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 🙂

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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.

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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! 😉

Fourth Quarter Challenge 2015

I’m still feeling a bit direction-less on this challenge, ambling from one idea to the next but I have at least managed to commit to making a couple of pieces of felt this week, both based on the challenge.

The first is a small hanging based on this photo of some cone flowers (rudbekia):

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My idea for this picture was to use different tones and shades to visually bring some of the flowers forward while sending others into the background.

Using the ball of ochre coloured wool in the middle of this photo I blended some different tones and shades by adding different quantities of white or black.

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And used these batts to make some prefelts:

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I confess I cheated a little – the yellow in the middle is not a tone or shade of the ochre colour, the original colour is the square 2nd from right on the bottom row.

These prefelts were cut up and arranged on a square of black commercial prefelt:

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After lots of rubbing and a little bit of rolling all the pieces are firmly attached and it is ready for some finer details to be added.

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I quite like the jolly, cartoon-like effect but think I can make the flowers look more 3-dimensional with some shading using the left over prefelts and pieces of the batts.

This weekend I also made a start on a hooded jacket, again applying the challenge instruction of using just one colour plus black and white. There’s still some way to go but here is a little taster…

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Rummaging through my stash I found some bundles of carded natural merino batts in white and dark brown, I had an idea that using batts would speed up the layout, which it did, but any time I saved in the initial lay-out was lost needle-felting more wool over the thin spots at the prefelt stage. 🙁

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I attached a hood to my favourite dress resist. Masking tape is great for making temporary changes to resists. You can see where I have permanently altered this resist to add sleeves using duct tape.

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Laying out the wool with some lovely Wensleydale locks for extra texture and some white mulberry silk for a little bit of sheen.

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Starting to layout the front sections:

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With a little luck I hope to post the finished jacket next time.

Some more dress-making, a sun hat and some fishes

Following on from Tatiana’s workshop, I have been making more nuno felt yardage for dress making. This is a top made using the same basic pattern from the orange shibori jacket.

I started this sun hat in January, using some hand dyed merino, the variegated roving yields a lovely mottled colour when felted, I also felted in a piece of hand dyed silk for decoration and texture

Today, I started working on a new wall hanging of fish on a reef. I am using some hand dyed pongee 5 silk and hope that the ripples and sheen will give the impression of water.

The weather was lovely, so after making the nuno felt I moved outside to “work” in the sunshine.

I have just ordered some longer stretcher bars and hope to share the final hanging next week.

Give Aways!!

To promote the launch of my new Facebook page I have decided to offer the chance to win a £20 (approx 30USD) voucher to spend in my Etsy shop as a thank you to everyone who has helped to spread the word. I will hold the prize draw when the number of likes reaches 100. It has already reached 13 with no promotion so I’m hopeful it will get to 100 within a couple of weeks and the lucky winner can use their voucher for a Christmas splurge.

To enter all you need to do is:

  1. like my FB page (click here)
  2. Share the “Give Away!!” post on your FB timeline
The winner will be drawn at random when it reaches 100 likes. GOOD LUCK!!
And another Give Away – TextileArt.org are offering 10 of their favourite textile art books for free, just follow this link to enter.
Onto more woolly matters… 😉
This is the finished “sea creature” bowl I posted a picture of last time, I used the dyeing technique in this tutorial to created the colour graduations. The bowl was made using a combination of multi-layered resists, adding flaps of prefelt and stitching during the felting process. It was a bit of an experiment to put all 3 techniques together so I’m really happy that it has turned out so well.

I confess I made this scarf a couple of weeks ago but have only just found time to photograph it, it is some rainbow dyed habouti 5 silk with merino nuno accents. The silk catches the light beautifully but you will have to take my word for that – I just can’t seem to get sheen or metallic shine to show up in photos – can you?

The show at the Rural Life Museum was fun but not particularly lucrative, but all the other traders were lovely and there were some really interesting customers including one lady who my heart went out to; she struggled to find gifts for her overly discerning (and IMHO ungrateful) mother so had changed tack and was now buying gifts that she would like to receive in the hope that it would be regifted back to her. I think she has the patience of a saint, I don’t know that I would tolerate that sort of behaviour – I certainly wouldn’t continue to buy gifts for them!

Rainbow Theme Continues….

I have been making a few of these recently, dyeing the prefelt is a lot of fun and I think the finished effect is very striking and the bright colours make me feel happy. This piece reminds me of aliums as they go to seed so have called it “Rainbow Alium”.

I also managed to mount my coral piece onto a wooden frame ready to go onto Etsy. I decided the white shows off the folds beautifully so chose not to dye this one. Here is the finished piece.

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