Friday, April 30, 2010

It's a Moss Pile...in a Leaf Year

This pile is my morning's work. I know...you're saying, "That pile of *&%! is her morning's work?"

Hey, I hear you...


Sometimes I am seized with an idea and I head down a path and I have no idea if it will turn out or not.

I still don't know whether this idea is going to work or not. See, I was trying to create that hanging Spanish Moss that helps to give Tulgey Wood a little dark and sinister air. First I tried crocheting the little buggers...forget that, I would be here until next June. Then I thought I would hand embroider them on stablizer...and then the madness left me and I embraced my sewing machine.

I hope when I attach them to the block, they will have the desired effect.


I've found that if I use Ultra Water Soluble stabilizer (it's much thicker), I don't need to put it into a hoop for the free-motion embroidery.


Only problem is it takes much longer for the stabilizer to dissolve. The trick is to cut away absolutely as much stabilizer as possible and then be patient.

So while the little centipedes of thread were dissolving, I tried some practice stitching.


I've been trying to find the right technique to use to make fiddlehead ferns. Aren't they glorious shapes?


DMC makes Memory Thread, a rayon wrapped wire that holds it shape very well. I decided to coil it around a size 00 knitting needle and then couch the coil down. I threaded through some dark floss but that didn't show up enough so I'll have to use something else.


It's definitely a contender but I much preferred the palestrina stitch on the right. I had to practice starting and stopping my thread and making it look contiguous. See that one wonky thread? That's where I started and ended improperly.

OK. So the rest of today and most of tomorrow, I'll probably be working on creating the Mushroom Forest and filling out the Tulgey Wood. Here I am again, immersed in making foliage!


I think I'll call this year "Leaf Year" - By the end, I think I will have tried almost every method of making leaves that are known to man...

Best Regards,
The Leaf Maker

P.S. There's a thought to ponder in my sidebar today. I'd love to hear your responses...of course, assuming you have the time, and it's not to much trouble, and you'd like to play...

30 comments:

Catherine said...

I think the moss looks fantastic!! And I love ferns, so I can't wait to see how this part turns out. My eye goes for the fern on the right - the dark green one.

Sheila said...

OH! These are SO NEAT! I love how your light green version is as compellingly touchable as the natural version! And what a clever way to use the stabilizer to make Spanish Moss. What will you think up next? (The answer of course, More Good Stuff!)

Front Range Stitcher said...

I can't help it but I beleaf that you're on the right track with the moss. The stitch you've chosen is right on. Those green curly-Q things are wonderful and so whimsical-especially the one on the left made with the Memory Thread, they're fabulous giving a Tim Burton style effect. I know you're having a happy day, thanks for spreading it around!

Seahorse Ranch Girl said...

This is a highly ambitious project. Courage! I like the moss and think it will add a sinister feel to the forest. I like the embroidered fern better than the coiled shape...but there may be a use for both. I LUUVE your mushrooms. I occasionally find polka=dotted mushrooms, but only once in red, and I agree that they ARE the inspiration for Underland.

Marty52 said...

That Spanish moss is going to work well. The real thing mostly grows in pretty dense groups so I think it will more realistic if you can overlap them and even layer them on your block. Just a thought, m'dear! You really have the fiddleheads working now. I like the palestrina stitch, too. The color of the memory thread is pretty cool but I line the palestrina stitch better. ;0)

Anonymous said...

ooo good!!!
fran├žoise

Suztats said...

Love love love that moss!!

Dolores said...

Ohhhh, thanks for posting your experiments. I am loving this.

FredaB said...

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the movie will still be playing after I get back to Chicago May 10 and then I can drag dear daughter to it. Watching this is like having a great preview. You did a wonder with the moss. Who would have thought of the machine doing it. You have a wonderful inventive mind.

I can hardly wait until it is finished. Is it going in a contest or can you speak about it.

Hugs

FredaB

Kaite said...

responding to your contemplation line: i found myself thinking about the dark rainforests in SE Tasmania. very dark and green, tons of moss hanging down and also underfoot so that one walks silently. k.

Diane said...

I'm so enjoying the way you are working through your project! Using your sewing machine and the stableizer was a touch of genius. In answer to your question, at first glance the bunch of stitching looked very much like seaweed, but pulled apart is going to make great moss. Are you going to use only black?

