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Still Slow Stitching in the New Year

Still Slow Stitching in the New Year

The last time I updated you back in early November about my slow stitching project, this is what it looked like. I had started adding some leaves to the foreground trees.

I have been continuing my slow stitching over the holidays and it has been nice to sit down for 15-20 minutes a day and just do detached chain stitch in different shades of yellow, yellow-orange and orange. Ignoring any drama of the holidays or other issues that arose for a few minutes, calmed my mind.

Here’s how the trees are looking. I think that I will be adding a bit more orange but than I’m going to go back to the yellow shades.

Here’s what the full piece looks like now. It is definitely taking shape as a landscape. As I look at it in a thumbnail format, I can see that it still needs more dark values for shadowed areas but I like the progression. It’s interesting to me how the slow progression makes me look at it more closely and how the different colors affect each other. It’s been an interesting project and I imagine it will continue through most of this year.

What are your thoughts on a slow moving project? Do you get a Zen feeling or perhaps you are impatient and want to move on to a different project?

Slow Stitch Update

Slow Stitch Update

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!

Autumn Nuno Slow Stitch – Considering Value

Autumn Nuno Slow Stitch – Considering Value

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?

Summer Sunrise – Nuno Felt Landscape

Summer Sunrise – Nuno Felt Landscape

I have been working on a set of nuno felted and stitched landscapes and I have finished another one. This one I am currently calling Summer Sunrise unless I come up with a better name.

Here’s how the piece looked after nuno felting. It reminded me of flowers so I thought I would go in that direction with the landscape. I googled Montana wildflowers at sunrise and found several photos to use as guidance and inspiration.

I started by free motion machine stitching a line of mountains and some tall, skinny pine trees.

I added a few lines of grasses so the trees didn’t feel like they were floating.

Then to add a few mid-ground lupines. I just kept moving down the piece as I created these from background to foreground.

Then the lupines needed a little greenery and leaves. Now on to the main attraction, the foreground flowers.

I created the foreground flowers and leaves with hand dyed silk organza. I fused them together and then fused them to the surface of the nuno felt. Here’s where I forgot to take many photos. I get involved in the process and forget all about taking any photos.

Here’s a midway photo. I used free motion machine stitching to add the details and lines. I kept layering and stitching the flowers and leaves.

After I got the two large leaves applied at the very bottom, I felt that they were too bright green and really drew your eye right to the bottom of the picture. So I decided to darken them up more. I added darker thread but ultimately, they were still too bright. So I used oil pastels to tone down the bright green.  I also used oil pastels in the mountains just to give a little bit more definition of the mountains in the distance. So this one is complete and I’m still working on the slow stitch one. I will have an update on that one next week.

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!

Nuno Felting Landscapes

Nuno Felting Landscapes

I have started creating some nuno felted landscapes so that when the world returns to “normal”, I will have work that I can take to different galleries to sell. These are created with hand dyed silk (5 mm) and white merino prefelt. Some of the silk I used this time was dyed by my friend Paula Rindal. She gave me her silk when she decided to stop felting. Thanks Paula!

This is one of the pieces of silk from Paula. I see an autumn landscape developing from this piece. I don’t always have a plan in mind until after these are felted. Then I look at the piece from all angles and decide what I “see” in the piece. Then I progress from there. This one I am planning on hand stitching.

This piece was one of my hand dyed pieces of silk. I haven’t quite decided on this one yet but it might be mountains in the distance with Montana wildflowers in the foreground. I might use a combination of machine and hand stitching.

Again, another one of my hand dyed pieces of silk. I think this might be a lake with mountains in the distance, perhaps machine stitched?

This last one I based on a photo I took of the Whitefish river. I laid the pieces out based on the photo and then it will be all machine stitched. You can see I have started by adding background trees. I forgot to take a photo of this one before I started stitching.

So what do you see in these? It’s always interesting to me that people see different things in an abstract background. What would you create out of the top three backgrounds? I will be showing you the progression of each of these as I work through them but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

From Tiny Acorns

From Tiny Acorns

I completed the second nuno landscape that I was working on. I showed you the first one here.

