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Mossy Driftwood Continued

Mossy Driftwood Continued

Last time I posted, I showed you a piece of driftwood that I had covered in green felt to represent moss. It definitely needed more work to achieve the natural look that I desired.

I took a small pair of sharp scissors and cut out some holes as well as making the ends not so uniform and straight. I then decided to use the left over cut out pieces as padding for stitching. I added the left over pieces in a couple of places and hand stitched them down.

I then decided to try adding more texture with needle felting. I had a pile of little wet felted scraps which you can see on the left and I needle felted those down. Then I added some wool from my carded batts that I had left over after wet felting. I needled those down but not too firmly. I still wanted the texture of moss, which you can see in the right photo.

Driftwood covered with green felt, stitched layers of felt added, needle felted layers added

Here’s what it looked like after I finished the lower layered bits. I left hanging threads as this will be the “grassy” looking bits sticking up between the moss.

Work bench covered with variety of green thread and driftwood covered with felt.

Next was looking for different green threads. Here’s what I came up with. You can also just see on the left side that I found some of my photos of moss and printed those out for reference.

Close up of French Knots stitched on green felt covering driftwood.

I then started adding some hand stitching. These are “wonky” French knots with hand dyed lace weight wool thread. This is going to take a while. I have another “slow” stitch project on my hands.

Next up was to try some machine stitching. I made a sandwich of the threads on the left between two layers of water soluble fabric. I then machine stitched a random branching pattern. The photo on the right shows the result after washing out the soluble fabric.

Close up of machine stitched threads on top of felted driftwood.

Here’s a small piece of the machine stitched moss by the French knot section. I haven’t stitched it in place as I think I will do more of the hand stitching first. I’m loving all the different greens as that is definitely what you find in nature. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Late Bloomers Finished?

Late Bloomers Finished?

I had showed you this background a couple of post ago and was planning on free motion machine stitching a meadow scene.

I started with some background grasses in a couple of rows. If I do this again, I think I would stitch only one row and make the grasses longer.

Then I began couching down some different yarns with machine stitching.

I decided I should go ahead and stitch in the main focal flowers now so I wouldn’t fill up their space with grass. I couched down the green yarn for stems and then stitched heavily over a piece of purple felt for the flowers.

I decided the piece needed some more skinnier lines and some darker values. So I stitched the weedy bits in dark brown. These would have been easier if they were stitched before the larger grasses.

I then added some dark green weedy bits to the left hand side and couched some lighter green yarn down across the foreground. As you can see, I started looking at the piece in a “frame” since that was how it would be presented. What else did I need?

I decided the flowers needed some leaves so I used more of the same green yarn and pulled it apart a bit to get more width for the leaves. Was it finished? There was something bothering me on the right hand side. Do you see the brown grasses forming an ellipse? It seemed to draw my eye too much. So a bit of unstitching was necessary.

Now here it is after a bit of grass removal. Is it finished? I will leave it hanging on my design board for a few days to decide. I think I will add a bit of darkness to a couple of stems just right of center. Probably with a marker or a bit of paint.

What do you think? Is it finished?

Finishing Nuno Landscapes

Finishing Nuno Landscapes

I am feverishly working away trying to finish up some landscapes and get them to the framer. I suddenly realized that it’s November and I needed more work to sell for the holiday season. I have always had good intentions of finishing pieces, getting them sewn to the backing fabric and laced to a board when I complete the piece. But somehow, those good intentions are paving the road to procrastination. Here I am again, finishing all the landscapes at once.

I went to the fabric store and found some fat quarters that worked with the various colors. I then hand stitch the nuno piece down to the fabric and lace it around a piece of matte board. Here is “Twilight” on it’s backing board ready to be framed.

This one I chose black fabric for the matting and laced it on to the matte board with a very minimal edge. I only want a tiny bit of black to show. This one is called “Serviceberry” at the moment unless I come up with a better name.

