A Spring Shawl

The museum store wanted some shawls that are more “springy”.  This is the first one.

It is a pastel pink and blue silk with pale pink wool on 2/3 of it. I then added some silk hanky flowers  and leaves at each end and in the middle. It was to plane so I added some more leaves down the length. At this point I remembered to take some pictures.

pink-shawl-silk-flowerspink-shawl-left-end pink-shawl-middle pink-shawl-right-end

The pink wool is in a very thin layer so it will be very light weight for spring. The finished piece is about 15 inches wide so it can be a small shawl or a wide scarf.

finished-spring-shawl finished-spring-shawl-wool-side-2

finished-spring-shawl-wool-side-1 finished-spring-shawl-silk-side

I like doing shawls with a a silk section left to float as you walk.

The pictures are in my studio , taken hastily as my turn to blog snuck up on me. Everyone seems to be complaining about it being to dull outside to take pictures. I have the opposite problem. The sky is blue, the sun is shinning and the ground is covered in white highly reflective snow. It is blinding out there.

Are you thinking about spring things with soft colours or are you still in hibernation with warms cozy colours?



Posted in Design, Nuno Felting, Scarves, Silk, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

10th International Shibori Symposium Exhibitions

This is a guest post by Kim of Flextiles. She recently attended the Tenth International Shibori Symposium and I thought you all might to get a glimpse of what she did and saw there. Thanks Kim!

My previous post about the 10th International Shibori Symposium (10iss) in Mexico last November focused on some of the workshops I attended. This time I’m going to report on some of the inspiring exhibitions and beautiful work on show.

Several of the exhibitions were in the Centro de las Artes de San Agustin (CASA), around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Oaxaca. It’s a former cotton mill that was converted into a stunning arts centre by local artist Francisco Toledo in 2000. Its hilltop location gives amazing views, and it has two exhibition halls and smaller rooms for running workshops.

Here there was a wonderful exhibition, curated by Yoshiko Nakamura and Consortium Arimatsu Narumi, of historical and modern Japanese indigo-dyed kimono from Arimatsu and Narumi in Japan.

Another exhibition here showcased 12 pieces of clothing designed by Mexican designer Carla Fernandez, highlighting connections between the Mexican and Japanese traditions of ikat (known as jaspe in Mexico and kasuri in Japan).

The contemporary garments were wonderful, combining Japanese silhouettes and designs with traditional Mexican rebozo patterns.

The main exhibition hall at CASA was given over to a wide range of contemporary shibori artworks and wearables, curated by Yoshiko Wada and Trine Ellitsgaard. Unfortunately, the evening viewing I went to was quite dark, so I found it tricky to get decent photos, but here’s a flavour of some of the pieces on display.

A short walk downhill from CASA is the paper making cooperative Arte Papel Vista Hermosa, also founded by Francisco Toledo. Its members use bark, plants, flowers, cotton, hemp, silk, linen and pieces of shiny mica in their products. As well as seeing the artisans at work, visitors can have a go at making paper themselves.

For this exhibition they worked with artist Kiff Slemmons to produce some stunningly intricate paper jewelry. And yes – I did end up buying a piece! 🙂

Back in town, the Textile Museum of Oaxaca was, unsurprisingly, the main exhibition focus. One of the most eye-catching was an installation of bandhani flags by Christina Kim. This was a collaboration between artisans in Kutch in Gujarat and the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad to employ women displaced by the 2001 earthquake in Kutch. Fluttering against the blue sky, the flags were a stunning sight.

The second exhibition was an interesting cross-cultural comparison of shibori and ikat techniques from around the world. While I know something of the Japanese and Indian traditions, I was less familiar with jaspe, the Mexican equivalent of ikat.

Ikat is the process where (usually) sections of the warp threads are bound with threads before dyeing, forming a pattern that will show after weaving. Sometimes the weft threads are dyed, and sometimes both warp and weft – this is known as double ikat (or patola in India).

It’s immensely disciplined because you have to know exactly where the dyed threads will end up in the final piece – no changing your mind (or pattern) once you start! The resulting designs tend to look a little “fuzzy” around the edges.

Shibori pieces on display ranged from a Japanese kanoko shibori jacket to raffia- stitched fabric from Africa.

Finally, there was a fascinating exhibition on the plumed weavings of Mexico. In the 1980s, a fragment of fabric woven with a mixture of cotton and duck down was found in a flea market in Puebla. The technique seems to have been unique to Mexico, and the exhibition displayed work by modern weavers incorporating duck down.


There is a website here explaining the process, but it is all in Spanish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and Kim will answer you. Thanks for the post Kim!


Posted in Community, Dyeing, Guest Writer | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Pandagirl’s 1st Quarter Challenge 2017

Last month Ruth Lane announced the 1st Quarter Challenge focusing on Fauvism. If you missed it, you can read about it here:


I had a  hard time deciding what to do and looked through a lot of photos and pictures for inspiration.  Finally, I came across an old postcard from Hawaii of a ship on the sea under dark skies that intrigued me.

I decided I would concentrate on bold colors and simplified forms.   Here is my layout:


I used prefelts I had previously made and batts I had on hand. Please ignore my messy work table.  It’s hard to tell from the monitor, but the sail next to the green one is a teal color.  Here it looks blue. Also the dark blue boom above the body of the boat got lost because of the blue water. I didn’t notice that when I laid it out.

