Latest Sewing Projects

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get my sewing stuff out, I make a right mess! So I like to get lots of things done at once. I cut out the pieces for some coin purses a few weeks ago, it took a while, but I got the tops of the inside pockets blanket stitched so I could move on to the next stage of joining the pieces together and sewing the seams on the machine. Here are 3 pink ones sewn up:

This is what they look like closed:

The next step is to round off the corners of the front flaps, then stitch all around with blanket stitch. I think choosing the right thread for the blanket stitch can take as long as the stitching sometimes! I had to make a make-shift table out of a cardboard box to put all the things waiting to be stitched, that stack of boxes on the right is about 9 of the thread drawers I have:

At the beginning of last year I made a nuno sample piece with some strips from a viscose scarf and a linen scarf. I thought it would make a nice pencil pouch. I made myself one a few years ago and use it almost every day. The idea is to use an extra long cord to wrap around to close it instead of a zip or other fastener. This is what it looks like closed:

This is the back when it’s opened:

And, inside, I lined it with some nice fabric I got a few years ago:

And, while the machine is out, I may as well … root through all those offcuts I tidied away. This is a bookcover I’ve been working on; the front, inside front sleeve, and the back is finished. Here, I’m planning the layout for the inside back sleeve. I thought I’d make enough for a future one while I was at it, so made it extra long:

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Spinning mostly

I haven’t been felting much lately, other than teaching, but I have been doing some spinning. I borrowed a friends blending board to try making some fancy rolags to spin from. I used 2 shades of orange, a purple wool, some silk and a tiny amount of  trylobal nylon on the board. It was my first time using the blending board so I was getting instructions and pointers from Judy.

I spun it on my new top whorl spindle. I don’t usually use a top whole spindle but I couldn’t resist this one from The Clay Sheep

Here I am spinning on it.

The yarn came out quite nice. I could have added more sparkle but I am always cautious of adding to much sparkle.  I wound it into a center pull ball the other night so now it is ready to be plied.

The other cool thing I got with my spindle was a hair stick. I asked her to make it as a special order.

Thanks To Jan Scott for the great pictures of me with the blending board and spinning. I think you took the hair stick pictures too even if it was on my phone.

 

 

Posted in Experiments, Fiber Preparation, Spinning, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Early Celtic Art Challenge Project Part Two

Last week I showed you the beginnings of my second quarter challenge project here. The next step was to make the pileus hat to the prefelt stage.

This is the resist all set up and ready for wool.

I added two layers of wool on each side that were fairly heavy.

Then I wet it down, flipped over etc. to add all the layers of wool.

Once the resist was covered, it was time to begin rubbing. I could have rolled at this point but I don’t do much rolling any more. I did stick with cold water as I didn’t want the wool to felt too quickly. I only needed to get it so it was holding together.

So I rubbed and felted by hand working the edges carefully for a nice smooth felt.

Then I cut the resist out. The felt is still very soft and needed gentle handling.

After cutting, I refolded the hat in the opposite direction to check the edge and sure enough the corners needed to be trimmed. The indent in the center of this photo is the far edges on the photo above it. Since the resist curved up there, the cut wasn’t even all the way around.

So I just cut it off to make it more even. So I have the basic hat shape in prefelt form ready to apply the prefelt design. I will show you that on my next post.

 

 

Posted in Challenges, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 6 Comments

So What Have I Made Lately?

I know I’ve been a little crochet sample crazy lately.  But I have actually made some crochet beanies.

On April 11, our newest Grandson Ken arrived about 8 weeks early.  So, I was inspired to make some little hats.

Not knowing what size his head was, I made several different ones. And of course, I had to make a couple for my Granddaughter Lisa. I didn’t know her size either, but as it turned out a couple fit her.

Unfortunately,  because he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) they would not allow him to wear anything from outside.

The first one I made was blue.  It entailed crocheting in the round and using a couple of different stitches.

Then I made a  green one with basically one stitch.

I figured if it was too big the bottom could be folded up.

Then I made a bigger lightweight yellow which is Lisa’s favorite color at the moment.

 

I thought these last two might fit Lisa so I put a flower on each.

Without upturned brim.

So, I shipped them all off. And here is the real model.