Believe it or not, I have finally decided that my slow stitch project is complete. I stitched it down to some brown fabric but I haven’t gotten this one laced on to the matte board yet. This one is called Autumn Impressions.

For those of you who wanted to see what the original fabric looked like, here it is.  Definitely a bit of a change!

The last one is the green nuno felt that I showed you recently. I finished stitching and decided it was complete. I have it on a dark green fabric background but haven’t stitched it down yet. Hopefully, I will get these finished up this week and get them to the framers by Friday. That’s the plan, anyways.

And here’s a close up of the bottom so you can see the stitching around the poppies. I still haven’t decided what to call this one yet. Several suggestions were made last time and I decided I had to research whether the plant I was thinking of was really Queen Anne’s Lace or whether it was Hemlock. It could be either. So then I kept thinking of titles such as Lethal Serenity, Poisonous or Peaceful?, Deadly Tranquility etc. So I will keep thinking on what it should be called as I finish stitching it down and lacing it.

Service Berries Appliqued Nuno Felt

Service Berries Appliqued Nuno Felt

I showed you earlier the nuno backgrounds that I had created. I decided to try using the idea of the layered photos that I created in Photoshop Elements.

So instead of going with what the background suggested (pine trees), I thought I would try some fused machine applique over the nuno felt.

I printed out my service berry photo and got out my light box, tracing paper and a pencil. I completely ignored the background in the photo and just concentrated on the branch with berries and leaves. I simplified the design as I went.

Here’s the traced design that I came up with for my applique. Now I needed to choose a piece of fabric, get out my fusible (Wonder Under) and transfer the design to the fabric.

Here’s the piece of fabric that I chose on top of the nuno felt. The photo is not the best as the nuno felt looks black. I fused the Wonder Under to the back of the green fabric with my iron. It’s easy to do but if you haven’t used fusible before, make sure to read the instruction of the type that you have. All of them are a bit different.

Once I had the fusible in place, I transferred the pattern to the paper on the back of the fabric. I had to remember that the pattern would be reversed when cut out and applied to the background. I used the tracing paper to do this by flipping my drawing over on to the fusible paper and drawing on the backside of the tracing paper to transfer the pencil line. This works best if you enhance the original pencil line with a softer lead pencil, I used a 7B. Once the pattern was transferred, I cut it out with a pair of short, sharp scissors. I left the paper in place until after everything was cut out.

Then I applied the cut out fabric to the background by ironing it in place. The fusible melts and holds the fabric in place so that it’s easy to stitch down and add details.

Before I started stitching, I decided to add a little thickened water color to get a bit more definition and shading in the leaves and berries. Then on to the sewing machine.

Here it is after stitching (free motion) on the machine. I used three different greens and a couple of reddish brown threads. It’s hard to get an accurate color representation in the photos as the dark red seems to throw the camera off very easily. This was a fun project and different than most of my other nuno landscapes. Now to figure out what to do with the other backgrounds. More to come!

Nuno Felted Landscape – Flathead Lake

Nuno Felted Landscape – Flathead Lake

After doing lots of machine stitching on the last landscape that I showed you, I decided to try a more minimalist approach.

This is the starting point after nuno felting.

I then machine stitched the distant mountains as well as the lines on the water. I considered stitching heavily again to get the variety of colors in the mountains but thought, why not use paint? I hadn’t tried much painting on nuno felt but I decided to just go for it. I used Dye-Na-Flow paint that I already had. I watered it down a bit as it turns kind of plastic looking when dry used straight out of the bottle.

Here is it after painting. I had to be careful applying the paint as it had a tendency to spread so I carefully brushed it on and didn’t get very close to the edges of the stitching. Now it looks more like mountains and a lake. What to put in the foreground? I searched online for photos of Flathead Lake at sunset and found some that I liked and the photos helped with the foreground choice. Add trees, now why didn’t I think of that?

So I stitched in the outlines of the trees.

Then added the paint. I am still deciding if it is finished. I might add some hand stitching to the trees to give a bit more texture and variation in color. What do you think? Does it need more?

