Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category

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.146A0419


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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.

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Phone case….

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…..


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Spun Fur

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?

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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.

This started out as a creamy beige pure wool, which was an op shop find.  Now mottled red/orange.

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.

A multi-stranded woollen yarn, which can be split for stitching……a single strand is about the same, or a little finer than Appelton’s Crewel wool.

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.

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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.

What Teresa calls an Eco Blanket – one of those old well worn cream coloured woollen blankes  dyed with plant material.

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.

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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.

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