Well after mulling over the Tree Rhythms piece I decided to ditch the heart and go with ‘Steve n Linda 1990-Forever, I like how the carver wrote ‘forever’ underneath the date, it’s as if they’ve left a space to insert the date of the end of the relationship!
Here’s a pic of the first stitches, there’s 4 layers of fabric here including 2 of the bark printed fabrics. The top layer is a green polyester net fabric and a hint of the printed fabric can just be seen underneath.
I’d got some green felting wool from good old Lidl a few months back and I’d crocheted up a sample rectangle one night just to see how it looked felted. It was lying about on my desk with no real purpose then I had a ‘wait a minute’ realisation that it would be great as a bottom layer for the embroidery.
Pics show the lettering and one of the slashed sections revealing the felt underneath. I’ve got to say I was pushing my poor machine to the limit with all the layers I was forcing it to stitch! There was a fair few jarring moments going round the letters and I ended up using a leather needle as I broke a couple of the standard ones, but she did me proud and finished this part of the stitching.
Here’s the selection of thread I used to create the bark detail, really enjoyed swapping colours and adding new dimensions to the piece
For the next stage, inspiration came from these glossy ivy leaves and the vines working their way up the trunk – can’t beat a walk with the dog as a time to come up with ideas!
I picked some leaves, scanned them into the computer, then printed them out onto a tshirt transfer sheet (thanks again Lidl!) I ironed the transfer on to a thick canvas then stitched the vein detail on each leaf.
Now we’re on the home strait!
Here’s all the pieces ready to be put together (This is the stage I was at 3 days before the closing date!) I made the vines using a tight blanket stitch of cream tapestry wool to cover a thick cord.
I loved how the buttonhole stitch curved around the cord creating a second vine, the stalks of the ivy I’m really proud of – I wrapped embroidery thread around a doubled up piece of craft wire then attached them to the backs of the leaves, glad I made the stalks quite long as well as I could coil them around the cord to secure them – 1 less stitching task to do!
Here’s the main body of the embroidery, I pulled the edges of the fabric around the shape of the felt – the sides are by no means straight but I think the curves make the embroidery look more like a piece of bark.
Detail of the bark stitching – I used a mix of straight and zigzag stitch – had to keep telling myself not to stitch over every inch of the fabric!
Well I’ll leave it there just now, once I get on the laptop I’ll post the photos of the finished piece taken on the ‘proper’ camera:)