The Rhythm of Autumn is a felted mixed media piece that I made several years ago. At the time I was making it, I thought I might do a tutorial on the process so I took a lot of process photos. It originally was going to be cut up and made into covers for various small kitchen appliances such as a toaster cover or a cover for a mixer. Once it was partially completed, I changed my mind in mid stream. So it ended up being a wall hanging. The final piece measures almost four feet across by 2 1/2 feet wide. Due to all the changes I made in the original plan, it took over a year to complete.
This is the original layout. I think I used mixed 56’s wool but actually I can’t remember for sure. I partially felted the piece into prefelt.
Then I wrapped the prefelt around some rusty pipes to rust dye it. The prefelt was wet and presoaked in vinegar water.
Then I put the rolled up bundle in a pail of salt water and covered it with a plastic bag. I left it for two weeks to rust.
This is the entire piece.The sad part was that a lot of this luscious color washed out with the subsequent felting.
I added fabric leaves cut out of commercial fabrics. These were too heavy a fabric to nuno felt so I stitched them on. I was originally planning to machine sew them on but that proved impossible. So I ended up hand stitching them down. That took a while.
I had also added some silk bits prior to felting.
Here’s the entire piece after felting. I decided not to cut it up at this point but was unsure what to do with it.
This was an idea of adding more interest by putting darker lines through the piece with machine stitching. I used yarn to mark the lines through the piece.
I did end up cutting along the yarn lines and adding dark wool in the space between the cut pieces of felt.
I covered the lines with water-soluble fabric and pinned it all in place.
Then I machine stitched a “pebble” design over the cut areas making sure that I stitched over the felt edges. The stitching would now hold the cut pieces together. Once it was all stitched, I washed out the water-soluble fabric.
Unfortunately, at this point, I had given up the idea of doing a tutorial so I don’t have a photo of the piece after all the machine stitching was completed. I wasn’t happy with the result and left the project uncompleted for a while. Then I took it to my local fiber group and Bunny suggested that I crumple the entire piece, stitch and stuff as needed to hold it in place and then make it a wall hanging. The photo above shows the mesh I used to back the piece. It is usually used for rug hooking. I crumpled the piece until I got the shapes I wanted, stuffed some areas with extra wool and pinned it all in place. I then hand stitched on the back side to hold everything together and stitched the mesh in place.
Here you can see some of the stuffed areas on the back.
Here is the finished piece. I ended up covering the mesh on the back with acrylic felt and applying a “quilt sleeve” for hanging. I guess the moral of the story is to never give up. That piece of felt you don’t like all that much can be turned into something entirely different!