Loralynn said...

I love seeing your experiments! The moss is fantastic. I also can see it being used in an underwater scene as seaweed. I picture it with shells stuck in it(like your beach "shell tree")and little critters poking their faces out at you, nearly hidden in the thicket of green. The fiddle head fern is harder. I really like the look of the one on the left, but it seems a bit too "substantial" to me. I think you are on the right track with the palestrina stitch. Maybe with a second color of thread stitched between the existing threads for more dimension. Any way you do it, it will be fantastic!

Elmsley Rose said...

Great moss!

Lisa said...

The moss will add a a nice textural contrast with the branches you embroidered! As for conjurations of moss... makes me think of walks in quiet woods, also serene gardens and fairy tale hideaways!

Chris said...

Hello Susan, I can't believe I am a month behind in my reading. I can't believe all the beautiful stitching you've been up to in April. I was so excited when I heard about your DMC challenge and so pleased you chose such a creative subject. I can't wait to see what you will think of next. Love the dark green ferns, mosses and those mushrooms are so cool!

Jo in NZ said...

a bullion knot in an eyelash yarn for the fiddle head fern. You might have to trim the 'eyelashes' shorter, but the bullion is a great shape for these, and the yarn would give the texture.

Jo in NZ said...

the first part of my comment didn't make it.....

Illyanna said...

When I first saw the "moss" I thought it was the thread that comes out of an over locker. You know when you have no fabric in it. :)

Carol said...

There is not one comment I could add. Your pile of moss conjures a misty scene deep in the forest, hanging from trees. A visitor would be pushing it aside to pass on their journey even deeper into the unknown along a soft mossy path.

Your moss will perfectly set the scene.
xx, Carol

Judy S. said...

What kind of sewing machine are you using, Susan? Today at the Pike Place Market we saw some fiddle heads for sale! You replicated them well. Too bad this isn't 2012, not that I'm rushing things...... Happy Leaf YEar!

Robin said...

Headlines read: Queen Leaf Maker is victorious again!!! Thanks for the tips on using Ultra Stabilizer and show'n'tell on how to make hanging moss. Your fiddleback fern picture (the real stuff) is super gorgeous and your works in progress are worthy of your Queenship!

Robin A.

Jane said...

Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by over on my blog. I'm having fun with the new design. Also enjoying stopping by and watching your piece develop. You always come up with such interesting ideas of how to make things. Think the mushrooms are my favorites so far.
jane

Dees said...

... what your moss-pile conjures up? That you are a wonderfully, art-crazed, needle-frenzied, marvelous woman who is a Godess... So in the end of your day you will look upon your work and see it is good. Even the wobbly thread is good, the odd ends are good... And then you will rest on the sabbath.

Rachel said...

I was very intrigued by your moss - and believe me, having tried six different ways to do something myself in the past, I know how maddening it can be until the Right Technique pops out of your subconscious!

Allison Ann Aller said...

I love Marty's suggestion for your marvelous moss...
...and to respond to your quotation, when I look at that pile of moss I think, "Book Contract!"

tongfengdemao said...

I did not even think "That pile of *&%! is her morning's work?" I thought "Cool!!!" When I opened the page I thought it was going to be a garden post, so real it looked! This is a technique for moss that I'm definitely gong to borrow. I prefer the palestrina stitch for the fern coils,too, although I agree that the wire ones have an appeal.

Not a whole lot of time to contemplate it, but what I didn't see was thread. I saw moss and ferns

Elizabeth said...

We must call you Leaf WOman!!!! Love the moss and it reminds me of sea kelp that washes ashore on CA beaches!! Fabulous!!! i also prefer your hand stitched fiddles heads. They are so amazing strctually aren't they???
You are a wonder!!!

Denise said...

Wow!!! good on you! I like it! Right idea! it looks great and drapes just like spanish moss! what a smart idea to use the dissolvable fusing!

Ati. said...

I have been away for a few days and woops, you have made tables, mushrooms and moss and have began with great ferns. This block becomes "super", absolutely!
LOve the muchrooms and how you made them!

Ingrid Mida said...

You really tackle your projects with such passion and creativity. It is interesting for me to learn that there is more than one way to achieve a desired result. Beautiful work as always!

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