Grapes of Memories Past

Grapes of Memories Past

When I first started dyeing roving, I had a few “oops” results.  However, since I’ve acquired a drum carder, I’ve learned I can revive the partially felted roving with careful carding and patience.

I’ve had this purple roving sitting around for a couple of years.  I really enjoy making three dimensional objects so it seemed natural to make some grapes with my previously felted roving.  Not only did I feel good about being able to use the roving, but it brought back happy memories of my childhood when we had grape vines in our yard.

It was a tradition to pick the grapes, then my mother would make jelly and grape juice.

The roving already had various shades of purple so after running the partially felted roving through the carder,  I added some other shades of purple merino.  The addition of unfelted roving give it a shiner and softer appearance and texture.


Since grape leaves are very textured, I decided to make a prefelt with a silk top for the leaves. It gave it some texture and sheen.

nuno prefelt

For the vines, I used roving rolled into a cord, then wrapped it around a small dowel to dry then cut it to the length I wanted.


Then I spent a few hours rolling little grapes.  I wasn’t sure how many I needed so I piled them up and added more grapes until I was satisfied it resembled a bunch of grapes.


With a sharp needle and some purple sock weight yarn I built my bunch of grapes, then attached the leaves and vines. It now hangs on a narrow wall between the kitchen and family room where we occasionally enjoy a glass of wine and I reminisce about picking grapes and my mother’s fabulous jelly.


What projects have you worked on lately that recall fond memories?








30 thoughts on “Grapes of Memories Past

  1. How lovely to have a felty reminder of happy days on the wall – and it’s fabulous!

    The leaves with their textured sheen are spot on and I like the variegated purple in the grapes.

    1. Thanks Teri! Half the fun for me is being able to figure out how to create what I need to complete the vision. 🙂

  2. They look great, Marilyn 🙂
    I’d completely forgotten I used to have a grape vine along my front fence, until I saw the coils on the dowel.

    1. Thanks Zed! I’ve thought about putting up some vines, but haven’t figured out where to put it without attracting a lot of the wildlife to the house. 🙂

  3. Beautiful! You’ve achieved a lovely ‘bloom’ on the grapes and the leaves have a lovely texture. The little bit of vine give a wonderful finish. 🙂

  4. That really is a wonderful wall hanging. So realistic and with great color. My mother was a painter. I still have all her brushes and use them in my own work now. I think of her every time I use one that she held. I can see her sitting at the table easel, working for hours. Just like me.

    1. Thanks Judy! That’s a lovely way to honor and remember her. I’m sure she’d be pleased.

  5. The grapes turned out lovely! Clever idea to use the rod for the spiral effect…I usually dry my cords on doorknobs. I keep my maternal grandmother’s old translucent “Tidee Maid” thread box along with my fiber goodies and think of her whenever I look at the box. Still have some of the old threads, too, like Belding Corticelli.

    1. Thanks Cathy! It’s wonderful to have these memories surrounding us.

  6. Your grapes turned out beautifully Marilyn. It reminds me of the grapes my Mother made that were of some kind of resin. You mixed the colors with the resin and then poured them into molds. We had those at home and used them many times for decorating tables etc.

    1. Thanks Ruth! It’s great to hear other people have fond grape memories and appreciate the treasures from generations before us.

    1. Thanks Ann! On the evergreens, LOL, I’ve never seen that. I’ll bet your yard is filled with very happy birds. 🙂

  7. Seeing your grapes, so alive and beautiful brought me to many years ago when we owned and lived in a farm and hanging over big water tanks we had lots of vines with grapes with colors like yours.In Portugal we have a word “saudade” that has no translation in other languages, it portraits a mix of feelings like when you miss a person or you are sorrow for loosing someone or something and looking to your grapes put me with “saudades” from those days with my small boys trying to reach them and we also use to make a wonderful wine with them.Thank you for the memories.

    1. Thanks Irene! I’m glad you enjoyed the post with fond memories as well. Thanks, too, for the new word “saudade.” What a wonderful way to express the mixture of emotions of those memories. 🙂

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