So sliding in on a cloud of dust I have the branch finished just as the quarter runs out. I know we don’t have to get it done in a specific time but it is nice to get it done in the quarter the challenge is posted.
After looking at it and especially seeing it in a photo I decided the larger flowers at the bottom of the flowers should have yellow centres. So I added them. I used mostly french knots with 2 threads. The single french knots are smaller than the colonial knots. The Yellow stands out more in the photo than in real life.
It still looked pretty sparse so I decided leaf buds would help. I looked them up online. It was best to look up flowering trees and look at the buds in the background. It didn’t seem to matter the kind of tree the leaf buds looked pretty much the same. I made all the leaf buds at the same time so I would get them about the same size. It didn’t take long and I only poked myself a few times. That’s the problem of working small.
first I had to make the green I wanted. I had Christmas green, lime green and a very yellow-green. I mixed them with a couple of dog brushes.
I made 2 at a time. Then cut them in half and finished shaping them while holding them. I poked myself working on the pad not in my hand and I know Jan will tell me she just gave me a tool so I wouldn’t do that. But I forgot until after I poked myself, naturally.
I fiddled around placing them. and felted them down…… without poking myself.
I had originally thought I would add a bit of brown near the base of the buds but I didn’t like it and pulled them off.
I am quite pleased with the finished branch. Now I need to steam it a bit, to block it square. The dent on the left is really bugging me.
I have moved forward a little on my tree limb. I decided to go with a grey sky as a background so that I had more choice with colour.
I added a branch in brown It isn’t as flat a brown as it looks in the picture but I think I need to add a different brown to it. I will work on that.
Then I sketched the branch to think about colours. I decided on an orange central vein. That is probably not the right name for it but it is what I can think of to call it. Then a purple fuzzy haze with flowers in it. and some idea of budding leaves.
So far people here like the pink ones. I am not sure. Which ones do you like?
After searching my stash for another brown to go with my branch I had nothing. So it was good timing that there was a fibre event near me called For the Love Of Fibre. This is its second year. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1167963160700589
I was looking for brown but it seems I turned the wrong way went in and ended up in Top of the Whorl Spindles https://topofthewhorlspindles.ca/ She had no brown wool but she had these amazing sample boxes that are just the right size for me.
I wandered around and stopped at the Black Lamb https://theblacklamb.ca/ They have lots of wool but not the right brown so I got a piece of Black Felt (it’s more than prefelt but less than felt) It is thicker than the prefelt or felt you typically see. In the picture, it looks like there are lots of white hairs in it but that is just what it picked up in the stack of prefelt. I think if I run the lint roll over it, it will be good. They also gave me a size 40 spiral needle to try out.
Then after doing a full circuit of the room just to the right of the entrance, there was Farfelu Fibreworks https://farfelufibreworks.ca/ and she had the perfect brown. It is a little darker than it appears in the picture but lighter than the pencil roving in the picture with it.
It is Finnish wool so I was surprised at how soft it was. I asked her later and it is a lamb fleece. I asked people at the guild social to guess what it was I got superfine merino, alpaca and angora as guesses. I will have to see how it wet felts as well as needle felting. I think I will be wanting more so naturally she lives on the other side of the province. Oh well, maybe we can get her to come for our guild Sale and Exhibition in November.
I picked a piece or felt I had and added the sky and snow backgrounds. I used 3 shades of natural white wool for the snow so that it wasn’t so flat. I used Merino, Corriedale and something strong and shiny. the shiny wool may have been BFL or even Mohair.
Then I started working on the tree. I worked on a separate surface so as not to disturb the background too much as it is only lightly needle felted. I decided to work in two layers for the tree so this is the darker back layer. I started by just fluffing it up and then using a knitting needle to move fibres around to get a better tree shape. Then gave it a dry felting ( just flattening and wiggling it a bit so they the fibres stick together) to move it onto the background.
I picked a redder brown for the second layer. I forgot to take a picture of it when it was separate. I must have been in the felting zone. I put the tree slightly off-center. I tried it in the middle and I didn’t like it.
Here’s a close-up so you can see the 2 layers
I poked the tree all over to tack it in place and started fiddling with the roots, so it won’t fall over in the wind.
and some more snow
And that was as far as I am right now. I will probably fiddle with it more before wet felting it and then fiddling more, of course. I am thinking of adding a shadow but not sure how to tackle it. I am not sure where the sun is. I may have to go out to the field and look at shadows.
Have you started your tree challenge or maybe you’re going with making something useful or both?
We would all like to see photos of challenge pieces and if you are unable to upload photos directly onto The Felting and Fiber Forum ‘studio challenges’ thread, then please use the link below.
I have finally finished my stitching. I think it is definitely slow stitching. last time I had done a practice branch to see how it would go. /2023/01/13/stitching-some-trees/
I wanted to add some snow but felting onto the cotton wasn’t good. and yarn didn’t look right. So I thought, why not make it on some felt and then you can needle on some snow. The branch worked out really well. I do love stitching on felt.
Then I tried to add snow. Nope, it looked terrible. Sorry, no picture and no snow. I was a bit discouraged and was going to give it up as a bad job and then I thought I’d come this far, I should finish the piece.
And here is the finished piece. I used an app that takes out the real background and then you can add a nicer background.
