Monday, July 20, 2015

Stumpwork Bumble Bees, Needle Felting and more!

In the Bee Skep Series, my goal was to stitch each of the eight canvases with completely different techniques and styles for both 
the skep baskets and the bees.  
It was easy peasy to come up with varying stitches for the baskets.  
However, on the Bumble Bee front, as they were all about the same size,
it was quite a Challenge!
The fifth piece in the series is below:  

Bee Skep in Fieldstone Wall
I LOVE the Bumbles on the fifth canvas!
They were Needle Felted with Colonial Needles Blue Grip Felting Needles.

Here is a photographic progression of the felting process: 
1. a small amount of Wool Roving in place. 

2. The start of the felted shape is about halfway complete

3. This is from a different spot on the canvas than the first two pics, 
but it is the final felted shape prior to
adding all of the finishing stitches.

4.  Adding the Stripes and Head,
using Embroidery stitches and 2 ply of Amy's Burmilana
Wool blend thread in Charcoal

5. Once the stripes and head are stitched, it is time for wings
(Now back to our original Bee,)
This is 26 gauge white vinyl-coated wire.
It is not necessary to use white wire, gold or any neutral 
shade will do just fine.
6. The wing wires are stitched with Buttonhole Wrap
or Cast On stitches to completely cover the wire.
~See Stitch Diagram below~

As you can see from the diagram, the stitch forms a linked ridge,
this ridge is rolled to the inside to optically
'fill in' the shape. 

Finished Needle Felted Bees:

The final framed piece in place on the Hutch in
my family room!