Round and Round I Go

Round and Round I Go

Happy New Year!

One of the things I wanted to do more of this past year was to stitch on felt.  I did one wool painting based on Moy Mackay’s “Anemones”  from her book Art Felt and Stitch that I used free motion embroidery for the first time.

I was a bit intimidated, but Lyn from Rosiepink encouraged me to keep trying.  So, using Rosiepink’s ebook  I chose to try an embroidered bowl.

I gathered up a lot of my swatches and scraps and decided to use some batik fabric samples I cut up, silk scraps of habotai and chiffon, hand dyed locks, cotton scrim, throwsters waste, hand dyed kid mohair, mulberry silk — dyed and undyed .  One batik swatch that I liked had Oriental fish.  I used that idea for the center of the bowl with handmade prefelt and later in the process I embroidered the details.

Following the instructions, I layed put the circle base and carefully decorated it with my prefelts, scraps and other embellishments.  I used hand dyed mulberry silk on the back to give that some color and shine, but didn’t take a picture. Here is the inner side before felting.

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After felting I let it dry then put in the embroidery details before starting the free motion stitching.

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I purchased five different colors of rayon Gutterman thread — grape, cranberry, turquoise, light purple and silver.

After getting organized to sew, I held my breath, said a prayer and round and round I went stitching as instructed happily watching the bowl take shape right before my eyes!

However, my eyes were crossed by the time I finished trying to follow the rows of stitching needed.  But the result was worth it.  The stitching isn’t perfect especially in the center.  I found it challenging to do the tighter small circles.

2014-10-28 12.12 2014-10-28 12.16It was hard to get decent pictures of the sides between the angle and the lightning.  But you can see the colors underneath and the shiny rayon threads.

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Thanks again to Lyn and Annie for such great instructions and your encouragement.  I hope one of these days the free motion will be second hand, but I still need more practice.  Fortunately, there are many more projects in the book to try besides venturing out on my own.

So, one of my resolutions is to continue to challenge myself to try new free motion projects this year.  What fiber resolutions have you made for 2015?



26 thoughts on “Round and Round I Go

  1. Your take on Moy Mackay’s anemones is very good and your bowl is lovely. 🙂

    My goal for 2015 is to finally get around to ‘painting’ with wool ! It was the work of Andrea Hunter which first inspired me to take up felting, but I got side tracked into making other things. February heralds the Chinese Year of the Sheep, so perhaps the muse will be with me. 🙂

    1. Thanks Judith! It’s easy to get distracted when we interact and learn from so many talented, passionate felters. Have fun with painting with wool! Please share your creations with us on the forum.

  2. That looks great, Marilyn 🙂
    I need to get the right darning foot for my machine to try that, I got one so I could lower the feed dogs especially for that, but didn’t think about the foot! I’d try painting with wool like Judith, but I don’t think the world needs that amount of hilarity 😉

    1. It’s possible to do free motion stitching without a foot. Just remember to use the foot lowering thingy even though the foot itself isn’t there. I know it sounds like double dutch. 🙂

      You’re so mean leaving me to provide the hilarity all alone! 😀

    2. Thanks Zed! Had I known you could get by without a special foot I would have tried that. Putting on the special foot I have is like trying to do a rubic cube. I imagine it would be a little dangerous not using a foot at least for me. The foot does provide a little protection from the needle.

      Zed, you have a great talent with colors I’m sure you’d do a great job painting with wool. :-). Give it a go this year.

  3. Your picture inspired by Moy McKay must give you great pleasure and pride – very pretty indeed!
    (I’m working from memory as the link above doesn’t show us your art.)

    Machine stitching gives great shapes to felt and the tighter the stitching the sharper the shape. (The round and round bowl does require a good deal of eyeball concentration!)
    You’ve achieved a lovely shape with your bowl and the design is super.

    When you use rayon threads it’s frustrating that the eye can see their full beauty but the camera refuses to do so.

    I haven’t yet decided which way to take fibre-fiddling this year – I’m always thinking about ‘re-designing the (fibre) wheel’.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I’m sorry the link didn’t show the pics. I do love both pieces. You’re right about the rayon and my eyes did get quite a workout on the bowl. :-). But it was worth it. It’s one of my favorite pieces. Thanks for such a great tutorial. I plan to try some more intricate pieces this year.

      Redesigning the fibre wheel? Sounds intriguing. I look forward to seeing how you fiddle with fibres this year.

  4. I have enjoyed “painting” with wool this year, and my efforts have led to group exhibitions and now an artist residency in 2015. Landscapes are truly my favorite, and I also enjoy felting the occasional piece of abstract art. And land art–yes–love it! (Thanks for the challenge, Zed.)

    But to respond to Marilyn’s question about our new year’s felting resolutions, I plan to challenge myself in 2015 by doing more sculptural felt. To do this, I must study more about the shrinkage properties of wool. And of course, practice-practice-practice, which inevitably means more experimenting.

    Lovely bowl, Marilyn–and a great challenge ahead for you in the New Year.

    And if I may, a personal note and thank-you to all of you who helped me grow in 2014.

    1. Thanks Cathy! I’m sure with all the projects and experiments from fellow felters we will indeed find many new challenges this year.

      Congratulations on your residency!

  5. Great job on the bowl Marilyn. I hope you are feeling better about your free motion skills. It just takes practice like everything else. I love the shape you achieved. Looking at the stitching on your bowl makes me want to do more stitching on felt this year. I haven’t set down any goals at this point but playing with fiber is always high on my priority list 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruth! I can’t say I’m comfortable with it yet, but I will do more this year and hopefully I’ll get there.

  6. Marilyn – Just read your reply to Zed – I advise using a foot – when I tried without I managed to put a stitch in the side of my left index finger…filled the swear box.

    1. That’s exactly what would happen to me Lyn. I did that when I first started to sew as a young girl — a lesson I’ve never forgotten. ;-). Even though installing that foot is a pain and I have to relearn it every time I do it, it is a safety precaution.

    2. Ooops – so it was. Sorry Zed!

      Sage advice about lowering the presser foot arm Judith – you just get thread spaghetti if you leave it up don’t you?

    1. Thanks Leonor! I’m still a little intimidated with the free motion. Regular sewing no big deal.

    2. Leonor, you have my admiration for playing so succesully with needles. 🙂 I’d be a sieve.

  7. Neat bowl Marilyn and I loved your Moy Mackay inspired piece. I have yet to try free motion stitching, pleased to hear that a special foot is not required, but hesitate as I am lethal enough with a needle felting needles and do not fancy a sewing machine needle going through a finger! Ouch Lyn just the thought has me shuddering. As for fiber resolutions, just to keep to keep having fun with all sorts of fibers in all sorts of ways. But I did set myself a goal – to have a tidy up of all past pieces before I start felting anything else. I am working on that today as I have quite a few felting ideas that I want to get on with.
    Thanks Felting and Fiber Studio team and all involved over the past year, a wonderful and inspiring felting community. Happy Felting and Fibers for 2015

    1. Thanks Jane! I like your resolution of having fun with fiber. I have a bunch to clean up but probably won’t get to that until spring. Good luck with your cleanup and having fun this year! I look forward to seeing your new creations!

  8. Great bowl Marilyn. I will have to give that a try. My resolution for the new year is to make a list of what everyone’s real name is beside their online name. I can never remember who everybody is.

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