All in all not a bad project with no real purpose other than to slow stitch. I had thought I was doing part of the first quarter challenge but on re-reading it I see I should do the same tree in each season and using an evergreen seems a bit like cheating. I have another idea. I saw a picture of making a tree that looked like it would work well so I am planning to give it a try. so hopefully soon I can show you.
And one last thing as it is valentines day in a couple of days I made a heart.
I would love to see Felt Matters but can’t bring myself to pay $65 for a digital and $81 for a printed ( 4 per year) magazine.
I like to leaf through unrelated magazines too when I see them. art quilt magazines are inspiring. They are good at showing you how to break down and simplify a picture. Nature magazines of course are great for inspiration. I have an old National Geographic magazine that talks about wool. It’s packed away but I found a picture
So tell us which magazines you read to learn, and/or get inspired.
At the moment I seem to be really squeezed for time. I have managed to start 3 small things
First I wanted to do another vase cover. I used a bat that was made on a blending board. I pealed a thin layer and then filled in the holes. I like the autumn colours.
That is as far as that got.
Next, I wanted a little bigger landscape I could needle felt and stitch on, so cut a 5×7 inch piece of the soft thick prefelt to use.
I wrapped the wool around the piece so there won’t be grey edges.
And that’s as far as that one got. I have it rolled up with the vase cover so they can be rolled at the same time.
Then, oh my I still have a few min. I had some well-fulled wool fabric a friend gave to me. I think it used to be a coat. I cut out a small piece and brushed up one side with my wire dog brush to see if it will stick together well with wet felting. Then added some fibre
The difference is hard to see. the left is the unbrushed side and the right is the brushed side.
I had intended to just add 2 colours and felt it to use for trying out stitching on the new water-soluble stabilizer I ordered. But before I realized it I had made another landscape. Oh well, that’s ok, I will have to try again to make some practice pieces.
That is as far as I got with that one. I will probably wet it and add it to the other roll and then do them all at once. Maybe next week I will have them felted. With this time of year being very busy for me, it makes it hard to get some felting in. I try to get some in every week so I can share with all our friends and followers.
As you remember I was finished my 3rd quarter challenge except for adding the name. After chatting with others at one of our guild social evenings I decided to put the name on the bottom left. I think it looks right for us because that’s where we see it usually. And that is because usually when you see a map of Ottawa it also shows the 3 cities across the Ottawa river to the north.
It turned out terrible. I need to make the letters bigger and then make them farther apart so the finished word looks right. It actually looks better in the picture here, than in person. I ripped it off and will try again.
I started my 4th quarter challenge. the colours this fall were amazing and I thought about doing a landscape with lots of fall trees but I just wasn’t feeling it. This is what I have done so far. I cut some dark green prefelt to 12×20. this is always harder than it sounds. I do have a proper rotary cutter now and that works way better than the cheap one I had before.
Then I started adding colour. I am not sure why the pieces of fibre look so blurry. When I zoom in, it looks in focus.
Lots of nice fall colours. They are actually dull compared to the leaves this year. the leave glowed even without the sun this year. They looked unreal.
That’s as far as I am. Next time I will show you how it felted up and what I plan to do with it. And hopefully the city name on the cityscape.
I will show you how things have been going with my second quarter challenge piece. If you missed my last instalment it is here. seascape-progress
I finished adding the green for the vegetation.
Next, I worked on the flattened serf
First I tried this,
But no, and then this,
I might have been able to make this work by adding something to the edge of the wave but I didn’t like it
And finally, I went back to silk throwsters waste. I also broke the water edge up into 3.
Next moved on to the foliage. I added green stitching here and there to give it a more vertical look. It doesn’t show much but does add to it. I added some handspun yellow that a friend Bernadette made up for me on the spur of the moment when I was moaning about not having the right yellow.
After this, it was just a matter of adding more stitches. I did add more of the yellow to mingle them more and stop them from being a line across the picture.
This is where I am, stitching away and I still need to add a little dark wool between the planks of the path. I had forgotten about that until seeing the pictures. They are more defined in person.
I was going to just keep going with the stitching. The picture if you recall is quite plain but I was finding it boring, and to uniform in proportion. It needs something else. I wondered about a railing. Not this railing I think, it looks like a Japanese character (badly build temple maybe) or something.
I think I will finish the stitching even if I add something else. Anyone got another idea? I have seven more days to be finished in time.
After I felted it, the front wave mostly disappeared and the white for the flowers was gone too. I should have known I would need more. Oh well, onward I go.
I thought the best way to do the boardwalk would be to make some felt and then cut it up. This was the best match I had for the wood. It is not white but it’s not really beige either.
I laid out a small rectangle of the wool and of course that was much to flat so I added the next shade up and some black wisps.
You can see better when it’s wet.
After it was dry I cut it into uneven strips. The pictures above are taken in my studio and these are in the guild studio, much different light. There are fluorescent but also lots of natural light. in the guild studio.
And here they are just lightly attached. I needled them down more after. I may put some black or dark brown between the boards. I haven’t decided yet.
Next, I started adding the greenery. I wanted more texture. The picture had gone very flat and it made the boardwalk look like it was floating.
I will work on the lost wave and add some stitches to help the plants look more vertical and then flowers of course. It should be done before the end of the month. Are you doing the challenge? How is it coming along?