The last little Stitchscape in my set of three featuring felt rocks is finished! It completely flipped from when I first put the fabrics together as my initial thoughts were that it would be a kind of soft, misty morning piece with pale greens and lilacs. However, before I started this one I'd gone down a rabbit hole of discovering goldwork purl pieces (long lengths of tightly coiled wire in various widths and colours which can be trimmed to length and are hollow) which ended up with several different colours of 1mm smooth purl lengths in my Etsy basket!
The metallic colours are a bit darker than my original vision but I was very excited to have a play around and see what I could create. I had started the top layers whilst waiting for the purl pieces to arrive, but as soon as the parcel hit the doormat, I was snipping little pieces off and threading them to make fun loops around the rocks! You can make these pieces as big or small as you like, just cut them to size and thread a needle (I used a beading needle) through the whole length. Depending where you put your needle back through the fabric you can keep these as flat pieces (which I think is more traditional for goldwork) or as I've done, make fun loops that interlock and go in all different directions.
The top layer is a beautiful fabric print made to look like a sunrise/sunset with silhouetted birds. I haven't used the birds in this piece as they would be too large but the colour of the sunrise clouds is really pretty with cream and purple blended together. I've just worked a single strand of back stitch around the more obvious colour changes or cloud lines and used a variegated thread to try and match a little bit of the blending of colours. The same thread has been used to make bullion knots at the top of the fabric although it's come out quite blue there.
The next layer down is a pretty floral piece and I wanted to keep as much of the texture of the flower as I could. The print itself was slightly blurry so I had to guess or go over some of the details but where there were obvious petal lines I worked a single strand of whipped back stitch, again with a variegated thread so there are some differences in colour where I've whipped over the original back stitches. Between those lines I worked single strand straight stitches to try and show the direction of the petals and add more texture. At the centre of the flower I've made two strand, one twist french knots in that orange/coral colour to help start balancing some of the smooth purl in the same colour at the bottom.
The minty leaves in the centre were worked with fly stitch using two strands so they stand out a bit more, and the same minty colour was couched to the top of the whole layer as a contrast.
The blue/green batik layer under that has had all of the green leaf patterns covered with satin stitch, although I've tried to vary the direction of the satin stitch as I prefer the way it looks rather than having everything going in the same direction. Where I could I went with the length of each leaf and worked outwards along the stems.
Not all of the blue edge was covered by satin stitches so before working another line of couched thread along the fabric edge I've done a discreet running stitch just a couple of millimetres in from the edge. This is a great technique to keep those edges neat where your stitches actually in the layer may not be protecting the edge. If you are doing the same thing you want to work your running stitch far enough in from the edge that it doesn't fray.