I am still busy using stuff up and trying to do something with all the UFO’s (unfinished objects) lying around the studio. This piece was started in September 2017 for one of the Quarterly Challenges. You can see the post here on how I created the piece thus far. Until I reread my post, I had forgotten what a pain this was when I was making it. I’m sure that’s why it got put away and left for dead.
Here’s the piece before I did anything too it. It’s OK, but I thought it might be improved with some free motion machine stitching. I worked on it in the mornings before work for 10-15 minutes at a time. I have the machine all set up and ready to go so I can sit down and start working for short time periods.
I decided to fill the inside shapes with dense stitching. I used a light lavender thread in Sulky 30 weight cotton. I wanted to have a contrast between the dark design and the thread but still be able to see the color of the silk underneath.
I completed all the stitching inside the design and it really helped the design to pop out from the felt. Then I added a couple of circles around the design. I used a bowl to mark around with a dressmakers pencil so I had a line to follow. The pencil just wiped away after stitching.
Then I cut the circle out around the outside stitched line. I even like the back side too.
Now I have to decide how to finish it and hang it. I have a 12″ x 12″ canvas that I could cover with fabric or paint and then attach the circle. The photo above shows a possible fabric choice. I only have a small piece of it so I would have to dye more. Perhaps slightly darker than this background? If I painted it, I considered making a partial stencil to decorate the corners of the square with a similar design. I guess I could try that and if it didn’t work, I could always cover it up with fabric. What do you think? How would you finish it? Hubby suggested using it as a hot mat but the silk on top wouldn’t hold up very well. Plus I have absolutely no pink in my house so it doesn’t exactly go with anything.
Updating my post to remind everyone that Terri Berry’s online concertina hat making class registration opens on February 7th. Go here for more information.
I showed you my design development process on my last post for the 3rd Quarter Challenge. Now on to the felting portion.
Here is the design that I have traced on to a heavy interfacing. I was really thinking I would use a lighter interfacing but this is the first I found so I used it. The resist is to prevent wool migration in the area of the design using a darker color on the bottom and lighter color on the top of the resist.
I cut out the design with a sharp craft knife.
Here’s the design completely cut out. I really like how it looks and I’m excited to see how it will work when felted in between two layers of wool. I had originally planned on using black and grey wool but changed my mind as I didn’t have the black wool right at hand. I decided to use a mixed blue batt and yellow.
I laid out a couple of layers of blue but looking at this photo now, I realize that the blue was just not dark enough and not a big enough contrast to the yellow.
I added my resist on top of the blue.
Then I covered it with yellow.
Here it is ready to be wet down.
I worked the felt mainly from the back because I felt like I was shifting the blue fibers as they migrated through the yellow when I rubbed on the front. It felt like I was making a fiber pizza crust.
The result when it was wet.
And dry. A bit underwhelming to say the least and I was disappointed. I think a coarser wool on the bottom layer would have helped and a stronger contrast of colors might have made a difference. But all is not lost. I am planning on hand stitching around the design to bring it back to life. So more next week!
My first instinct was to go towards some type of abstract art, but we’ve done a couple of challenges in past years. So, I took a left turn and decided on something entirely different. Japanese Art from the Edo/Tokugawa period in the early 1600s to the mid 1800s.
Woodblock printing became very popular during this period and much of the art was created this way. One of my favorites is The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
A lot of the art featured Samurai, Kabuki players, Geisha, but then there were more sumi-e ink type paintings that were not as detailed and spoke more of nature.
While a lot of the art was very detailed, there were also paintings done in a sumi-e ink style paintings. Today, there are a couple of textile artists doing sumi-e ink on felt. But I also like the idea of painting with wool.