 

 

Whitefish River Landscape

Whitefish River Landscape

I showed you the start for this landscape last week. It’s based on a photo of the trees in winter on the Whitefish river. I really like the way the orange branches look against the sky and in the reflections in the water.

Here’s the photo I took and then the layout of the felt on the right. I used what silk I already had to represent the sky and the water and then added a little wool for the land and for the large tree trunk on the left. The felted piece ended up about 8″ x 11″.

I then started stitching the most distant background features. I forgot to add any support behind the felt at this point but later on added a heavy weight Pellon interfacing to support some of the heavier machine stitching.

Now to add some sheer orange fabric for the trees. I also stitched in dark brown along the edge of the river and the shore.

Then on to adding in the trees along the shoreline. I did baste down the orange sheer fabric to hold it in place while stitching. I added more stitching for the reflections of the trees.

I cut back some of the orange in the trees to show the sky in places and added a second layer of sheer orange over some of the branches. I then stitched more branches in orange thread. I did the same for the reflected trees.

Now on to the large foreground tree. I added some bark details with my darkest brown thread.

And then stitched in the large foreground branches. I started from the top dark branches and moved downward. I added one layer of sheer fabric over the yellow in the bottom left hand corner by the trunk to tone it down just a little. After looking at this for a while, I decided to make a few small changes. The right hand corner was drawing my attention to much with the background trees. There was too much contrast between the white clouds and the dark branches. Also, the shoreline wasn’t quite right.

Lighter brown stitching was added to the background trees and to the shoreline. I used a small amount of oil pastel to make a shoreline reflection in the water. And it was finished. Or at least finished for now. I will need to find a background cotton fabric for it’s matte and then get it framed. On to the next landscape!

For those of you who wanted to see the end result of Penny Peters 25 Million Stitches piece, here it is. You can read more about it here.

We have also started writing a monthly newsletter and already sent the first one out last week. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, click on the link in the prior sentence and scroll down to the end of the newsletter. There is a link to click there to submit your email address. Or you can sign up on the right side bar here. Thanks!

Another Colorscape

Another Colorscape

Before I show you my new colorscape, I am excited to announce our three UK prize winners! The winners were drawn by a random number generator. The prize winner are:

AdventuresInFelt says:

Thank you for this lovely giveaway! I would be happy with any of the bundles as I have been doing a lot of wet felting lately. I see a scarf in there somewhere! Or a hat! or handwarmers! 🙂
Arlene

Leonor says:

Lovely giveaway! I’d love to get prize 3, but any would be great – I’d use it to play with 2D needle felting, something I’ve been toying with but haven’t properly started yet 🙂

Best of lucks to everyone!

yarnbelle says:

Rae Bell

I will contact you for a snail mail address by email. Lyn of Rosiepink will be mailing your prize and it will be mailed after Christmas. Congratulations to our winners!

I decided to try another colorscape and went with one of my assignments for color studies in my stitch class. This one is blue-green, yellow, red-orange and violet. I used some short fiber merino that Paula gave me, thanks Paula! I didn’t worry about the edges because I was planning on cropping and trimming the piece at completion.

I then added a layer of Mistyfuse to fuse the top layers of sheer fabric down to the felt. I realize that I could have nunofelted these in place but I wanted a less textured surface.

I then layered some hand dyed silk organza over the top and fiddled around with the small pieces until I like the result. Then I fused it in place with an iron on a cool setting. This isn’t a very good photo but the best I could get.

Then I free motion machine stitched over the silk organza, cropped the edges and cut the organic edges off. You can click on the photo to enlarge it to see the stitching a little better.

For all felt purists out there, I took a photo of the back that is just felt and stitching without being covered up. Perhaps I can make it a reversible piece!

 

 

Fabric Collage Landscape Part 3

Fabric Collage Landscape Part 3

Here’s the next edition of my progress on the fabric collage landscape I have been working on.

