20 Felt Pictures and a Hat

Wendy Hales of DesignSpark contacted me a few weeks ago about teaching a group of children to make felt pictures at their half term holiday club. I confess I had only ever taught groups of up to 5 children before and the prospect of having 22 pairs of eager hands and all the questions that go with them was rather daunting! But the day was a great success, exhausting but very successful, largely due to the excellent help from Wendy and her assistant. These are some photos of the pictures the children made, they were working on the theme “autumn” and considering some of the children were only 7/8 years old and none of them had made felt before I am enormously impressed with how well they did. It just goes to show what a forgiving medium felt is 🙂

img_1820

img_1812

img_1813

img_1814

img_1815

img_1816

img_1817

img_1818

img_1819

 

img_1821

img_1822

img_1823

img_1824

img_1825

img_1826

img_1827

img_1828

img_1829

img_1830

 

Alison another (slightly more mature 🙂 ) student, this time from my first concertina hat class forwarded some photos of her latest hat too, the pointy tip makes me think of a quirky wizard’s hat and I love her use of silk, you can see it has a lovely sheen even in the photos.

front-of-brim-decorated-with-silk-alison

top-of-concertina-hat-alison

The second concertina hat class is well underway and we have another wonderful group of very friendly and supportive students, one of whom made her first (gorgeous) hat within 24 hours of me posting the tutorial, now that it is enthusiasm for you! 🙂 I can’t wait to see the hats everyone else will make, I predict we are in for another bumper crop of incredibly beautiful and quirky hats… watch this space! 😉

My favourite colour is October

I have been asked to teach a group of school children to make a felt picture and the theme will be “autumn”, I love autumn, it is easily my favourite season. While researching images to inspire the children I found a post on Pinterest that read, “my favourite colour is October”, I couldn’t agree more! All the rich, vibrant oranges, golds, crimsons singing on a backdrop of deep green, what’s not to love?!

Today has been spent preparing for the class in 2 weeks’ time, first dyeing a stack of prefelts in mottled autumnal colours and then creating a felt picture to use as an example of what they might like to make. Being only A4 in size (approx 12″ x 8″) it was surprisingly difficult to achieve the level of detail I had in mind.

img_7796

img_7797

I am really looking forward to this class but it is going to be hard to keep my hands off these prefelts in the meantime! 🙂

Writing of classes, Alison, from my concertina hat class, forwarded some photos of her snail hat that she finished after the class ended, thank you Alison, she looks wonderful. The perfect summer cap! 🙂

img_4241

img_4242-1

We will be running the concertina hat class again next month, if you would like to join in please pop over to the Felting and Fiber Studio pages for more details and the sign-up form. If the the last class was any indication it will be a lot of fun and there will be some wonderfully fantastic hats made. Don’t delay though, the closing date for registration is 31 October 2016.

Concertina Hat Class

The concertina hat class drew to a close last Sunday after 4 weeks of fantastic hat making! We all had a fabulous time and everyone made stunning hats, which is all the more impressive when you consider that some of the students were relatively new to making felt over a resist. This post is a photo collage (in no particular order) from those who were happy for me to share their work publicly….

Meg was one of our most prolific milliners, producing 4 hats in just 4 weeks, the top one was inspired by Australian Banksia cones

meg-1

meg-2

meg-3

meg-4

 

Phyllis was another very industrious felt-maker, all of her hats included lots of beautiful 3 dimensional texture and embellishments:

phyllis-1

phyllis-2

 

This is Robin’s “Bill and Ben” hat, so named because she took it into work and her British colleagues started singing the theme tune to the well loved British children’s TV show 🙂robin-hat-3

robin-1

 

Tricia also managed to make 3 hats, I loved her single-sided snail fascinator, he reminds me of a colourful whelk 🙂

tricia-1

tricia-2

tricia-3

 

This is Simon the snail, made by Jane:jane-1

jane-2

 

This was Lizette’s first hat and demonstrates beautifully how completely different styles of hat can be made from the same piece of felt – it all depends on how it is folded and shaped. I also like her style – felting with a glass of wine in hand, now that is classy! 🙂lizette-1

lizette-2

 

Catherine only had time to make one hat but it was stunning:

catherine-1

catherine-3

This was such a lovely class to teach, all the participants were so chatty,  friendly and supportive of each other it was wonderful to work with you all – thank you 🙂  We had some really good discussions and your questions made me stop and think about why I work in certain ways which is always a good thing!