Here is the piece of silk that I used. I can’t even remember how this was created but it looks kind of like deconstructed screen printing, perhaps. But it looked like a tree trunk to me, as usual everything looks like a tree to me.

Once it was felted, I used the silk screen shown to print some leaves at the top of the trunk. I combined silk screen medium and acrylic paint to print directly on to the nuno felt.

Here’s the piece after I printed the leaves. I added a few light ones on the ground as well by just using a small portion of the screen at a time.

The edges of the silk were loose and I decided that I would go ahead and clean them up a little before I started any machine stitching. So I pulled the edges of the silk around to the back and hand stitched them down. The photo on the right shows what it looked like from the front after stitching the silk to the back.

Then I started machine stitching some of the leaves. I used several browns, several reds, orange and yellow thread. I didn’t stitch all the leaves because I wanted some of the leaves to look like they were more in the background. So they have less detail and less bright color to allow them to “fade back” and give more depth.

I then added dark olive and light olive green to give a little definition to the trunk and create a few roots.

And here’s the final piece entitled “From Tiny Acorns’. You click on the photo to enlarge it. I am happy with the result and I had better get started on finishing and framing some of these pieces so I don’t have to do that at the last moment. I am planning on these pieces being in an exhibition in August.

 

1st Quarter Challenge – Nuno Felted and Machine Stitched Landscape

1st Quarter Challenge – Nuno Felted and Machine Stitched Landscape

I decided for the 1st Quarter Challenge that I wanted to do another nuno felted landscape. I still have a bunch of hand dyed silk that works great for these. In the spirit of using stuff up, I used a couple of silk pieces over white pre felt to create the backgrounds. I have only finished one of the landscapes but you will see both in the first few photos.

The top left photo shows the silk before felting. I didn’t really have a preconceived notion of what the landscape would be when I started. I thought I would figure it out as it went along. I laid out both pieces of silk over the white pre felt and then wet down and felted them by mainly rubbing. I did a little bit of fulling but left them fairly soft. While I was working, I saw distant mountains and evergreen trees in the pink/orange piece. The bottom right shows that piece after felting. I did decide to pull the edges of the silk around to the back and hand stitch them down to give a cleaner edge.

Next, I decided I wanted to give the feeling of more depth so I decided to add some sheer fabric into the mountain area. I used Bo Nash 007 Fusing Agent. It is powdered fusible. You sprinkle it on and then put whatever you are fusing on top and then iron it. The picture on the left is trying out different layers of sheer fabric and the one on the right is after fusing. Click on the photos to see more detail.

Then I began machine stitching. I didn’t want to put too much detail in the distance so it was pretty simple stitching. The middle photo shows the first thread I used in the middle distance and I thought it was too dark. It’s hard to tell the difference but I picked out the darker thread and took it down a shade or two on the right. It definitely made a difference to me but it’s hard to tell in the photos.

Next up was the trees. I followed where the blue dye was in the fabric and created the further set of trees with a dark blue green thread. It is much bluer thread than the foreground trees. Then I add in the foreground trees with a couple of different shades of green thread. They have a bit more detail than the further distance trees. Hopefully, that gives a sense of depth in the landscape.

I haven’t decided on a title for this piece. Any suggestions? Have you tried creating a landscape for our 1st Quarter Challenge? If so, you can share with us over on the forum here. 

Framed Pieces for Exhibition

Framed Pieces for Exhibition

I hope everyone is not tired of seeing these pieces. But everyone wanted to see them framed and I got them back from the framer and I’m really happy with them. They will be in an exhibition in September at The Purple Pomegranate in Whitefish, Montana, USA. The name of the exhibition is Directions and features four other artists. If you’re in the area, the opening will be September 6th from 6-9 pm in conjunction with Whitefish Gallery Nights.

Flathead Sunset – 11″ x 14″

Up the Northfork – 11.5″ x 14″

Autumn Mountain – 13″ x 18″

Morning Aspen – 13″ x 21″

Stormy Beargrass – 13″ x 22″ (I have shown you two photos because the first one on the left has a bee photo bomb)

Fireweed – 15.5″ x 33″

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that Teri Berry’s Felted Concertina Hat online class is open for registration. You can register here. 

You can learn to make great hats like this one!

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