I have been working away on my nuno felt landscapes this winter. I always sell more work in the summertime, so it’s good to get ahead of the game and get work ready to be framed in the spring. So what to do with this background. I felt like the diagonal lines of color felt too “tie dyed” and needed to break them up. The colors reminded me of summer flowers so that’s where I decided to go with this background.
I played around with a variety of cotton fabric and cheesecloth and laid these out on the nuno background.
I added a small bud to the small, lower right hand flower.
I pinned the pieces in place and added interfacing to the back to provide support for the machine stitching. I could have fused them down but I find that I don’t like the way the fusing flattens the fabric and doesn’t allow “movement” of the fabric with stitching. This is a personal preference and it is easier to stitch if everything is fused in place but I prefer to pin or baste the pieces in place. I also was looking at possibly bringing some of the dark blue up into the area above the flowers. I tested this out by cutting some small bits of #5 perle cotton and laying it down to give the impression of blue flower stalks.
I free motion machine stitched all the green first. I used two different shades of green to give a little depth to the stems and leaves.
I used three different shades of thread in the centers of the flowers and two colors on the petals. I decided to bring a bit of the burnt orange down into the petals to give a look of a bit of shadows near the centers. Last, I added dark brown to the bottom of the centers which definitely helped define the centers.
Lastly, I added blue French knots with #5 perle cotton thread. I then stitched it down to the background “matte” fabric and laced it on to card. So it’s ready to frame. I decided to call this one “Summer Fireworks”. I have run out of nuno felted backgrounds so I guess that will be my next project.
I haven’t updated you recently on my slow stitching project. I hate to admit it but after my last post in January, I got out of the habit of daily stitching. It’s amazing how easy it is to stop doing something and then find it hard to get back into the habit again. But I did start stitching again towards the end of March and I have made a little progress.
Here’s the entire piece now. I have added some darker values in the foreground trees, added a few leaves down in the trunk areas and stitched some of the “shrubbery” to the left of the trees. I also added some darker values in the middle ground area to give it more depth.
Here’s a closer look at the area to the left of the trees. I am planning on continuing the stitching in the foreground areas to give the look of bushes and undergrowth. So the slow stitching will continue. I could probably forgo the stitching in the foreground but I like the look of the dense stitching and want to cover the entire surface. It’s not about the time spent on this one but the journey.
I thought it would be interesting to compare a very early photo on the left to the way it looks now on the right. A bit different?
It’s been over a month since I last posted about my Autumn Nuno slow stitch piece. Here is where I was at the end of September.
I kept working on the negative space between the foreground trees. I was using a grey green thread and it definitely needs more darkness in between the tree trunks but I will have to add a darker thread for that. I am still mulling over what will be on the left hand side in the foreground. It’s kind of amorphous at the moment.
Once I finished the negative space between the trees, I decided that I needed to add some of the grey green into the mid ground/background area. It also helped to “cut” the overpowering sense of red and red orange there. Next up was to add “leaves” to the foreground trees. I decided to use a different stitch to highlight them a bit more. I will be adding a great many more of the leaves in a variety of yellows and yellow oranges.
The photo on the left shows where I am as of today. The photo on the right shows the beginning of the leaves being added with detached chain stitch. I still have a long way to go on completing this piece but I am happy with the progression.
Here’s the progress on my slow stitch project. I am still stitching away about 15-30 minutes per day on this piece.
The last time I showed you, it looked like this.
First, I added some more darker values with the deep purple thread in the mid ground area. Then because I thought that I needed a little more contrast in that area, I added some deeper red orange to look like more foliage.
Then on to working on the foreground trees. Here, I was looking at negative spaces and giving some darkness and shadow to delineate the tree trunks. I am continuing to use seed stitch and used a neutralized dark green in between the tree trunks. Since the stitches are so small, this definitely is in the slow stitch category. I am still working on the right hand side. Once that’s finished, I have more tree trunks “to pull out” on the left side.
And here’s how the entire piece looks as of now. I may need to darken up the shadows between the foreground trees and I have to decide what to do on the left hand bottom corner. The foreground trees will get some stitched leaf additions too. Plus the foreground will need work in front of the trees. I am definitely enjoying this project more since I’m not trying to force working on it for longer stretches.
