Sunday, 18 April 2021

Moon Rising Stitchscape

This was such a fun Stitchscape to do! A few weeks ago I put together lots of new Stitchscape hoops - it was just a weird urge to have lots of projects on the go at once in all different colours so I had a full afternoon of going through my stash, all of the boxes and baskets out and just playing with colour combinations and being inspired by what was in front of me. 
This piece came about because all of these fabrics had been stacked next to each other - that is quite literally it! The blues were all in a 'blue' section from when I first had the draws and tried to keep it colour co-ordinated, and a yellow had snuck in there next to them. 

It just spoke to me of a warm sun (or moon that it now is) rising over blue hills. To be honest I'm never quite sure how these landscapes appear. I don't usually have any kind of plan, the scissors meet the fabric and I go wherever they want me too, it's a severe case of wiggle cutting!
The title of this piece came about because an account I follow on Instagram (you should follow her, it's @phoebeganderart) shared a photo of the brightest moon I've ever seen rising over the sea in New Zealand. I believe Phoebe is an ex-pat now living in New Zealand and oh my gosh I want her life next to the beach and studio in the garden where she can just get covered in paint and dance like crazy! 
The moon in the photo was so bright it could have been the sun and just stuck in my head so that is how the name came about for this piece. 

 I think this Stitchscape was always going to be about contrast. Blue, orange and yellow just sing so joyfully together that it just had to happen here. I love the serenity in this piece actually, it seems really calming and I kind of wish I had made it bigger now (it's only a 12cm piece) although then it might lose a little of it's charm I suppose. 

I think part of the peace is because I have let the fabrics be what they want to be rather than adding my usual additional embroidered layers. The top layer is a gorgeous quiet cloud print I have and most of this has been left bare, apart from the one cloud area on top of the hill where I've gone around any sharper cloud lines with a single strand of back stitch, and any frothy cloud sections (which were paste printed) with tiny french knots. For the edges of the fabric I have added a single strand of running stitches just to help keep everything in place but it's so discreet it could just be puffs of wind encouraging the clouds along. Topping this fabric edge is a line of whip stitch over back stitch which I think I went over a couple of times to make it slightly thicker as the fabric was starting to fray slightly.

The blue behind the moon has just been treated with two strand seed stitch - a favourite of mine for plain fabrics, you may have guessed. It's a good one to add texture but not more colour or pattern as you can blend it with the colour of the fabric it's covering and then it just becomes a blur of light and dark in tones of the one colour. 

The moon itself has also been mostly left as it was. I loved the random splashes of orange in this fabric which reminds me so much of the craters and crevices we can see as shadows in the moon itself so I didn't want to cover them up but also didn't think I could do it justice with a stitch over the top. Circular running stitch in a single strand was a good solution I think and really draws your eye in to those colours and the centre of the circle. It makes it almost look like it's spinning, do you know what I mean?

The daisies are already printed on the fabric at the bottom and I've gone over each petal with a detached chain stitch to bring them out, and a mix of yellow and orange french knots for the centre. The stems have been done with split stitch to keep them nice and neat and I've added more detached chain stitch leaves (which weren't in the fabric pattern) and a little bead on the opposite side of the leaves for the smallest amount of bling. 
In some cases the flowers were just buds so these were brought out with white french knot clusters and as I had some orange left over from the centres I've also tried to create some fly stitch butterflies flitting between the daisies. I'm on the fence about these, are they too stylistic? There were just some gaps between the flowers and I thought butterflies would be a nice touch. Still not sure about them though.

The big blue batik mountain was again simply treated with a single strand of back stitch around all obvious shapes and then I used a full 6 strand thread piece to be couched down along the edge. This is such a neat way of edging fabric and there are so many different things you can do with this technique; adding other colours or different types of thread or yarn, couching it in loops or bumps, or pulling it straight for a tauter line. 
This one is a medium line I think, some bump-age but not much. 

Once it was finished though it was just too blue!! I pondered for a little while about what to do and ended up using a dark orange (as if the side of the mountain was in shadow) and trailing some tiny french knots down the side, using the shapes where I could or just tumbling down the hillside freely. 
I think this has really made the piece pop and the layers gel together with the different oranges and yellows in it. 

The same orange as the french knots on the hillside have been used to finish off the bottom of the daisy fabric with big crosses so that colour blends it all nicely together. 
I think the nicest thing about this piece is how easy on the eye it is and that is due to the composition (positioning of the shapes) mostly but the colours definitely and a little bit of the colour balancing with the white in the clouds at the top and daisies at the bottom, lighter orange in the moon and in the daisy centres, light blue at the top and bottom and just a big band of dark blue matched with delicate leaves. It's all about the contrast!

The different stitches used in this piece are; back stitch, whip stitch, straight stitch, running stitch, french knots, couching, split stitch, bullion knots, seed stitch, detached chain stitch, fly stitch, beading and couching.

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