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Shades of Green – Nuno Felt with Applique

Shades of Green – Nuno Felt with Applique

In my Level 3 Stitch class, we are working on applique this session. After creating an applique using silk organza, I decided I wanted to see if I could combine a nuno felted background with silk organza applique. I thought the texture of the nuno would contrast well with the smoothness of the silk organza.

I created the nuno background with some deconstructed screen printed silk and a piece of white prefelt. I stitched the edges of silk that didn’t adhere down completely on to the back of the felt to give a neater edge (right hand photo). I also shaved and removed any large white pieces of wool on the surface of the silk. This piece immediately made me think of the woods, now on to the applique.

I used the background to help figure out the tree shapes and placement. Here is the silk organza trees laid over the background.

I basted the trees in place and stitched with tiny stitches trying to avoid fraying the silk organza as I went. The photo on the left shows the piece partially stitched with the basting lines still in place on the right side. The right photo is when the trees were completely stitched down. I used a stab stitch and machine weight thread.

Here’s a close up of the tiny stitches. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

Next, I started working on the path. I wanted to have a vague path but not something that overpowered the rest of the composition. So I used a variety of green threads with running stitch to create the path. But in the midst of stitching, I kept finding my eye drawn to the black dots over the bottom portion and then in a straight line up into the sky. What to do?

I considered adding stitching to diffuse the black dots but decided in the end to cover them with a paint pen and markers. I have no problem mixing my media, so I used a white paint pen and then covered the white with green marker. I definitely think that helped to take that line of dots away and emphasize the path more. I also added a bit more darkness with black marker so that there wouldn’t be such a straight line of “ground” at the base of the trees.

Next was the decision, leaves or no leaves? I tried a bunch of different types of fabric and ended up using black and green tulle cut into pieces with a layer of green sheer pieces over that. In this photo, the leaves haven’t been stitched down.

Here is the completed piece. It is hard to see the subtleties in a photo but I am pleased with the result. It reminds me of walking in the woods at dusk as the shadows deepen and perhaps you can hear the owls saying good evening.

 

Natural Dyeing with Cutch, Rhubarb and Indigo

Natural Dyeing with Cutch, Rhubarb and Indigo

This summer I’ve been playing with a lot of natural dyes with the help of Cathy (Luvswool).  This is the third in my series of natural dyeing experiments.

As with the other dyeing sessions all the silk and wool rovings were mordanted with alum potassium sulfate.  I used the same silk habotai, silk gauze, silk organza, merino and corriedale roving and wool yarn as I did in my previous experiments.

I started with cutch which was in powder form.

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The colors for silk and wool were pretty much the same gold peach except for the the organza which seemed to soak up all the color.

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I decided that I wouldn’t use a modifier with the Cutch because I had enough browns and goldens.

So, I moved on to rhubarb liquid extract.

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The resulting colors were also in the peach/gold family.

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A couple of years ago Cathy and I had an indigo dyeing day.  I had a piece of dark crimped silk left over and decided to use this as a modifier for the second rhubarb batch.

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I thought perhaps I’d get a muted green, but here’s what I did get:

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There is a hint of green, but it’s not obvious in these pics. the silk gauze and habotai closest to a light turquoise.  The organza is dusky turquoise blue.  The wool is more of a baby blue.

Here is the indigo silk piece after being used as a modifier.  Still a nice indigo color.

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Have you done any natural dyeing this season?

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