Flowering trees in the spring are glorious, aren’t they? Maybe we appreciate them because their showy display is so brief. In this Part 2 of the series about making Mossy Glen, I share photos, videos and commentary about how I created the cherry trees that sit atop the hillside, off in the distance.
The pink tinted trees against the blue sky remind me of the blossoming apple trees in this book jacket illustration for my 1995 book, Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Of course, apple and cherry trees are shaped differently and their flowers aren’t the same shade of pink. I also constructed them differently – the apple trees are embroidered directly onto cotton velveteen, whereas the cherry trees in Mossy Glen are made with a combination of wrapped wire and embroidery on wool felt.
I also made the cherry trees as separate objects that could be shifted around. That way, I could adjust their position according to how the surrounding parts came out. Over the years, I’ve found that keeping an open-ended playful element in my process is more and more important. The idea of following a set pattern or grid, without much wiggle room, such as in knitting, cross-stitching or weaving makes me feel trapped and constrained, without room to breath.
I formed the tree shapes with wire, using a finer gauge for the smaller branches. The loops on the ends were big enough to sew a needle and thread through.
I wrapped the branches with embroidery floss and covered the trunk with wool felt, which I embellished with vertical rows of chain stitching. This Stitch Minute video shows how I wrapped the wire and stitched the blossoms with french knots.
This was the first time I can remember creating a tree with its own section of sky attached. Luckily, I had some pale blue felt that was almost the same shade as the cotton velveteen background sky.
After sewing the wire tree to the felt, I embroidered a few extra branches to fill in the gaps and added pink blossoms with french knots.
I made a patch of sorts, by cutting the felt around the contours of the treetop. At this point, I’d figured out where to put the trees, so it was okay to decorate the surrounding area. Watch this Stitch Minute video to see how I stitched some little bushes onto the velveteen background.
In the future, I’ll give a closer look at how I made the foliage on the hillside that’s positioned below and in front of the cherry trees.
Stay tuned for more posts about making Mossy Glen. Other parts in the series will focus on the stone walls, forsythia bush, embroidered embellishments and the wee folk characters.
Mossy Glen (overview)
Part 1 (moss)
Part 2 (cherry trees)
Part 3 (stone walls)
Part 4 (forsythia)
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