The last time I updated you on my autumn nuno landscape it looked like this. I have been slowly continuing to add more color into the middle background area with seed stitch. I added a lot of red orange as well as green and even some dark purple.
Here you can see more of the red orange additions and the purple that I used for a shadow color. I decided to use the dark purple instead of brown or black. Black is definitely too stark and I think the cool color in the middle of the red orange gives it more “pop”.
Here is the area where I added more green. You can see on the left that I haven’t finished filling in the green.
And here is the piece as it is at this point. I still need to add some more shadow shapes in the red orange swath and perhaps a bit more definition of the aspen trunks in the distance. Can you see the area that will become the foreground aspen trees? It is finally looking more landscape to me. So I will keep on with my slow stitching and update you on my progress next month.
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?
Continuing on from my last post about making felt for needle books, Felt for Needle Books I started sewing them together. Well, first I had to iron them all which always takes much longer than you think it will. Everyone forgets to mention this step or they just say iron your pieces like it’s nothing at all. There are no pictures of ironing, as fascinating as that might have been, I didn’t take any pictures.
I also only took one picture when I was sewing them together. There was much swearing, and unpicking that you didn’t need to see.
After sewing them together I had to think about how to decorate them. I went online and looked for line drawings. You can find them in any theme you like. I looked for sewing. I also used some I had saved from other projects. I traced them onto a nonwoven dissolvable stabilizer. This is great stuff and it doesn’t take much to dissolve it. You can’t use a marker for tracing, it dissolves the stabilizer. I used a thick pencil to trace my designs.
On to the stitching. The first one is a snail. I picked a variegated embroidery floss. I used all 6 threads because I wanted a heavy line.
You will notice that in the first of the snail pictures the book is sewn together but in the other 2 pictures, it is pinned together. After stitching the snail I realized I stitched it so the inside is upside down and so I have unpicked the thread holding it all together and will sew the inside in the right way.
This one I really didn’t know how to embellish, I have another one almost the same. I decided on a backstitched chain stitch using 2 similar colours. I didn’t need the dissolvable stabilizer for this one. It’s a bit wonky, but there you go.
I also did the smallest book.
Closed the little book is only 2.25 inches (5.7cm) square. That is big enough to hold some needles and a thread saver. This book only has one double, needle page. All the others have two, and they all have 2 pockets. I have one more smallish one and the rest are all bigger. The biggest ones are 4.5 inches (11.3 cm) square so big enough for a small pair of scissors. After I get all of the embroidered I will have to add some buttons and ties or elastics to them. Elastics can look messy if you don’t have layers to hide the ends between. How do you deal with cut ends when adding them to a project?
This is what’s new on the farm this week. These are baby chicks.
And these are baby turkeys. There is not much difference between them as day olds. But only a few days on and the turkeys have grown necks.
Five of them got stepped on by there friends and had isolated themselves away from the heat so they had to come inside and live in a box with a heat lamp, in my sewing room for a few days.
Here they are all better, in a bucket for their trip back to the group. this is the safest way for them to traves without getting hurt or too scared. You can see how they have grown in just a few days. Not sure why the look so grubby in the picture because they weren’t, just the light I guess.
I have begun another class at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center in LaConner, WA. The class is Advanced Experimental Stitch 301 and lasts for two years. Our first session was all about color, dyeing and then creating different fabric collages in a variety of color schemes. If you want to follow all of my progress and homework, you can take a look at my Permutations in Fiber site.
I decided I wanted to try a few of the color schemes in felt. I could use up some printed felt that were samples from my online courses and also use my Janome needle felting machine that has been languishing in a corner of my studio for years. A win-win!
I started out with a dark violet background and then cut out two partial printed leaf shapes and three circles from orange printed felt. The color scheme is violet, orange and green. It is hard to see the violet and green since they are both such dark values.
First I had to unearth my needle felting machine buried under a ton of stuff. I should have taken a photo of the buried machine but didn’t think of that in time. I began by felting in the two leaves. Since everything was felt, the machine handled it very well. The only issue is the edges get a little wonky and you need to start from the outside edge and work in. The felt leaf shrinks as you go and will get all bunched up if you try to needle felt down the outside edges first.
Here is the end result. The photo on the left shows the front side. Because the felt is printed, it is white underneath and I didn’t like the white showing through so much. I turned it over (middle photo), and liked the back side much better. But still a little too much white. What to do? I have no problem with mixing medias so I found an orange and green Sharpie and just added a little ink to the wool to get the colors the way I wanted them (right photo).
