I haven’t done much this week but I did decide to do some stitching on one of the circles I made earlier for the jewelry challenge. Seeing Antje’s post reminded me I had made a few stitching blanks. this one is just over 2.5 inches/7cm. I don’t think mine is quite as artistic but it was fun to do with the bright threads.
Next, I thought I would like to do something a little more 3D. I have a box of stretched silk hankies and bits of silk hankies left over from other felting.
I stretched out some circles from bits to make the flower bases.
And a bigger blog of pieces for leaves.
I added some wool.
And then some more silk hanky bits.
I rubbed them all and then I decided to roll them up and pop them in the dryer while I made a few small landscape blanks for stitching. I cut out some prefelt and added the sky and grass. They went into the dryer too and then it was time to feed the bottle lambs and head of to work.
Next week is our school break so I am hoping to get some felting time in.
I am still stitching away on my landscape piece. I had the background mountains stitched down the last time I showed it to you.
I then got the middle distance hills stitched down. This fabric was a bit harder to stitch as it wasn’t as felted and tended to fray. But I persevered.
Then I got the two pieces in the foreground stitched down so all of the landscape is now in place. Now to decide what to add.
First I tested the moon. I didn’t want to cut the fabric if I wasn’t going to use it so I pinned it into a sort of circle. You’ll just have to imagine it being really round. Then I tried some wispy clouds. Then since our challenge this quarter is to add twists and yarn, I decided to try out a tree using up some recycled yarn. I have a whole bunch of yarn that was from old knitted things that people didn’t want anymore. It is very kinky from being knitted but I like the look for representing an old, gnarly tree. Guess which one I chose?
If you have been following this blog for long, your probably guessed tree. And yes, I decided on adding a tree to the foreground. The left is the start of the tree and the right is where I am now. The curled up thread in the middle is only partially stitched down and will follow up into the branches once stitched. I have a bunch more to go on this tree and need to add in some darker values I think after looking at these photos. I will keep you up to date on how the stitching is going.
Last week I had the opportunity to take a 2 day class with Moy MacKay. I went with a couple of friends and we had a great time. We did the wet felting on day one. We had 2 pictures to choose from for the landscape.
I chose the one the left.
Moy demonstrated and explained to us how to work and what to do. We got to ask questions. She told us to take lots of pictures as we went because you see things in the picture that you don’t see in just looking at it. Still I didn’t take enough.
First we laid out the background
Then we added the foreground and details. The house is prefelt and the flowers in the front are chopped up curls
We wet them down and gave them a 2 or 3 min rub and then rolled them for about 3 min one way and then the other for another few min and we were done. They are very lightly felted but that’s ok because they are pictures not hats.
That took the morning. After lunch we did another piece, a still life, flowers. We had a vase of red flowers and babies breath to use for inspiration. We were not to copy it but to use it to see how flowers look. You can see it in the group picture. Moy demonstrated again and explained again and then we only had about an hour to put the picture together and then a short time to get it felted before we had to be out of the room for another group.
We started with the table then the foliage and then the vase and then moves some leaves around. Then we added the flowers. The babies breath is nepps.
I quite like it at this stage. Not as much after it was felted.
On day 2 we started the embellishing. Moy talked about and demonstrated needle felting accents and refining the pictures. Also some machine embroidery and stitching. we could try the machine stitching if we wanted but my picture wasn’t ready for that yet. This is what they are like now. No where near done but works in progress.
This is after I straitened up the house and removed the mangled fence and added a new one.
This is where it is now. I added windows and ivy to the house. I removed the cobwebs from the trees. I added some shading to the trees. I added in some stems for the flowers in front and another fence. I think the field behind the left fence needs to be darker because it’s farther away. It doesn’t show well in the picture but right now it is lighter and more yellow than the front field. It needs a lot more work but I think I know what I want to do to it.
