More Natural Wools and Fibres

I was looking through my flickr account recently for some photos to use on a flyer for the well being centre, and I came across some felt pieces I made with natural fibres and natural wool combinations. I haven’t done a post about ‘naturals’ for a while so I thought you might enjoy this old post from 2012:

Another couple of natural wool and natural fibre combinations I’ve used recently are Oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester with Ingeo top, and Humbug Jacob Tops with black and white Bamboo tops.

Humbug Jacob tops are a stripey blend of black and white Jacob wool tops. Just on its own it produces a nice result, but I thought I’d try using strips of black and white bamboo tops for effect. Both bamboos are really soft, white bamboo looks silky, but black bamboo is fluffy and more like fluffy cat fur. They felt quite differently too, the white keeps its silkiness and shines really nicely, and the black almost fades into the background, staying very matt.

Ingeo is made from corn, it is soft and shiny and smells faintly of caramel ūüôā I decided to cover the whole piece with Ingeo as it has such a lovely sheen. This was another fibre which shone even in dim light. The effect after drying is gorgeous, Ingeo is such a nice silky fibre and went really well with the Oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester. I think this combination would make a lovely soft and shiny scarf.

*The previous post I’d made was also about natural wools and fibres, if you’re interested, you can find it here

Posted in Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A class with Moy MacKay

Last week I had the opportunity to take a 2 day class with Moy MacKay. I went with a couple of friends and we had a great time.  We did the wet felting on day one. We had 2 pictures to choose from for the landscape.

I chose the one the left.

Moy demonstrated and¬†explained to¬†us how to work and what to do. We got to ask questions. She told us to take lots of pictures as we went because you see things in the picture that ¬†you don’t see in just looking at it. Still I didn’t take enough.

First we laid out the background

Then we added the foreground and details. The house is prefelt and the flowers in the front are chopped up curls

We wet them down and gave them a 2 or 3 min rub and then rolled them for about 3 min one way and then the other for another few min and we were done. They are very lightly felted but that’s ok because they are pictures not hats.

That took the morning. After lunch we did another piece, a still life, flowers. We had a vase of red flowers and babies breath to use for inspiration. We were not to copy it but to use it to see how flowers look. You can see it in the group picture. Moy demonstrated again and explained again and then we only had about an hour to put the picture together and then a short time to get it felted before we had to be out of the room for another group.

We started with the table then the foliage and then the vase and then moves some leaves around. Then we added the flowers. The babies breath is nepps.

I quite like it at this stage. Not as much after it was felted.

On day 2 we started the embellishing. Moy talked about and demonstrated needle felting accents and refining the pictures.¬†Also some machine embroidery and stitching.¬† we could try the machine stitching if we wanted but my picture wasn’t ready for that yet. ¬†¬†This is what they are like now. No where near done but works in progress.

This is after I straitened up the house and removed the mangled fence and added a new one.

This is where it is now.¬† I added windows and ivy to the house.¬†I removed the cobwebs from the trees. I added some shading to the trees. I added in some stems for the flowers in front and another fence. I think the field behind the left fence needs to be darker because it’s farther away. It doesn’t show well in the picture but right now it is¬†lighter and more yellow than the front field.¬†¬†It needs¬†a lot¬†more work but I think I know what I want to do to it.

And the flowers. I forgot to take a picture of when it was wet felted but had no embellishments.  But here it is so far. I am not as keen on the flowers but they are alright. I may like them better after I work on them some more. The table needs straitening up and lots more texture. And notice the nepps have stuck. We had chopped up some green fibers as part of the foliage and I think the short fibers under them made them stick.

And lastly a picture of everyone’s works at the end of the second day. the flowers we used are beside Moy.

It was a great class. I think it’s given me confidence to try some more. Jan will be doing more posts for us and I hope she will do one about this class too. She will have taken at least a hundred more pictures than me and be able to show you her works in progress too.

Don’t forget to sign up for the holiday card exchange on the forum. Read all about it here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/10/10/time-for-the-holiday-card-exchange-again/

 

Posted in Classes, Demo, Design, Inspiration, Needle Felting, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Stitching Fossils Piece

The last time I posted, I showed you my piece that I started for the 4th Quarter Challenge that included twists, tubes and hand spun yarn.

Here’s what it looked like after felting. I started hand stitching and used some very simple stitches including stem stitch and straight stitches.

Here’s the piece after adding the dark stem stitch around the tubes. I also added some “white” marks across the “fossils”. The white is really a light almost peach color that is on the bottom right side of the photo. These are the various wool threads that I am using to embellish the piece.

Here’s a few more views, you click on the photos to see a larger version. I decided that the yellow-orange seemed a bit too much so I wanted to tone it down just a bit. I added blue-green stitching over the yellow-orange and added some of the yellow-orange to the background to move the color around in other places.

