give the running stitch more depth, if needed, try doing them as a back stitch!

    The cheesecloth is working so well.

    Looking forward to seeing how you perfect the rocks etc

    1. Thanks Antje! Good idea about adding in back stitch. I’m not sure what is going to happen with the rocks presently but I’m sure I’ll think of something 😉

  4. I missed your last post, so went back to see it first. I enjoyed seeing your process: starting with the nuno piece background.

    I am realizing how adjustable everything can be. A small hazy rock looking shape can become a the beginnings of a prominent stump on which other things can grow. It’s all in how you see the layers developing. I think it looks great right where it is…and I suppose that may be the best advice to share with my beginner self.

    Note to me: 1. Look at your nuno background piece, and search for an area that reminds you of something (a feature.) 2. Let that point you in a direction: then draw or imagine and idea. 3. Work on the background, and allow elements to emerge. If things don’t work as planned, remove or rework until it is pleasing. If I end up with pleasing, I can begin my next session on a good note.

    I’m going to give it a go, Ruth. I’m going to begin with a piece of sari silk from a skirt that will never fit me. I’m going to choose a colorful batt that speaks to me and let my Nuno mojo go. My way of looking at your procedure may be vastly different, but it gives me a way to start. I’ve been watching everyone’s posts for over a year now. I’m ready to take a plunge, (or a stab 😂) and seeing what happens.

    I have a blog post coming up soon…and I guess I will see what comes of this plan? I’m ready to hold myself accountable; to get up/out of my comfort zone. I thank you for sharing your projects, giving us inspiration and support to grow.


    1. I for one agree with everything you’ve said Capi and it’s a wake up for me too, Beginning a new journey. Do keep us in touch with how you get on.

    2. Thanks Capi, I think of designing as a series of decisions. Sometimes, the idea works, sometimes it doesn’t but I just keep going until I am pleased with the effect. I can almost always see something in a background, I keep turning it in different directions until I see the sky, or ground or trees or whatever. Allow yourself time to make each decision, do a few small samples, try out a different color thread. It is so enjoyable for me to work in this way and seeing what happens if…

  5. I’m struck at how multi something or other fiber art actually is. I can’t find the word! My husband was a painter. He futzed around with colour, texture and brushwork, but this, this is so much more! It’s texture, colour, volume, shadow, and in so many different ways. Really, really astonishing. Thank you for showing this to me.

    1. Thanks Bernadette! Perhaps multidimensional? There are so many ways to take fiber art which is has so much more depth than just paint. For me, I love to add the “mixed media” to a piece for just that reason.

  6. The stitching works well. I really like the cheese cloth for the moss. the rocks seem not to be part of the picture. just on top. They imagine it’s because you haven’t attached them yet. yes that one rock is lighter on the bottom. Its funny how you sometimes don’t see things until you take a picture. I am looking forward to seeing how you work with the rocks

    1. Thanks Ann, the rocks do not feel integrated into the picture at the moment, I agree. I am still working on what I will do to get them feeling a part of the landscape. I think maybe I will try switching the lighter rock with the darker rock on the right where there is more light in the picture. And yes, looking at photos always help in my decision making process.

  7. What a perfect colour palette for this time of year Ruth. The ‘simple’ stitches are so effective.

    Looking forward to the next stage in building your picture!

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: