Silk Paper with Leaves on Felt

The original idea for this post was to create something for the 3rd Quarter Challenge. I also wanted to use up some silk paper I had made ages ago. We had been talking about using silk paper in felting on the forum a while ago and I thought it would be a good surface design.


Here’s the silk paper. I made it with leaves and stretched silk hankies. These were then glued together with fabric medium. The leaves have held up amazingly well since this is 3-4 years old at least.

A friend gave me some merino batt that was cut up into a variety of pieces. I placed them all together to make the wool base.

It was pretty thick which didn’t bode well for the “Beneath the Surface” part of the challenge.

Here’s the silk paper on the wool before felting.

I then added some coarse wool underneath the batt thinking it would migrate through and show on the surface. I don’t remember the breed but it’s coarser locks.

I then carefully felted the piece. Trying to avoid crushing the leaves but getting everything to attach. The merino was surprisingly hard to felt. I’m not sure why that was but it took a while. The coarse wool on the back didn’t migrate through hardly at all. So much for “beneath the surface”.

Here’s the end result. The silk paper felted in nicely and the leaves are entirely intact. They didn’t break or crack at all.

Here’s a closer look and you can see the surface texture here too. Now what to do with it? It’s about notebook cover size but I’m afraid that would be too hard wearing on the leaves. I took it back to my studio room and ended laying it on top of one of the canvases that I am working on for a different project.

It looks pretty good. Hmmm….. I think it would look good if I trimmed off the felt edges and then added some either stitched, tyvek or lutradur leaves. Perhaps a few viney bits too. As you can probably tell, I haven’t quite decide what to do with this yet. And I need to do something else for the third quarter challenge.



Posted in Surface Design, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Woolfest 2018

Well another year has rolled by and it was time to immerse myself once again into the wondrous spectacle that is Woolfest here in the UK, held at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth Cumbria.  I know, tough job but someone has to do it…….

A fabulous day was had spent amongst fellow crafters, fibre enthusiasts and livestock folk.  There were 158 exhibitors this year,  I think there has been over 200 in previous shows.   There seemed to be many new demonstrations going on such as silk papermaking with found and gathered materials, lino cutting and printing on fabric and stitching on felt, braiding with a Manx loom, cutting hand woven fabric for garment construction, quick threading on the rigid heddle loom, broomstick crochet,  speedy warping and Tunisian crochet.  A lot going on, and a lot of things I have not the first idea what they are!!

I know how we all like photos so here they are, no real explanations, I just took what I thought would grab your interest.

The first picture is the show ring, where each breeder gives a talk about their particular livestock.  I was particularly taken with the magnificent sheep that the lady on the left in blue was showing, a close up in pic two, and even better in pic three.  Star of the show for me.





He was a huge gorgeous chap!  The breeder Joanne very kindly told me he is a coloured Ryeland, a five year old tup that they use for their main breeding.

Joanne has said that the fleece is better for needle felting rather than wet felting, and here are some of her wonderful pieces.



Now we have a few more fibre providers!!






This next beauty had four horns, two on the top of the head and two curling around the face.




There was also some home grown, ethically produce angora rabbit fibre for spinning and felting, and here are the bunnies.




There seemed to be more beautiful garments and clothing on display this year, here are some pics.









Some beauties amongst those don’t you think?

I thought you may like to see this folklore spinning song I saw.


A few more goodies, yarns and some beautiful knitting bowls.




Fabulous fibres.





And of course the fleece crèche where you can buy your raw fleece and collect it at the end of the day.


This next lady is from the Eden Valley Guild of Spinners, Cumbria, demonstrating weaving.




So the time flew by as it always does when you are having fun, and before we knew it from arrival at 10.00, the clock had whizzed around to 5.30 without us noticing.  However in this time I had ample opportunity to adequately purchase feed for the hungry beast that is my Stash Monster, we all know how they are happier with regular tops ups………! The offerings this time include Shetland, Gotland, Jacob, Suffolk and Cheviot tops, lovely buttons, Merino, Jacob x and Teeswater locks, silk boucle, silk laps, hand painted paper, nepps, small piece of tweed, pot of fabric dye and a wooden stamp, little sample packs of sari silk yarn and carded sari silk, big block of olive oil soap and white scrim….I think that is everything…….Believe it or not that was the epitome of restraint !  Stash fed and I can continue being a happy crafter!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my day at the show.  It was over too soon but it will return to delight again next year.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Finished Bookcovers, Unfinished Purses

I actually finished a couple of notebook covers this week. The first one is the landscape piece I showed cut out ready for sewing. This is the front:

And this is the back:

I think every time I use ‘scene’ type pieces for book covers, I tell myself to make the top and bottom ‘sections’ bigger next time, because I always have to compromise over what gets cut off. I always forget! But, then I can use those nice pieces for something else, like part of a collage book cover! I tried to make this next one nice and bright, you might remember me choosing some of the pieces back in February:

And I did make a start on it in March, and then put it away for a while. I realised last week that I was going to be hot, sweaty and miserable no matter what, so I may as well just try to be a bit productive and get my sewing machine out and finish the cover:

Other side:

This is the inside, with some hand dyed cotton fabric as lining:

Front and back opened out:

I bet a hat made like this would look great! I still haven’t manged to get any further on some purses I cut out, but I did get a photo of them:

Posted in Made From Felt | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Making Felted Sheep

Another flash back post. some needle felted sheep. I hope you like them.

