At this time of year I always want to make textile landscapes, inspired by the generous swathes of flowers in exuberant colours that line all the hedgerows and roadsides around the Dingle Peninsula. The red Fuchsia, orange Montbretia, yellow ragwort and purple heather create colour schemes to rival the most boldly planted garden border. Together with fields of sheep with creamy fleeces and farm buildings with rust-red roofs, as well as the sea and sky in all their different moods, there is a rich palette of colours to work with.
To make my miniature textile landscapes, I draw ideas until I have a composition which fits the shape and size. At the moment I'm framing them in 4 inch wooden embroidery hoops.
Next I get out the felt and select colours, then cut out shapes from my paper patterns.
I tack the pieces together to keep them in position, then reinforce the back with a circle of iron-on interfacing.
Now it's time to stitch along the edges of the hills, shore and waterline, applique the little cottage and roof, and embroider the sheep and flowers with tiny stitches. It's fiddly but I like working in miniature. It all looks neat on the front of the picture, but the back is less tidy!
I neaten the back with a circle of white felt, then paint the wooden hoop and frame the embroidery. The last job is tightening the hoop and trimming the excess felt at the back.
I love making these little landscapes, and there's no shortage of ideas for more, around the farmland and coast of the Dingle area. The ones below are now available in the shop.