Exciting News and a Giveaway

We’ve been working on a new venture for The Felting and Fiber Studio … Workshops and Classes!  The first class we’re offering is “Wet Felting Workshop for Beginners“. The first one starts on Sunday 1st March 2015. It’s a 3 week course developed to give absolute beginners a good foundation on which to develop their wet felting skills. Not only are there the expected ‘How to Felt’ instructions, but there are also simple exercises designed to show what happens when wool felts under different conditions so you can control the outcome. There is also lots of info on using different types of wool and animal fibres, tips for inexpensive tools, alternate techniques etc. For more info on the course, have a look here: http://feltingandfiberstudio.com/wet-felting-for-beginners/

We have lots of ideas in the pipeline and some classes are in development, keep an eye out on our Classes page for further info. We are also hoping other fibre artists will ‘hire’ the Studio site and the Class support forum as an online venue to teach their own classes from. We haven’t figured out the details for this yet, it’s still early days, but it won’t be expensive, we just want to cover hosting costs and media storage expenses; our aim has always been to support the community,  not make our fortunes :)  Feel free to contact us if you’re interested.

wet felting FOR BEGINNERS flyer GIVEAWAY smallSo, to celebrate the launch of the Workshop, we’re giving away 4 free class places. The giveaway is for the 3 week course, you just need the supplies and felting equipment listed on the class information page. All you have to do to win is leave a comment in reply to this post. We would really appreciate it if you would blog about it or share the info on Facebook or other social media. We’ll announce the winners on February 6th and contact you with the details. If you’d like to sign up for the course, please use the Contact Form at the bottom of the Class Info page. Good Luck!

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Swirly Rainbow

Ann’s daughter went into labour yesterday, so I’m doing a quick post to fill in. Thinking about the first quarter challenge on colour, I remembered a swirly rainbow piece I made a couple of months ago. I started it the same way I usually make my rainbow pieces, but instead of just adding wisps of the colours from adjacent rows to blend them together, I blended the wisps roughly by hand, then fluffed them up before adding them. I realised this might look a bit odd once it was felted, so I fluffed up wisps of all the colours and added them to the top before felting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMostly the wisps/rows all blended together nicely. I don’t know whether I used too much yellow here blended with orange or if maybe a few wisps wafted out of place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see the texture of the swirls on this close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you done anything for the challenge yet?

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Designing a Set for Into the Woods

I have been traveling and haven’t had much time for any fiber art. Each year I go and see my sister Rebekah in Richmond, VA and then we travel on to a handcrafted wholesale show from there. This year the show was in Washington, DC and the name changed to the American Made Show. Because it was closer to Richmond and Rebekah’s home, we did have a bit of spare time. Rebekah has been involved with the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Drama Club since my niece Lizzie attended the school. She still occasionally helps out with set design and while we were visiting, the director for the upcoming show of “Into the Woods” had asked her to help out with designing a set. I sat in on the meeting with the director and several others who were helping out with the set design. Even though it isn’t fiber art, it is a creative pursuit and I found it very interesting. If you haven’t seen “Into the Woods”, there is a new movie out with Meryl Streep or you can find one of the older Broadway productions online to watch. It’s a musical with a mix of fairy tales.


After the meeting, once Rebekah had an understanding of what the director wanted, she got out her supplies. She always builds a mock-up of the set first in 1/4 or 1/2 inch scale using card stock and foam core board. She needed to build a set piece that included Cinderella’s castle, an interior of a home with a hearth and Rapunzel’s tower. The director wanted it to be all one piece that would have wheels and could be turned around to match each scene as needed. He also thought it would be a good idea for the center to be hollow so the actors could move undetected from one scene to the next.


Here are Rebekah’s first drawings of what that set piece might look like. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be working on creating trees for the forest. So I searched online for photos of “gnarly trees” and forest scenes.

Trees in front of backdrop

Then I started cutting out trees in card stock. These were supposed to be 1/2″ equals one foot but I think I might have messed up because they ended up being too big.

Standing Tree Up

I used more card stock to make the trees stand up and to give the trunks further support.


Here are a few of my trees standing in front of our chosen backdrop photo.

front of stage

I also made a bunch of branches that would be put at the front of the stage coming down from above to denote that you were moving back “Into the Woods”.

more spooky trees

I also added charcoal to the trees since the blue card stock wasn’t exactly tree like.

Cinderella's Castle

Meanwhile, Rebekah made this amazing structure. This is Cinderella’s castle.

Side door tower

The side door into the tower.

Rapunzel's Tower

Rapunzel’s tower.

Finished Hearth

And the village hut with a hearth. This is a three-sided structure, you can see the bottom of the steps to the castle on the left side. The hearth is open so that actors can get in and out of the center. There are plans for a ladder so that the top of the tower can be reached.

Inside Structure

This is a view of the inside of the structure. The hearth door is on the left and the stairs of the castle are towards the top. You can see Rapunzel’s window in the bottom right of the photo.

Cow and Hen

Since I got finished with my trees before Rebekah was finished. I also made a cow and a hen. These are props for Jack in the Jack and the Beanstalk part of the story. I had a really good time helping to create the mock-up for the set. I hope that Rebekah will be able to get me some photos of the set after it is built full-scale. If you are in the Richmond, VA area, you might want to check out the production.


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Pandagirl’s Year in Review

I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve been traveling and have several family affairs looming that need my attention.

I started out in 2014 as a forum member and then in March I was a Global Moderator!  This past year has brought many challenges and delightful learning and wonderful outcomes in terms of felting.

My year started with experiments in dyeing.

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I shared my venture into encaustics.

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Tried my hand at painting with wool.

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Experimented with different wools.

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Participated in the quarterly challenges.

Jackson Pollock - Marilyn

Stewart Stephenson - Marilyn

Stewart Stephenson – Marilyn


Monet 2 after felting

Monet 3rd quarter


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Land Art 4th Quarter


Tried framing methods.

burlap 2

I broke down to drum carder envy and began my foray into making batts.  Woo hoo!

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Cathy and I tried indigo dyeing.

silk and thick n thinMy marketing blogs…

addiction biz cards wool side






I know it’s been awhile, but its more fun felting than marketing…  Sorry.


I taught a felting  class.


Toni and her placemat


There was a period of obsession with pods and vessels.

After rinsing

I ventured into free motion stitching.

moy layout

Then I experimented with embellishments and making a book cover.

finished front

Designing and making a handbag was a huge accomplishment for me.


I  experimented with 3D felting – grapes and flowers.

finished 2

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I learned a lot of new techniques in Fiona Duthie’s class.

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It was a busy year visiting farms, mills and fairs.

susan democarder back







I made scarves including a cobweb scarf.

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A big project was a 3D free motion stitched bowl, oh my!

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Felting a rooster, I learned to combine wet and needle felting.

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Our holiday exchange was an experiment of combining beading and felting.

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All in all, it’s been a very productive and inspiring year felting. Of course, there were many more projects that were completed.  It has been a wonderful year.  I want to thank all of you for teaching, inspiring me and encouraging me to do and try more.  Thank you!  A special thanks to my fellow moderators and Luvswool (Cathy),  Leonor at Felt Buddies and Nada for pitching in and contributing to the blog.  It’s been a terrific, fun journey.  I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings and what I learn and try!



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Silk Nuno Samples

I bought some silk fabric from a seller on ebay quite a while ago. It was listed as Silk Organza and it felt ‘stiff’ like some of the thicker synthetic organzas can, but was even stiffer. It kind of ‘bent’ rather than folded! I mentioned it on the forum and after suggestions decided the best thing to do was wash it and see how it turned out. I don’t have any photos of it as it comes, I remember trying, but it was acting like patterned shirts do on the telly. This is how it looked after a wash:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt started to crumple up and look like foil, and didn’t want to uncrumple. In some places it started to fall to bits:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI googled, and came up with a couple of sites talking about vintage fabrics, and especially how delicate silk taffeta is with its metallic threads and something about how taffeta is prone to disintegration because of the metal salts used to give an opalescent sheen. So, I’m fairly certain it is taffeta and not organza. I did a sample using a piece before washing, at the top, and a piece I’d washed, at the bottom:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe unwashed piece kept its shape better than I thought. Actually, so did the washed piece, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it just fell to bits. I did a similar sized sample with just one piece unwashed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe taffeta still feels stiff after felting, but it does look nice. Angled:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can really see the sheen and texture on this close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago, I made some more drum carded blended batts. I used 18.5 mic primary yellow Merino blended with hand dyed Milk, Silk and Soy fibres; and 18.5 mic Merino blended with black bamboo and hand dyed Milk, Silk and Soy fibres; then I blended them together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few people pointed out they fit in well with the first quarter colour challenge, making a shade. I’m hoping I get chance to felt a little sample of them soon, I’m curious how the fibres will show through.


Posted in Experiments, Nuno Felting | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Felt and Stitch Bowl Attempt

I needed a liner for a basket for collecting eggs. This is a small basket but I will need a bigger basket before long as we got some new chickens.


I thought I would try sewing around and around a flat piece of felt as I had seen on Lyn’s blog. http://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/handmade-felt-and-stitch-bowls.html she sells  an ebook of how to do it. If I had downloaded it and if I had followed it I probably would have had better results. I am much to clever for that, not.  I did it form a vague memory of Lyn mentioning something on the Forum.

So I found a piece of felt  and cut it to what I hope will fit my basket. Nothing beats guessing when its right. :)

felt and bowl

Next I started stitching, switching the machine from turtle speed to rabbit speed as neatness doesn’t really count here. I also used up all my part bobbins so now I have some empty ones.

As you can see after the first go round it is still flat felt. I decided there was not enough stitching so loaded up the machine with orange and off I went again around and around.

stitching round 1 stitching round 2

As you can see that didn’t help at all. There was a slight curving on one side but not what I would call a bowl. Still I needed a basket liner and after all this is not a beauty piece but a partial piece I cut it.

cut to fit

and sewed it

re stitched

egg basket with eggsHere it is with some eggs in just to prove it really is an egg basket. I haven’t really used it yet in the barn. Theses are some that where collected this morning that are not in cartons yet.

I think the problem besides not buying the tutorial and following the instructions is that my felt was fairly thick and well fulled. I do know from my few attempt at free motion machine embroidery that the felt does strange things if not backed with something. The other thing that may have done it was I started at the outside. Perhaps if I had started in the middle the felt would have reacted differently.  All in all I ended up with a basket liner and had fun sewing like the wind round and round.



Posted in Experiments, Free Motion Stitching, Mixed Media, Sheep Farming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

First Quarter Challenge – Color Schemes Using a Color Wheel

Now that we’ve looked at the basics of color and made a color wheel, what do you do with that? A color wheel is a wonderful resource for choosing a color scheme for a project. You will see many terms for different color schemes but don’t worry about all the varying language. By using this method of choosing, you’ll end up with a nice color scheme every time. And you can try a bunch of different ideas that you might not have tried before. I have found that the more I work with color, the more color schemes I come to like. I used to say that I didn’t like orange but once I started putting it into various color schemes, I find that I like it. So try a few color schemes that you wouldn’t normally use and see what you think. There are a couple of color schemes that I am not really showing here including monochromatic (using one hue with varying amounts of white and black added) and analogous. An analogous color scheme is choosing 3-4 colors that are touching along the color wheel, such as yellow, yellow/orange, orange, and red. You are more than welcome to explore one of these color schemes too.

Cutting out the Center of Color Wheel

This is a simple method for working our color schemes. Remember that I had printed off extra color wheels? Now, I cut out 5 of the centers to use to figure out my color schemes.

Making an Arrow

For the first center, make an arrow that runs from yellow to violet on the color wheel (this photo just shows the arrow without the rest of the center). This arrow will be used to figure out complementary color schemes.

Now take the arrow and put it into the center of your color wheel starting with yellow pointing at violet. These are complementary colors. These can be used for a color scheme. The other main thing you need to remember about color schemes is that you should pay attention to the proportion of each color. Using the same amount of each color make the color scheme a little boring or sometimes one color will be too powerful. Try using a larger proportion of one color compared to the other like 70% violet and 30% yellow. You can then take your arrow to show each of the colors and their complements.

Isosceles and Equilateral Triangles

Now take two of the centers and make an isosceles triangle and an equilateral triangle. (Don’t worry if you have forgotten any geometry you ever learned, it is simple.) For the equilateral triangle, the one shown on the bottom, put one point in the middle of the yellow on your color wheel, one point in the middle of the blue and one point in the middle of the red. Then just take a ruler and connect the dots to make an equilateral triangle. To make the isosceles triangle, put one point in the middle of the yellow, one in the middle of red/violet and one in the middle of blue/violet. Again, connect the dots to make an isosceles triangle.

So here are the color schemes using an equilateral triad/triangle. You just move the points of the triangle to which colors you will try in a color scheme.

The isosceles triangle gives you the most choices. This is also known as a split complementary color scheme. If you look at photos above compared to the complementary schemes, you will see that the first color is paired with the two colors on either side of its complement.

Rectangular and Square TetradsNext use two of the centers to make a rectangle and a square. I find the square easier to draw as a “diamond” in the position shown. Line it up with the yellow, red/orange, blue/green and violet. For the rectangle, line up the corners with yellow/green, yellow/orange, red/violet and blue/violet.

Here are the color schemes from the square or tetrad.

And these are the schemes possible with the rectangular tetrad. You can of course use more than four colors but I thought this was enough to get you started.  Even if you haven’t made your own color wheel yet, you could print a copy off of the internet and try this out. I’d love to see what color schemes that you try. Please join us over on the forum in our discussion about color.

Posted in Challenges | Tagged | 10 Comments