I decided to try a free-er, more organic feel to the boundaries of the piece, so I took my Dad's advice and tried working to a roughly circle shape. I made the felted base with my embellisher from all sorts of different fibres - wool roving, Wensleydale locks, angelina fibre, bamboo fibre, tencel fibre, silk tops, silk throwsters waste, cotton nepps, silk fabric, cotton scrim, muslin, and I also trapped 3 tiny cowrie shells from Tiree onto the surface in pale organza.
Then I embellished the surface felt further with all kinds of things. I used lots of different threads (rayons, silks, chenille, slubby, fine, cottons, linens) to give more texture, by couching and hand embroidering in bullion, French knot, feather, chain, stem, running and sorbello stitches.
French knot stitch and one of the cowrie shells
Bullion stitches and couching
Feather stitch and chain stitch
I also added some needlelace pieces in wave-like shapes for extra height and varation.
I used a 12 inch wooden embroidery hoop to frame the piece. I really enjoyed making it and choosing how to embellish it. The only difficult thing was knowing when to stop!