And now for the fun part in making this Felt Like Gardening composition. Connecting the flowers with Chain Stitches that curl and loop to the ground adds motion and liveliness to the design. It’s always good to give a composition as little activity.
As I set this aside for a new project, I’m reminded that we all have so many ideas in our head there’s not enough time to finish them all. You have to pick and choose. And sometimes we must give ourselves permission to choose the fun project over the obligatory project. Think we should all go play play with our fabric now!
Thank heavens for my skills of disorganization. As this embroidery evolves (without a plan), I am forced to discover new ways of using stitches and thread colors to enhance the felt. When in doubt, go with old Chain Stitches. They hold down the little yellow leafy things and Straight Stitches make the veins.
Next up: have Blanket Stitches girdle the flower lobes in place. (Girdle, haven’t used that word on years!) Add a few Bullion Knots to top off the flower and a Stem Stitch to outline the bud.
This strategy of not planning too far ahead for a project started years ago. I had a specific look I wanted to achieve for a piece of artwork. That look never approached what I saw in my minds eye. It was so disappointing that I did not live up to my own standards. And so I gave up and chucked my standards. And feel much better now, thank you. Give it a try. Chuck your standards today!
Once the major elements on my little felt embroidery project are tacked to a background fabric, it’s time to add decorative stitches. The wiggly bits (the “grass”) are stitched first. These delicate strips are secured to the background with an embroidery stitch usually associated with flowers: the Pistil Stitch. Pistil Stitches not only travel across the strips to trap them into place but, add a little bead of thread to edge. It’s a twofer!
Incidentally, I’m teaching a class called Felt Like Gardening at Quilters’ Affair in Sister OR this coming July. This piece will be an example for the students.
It’s about time I stopped partying and begin working on a new project! Here you see the beginnings of a small garden design using acrylic/wool felt. All the shapes were cut using an Accuquilt die cutter rather than by hand. (I don’t want to leap into real work right away.) See the green “grass” area? That’s a cut-away fabric, the remains of cutting out leaf shapes. You could call it the negative of the positive shape.
After cutting out the shapes, my next step is to arrange them on a background fabric and take a photo of the design. Then I remove smaller shapes that are stacked or can be added later and tack the remaining shapes into place. Now it’s all ready to stitch. Any ideas?
Windy City #1 and Bird by Laura Wasilowski
Need a solution to that design problem that’s been nagging at you? Here’s what to do: Put a Bird on It! Yes, if a quilt just doesn’t sing to you, maybe it needs a bird. A charming bird always saves the day.
Windy City #1 sans bird
Compare this before picture of Windy City #1 to the one above. Note that it only has 2 elements of interest: the house and a tree. But, add a bird and the magic number of 3 is reached. Thus, the reason for putting a bird on it. Try this at home!
Natural Gardening by Laura Wasilowski
We all love to make art work, enjoying the process and results. But what do you do after the piece is complete? I recommend having your favorite pieces framed behind glass.
Garden Flowers by Laura Wasilowski
And I can highly recommend custom framing by Myrna of High Desert Frameworks in Bend OR. Myrna has a great deal of experience in framing textiles from the stitching onto an acid free mat to selecting beautiful mat colors to finding the perfect frame style. If you can’t send your work to her, find a local person who understands the challenges of framing and protecting your textile art.
Here are a few quick tips for framing textile art:
- Stitch the corners of the work to an acid free mat.
- Use a shadow box frame so the glass does not touch the work.
- Seal the back of the frame to keep it dry and free of insects.