After felting:


I probably should have stopped fulling sooner.  I had used a Domestic 56 base so it needed shaving.  I couched some yarn for the masts and used yellow thread for the halyards (I believe that is the correct for the ropes connected.)

I decided to frame it.  I had an old frame I had used for papermaking and it fit perfectly.


I’m not sure if this is in true Fauvist style, but I was pleased with the result.  Have you started the challenge yet?


Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Organza and Soap

I have a ‘thing’ for organza. I know, I have a ‘thing’ for all fabrics, but there’s something about organza I just can’t resist. Maybe it’s the two-tone colours of some, and also how they can be very different to each other while being similar. So, I thought I’d make a very textured nuno with various organzas. Like the other pieces I’ve made recently, I used 4 very fine layers of Merino. This is the whole piece:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking at the back, you can see how textured this is too:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking on an angle shows the many different textures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s interesting how differently the various types rippled, probably due to how much Merino and how it was laid as well as the different finishes of the fabrics. The yellow piece, folded in columns:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Purple on the right edge (and the red/yellow next to it) had more of a scrunched texture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this photo you can see the migration, and the way these organzas had a crumpled texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made some felted soaps last week. They’re not perfect, but I’m getting better at it! I find natural wools on handmade soap works better for me, but people do love the bright, colourful ones!


Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Art Project

This year is Canada’s 150th birthday. The guild I belong to is having an art show in celebration. We are making 150 12×12 canvases. Some are covering them in weaving or yarn or fiber pictures. I naturally am doing some felt pieces. I told you about one before.


The second one is sheep.

I started with 2 layers or merino prefelt. I put a piece of cotton gauze in between for strength.


I then used head cut outs to decide on the positions of the sheep.


Then I added all the curls. The white and multi coloured sheep are Blue Faced Leicester. One of the others is Gotland, one is Wensleydale and the other I can’t remember. I added the legs and ears.


Once it was felted the legs and heads disappeared a lot so I had to fix  them with needle felting.  I then mounted it on a 12×12 canvas using velcro. I forgot to take a picture of them finished  with faded heads and legs. And then I forgot to take a picture of it finished because it had to go to get its picture taken. Fortunately Judy sent me one of the pictures she took so I can show it to you.


Judy sent me to close ups too

annwhitesheep-1 sheep1close-1

Now all I have to write up the info for the show and  decide on a price to put on it.

If you Are Canadian are you doing anything fibery to celebrate this special year? If you are not Canadian what did you do to celebrate a big event in your country or town?





Posted in Challenges, Design, Fairs and Shows, natural wools, Needle Felting, Uncategorized, Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Spring Online Classes

We have several online classes coming up this spring. Don’t miss out! You can sign up now.

Stitched Felt Painting

The fourth module of  Embellishing Felt with Surface Design – A Mixed Media Approach, Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt is finally ready. The class will begin March 17, 2017. Learn to use your sewing machine to embellish your felt including basic techniques, how to include stitching before felting both with machine lace techniques and stitching on prefelt, add thread sketching to your felt, learn a sure-fire way to transfer your design on to felt, add machine stitching to felt paintings and more. For more information and to sign up, click here.

If you want to learn how to add machine stitch to your felting repertoire, this is the class for you. The techniques are specifically designed to include in the felting process and to embellish felt after it’s completed. It’s a great value for only $45 US for this four week online course which included PDF’s and loads of videos. Register here.

Felted Concertina Hat by Teri Berry

Teri Berry is offering another session of Felting Concertina Hats. The class will begin on February 24, 2017 and registration closes on February 21, 2017. So hurry to register here to learn how to make some funky hats and improve your 3D felting skills.

Felted Snail Hat by Teri Berry

Have you seen all the hats that prior students have made? You can take a look at those here.  The variety is amazing and Teri is a great teacher so go sign up now!

Fish 1

Galina Titova’s Felting Fantasy Fish has been a big hit. We have had a waiting list for every class. She is offering another session beginning March 1, 2017. The class is limited to 20 spaces so registration is on a first come, first served basis. Register here.

Fish 2

You will learn some great surface design techniques as you learn to felt these fun fish. Take a look at the student gallery here. What are you waiting for? Sign up now.


If these courses sound exciting but you are just a beginner, our beginners course is always available. Learn the basics of felt making and have unlimited access to the course material and continuous tutor support. Register here.

We would really appreciate it if you would spread the word about our online courses. Please share on your Facebook page or on other social media. We appreciate your help! And if you are interested in teaching an online course, please contact us with your ideas.


Posted in Announcements, Online Classes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day

I know its a day late, so I hope everyone had a good Valentines Day with their loved ones.

I decided this year to make my granddaughter, Lisa, a little heart purse.  She likes to put things in containers and take them out.

I used a heart shaped resist and two layers on each side. I know it’s not a perfect heart shape. Its hard to get sharp corners.


When it was dry, I used some white bamboo yarn and couched her name on the purse.


I added a ribbon for a handle with a bow at the top.  Inside I sewed the ribbon down the sides to give it a little strength.



Then finally I put in a little box of chocolates with a Beagle on it.  While she probably won’t be able to eat the chocolate, she’ll get a kick out of the dog which looks like her doggie sister Koyuki.  Sorry about the dark picture it looked much lighter on my camera screen.


I’m working on my challenge piece which is taking longer than expected so I needed something short and sweet for today.  😉

Did you do something felt related for Valentine’s Day?

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments