Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Amethyst Crag Stitchscape


I am having such fun with these felt pebbles! After exploring and developing my 'rock technique' with my Heather Valley Stitchscape I decided that as I had some felt left, and a lot of empty little hoops I'd just found, I would have another go, or two, or three, of making scenes with rocks at the forefront!

I started with three 12cm/5" hoops and just quickly filled them with lovely fabrics (mostly batik from a selection pack I had) in different colour themes, then did all of the rocks on all three in one afternoon! I have this dark purplish one, a pink sunset one and a lighter purple sunrise type one. My plan is to try different techniques on the rocks to see what textures I can create but it's all about enjoying myself basically!

This one came together really quickly and I suspect the others will as well because most of the hoop is taken up with the rocks themselves. I started by filling the gaps in these rocks with some of my lovely silk throwsters waste which was hand dyed by Oliver Twists and has lovely shades of blue and green in which go perfectly with the fabrics at the top. It's just so fluffy and lovely!! Tricky to control though as it's just a mass of lose fibres and they have a will of their own so you have to stab it with lots of stitches to try and trap as much as possible. 

As with the Heather Valley Stitchscape I started with the rocks and worked up, then went back to the rocks for extra details. It's hard to resist starting at the fun textured bit but I will often return there at the end, or even during, to bring colours down from the top and balance things out. For example, once I had chosen the purple to use on the top layer, I then went back down to the rocks and added french knots in the same purple to balance the piece. Whenever I had some green thread left on the other layers these would also get thrown at the rocks in the form of more knots so it kind of looked a bit odd for a while with random small patches.

The layer the rocks are sitting on is a lovely batik that you can't really see now but I wasn't sure what would be visible by the end so it is stitched, with a single strand of back stitch going around all visible shapes in the batik print. The top edge of the fabric also has french knots where the edge was visible to cover and hide any frayed edges. 

The layer above is another beautiful batik which has purple running through it - a perfect match for my colour theme- but rather than trying to match each of the colours with seed stitch, which I sometimes do to create contrast, I chose one dark green colour and have worked a single strand of seed stitch across the whole layer so that the purples and greens and blues of the print peep through the stitches. This layer has then been edged with bullion knots in the same dark green.

Above that is a gorgeous mottled batik with a streak of sunshine worked through it (in my opinion). The colour seemed to drain downwards so I wanted to carry on this idea with my whip stitch bunny runs worked over rows of running stitch. I absolutely love this technique on hills or mountains, it really helps to add a sense of perspective and distance. 

The top layer is a beautiful shot weave fabric (where the warp and weft (vertical & horizontal) threads are different colours) with some slight stripes woven into it. All I have done here is to work a single strand of wide back stitches along those colour change stripes. It has been edged with bullion knots and my little cross stitch kisses added to the calico above.

After filling the rocks with various colours of green and purple french knots, I decided that it was all looking a bit matte and I knew I had the perfect beads to add to this piece to help lift it! I have these tiny little seed beads, which are actually two different colours, in oily green and oily blue. They are beautiful and blend so well with the colours in this hoop! 

The rocks looked just slightly floaty in their landscape (are levitating rocks a thing?) and I wanted to anchor them to the floor slightly so found these sweet matte grey/brown beads which looked like small pebbles. Not only do they hide some stitches from when I was stitching the rocks down, but they've helped to bed the rocks onto the floor which is exactly what I wanted. Some are tucked underneath the felt whilst others have been scattered around on the ground surface.

Finishing this hoop kind of crept up on me actually. I was really enjoying it and suddenly I'd finished which was a bit of a surprise! Happily, I still have the next two rock pieces in this little mini series to finish off so I'm still going with my rocks. 

The stitch run down for this piece is super quick; back stitch, running stitch, bullion knots, vertical whip stitch, french knots, seed stitch, straight stitch and beading.

I love these photos of the Heather Valley & Amethyst Crag Stitchscapes together - it's like night and day! Oooh, maybe rocks under the moon could be a new design?????

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