With the start of show season gets closer I realise I only had a few sheep left. Time to make sheep parts.

sheep body 1 sheep head 1

I have to make bodies and heads. I roll them up and give them a few pokes. I use 2 needles held together with a hair elastic. It makes them comfortable to hold.


There will be white sheep too

sheep head 2

Once they are rolled and poked they get put in to the legs of some nylons.

sheep parts ready fo the wash

These will go into the washer and dryer with a regular load of laundry.

I also make wet felted snakes to be cut for legs and a flat sheet of felt to cut ears out of.

sheep parts

I can’t find my bag of black spare parts.  may need to make more.

This is what the finished sheep will look like.

sheep small

They all get a safety pin on one side so you can wear them.

Posted in Design, Needle Felting, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Preparing Nuno Landscapes for Framing

I have been working on getting my nuno landscapes prepared for framing. I have to say this is not my favorite part of the process. But I want these to look professional for the upcoming exhibition so I am trying not to procrastinate too much in completing these.

I hand dyed all the backing fabric. I had to add a bit of fabric paint to four of them to make them darker. I always have a hard time getting the exact color I want with dye. I never take the time to figure out a “recipe” for certain colors. Then I hand stitched all the nuno landscapes to the backing fabric. I used a hand applique type stitch and it is barely visible.

I got all of the foam core backing cut to size by the framer.  Each foam core backing is 2″ bigger on all four sides of the landscape. Thin cotton quilting batting was cut to the size of the foam core and then all three layers are put in place and pinned.

Once the landscape is pinned in place, lacing can begin.

Lacing is not hard but does take a lot of time and the thread does have a tendency to get all tangled up while working. Plus the tension needs to be correct so that the fabric is stretched evenly over the foam core board.

Here are four of the pieces on their backings. I have two more to complete and then they are off to the framers. Once they are framed, I will show them to you again.


Posted in Finishing/Framing | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Chico the needle felted dog

Hello, Leonor here. My guest post for today is going to be a simple “show and tell” as the weather here in London is too warm for complicated thoughts!

Some of you might be aware that I am a fibre artist by trade. Anything wool and I love it. I got into this business a little by accident, and making custom needle felted dogs was even more unexpected – basically, a friend asked me for a mini of his whippet, I took the challenge, and the rest is history!

I’ve now been playing with wool professionally for around 5 years, and I must confess there was one hurdle I was yet to conquer in my work – creating an open mouth. I’d tried once and it didn’t come out right, so I more or less gave up on it. That is, until I made Chico!


At first I was going to make his tongue out of polymer clay (the idea of finishing it off with a nice layer of glossy varnish to mimic moisture was very attractive to me) but then I decided not to. I liked the idea of a 100% fibre sculpture better.


I made the lower jaw separately, making sure the upper section was thin enough to accommodate both parts without looking weird. I added a layer of black around the edge to make it more realistic, and then a little white on the back for teeth. The tongue was made using two shades of purplish pink blended together. I made two mini tongues and chose the one that fit best.


I received a few reference photos to make this little guy, my favourite was one where he was sitting with his leg to the side and smiling. I just had to make him this way.


I love the detail of paw pads, the feet immediately look real. You can’t really tell from this picture, but Chico is er… anatomically correct. I like a realistic sculpture!


Below is a picture of the original Chico. The mini version is off to a Spanish island as a surprise for the whole human family. I hope they like it!


Have you ever created a needle felted animal? What wool did you use and how did you like your experience? Let me know in the comments section.
Questions? Happy to help, just leave a comment!

Posted in 3D, Guest Artists, Guest Writer, Made From Felt, natural wools, Needle Felting, sculptural felt, Wool | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Trying To Be Productive

I’ve got a craft fair in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been trying to make some new things to take with me. I can never predict what might be popular or sell, so I’ve given up trying to 2nd guess, it just leads to a lot of stock piling up and a lot of disappointment. Instead I decided to concentrate on things I enjoy … with the exception of felted soaps, I’m going to give in and make some, they’re guaranteed to generate interest! Sounds like a plan, ay? Except we’ve been having the most ridiculous heatwave here, so I’ve managed to do very little, unless you count sweating and eating ice cream as being productive 🙂 I did manage to make one new piece of felt though, a ‘seascape’:

And I even managed to turn it into an A5 book cover. This is the front:

And the back:

I had a look through my already made felt pieces and found one from a challenge which I thought would make a nice cover, so I cut that out:

I’ve got both ends sewn so far, so I’ll show it all sewn up next time. I also got as far as choosing some pieces to cut up for piecing together, probably also for book covers, though maybe bags since I bought a load of zips with that intention. I just hate sewing zips!

Any tips for secure closures which doesn’t involve zips or magnets? I’m leaning towards lobster clasps and D rings at the moment. I like delrin clips but making the felt straps is so time consuming.

Posted in Made From Felt | Tagged , , | 16 Comments