This is based on my square from the month of September (scroll down to Oct 3) & that was based on looking up all sorts of artists like Jane LaFazio & Arlee Barr. They also feature in the QA e-mag 'In Stitches'. I don't think I'm denigrating the technique if I say it's accessible & one can do as little or as much as is desired.
First I compiled my chosen bits & pieces - photographing stages as I go along makes me quite organised!
There's (one of ) my jar full of odds & ends, the contents of a selection bag, balls/cones of wool that I snap up every time I see them in charity shops, wool tops/rovingribboned items of clothing & bought metallic organza. Also a few threads & beads.
My first technical problem was the white towel all the above is sitting on. I was sorting a chest full of bedding & towels out recently & came across a few 'Guest Towels' of the kind my mother put out when we has Guests. Well, they were my mothers. Why white, I ask?! I thought, perfect shape for a small hanging or backing for part of a hanging. I didn't know that a needlefelting machine didn't like the way towels were made, hundreds of loops, broke one needle & didn't think how tightly stitched those floral embellishments were, broke the second needle. You live & learn, they'll be used for something else.. So I used some loose weave recycled linen as a backing & felted away.
I added random pieces of wool roving all over
then strips & ribbons of shiny, silky, stretchy & cotton fabric & dyed (not by me) builders scrim & different lengths of yarn. I couldn't help but make a few circles, but I don't feel I'm reinventing the circle or anything ;) It's also quite 'intuitive ', oh how I love that word! It's a bit like a landscape, I'm borrowing from that a bit, I guess. I do see some of these colors in the land/seascapes some of the time, I just love these colors.
Love the blending part where you turn the work over, the needles push the fabric back thru again to the front which tones down all those newly added bits, as much or as little as you want (or would it get muddy after a while?)
Now for stitching, which is where I came unstuck for the second time. I did some travelling about in 'landscape' form with straight stitch then thought i'd put my very newly learned free machining to good use. Well, did i write down what I did before on my machine? no. Went to google again & almost every entry says 'set up your machine as per your operating manual' My manual doesn't say anything about FME. So after 2 hours of research & rethreading the machine a thousand times & trying to 'bring the bobbin thread up thru the fabric'- it's everything set at zero, stitch selector on buttonhole, feed dogs down, basically...isn't it?
anyway, before I thought my chest would explode, I got out the trusty darning foot & meandered around using a mixture of turquoise & gold metallic thread , burgundy & turquoise cotton, again, randomly, following the previous random shapes. If you start, you get something to follow. Amazing, really!
Then it was time to add some hand stiching & a few beads. I'm new to this so I guess I feel this is sort of a sampler, but nothing is that difinitive really, not in my house! Above is the 'finished' piece but I could go on adding ad infinitum. My DH is worried there's no 'focalpoint' i'm happy for the eye to meander. If I made a focal point would that make all of the above 'just' a background? He admitted that if it was called 'red sunset over the sea' he'd 'understand' it better. I'm just glad I went & did it!
(re flash, a necessary evil; I would only get a 15th of a sec, outside under a huge darkening sky)