Harvest Time – part 4 (embroidered plants)

In Part 4 in the series about making Harvest Time, I share photos and commentary about embroidering plants to fill in around the 3-D felt leaves shown in Part 3. When planning out this piece, I wanted to come up with a way to separate the above ground front yard from the underground cutaway portion. I ended up embellishing gardens on pieces of felt that overlap the soil, roots, and stones below.

Harvest Time is the fall scene in a series of seasonal landscapes that capture the wonder and magic of the natural world, both real and imagined. Note cards and jigsaw puzzles of the this and other scenes in the series (Frosty Morning and Mossy Glen) are available in my Shop.

Harvest Time Jigsaw Puzzle

I use a combination of flat embroidery and 3-D forms in my artwork because I think it’s more dynamic and eye catching that way. I also like the process of doing both, so I mix it up to keep myself interested.

This part of the process was more free form and reminded me of the simple embroidered foliage I made in the illustrations for Hey, Diddle, Diddle.

Hey, Diddle, Diddle! board book, 2005

To stabilize the floppy pieces of felt, I stitched and wrapped wire along the outside edges and then embroidered blades of grass.

Then I doodled stems with chain stitches and added French knot seeds.

This kind of work is portable, so I carried around all of the parts and supplies wherever I went…

…and did most of the stitching in front of the wood stove.

The orange and red leaves are chain stitched with DMC flower thread, which unfortunately has been discontinued. It’s thicker and not as shiny as regular embroidery floss and has a sturdy feel that I find satisfying. I treasure my supply of flower thread and have enough to last my lifetime.

Glass beads make great berries.

I glued a piece of driftwood to the top of one section to make a perch for a wee folk forager to sit on. Doesn’t the whole thing look like a shoe!

I also created a mossy patch of front lawn to go just below the doorway with hundreds, if not thousands of French knots.

I padded the back of the embellished pieces with layers of thick felt so that they would stick out and float above the cutaway underground portion, which I’ll get to later in the series.

In future posts, I will focus on different aspects of making Harvest Time, including the toad stool mushroom, wee folk figures, storage containers, needle felted tunnels and cold cellars, roots, and stones.

The overview introduces the series.
Part 1 features moss making.
Part 2 is about making the turkey tail mushroom.
Part 3 shows the construction of felt leaves.

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5 thoughts on “Harvest Time – part 4 (embroidered plants)

  1. Hi Salley,

    Jade Campbell here from Brisbane in Australia, just wanted to thank you for your inspirational work, been following you for years now, and adore your generous sharing of what you do and how you do it. Suits your story telling mode of delivery perfectly, and I can only imagine the years of exploration and frustration before it finally evolved into the methodologies that worked for you and your audience… that’s the longest and hardest road Artists’ and Storytellers face, and very few have the resilience and support to get through the woods back into the light. I sincerely congratulate you for staying the distance, it has become your Legacy work – at least from my observation.

    I love people who explore other non Uni Art mediums & Methods, who recycle and incorporate found objects, invent perspectives that work for their own unique take on storytelling.

    Even though I studied Fashion & Costume & Fine Arts as well as taught in 11 subject areas for decades. my major focus has been in 3D for 4 decades.

    At 68 my focus now aside from my Create4Charity Group (making suitable Garments Bags, & Toys Blankets for Homeless and DV Shelter persons- since 2008) – is on bringing my Middle Grade/YA fiction series of stories to fruition using Miniature articulated characters/creatures using traditional Sculpting & Mold making methods, as well as Mixed Media Art Dolls, Toy making & felting processes – and more recently Stop Motion Puppetry & film making processes. What fun…

    Particularly as I have waited 4 years to have both cataracts and double vision eye surgery done – thanks to Covid.

    Anyway been a couple of years since i have responded to one of your emails, and I think it’s nice to respond so people don’t think their efforts are disappearing into the eather .. . .

    rest assured I read them all..

    Kind Regards,

    Jade Campbell

    • Thank you for your insightful comment and for sharing your background as an artist and teacher, Jade! It’s certainly helpful to know that people like you pay attention to my posts.

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