On to adding a little hand stitching with hand dyed thread. I had originally planned to do chain stitch and cover the green and orange completely with chain stitch as a filling stitch. But then I decided I like the colors of the mottled orange and green. So I stuck with just outlining. For the leaves I used stem stitch. I could add some veining in the leaves but decided to leave it as is for now. It’s not a color scheme I use all that often but I like it. Do you try different color schemes? Or do you stick with your favorite colors?
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.
I completed the hand stitching on my felt fossil piece that I created for the 4th Quarter Challenge.
I added scattered straight stitches in colors that were already present in the “fossils”. I felt like the grey background was a bit plain and I needed to move some of the colors to other areas in the piece.
Here is the piece completed. From a distance, the background just looks mottled but you can see the colors of the background stitches when you look up close. You can click on the photo to enlarge it and see the details better.
Here’s a photo so that you can see the texture a little better. It does have quite a bit of surface dimension. Now I have to decide how to finish and frame the piece. How do you finish your pieces? What would you suggest?
First I wanted to let people know the discount code for lables is now up, it is at the bottom of the post. sew-on-labels
I am almost finished the sewing of the small felt pouches. I still have to add the hardware. You can click on any of the pictures to get a larger view.
These are finished except for the grommet and carabiner. I may add some flowers to the 3 without but I am not sure if I will have time.
These ones are done but now I am thinking maybe the pink and blue ones should maybe have somthing on the back.
I haven’t washed the stabiliser away on these. I thought I would use 2 small black seed beads for the cats eyes. and when I was taking the picture I noticed I hadn’t put the x for the fishes eye on the green one. I am not sure if the red one need somthing at the bottom front or not. I like the motif on the red one, the weaver and spinner were on a bronze age pot someone posted in the Evangelical Church of Distaff Spinning group on Facebook.
These last ones I like quite a bit. The bright colours on the black felt look particularly good to me. The bee and thistle pouch still needs its stabiliser washed away. The 3D flowers I think need something on the lower half but it’s tricky with the tail and I don’t know what to put.
The first few pouches I sewed on some snaps. For the others I ordered a plastic snap kit. The snaps come in lots of different colours so I should be able to match them pretty well.
I forgot to take a picture so here is the one form Amazon, where I bought it. I paid the shipping and I ordered it on Saterday and it was here on Tuesday. That is fast delivery.
I finally finished felting the new little bags and they are ready to be stitched. Here they are drying along with a book cover.
Here they are all dry
I couldn’t get a good shot of the nuno inside. Either my fingers or shadow or something made it not work. So this is the best of a bad lot. You can just see the nuno inside.
This one I turned inside out.
and the other side
A close up of the silk ball cut open. I did cut the wool hole to large in the felt and it has shrunk away to much so I will need to do somthing to make sure it stays in place. The other thing that happened was the silk blead. The only one it really effected was the pink one. The yellow effected the colour making it orangey around the silk ball and down one side.
This is what they look like closed, I will iron them in the closed position so they stay flatter.
Here are the last batch with thier stitching done.
I am adding a magnet as a closure.
I practiced the shisa stitch and the variations with some cardboard circles.
The two black ones I think the thread was to fine so it looked odd. I went to thicker thread and that was better.
I am going to have to redo the pink one as it stitches were not tight enough. My friend Carleen suggested I use a metal button on the opposite side as it would be easier than the magnet and stitching. I am going to look at what I have. I plan to add grommets on one side but I have misplace them somewhere. I will have to buy new ones to find them.
I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I hope you like them too.
It took a while but I worked my way through all the stitch families. I did get lazy near the end and I didn’t do all the wrapped stitches. It seems if you wrap another thread around through your stitching it gets a new name. If you weave it through it gets a new name. If you leave loops when you do it another new name.
I discovered that some stitches just didn’t work well with crochet cotton. I am using #8 mercerized and for some stitches it was to slippery and the stitch didn’t lie properly. I think it would have worked better with yarn. Some stitches were to small when pulled tight making it really hard to see the detail of the stitch. Some stitches looked messy when she did them and worse when I did them. Have a look at the top right sample.
These are the 2 pens I have been using to make lines.
and the marks they make
They are both permanent. I like the silver one better. It is a liquid but it stays put and would be fine to use if the line will not show after. The gold one seemed to get wider after a while. I am going to keep an eye out for the washable and air erase pens. One of the books I got said the was a pen that disappeared when heat was applied. I will keep an eye out for that too. Next I think I will try drawing on some water-soluble fabric and I might try some tear away. I think once I have an outline done I could fill it in ok.
And on another topic of my life; we had our first farmers market day of the year last week and it went well. I hope I can get back into the routine of baking (and then cleaning up) for the market so I have some time left for felting.