Well done everyone, I am so very proud of you all! 🙂

Here are some of the comments from the students in case you are thinking of taking this class when it runs again later this year:

  • This has been such an enjoyable class! Thank you so much. I’ve never really taken any online classes, much less classes on fiber arts. Now I’ll probably sign up for more!
  • It’s been great fun, just wish it could last longer as I haven’t even started my last hat yet due to work being mad.
  • Hi Teri, thank you for a great class – I am sorry I have not had more time to play but will have lots of ideas and your good notes when the exhibition is over.
  • Once again Teri, many thanks for the workshop and to all of the other participants- thank you for all your input, creativity and inspiration.
  • It was a terrific experience and your input was very helpful. Thanks for a terrific course!

I will post the link to where you can sign up for the next class in a couple of weeks, but if you can’t wait and would like to register your interest, please use the contact box to get in touch.

Bridport Hat Festival

Saturday was spent in Bridport with the Region 2 IFA (International Feltmakers Association) ladies at the annual hat festival. We had a shared table in the town hall and had a lot of fun encouraging passers-by to model our hats. It was a long day and the weather wasn’t on our side, autumn arrived with gusto at lunchtime at the crowds rapidly thinned out but it was worth the trip just to see all the happy, laughing people trying on our hats. The snail hat definitely drew the most attention and giggles as people tried it on, however it was far too big for almost everyone, I really need to make some smaller versions of the snail! 🙂

This was our table – a very small space for 5 felt-makers to share but we made great use of every last inch!

IMG_1781 (1)

IMG_1780

IMG_1779

These two ladies were great sports, between them they must have tried on every hat on the table, and had a whale of a time doing so! 🙂

IMG_1734

IMG_1735

IMG_1733

A few of the team sporting our own creations, you can’t turn up to hat festival without a hat, that would be like walking down the high street naked!

IMG_1774
Clare, me and Liz
IMG_1782
Vivienne trying on the snail hat and Clare

Sunday was a felt-making day, and what else could I make after spending all day surrounded by so many gorgeous hats, but another hat! This one is a departure from my usual style and incorporates a wide brim. It is still damp, so the silk isn’t shiny yet but I really like the shape, somehow it makes me think of Guy Fawkes.

IMG_7716

IMG_7720

IMG_7715

 

Weyfest 2016

What a weekend! I have attended Weyfest with the West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers for the last 3 years and it is always a very special event, a wonderfully eclectic mix of people, children and dogs with music provided by bands that I grew up listening to (Boomtown Rats, Big Country, Bad Manners…). It is located on the site of the Rural Life Museum in Tilford and normally I demonstrate / teach spinning with a drop spindle, while I am very happy teaching, watching complete novices learn to spin I have to confess I’m not much of a spinner 😉

This year we did something a little bit different, I was let loose on the unsuspecting public with my felting equipment and I was in my element 🙂 The first question was what could a beginner make in a short space of time? I considered flowers but decided that would require a fairly skilled layout…. What about a small picture / a coaster? Then I thought of pods, but would they be too difficult for a beginner?

She didn’t know it but Paula was my guinea pig, she had never made any felt before but did an amazing job, I was so impressed with what she made I took the plunge and made pods with everyone.IMG_1720

My next visitors were Phoebe and Jemima with 2 more fabulous pods…IMG_1721

There were a couple more visitors on Saturday, including a young lady of only 4 years, who made a felt coaster but I’m afraid I didn’t get photos.

After a good night’s sleep (I slept like a log) we did it all again on Sunday…

First up were 2 mother and daughter teams, Donna and Olivia, Ava and Helen. It’s hard to believe but Ava is only 6 and made a fabulous heart shaped pod. Didn’t she do well?

IMG_1723

In the afternoon we had Fiona, Vanessa and Sue pictured below and Sandetti and Niamh (who were under 18 and did not have a parent who I could ask permission to post their photos). Again, 5 more amazing pods and very happy customers!IMG_1724

What did I learn? Several people commented on how glad they were to make something functional, and I was surprised at how forgiving felt pods are too make, a couple of the youngsters had a very thick layout but the finished pods were fine, just very sturdy!

I hope we can do something similar next year, perhaps offering a phone / glasses case for some of the sessions as an alternative to the pods.

Finally, a couple of photos from my brief excursions to see the rest of the festival between teaching sessions:

IMG_1727

IMG_1725

IMG_1719

1 2 3 4 5 39