And the flowers. I forgot to take a picture of when it was wet felted but had no embellishments. But here it is so far. I am not as keen on the flowers but they are alright. I may like them better after I work on them some more. The table needs straitening up and lots more texture. And notice the nepps have stuck. We had chopped up some green fibers as part of the foliage and I think the short fibers under them made them stick.
And lastly a picture of everyone’s works at the end of the second day. the flowers we used are beside Moy.
It was a great class. I think it’s given me confidence to try some more. Jan will be doing more posts for us and I hope she will do one about this class too. She will have taken at least a hundred more pictures than me and be able to show you her works in progress too.
Here is the fifth in my series of nuno felted landscapes. It is called Up the North Fork after a portion of the Flathead River here in Montana.
Here is the layout and after wet down and felted slightly.
And here it is after felting. You’ll notice that the foreground has wool on top in browns and orange. I decided to remove that because I wanted it to look more like a river and I think the silk does that better than the wool.
I added fabric trees and fused those in place before machine stitching. This is before I decided to remove the foreground wool. The plan was to shave it off. I tried that but finally decided just to pull it off. Then I shaved the edges a bit at the edge of the “river”.
And here is the finished piece after much stitching of trees and a huge variety of green threads changed in and out of the sewing machine. The photo on the left shows the organic edges and the one on the right is cropped as if matted and framed.
I did talk to a framer about these 6 pieces and he thought I should keep the organic edges. His suggestion is to attach each piece to a matching background fabric, stitch the piece in place and then wrap the background fabric around foam core board. Then I could use a simple black frame and the background fabric will look like the matting. And you can still appreciate the organic edges. So I think I will try that and see how I like it. Only one more piece to finish and I’ll start choosing the background fabrics and get the pieces ready for framing.
Here’s another one of the nuno felt pieces I made in April.
This one was originally supposed to go this way with the silk at the top being the sky.
But then I decided to turn it into a sunset and this orientation worked better for that. So the silk became the lake.
I added some tree shapes in hand dyed cheese cloth.
Then ironed those down with fusible. The fusible keeps them in place when free motion machine stitching and prevents the foot from catching on the loose pieces and moving them around.
I then added machine stitching to the trees, made shadows on to the lake and created the sunset. I also added a few lines to the water to make it look a bit more lake like. I used a variety of thread colors especially in the sunset.
Here is the result and better than I expected. About halfway through the sunset, I thought it was going to look terrible but I pushed on through and it worked. I wish the sun wasn’t so near the center of the piece but I do think it looks better when it is cropped and I can change the cropping if I really want to cut a little bit more off the right edge. I have two more of these to go and then I need to get them all framed. The set of 6 will be shown in an exhibition in September.
I was attracted to the Fauvism movement due to its simplicity and bright, saturated colors. But when it got down to creating a felt piece, I was a bit stuck. I decided I would use prefelt to keep the simplicity of shapes. I used only the prefelt that I already had so I was a bit limited in my color choices. I decided to do a basic landscape and didn’t use an inspirational photo as I normally would. Sorry, but I forgot to take a photo of the layout.
Here’s the piece after felting. I used a thick thin yarn for the detail in the foreground. I liked it but I decided it was a bit boring and needed further detail in the foreground.
So I added a line of trees. This is felt that I had dyed and used Color Magnet on but it didn’t work out too well. So I cut out the tree shapes and hand appliqued them in place. But it still needed a bit more. I got out my hand dyed wool thread to see what I could add with hand stitching.
I outlined the mountains and added some orange for a nice contrast to the blue moon.
I then added some bright green to accentuate the trees. My husband thought they were leaves before I added the stitching so I wanted to make the stitching look like branches and not veins in leaves.
I added just a little bit of stitching in the foreground to complete the piece. And I’m happy with the result. It is certainly not something I would have created without this challenge as it definitely is out of “my style”. But it was fun. Have you tried something for the first quarter challenge? It was fun and the colors certainly cheered me up on a grey, snowy day here in Montana.