So here it is again after adding the yellow-orange and blue-green. I am now adding more colors into the background to give a mixture of the colors into the background. I enjoy hand stitching into felt and this has been a relaxing project. Do you like to hand stitch on felt? If so, what are your favorite stitches to add?

Posted in Challenges, Stitching | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A brief glimpse into the Knitting & Stitching Show in London

This weekend the biggest fibre and fabric-related event in Europe happened right here in London. Every year I volunteer for my spinning guild and, in return, I get a free pass for all days.

Although the Knitting & Stitching Show is mostly about the sales, there’s always a section dedicated to textile arts. Established artists as well as art school finalists exhibit their work every year, so that’s what I’m sharing with you today.

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Let’s admire this larger-than-life crocheted cow by TOFT. They also had a giant lobster and other animals. How many hours went into each?

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The artist Jenni Dutton had an exhibit about her Mother, called Dementia Darnings. You can imagine by the title how poignant each portrait was – we see this woman depicted from a young age to her final, frail days. I was very moved by it.
Look closely – can you tell how each work was created?

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It’s yarn. You can see it hanging down on the portrait above. Isn’t it wonderful? All this hard work, you can tell the artist loved her mother very much. I felt like hugging her for this dedication.

Next, quilts. I’m not a particular fan of the “traditional” ones but when this technique is applied to create something unusual, you have my full attention.

I’m afraid the pictures don’t do these works justice. Both artists are American I think you can feel a lovely sort of vintage US vibe to these images.

Finally, something that made me smile, by Libby Vale.

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Ironing is definitely not on my list of priorities, so I connected perfectly with the sentiments depicted in this board!

There was a lot more to show, but I’ll leave that to my next blog post. I hope you enjoyed my choice of art. Have you ever been to the Knitting & Stitching Show, or a similar event where textile art is shown? Let me know all about it in the comments section.

Posted in embroidery, Free Motion Stitching, Guest Artists, Guest Writer, Inspiration, Mixed Media, natural wools, Other Fibers, Shows, Stitching | Tagged , | 16 Comments

4th Quarter Challenge Sample

I thought I’d try an idea out for the 4th Quarter Challenge. The basic idea was to use wool tubes with fabric, some under, and some over. Because they are quite thin and hollow, I thought they probably wouldn’t have much effect on the fabric, other than visual. I did use a couple of wool twists too. This is the finished piece:

When I’d rinsed it and squeezed the water out, I didn’t roll it in a towel or try to flatten/smooth it, like I usually do, I wanted to keep the texture. You can see it from this angle:

And this one:

This is a strip of cotton gauze:

This is some synthetic chiffon. I’m guessing I used twists under this piece because there seems to be more of an effect:

The close up photos of the silk strip didn’t turn out, but here’s where silk, cotton gauze and silk taffeta all meet:

This is a close up of the Silk Taffeta, I used twists over and under this:

I used some heavier synthetic chiffon. I know this fabric doesn’t attach very firmly, but I like to use it because it does ripple nicely and looks good:

I love my camera! I can see inside the ripple here:

It’s given me a better idea of what I might do on a bigger piece. How are your ideas coming?

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Time for the Holiday Exchange Again.

Hi readers, it’s that time of year again where we start to think of the holiday season. We like to do an annual holiday exchange over at the forum.¬†¬†We will be doing a felt card or postcard. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate you can participate. Maybe you don’t celebrate anything , you can still participate. The idea is to have some fun and exchange with a fellow felt lover.
Heres the way it works:

You sign up over on the Forum by November 4th: holiday-exchange-2018 

On November 5 you will be given your  partners name. You contact each other through the private messaging system on the forum to exchange addresses.

You have until November 30 to  work on your card  and then mail it on or before Dec 1 so that it will arrive at your partners before the holidays start.

Once you have your card post a picture of it in the exchange thread on the forum. holiday-exchange-2018

 

If you would like to see more of the pieces from other years here are some links:

holiday-exchange-2017

holiday-exchange-2016

Posted in Design, Inspiration, Needle Felting, Nuno Felting, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 10 Comments

4th Quarter Challenge – Twists

When Zed announced the 4th quarter challenge, I immediately thought of a bit of wool yarn that I spun by hand with a drop spindle ages ago. It has been sitting in my studio for years now and I have never done anything with it. So I hunted around for it, finally finding it on a shelf with some other yarn.

Then I made up some twists using my hand carders and a skewer. I found a batt of natural fiber that I had lying about and was able to make something for the challenge with very little preparation. I’m going by that motto “use stuff up”.

Here’s the layout. There are 5 twists which are fairly fat and the rest is hand spun yarn. My spinning skills are minimal so the yarn is very thick/thin.

And here it is after felting. I think that the twists kind of look like orthoceras fossils. So I am considering adding either hand or machine stitching or both to bring out the fossil appearance more. What would you add to it?

Once I have done some stitching, I will show it to you again.

Posted in Challenges, Spinning, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 8 Comments