I was attracted to the Stitching Journal project by the idea of trying new techniques and my own ideas.I was unprepared for just how challenging that would be for me.
We all have to decide how much of what we blog is a “shop window” dressed up to show us off in a good light, and how much is the REAL ME? We filter our own truth, but if we share something that means a lot to us and we have laboured over , then the real us will be there whether we like it or not. And if we let people see the real us, will we get a negative re action? Scary stuff.
Which is a very convoluted way of saying I really did not know whether I would share the piece I have been working on this month. But at the very least I want to be true to me so… and besides which, it is no big deal after all. Except to me it is, the whole stitching journal is a big deal to me. It has taken me out of my comfort zone.
Here’s what happened.
I had taken down all my moss inspiration pictures last month. Up on the board now are a set of pictures which mean a lot to me. I have already lived with them through August, frightened ,yes frightened on how to interpret this idea in stitch. So I went back to moss having had two ideas of what I wanted to try, and had only tried one in July. This turned into quite a learning experience
I love moss, the way it looks, grows and the texture and it was the texture which was missing from my July piece. It wasn’t soft enough. So, I decided to make felt and stitch onto the felt. Here comes a frustrating part. I had attended felt workshops a couple of years ago, but needed to brush up my how to knowledge. Down to the library I went, yes I could have looked on the internet but a book is just, well more satisfactory. Only all the books they had had on felt had GONE, replaced with endless crochet toys books. Aaagh! Big search back home to locate the notes I had from the workshops. So far so good.
Next to the shop I knew sold wool for felt making- located within a craft workshop in a farm shop. Aaaagh! It had gone, replaced by a “Gift Shop” , the sort that sells Country style nic nacs all the way from China…
To the Internet, where I discovered Adelaide Walker and within a couple of days I had a lovely big bag of green merino wool for felt making. Five different shades of green. Perfect.
I could begin. If you have never made felt it is just lovely, bubble wrap, lots of hot water, soap and arm exercise. I had a really therapeutic Sunday afternoon.
That’s all the wool layered up ready to make felt. Bit of pink and yellow for litchen etc.. Artistic license
The first bit was a bit flimsy, so I made another. Now what? I wanted to manipulate it to give it the springy tussocky appearance of a mossy dell. But how? I searched through my books, my magazines , I came across a lot of articles showing what I wanted to do in calico but not in felt. I was on my own.
So I got a piece of calico and some wadding. I attached the flimsier piece to the calico so that it would fold over the second piece.
Then I stuffed under some toy stuffing
and pinned it down.
And began to stitch it using ordinary sewing thread and running stitch.
I decided to try some wrapping of thread using tapestry wool , to indicate tree roots.
And then I added some chain stitches using some wool from my stash
Lots of colours, very pretty, can’t say where I got it from I have had it so long.
Gradually ideas have begun to form in my head as to just what could be done by sculpturing felt. I am certain somewhere there must be a book about sculpturing with felt. It really does lend itself to being molded and manipulated.
Now I don’t need to show this to Mr E to be told it leaves a lot to be desired , which is why I had such reservations about posting this first attempt. And should I stop stitching on it… it just is so relaxing to stitch something so soft and so , well certainly not functional, but very tactile.
So there we have it -a first attempt at moss in felt…
I learned a lot about making felt- it takes much longer than you think to get it to felt and not to be economical with the wool.
I can see lots of possibilities for what I was trying to do, which needs more careful thought, I am not good at careful thought.
I like to have a practical use for things and probably should get over this, sometimes it is about the experience and the skill and not about a finished product. I should accept that I can’t do everything just the way I want it first time.
And this project is about challenging myself to find my own voice and sometimes it is going to be hard going.
So that’s my Stitching Project for August.
Linking with the lovely Lola Nova for the August Stitching Journal