It is freezing cold and wet today, so I have been sitting in front of my wood fire, putting the finishing touches to this piece. It’s all made from felted lambswool jumpers with machine and hand stitching. The back is red like the front with a split down it to allow insertion of the hot water bottle. The original idea was not this, due to a near fatal mistake. When cutting the embroidered piece to shape I omitted a seam allowance. How dumb was that?!! The only solution was to applique the whole, reshaped front piece to another bit of wool and so give a border effect. I think it worked.
Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category
This little town now has its very own library situated in buildings which once housed a local health clinic – it’s associated with the Central Highlands Library system so borrowers can access any of the books on their catalog. It is great not to have to go to the Woodend or Kyneton Library, or to use the funny Library Bus which came to town on Mondays and had a very limited selection of reading matter. Some of the profits from the town’s Easter Art Show were donated to the new library and used to purchase a variety of books on different crafts chosen by one of my local stitching friends, so I knew they would be worthwhile. Ever the reader of anything to do with textiles, I borrowed a book on feltmaking, something I have done with mixed results in the past. This book has a couple of chapters on making felt vessels, and having long admired those made by Teresa Poletti Glover, I decided to have a go.
This was the process….wool fibres layered over a shape, covered with some old panty hose, wet down with soapy water, and gently rolled against the sides of a bucket until the fibres felted. Then it was fulled until it shrank further and was shaped by hand. It was a little more complicated than that, but there are lots of instructions online for this technique if you are interested.
A woolly blob…..
After the first felting……
The finished vessel.
I think I may add some stitching to embellish it a bit, but was so pleased with it that I made another one this afternoon. I have lots of ideas about how I might vary the surface and shape or even to include some natural dyeing……I think I need something a little different to everyone else for next year’s Embroiderer’s Guild Exhibition. There will be some more experimentation so do watch this space!
This afternoon’s creation is still a bit damp so the colours might be a little different (lighter) when it is totally dry.
A week or so ago I made this piece of felt…….endless rolling of wool fibres, hard work, but I was pleased with the resulting piece for which I had a specific plan..
Having recently swapped a very ancient mobile phone for a rather splendid iPhone, I thought it needed a nifty case to protect it when in my copious bucket shaped handbag. It does have an metal cover already and I’m not sure this will be perfect, but I shall give this one a good trial. I spent several nights in front of the box just stitching…..no pattern, just filling the spaces with whatever thread or stitch that appealed.
I have a sneaking feeling that getting the phone out when it rings will be a nuisance, and I might well end up with one of those flip open cases that protects both side of the phone..Time will tell, but it was fun to do…..
Three years ago, one of my friends spun Maggie’s combings and made some yarn. I have also made felt from it. The problem is Maggie has a double coat, the inner fur is white and soft and fluffy, then there is the outer coat, coloured, coarser and some of it darn right wiry. When spun together the yarn looks good, but is actually both woolly and prickly – so not very comfortable close to the skin. I knitted a scarf, but only wore it once for this reason….perhaps she should have it back when the nights get chilly?
A small group of good friends gathered here yesterday, to further explore natural fibre dyeing – using leaves from two or three different Eucalptus trees, some Acacias from the property, plus red and brown onion skins. We worked in my garage, where it was at least out of the continous rain, but very cold. Using wool and silk fabrics and threads, pots simmering on a portable electric cooking top, and in my kitchen on the gas, there were some great results. There were various colours, depending on fibres and dye material used – so much so that the group is planning to do more together when the weather improves.. The first photos are from the day, but I’m not sure who did what…
There is a lovely pale green silk here on the right…
These next ones are mine…..unfortunately the colours are not really accurate – the result of trying to get good light on what is a miserable dull wet day! We have had heavy rain and snow flurries all day, and it almost looks like dusk outside.
Above is a piece of what was an old cream coloured blanket. The colours are better than they appear here, and it has been dyed twice. The second time some clear leaf prints happened, which is what I was hoping for.
Some lovely variagations in the threads, which were all in the same pot. Left to Right – wool, silk, silk, and rayon. The background here is the same fabric as the photo above, but is a more realistic colour.
And last, but not least, and not part of yesterday’s fibre fun, is a rock over which I felted some mulitcoloured woollen fibres then stitched a little. Makes a good paperweight.
It was a good day at the Embroiderers Guild today… lots of catching up with folk, sharing of work done in the last month, and a visit from local Textile Artist Teresa Glover who spoke to us about her development as an artist over the last few years, following life as a public servant in Victoria. A talented artist who works in wool and other fabrics, using natural plant dyes from her local area, plus hand stitching to make wonderful creations in felt, and other fabrics that one really wants to touch and stroke. She credits Frederick Hundertwasser, Fred Williams, India Flint and Jude Hill for influencing her works, but I feel she has her own individual style which can only develop further with time. These are photos of some of the pieces Teresa brought to show us, published here with her permission. Please have a look at her website for a better idea of her lovely textiles.