Sorry for the short post but I have been busy with my Level 3 Stitch class this past week. We are continuing online and even though I don’t have to travel, it seems to take more time this way. But at least we are able to move forward.
I have still been stitching for 15-20 minutes per day on my autumn nuno felted piece.
The last time I showed you it looked like the photo above. I continued to add more dark values in the rows of “aspen” trees and also added more dark green to the distant pine trees. Ann had commented that she didn’t see trees in this piece. Hopefully, the additions I made will make them more “tree like”.
Here it is after those additions of darker value.
And here’s a close up that shows the difference in the distant pine trees before and after adding more thinner thread in dark green. The trees on the left are finished as compared to the ones on the right.
So what do you think? Did adding the darker values help the distant tree lines?
I hope you’re staying well and spending time being creative. Thanks for stopping by!
I updated you about my autumn nuno landscape project about one month ago in this post. I had been discouraged with the project and it was languishing. So I asked for suggestions and I appreciate all the support. I decided to go ahead and keep working on it but only doing about 15-20 minutes a day. (Click on any of the photos to enlarge.)
Here’s what it looked like one month ago. I decided to start filling more of the middle ground with a combination of neutralized red and green seed stitching.
Here you can see how much seed stitching can be completed in short spurts. But I was still dissatisfied with the piece. Why was that? After working on it steadily, I took some time to look back at my reference photo and see what I had missed. Then I realized that I didn’t have enough dark values to show the shadowed areas in the landscape. Aha!
I started by adding a more neutralized green in the area between the aspen trees. I used a much thinner thread (1 strand floss) and smaller stitching. It darkened up the area a bit but that wasn’t enough.
So then I started adding a dark brown in the same area. Again, I used one strand of floss and smaller stitches. I am still essentially doing seed stitch but piling it on top of other seed stitches.
So here is how far I have gotten with my slow stitching. I am happy that I figured out what was bothering me about the piece. There are still lots of more shadows to add in to give the impression of lines of trees. I also think that I will add a more neutralized green over the distant pines in places. The more stitching I add, the more it seems to need. But at least I am moving forward.
Can you see the difference when you compare the piece side by side, before adding darker values and after? Do you think about value contrast when you’re working on a composition? Do you have any tricks for seeing value contrast better?
I am working on my third nuno felted landscape piece. This one was made with “Halloween” cloth which is some type of cheese cloth that is black but very loose weave.
Here’s the piece before stitching. I used nepps for the bear grass and then a bit of green for foreground grass and purple for the sky. I left it very loose and full of holes as I was planning on adding a background behind it. I was thinking stormy skies when I was creating it.
I then added green wool thread and couched it down for the stems and leaves. If you don’t know what bear grass is, here’s a photo.
Here’s a little closer view of the stitching. Now I had to decide on the background color. I tried a bunch. Here are a few of my choices.
I tried a bunch of shades of blue. Then I threw in an orange and a magenta to get more contrast. For stormy skies, I think the bottom left one works the best, it’s a dark blue and purple background. But I can find merit in all of the colors. Perhaps I could make a changeable background and you could insert a new background depending on your mood. But that doesn’t sound very practical. Which one do you like?
I told you last week about our nuno felting party. I made six landscape pieces that I plan on adding either hand or machine stitching.
I don’t think I showed you this one. I used a piece of prefelt, covered it entirely with silk and then added a variety of wool for the mountains and curls for the autumn “bushes” and ground cover. It has a little bit of nuno as surface design so I suppose it counts in the 2nd Quarter Challenge. I had already started a little bit of outline stitch with stem stitch and hand dyed wool thread when I realized I hadn’t taken a photo of the piece before stitching.
The silk sky got a bit hairy so I decided to shave it down. This is the before shaving photo.
And the after shaving photo. It does make a difference in the shininess and colors in the sky.
Here is the finished piece. I used a distorted detached chain stitch in the “bushes” and a straight stitch for the grasses. The next question is how I am going to finish and frame the piece. I do like organic edges but I don’t think it looks as professional when you’re trying to sell a piece. So I cropped the photo on the right as if it was in a matte and frame. What do you think? Leave the organic edges or cover them?