I delight when it is time to transition from the wet felting process to the machine stitching. Of course, it is nice to not have the hands constantly wet, but it also marks the end of the constructive part of a piece. With all 6 of the components of the piece, Reparation, completed, it is time for the surface refining. Free-motion embroidery compacts the airspace that is remaining in the felt creating a stiffer fabric as well as an embossed surface, an effect that is more dramatic when the felt is thicker and not as densely fulled. Now that I had made a correlation between this piece I was making for the DHG Charity Project and the current condition of my neck, I began making design choices informed by that condition. I created a checkerboard of stitched squares running along one side of both the chest and back piece because the tight stitching as well as the controlled grid illustrates the energetic block from the muscle tension on the right side of my neck.
On the opposing side of the piece, I stitched around the white wool nepps, leaving the thread line that was drawn as I moved from circle to circle to present more of a flow and movement.