Ken came home this week. I don’t know if they have tried the hats yet, but here is our new bundle of joy.  Fortunately, now all the tubes are gone, but he really looks happy.

Here you can see the size differences.  It will be interesting to see which one, if any fit him.

Posted in crochet | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Felt Landscape Picture

Today we have the second in a series of guest post from Forum member Tracey:

I approached a gallery recently to ask if they would be interested in stocking my felt cards.  I took along four cards, three flower and one cottage picture.  I was thrilled when they bought all four! I only have pictures of two of them:


When I was next in the gallery the owner said ‘ We like your little house, can you make a larger picture’, Oh yes I said, whilst inwardly thinking – PANIC!

So here is my attempt.  Firstly I laid out white Merino wool for the sky and added blended blues, white silk caps and blue and white silk throwsters waste.  I then started on the bottom sections laying out green Merino, I didn’t blend the colours but pulled them into sections of wool, as I wanted a rolling hill feeling.

In the  next picture, I guess you will be wondering why the grey thick band, well I am planning to build my first wall! I blended greys with a little charcoal colour and added little bits of white here and there.

I then continued to build the picture adding my little house, this was cut from prefelts.  Prefelt is the stage between soft wool fibres and fully fulled felt, you can make your own or it can be bought commercially. You can use it to cut shapes, lay it on your work and it will felt into your piece. A few trees and wool nepps (little wool balls) by the house, and as the hills had emerged into a dip shape, I couldn’t resist adding a bit of sunshine!

So here is my picture after felting.

Then it is time for a little FME (Free Motion Embroidery).  Some (not all) sewing machines allow you to do this. If you can drop the feed dogs (the little ‘teeth’ that guide the fabric) you will be able to do this.  In effect you are then ‘drawing’ using the needle on your machine, the needle is your pencil!  Because the feed dogs are dropped, it is then down to you to guide the fabric, whilst the needle is drawing. The skill to master is controlling the speed of the machine in conjunction with moving the fabric. I really enjoy it.  Initially I drew the stones in with a magic fabric marker to follow, but then I grew more confident and went freestyle!

For the rest of the picture, I didn’t want to define much of the ‘distance’ with FME, as I wanted it to look exactly that – distant.  I did a little on the tree trunks though.
I then concentrated more on my wall, needle felting some dark sections, especially where the stones had ended up quite a strange shape!, good how you can cover and change your mistakes…..

So here is the completed  piece. I added a few FME grasses and French knot flowers by the wall. Apologies to any dry stone wallers out there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

A Few New Things

We made felt flowers for brooches at the Well Being Centre last week. These are the three layers of one of mine:

I thought I’d found the perfect button when I tried it out:

But just before I sewed it on, I spotted an orange shisha mirror and sewed that on! I haven’t got a photo yet though. I was sorting some felt offcuts a few weeks ago, and thought I’d save some to use for greetings cards because turned sideways they looked like landscapes. I thought it’d be nice to make some new ones too, and was only reminded by someone on the forum (I’ve forgotten who, sorry!) and before I forgot again, I went and made some. I made them quite soft and thin since they’re for cards:

I thought they’d be nice for beginners workshops too. I put a few offcuts to one side while I was sorting, and made a new camera bag. I’ve been using my ‘prototype’ for at least 18 months to see how well it wore.  I suppose it’s two-sided/reversible, but I put the zip so that really this is the front:

I still like the back though, and can flip it if I feel like a change:

While the machine was out, I made a little coin pouch from an offcut:

How two small things can create such a mess though, is a mystery!

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Birdhouse Class with the West Carleton Fibre Guild.

I gave a felt birdhouse class to 10 members of the West Carleton Fiber Guild last week.  The class was held at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum’s  classroom space. They were a really fun and enthusiastic group and they worked hard.

Some how I missed getting a picture of the yellow one. As you can see 9 of 10 picked a gourd shape. For the round one, she decided she wanted a bowl. That’s easy it’s just a round birdhouse the other way up.

Here they all are at the end of the day. This is the only one I have a picture of dry. It belongs to Marie-France Gosselin

All in all a very fun day for everyone.

 

 

 

Posted in Classes, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 14 Comments