First Quarter Challenge 2016

The overall theme for this year’s challenges is felting techniques. We had a poll and vote over on the forum and “Choose a Specific Felting Technique” got nearly 60% of the vote. So each quarter, one of us will post a specific felting technique which will comprise that quarter’s challenge. We hope that you will consider participating this year and trying out a new technique or adding a twist to a technique that you might have already done. You have three months to complete the challenges and then we’d love to see what you created. You can share your results over on the forum under “Studio Challenges” or you can contact us here and write a guest post about your entry. The more the merrier!


My challenge to you for the first quarter is to use a flat resist in felting. Now if you’re a beginner and you have never used a flat resist before, that could mean you might want to try a simple circle to make a beret or a pod. Lyn and Annie from Rosiepink have a wonderful tutorial on wet felting a pod over a resist that you can see here.

Or if you have a bit more experience, you could try using the same resist but make different shapes when fulling the resulting felt piece. The photos above show the shape of the resist on the left. Both of the felt vases were made on the same resist but look very different because of shaping and embellishments. So how many shapes of felt could you make from one resist?


remove resist

Maybe you have been wanting to make a felted pair of slippers but it hasn’t happened yet. You could follow Nada V’s tutorial on using the ear shaped resists shown above. Or perhaps try a new shape of hat, bag or mittens. The possibilities are endless.

Resist Shapes

How many shapes of resists can you create? I wrote a post about resist shapes a while back that might get your brain working.

If you have lots of experience with resists, have you tried stitching multiple resists together to make a complex shape? Perhaps you haven’t tried seamless clothing and want to go in that direction with a resist. What would happen if you stacked resists on top of each other with felt in between and kept layering different shapes? What if you cut your resist from a different angle or made a different opening? How would that affect the end result? What would happen if you added “ear shapes” (as in the slipper tutorial above) to a resist and cut it open from ear to ear? Maybe you haven’t tried using resists as surface design. Zed wrote a post about Surface Design Using Resists last year to give you some ideas. The skies the limit on what idea you could use with flat resists and wet felting.

So your challenge is to use a flat resist in wet felting in a way that you haven’t before. The suggestions I have given are just a starting point. Let’s put our thinking caps on and have fun playing with resists!


About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to “play” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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36 Responses to First Quarter Challenge 2016

  1. Phew, now you really have got my brain buzzing, a new year and a new technique? I may just have to give this a go!

  2. zedster66 says:

    I might have to try a vessel over a flat resist, Lyn always gets such gorgeous results! 🙂

  3. luvswool says:

    Good way to start the New Year! I have been wanting to make a cat cave for awhile–in fact, I have two cats and two cat caves would be twice as nice. It’s the size that intimidates me. But that’s my plan for the First Qtr 2016 Challenge. Hold me to it, y’all!

    • ruthlane says:

      Alright Cathy I will hold you to it. I expect to see two cat caves out of you by the end of March 🙂 And they aren’t really that big, smaller than making clothing.

  4. What will I do – looking forward to the challenge!

    • ruthlane says:

      Frances – I’m glad you are looking forward to the challenge. If you are thinking of doing your clothing with a resist, that would count. I look forward to seeing what you create.

  5. Jackie Scholl says:

    I’m in and ahead of the game without knowing it. I started a cloche hat using a flat resist and am now waiting for a hat shaper I ordered to arrive. I started the preliminary shape using a deep bowl. It took me three try’s to get the flat resist the correct size (porportion)

    • ruthlane says:

      Great Jackie. It does take some work to get proportions right when you’re fitting a hat. I look forward to seeing it and I hope you’ll share it with us.

  6. MCH says:

    Sounds a great challenge. Can anyone recommend a suitable material for a resist. Plus where can I get some. I live in the UK.

    • Lyn says:

      You can use cardboard for a resist, but pliable ‘plastic’ seems to be favourite. My first resist was cut from an old p.v.c. banner. You could use the thick plastic that heavy goods (such as carpets, mattresses, etc) come wrapped in, or a thick wipe-clean tablecloth. I’ve used a lot of laminate flooring underlay (maybe the fact that I was given a roll influenced my choice) but it works well as it’s stiff enough to wrap wool around yet pliable enough to remove when the time comes. Ask around – laminate floors are popular and there’s always underlay left over!

    • ruthlane says:

      Hi MCH – Lyn has given some great suggestions on resist material. I personally don’t like cardboard because it disintegrates but I do like the floor underlayment.

      Thanks Lyn for answering the question.

    • Teri Berry says:

      Laminate flooring underlay is my favourite too, freecycle is a good place to ask for scraps if you don’t know anyone who is currently redecorating. If you take the plunge and buy a roll (about £15) the wickes version is flatter and easier to use than the homebase version.

  7. Lyn says:

    Great challenge Ruth – I just know that I’m going to spend longer trying to decide what to make than I’ll take actually making something.

  8. MCH says:

    Thank you Lyn and ruthlane I got a B&Q near by so can get the resist from there. I thinking of doing a vase. Got my ideas buzzing around now.

  9. dorothyanneb says:

    I’m in – I’ve done a couple of bowls over a resist (and a ukulele case) but want to work on some taller vases and a purse to embellish…

  10. Teri Berry says:

    What a great challenge Ruth, on the surface so simple but with endless possibilities for development! I’m with Lyn, there are too many options! I’m also going to add another option to the list…. What happens if you stitch / glue multiple resists together?

    If anyone would like to see an example of making lots of different shapes from the same resist, here are some experiments I conducted last year:

    I need to have a think…

  11. Good challenge Ruth. I have been meaning to play with multiple resist. maybe a finned vase.

  12. MCH says:

    Thanks for the advice Teri I got a Wickes not far away for looks like I’m out tomorrow looking at resists using laminated floor underlay.

  13. Liz Fagel says:

    This sounds fun. I would love to join in. I will have to think about it for awhile. I do have a couple of ideas.

  14. MCH says:

    Got a large rool of resist. Got more than enough to make quite a few vases. So I can start making my first wet felted vase. Thanks for all the advise.

  15. MCH says:

    Going to start simple first then we’ll see where I go from there. Are there an blogs on here on vase and resists to get some idea. A newbie here.

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