A piece made with silks and other natural fabrics, dyed with native plant material.
This landscape is one large felted piece, with a detail below.
A felted vessel, which may be worked on further. About two feet tall.
And finally, a small piece by Jude Hill, only about 14 inches square, which Teresa owns. Those of us who have done or are about to do, classes with Jude were fascinated to see something she had made in person.
A while since I posted, just having a little break. I have seen it written that the longer one leaves it between posts, the more difficult it is to start again… I think that is correct, and coupled with the fact I tend to over commit to online challenges and regular tasks, a little break has been a good thing. I am still three or four weeks behind with TAST2, and I think it fair to say I have dropped out of the Creative Cue, but I have not been totally idle.
There has been some sewing for the Embroiderer’s Guild Stall, to be held next year with their exhibition. These are zipped bags – the bigger ones are large enough to hold a piece of needlework, scissors etc, and the small ones …..well something small. Fabric happily came from my stash as I do not much like pink – but hopefully someone else will.
Then a day learning how to make this round box – also for the stall. The colour is not right….it is a Japanese one in a rusty red/orange shade. I came home with the wherewithal to make three more. They need to sell for quite a lot as they are time consuming and very fiddly.
Then I made another page for my fabric book…..”Inside the Gate”. This was a page to show the use of an Embellisher machine, which I demonstrated at the last Nifty Needles meeting. It is supposed to be the trunk of a large Eucalyptus, and was made using prefelt as a base, on a piece of woollen fabric, with the addition slivers of felt, knitting yarns, silk tops which were punched together before embroidering it with wool, silk and cottons. Some of the embroidery was further punched down to knock it back a bit more. It is about 5×7 inches.
Today I went to see three exhibitions in Castlemaine, and can recommend them to anyone who is in the area, or wants a very pleasant day trip to this area of Central Victoria.
Firstly, at the Steiner Gallery in Mostyn Street is a collection by Teresa Poletti Glover, who blogs at Here with T. Her works are made from hand made felt, and recycled woollen blankets, and other woollen cloth, dyed with natural plant dyes, simply stitched and just lovely. There were garments, bags, felted sculptural vessels, hangings and what she calls “eco blankets.” The colours, blending of shades, textures and stitching were beautiful, one just wanted to touch them all…..and take them home! No photos allowed of course, so this is from the invitation. I believe the exhibition may close soon, so go as soon as you can – it will be worth it.
Next, at the Castlemaine Art Gallery, Golden Journeys opened this afternoon – an exhibition of embroideries by Award Recipients from the Embroiderer’s Guild of Victoria to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Guild in this state. Many very well known names, and a large number of suberb works by talented women over the last 50 years, demonstrating a diverse range of techniques and stitch themes, from traditional and historic approaches, to work which represents and interprets stitches and materials in new and exciting ways, revealing that embroidery is a wonderfully rich and varied art form. This exhibition runs until July 25th.
The birthday cake and cup cakes are all made of fabric.
Lastly, more textiles at the Falkner Gallery, in Templeton Street, Castlemaine – this time by Guild Members Beverley Downie, Mandy Ginsberg, Wanda McPherson, and Sue Senewiratne. Framed two dimensional works showing great detail, colour choices and textures.
I’ve also been making silk paper….bought this book a little while ago, and decided to have another go.
Previously I have only used silk tops, which give a very smooth surface, as shown in the lime green and blue pieces below, but this time I made some with Throwster’s waste, and I really like the more textural effect this gives, as shown in the lighter blue/green and pink/purple pieces. The Throwsters waste had been purchased to use with the embellisher machine, but too many needles were broken due to its tight and hard lumpy texture in places, and it was relegated to the back of the cupboard. It is good to have found another use for this type of silk, and I plan to use it again in this way, perhaps to make a vessel or bowl of some sort.
For those who do not know about silk paper, this is a very good article on the types of silk fibre available and how to make this useful textile.
The same author wrote this book, which is from the library.
So – you guessed it……I’ve been making felt as well. Lovely stuff to stitch, but I still have a lot to learn. This was made with a grey pre-felt, with added woollen and silk fibres.
I mentioned a while ago I’m doing a challenge with Shelagh Folgate……this is what we have done so far – it still needs a couple more steps, and I don’t know exactly what – yet! Another installment of instructions is coming next month.
We started with a scan of some twigs and things…..
This was then used as a pattern for stitching from the reverse side, on a pile of felts, with added organza and other bits, to get this…..
Then some areas were partially stitched on the machine using a metallic thread in what was supposed to be Granite Stitch – a filling stitch made by stitching tiny overlapping circles with the feed dogs down. I had terrible trouble with the dark thread which frayed and then broke after about half an inch stitching, but then changed to another couple of colours that worked quite well. This is it now……
At some stage this is to be attacked with a heat tool as all components needed to be meltable, but before that something else is to be added, using wool tops. It is all a bit of a mystery as well as a challenge – I have no idea how it will all turn out!