In the photos from left to right, I worked on texturing the middle ground green area. I used a mixture of chopped up pieces of fabric, thread and yarn. I worked small areas at a time since the fabric mixture was easily shifted around as I machine stitched it. Using a wooden skewer to hold things in place definitely helps and protects wayward fingers. Once the green was all stitched in place, I noticed that the water on the left didn’t look exactly right. The portion of water going into the distance towards the left should have been shadowed by the hill behind it and not had any pink reflection. I needed to fix that.

So I covered that piece of water on the left with more of the blue green water fabric, stitched it down and then stitched along the edge of the shore and into the pink reflection to integrate it into the area better.  I also added a few more fingers of purple sheer fabric into the water on the left in front of the peninsula. Then on to more stitching details along the shoreline.

You probably can’t see a lot of difference in the photo on the left but I added black stitching along the shore line to give a bit of shadow at the water’s edge. Then in the right photo, I used a dark green thread to add some details including tree shadows into the water and little “island” bits and tree shapes on the peninsula portions.

Next I checked the green foreground again to see if I needed to fix anything else in the completed parts before I started the foreground. Another water error was definitely in evidence. Water should look like it is lying horizontally to the horizon line. My water was falling down the front because of the pink lines that were diagonal instead of horizontal. My stitching lines should have been more horizontal as well but they didn’t show as much as those pink fingers. Those needed fixing!

I used some scraps of the red sheer fabric and filled in the areas so the diagonal pink fingers were disguised. This looked much better and I was satisfied with the background and mid ground so now to move on to the foreground. Stay tuned for the next edition!

Fabric Collage Landscape Part 1

Fabric Collage Landscape Part 1

I was inspired by Antje’s post recently about creating a fabric landscape. I have had this on my list of things I wanted to do for a long time. So thanks Antje, for giving me the push to get it started. I have piles of hand dyed and commercial fabric. Many are just small pieces and scraps and I thought this would be a good way to use some of them up.

First I needed to find some inspiration. I looked through my photos of Glacier National Park and I wanted to create a landscape featuring Hidden Lake where we had hiked several years ago. Sadly, that was one of the years that we had thick smoke in the area from wildfires so my photos were not impressive. So I googled images of Hidden Lake and found one I liked to use as inspiration.

I used heavy interfacing as a backing and then started putting together my sky fabrics. In Antje’s post, she didn’t mention anything about fusing the fabric down as I would normally do so I decided to just wing it. I added threads over the top and then started stitching.

I started with light blue thread and stitching across trying to catch all the various elements down. I switched to a darker blue thread and then to two tones of orange thread. It was a little frustrating as pieces moved as I went but I just kept going.

I had less control over where each piece of fabric was and that made it less “perfect”. But that’s OK because I was trying to see if I could do a piece that was more “abstract”. (Not that I ever get too abstract.)

Then I started finding the mountain fabric colors and giving them a trial against the sky. I did put fusible on the backs of the mountains so I could iron them in place before I added the “texture” on top.

I continued to play around with a variety of fabric pieces to get the mountains the way I wanted.

Then I moved on to the green mid ground. On the left, I am trying the fabric I might use to see if it is the correct value and color. Then I cut out pieces to the correct shape for the mid ground area with trees.

I realized at that point that I would need to place the water before I attached the green as there was water on the left hand side underneath the green “fingers” of land that stretched into the lake. So this is a trial for the water.

Then I needed the reflection of the sunset in the lake. I tried a piece of cheesecloth on the left but it was a bit too pink and also too textural. I wanted the water to feel smooth against the textures of the trees and foliage. So I found a couple of pieces of hand dyed sheer silk organza and gave them a try. It’s looking better but still feels a bit dark in the reflected area. I also tried the green in the foreground. It’s looking more like a landscape but I still have a long way to go. It takes a lot of time for the trial and error of finding the right piece of fabric for each portion of the landscape not to mention the time spent stitching.

I hope you don’t get tired of seeing the process of this fabric collage as it appears there will be several posts to go before it is completed.

Sunset at the Lake

Sunset at the Lake

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.

 

 

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