Fourth Quarter Challenge

Fourth Quarter Challenge

What happened to the other 2 Quarterly challenges?! As Ruth said, this year we’re focusing on felting techniques. My first thought (rather obviously, most of you will think) was embellishments. I’ve blathered on enough about embellishment fibres in the past year, so I thought maybe something we can get for free or even which might usually get thrown away. So I settled on ‘Threads and Yarns’. They might be ‘free’, but also it might not be something everybody just saves as a matter of course, so I thought giving you a few months warning will help you prepare well in advance.
So, what kind of things was I thinking of? The everyday things we use in felting and fibre art, nothing special, nothing we have to go out and buy, all we have to do is not throw it away. Things like sewing thread, long bits, short bits, natural, synthetic, even silk:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEmbroidery threads and floss:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow about all those annoying threads that unravel when we tear some fabric, and have to pull off to neaten it? The bits of cotton:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThreads unravelled from gauze, scrim or cheesecloth:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShiny and sparkly organza:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe stuff that refuses to unattach from our hands after tearing silk:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd any other scraps of threads unravelled or unwoven from fabrics and scarves we’ve torn, dismantled and deconstructed to use in our fibre art:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then there are yarns. Any yarns … bought, made, natural, synthetic; neat, chunky, plied or arty. Big or small, it doesn’t matter if it’s a foot or so, or the odd few inches left at the end of a project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou might even have a pile of knitting you unpicked, save that too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOther things which come to mind are bits of twine and garden string, that raffia stuff you get wrapped around flowers, the tassels cut from the ends of scarves. All you’ll need now is some envelopes, bags or tubs to save them in and something to label them so you don’t lose track. And I’ll try to come up with a few uses for them in the next 9 months! πŸ˜‰

31 thoughts on “Fourth Quarter Challenge

  1. Righto then Zed – I’ll start hoarding the bits that I presently throw away. I’m always reluctant to get rid of threads (they’re so pretty!) and it’s a tough decision – when is a piece of thread a useful length and when does it become scrap?

    1. p.s. I tidied the house half an hour ago and emptied my bin into the household waste bin – and it had loads of snips of pretty coloured sewing threads in it. Doh!

    2. It’d be useful to have masses of needles and an effecient storage sytem to save all the threaded needles with unused bit of thread on for future use wouldn’t it? I can’t throw them away either, they’re either long enough for sewing, or useful for embellishing, or if they’re tangled etc they go in the bag to become filling in texture felt!

  2. i already collect all these things in what crafters now call an ORT Jar, I’m guessing it means odd random threads as it was started by cross stitcher’s from what i can gather! I’m such a magpie and find throwing these pretty treasures away so it will be nice to have something else to do with them as currently i use them to stuff anything 3D i make, like the felt logs i made for the campfire i was asked to create for my Beaver pack, and the felted Christmas trees i made to sell. so excited!

    1. It really is hard to throw anything colourful away isn’t it? And we buy all sorts of waste products, like silk throwster’s waste, carrier rods, sari silk yarns, so using our own ‘waste’ should be easy!

  3. I don’t really need an excuse to hoard, but thank you all the same, the next time the other half complains about the piles of “rubbish” I can just point him to this post πŸ™‚ what about scraps of felt where you have trimmed the edge of a project am I allowed to keep those too?

  4. Wow, that sounds great to me. I am unable to throw all the thread snippings away from anything I sew so I’m desperate for something creative to do with them. I can’t wait.

  5. Yaay! I’ve been doing this for awhile now…saving all my thread and yarn waste. Bags of the stuff. I sometimes incorporate it into felting projects, but the real goal was to spin some art yarn (I don’t know how to spin yet!) But I can’t wait to see the ideas for possibly incorporating into felting projects. This will be fun.

    1. You’d better get learning to spin then, anything fibre related qualifies for the challenge, and we all learn off each other! You can then use the thread waste art yarn in felting πŸ™‚

  6. So I’m sure this won’t be hard for any of us. I have piles of threads already and pieces of felt scraps and bits of yarn and now I need to save more πŸ™‚

    I think I will start putting them all into an Orts jar and see how many jars I can fill.

    1. I’d never heard of ORTs jars till now, but having seen them, I’m going to have to swap my tubs for jars!

  7. Oh so gratified to hear I am not the only hoarder squirreling away bits of floss and felt. Thanks for the heads-up, Zed!

    1. You’re welcome, Cathy πŸ™‚ It’ll be interesting to see what other things people think to save aswell now.

  8. Seems to be a consensus. I can’t throw threads or scraps away either. I may have to consolidate them before the challenge,

    1. You’ve got 9 months to think how to use them, Marilyn πŸ™‚
      I will give a few examples and ideas, but it’ll be interesting to see others’ ideas too.

    1. Gasp! Throwing away art supplies?! πŸ˜‰ On its own a little bit of thread may just look like scrap, but with lots of others it’s a fluffy rainbow cloud of free embellishments!

  9. I don’t have thread but I have felt scraps. 2 bins of long thin off cuts. And lots of little bits of hand spun yarn. oh and lots of bits of fiber waiting to be carded into great batts.

    1. I’m sure he’s got some useless rubbish you could remove to make room πŸ˜‰

  10. Argh, I just threw away a lot of scraps as part of my “tidy up” part of the New Year’s resolution. Why didn’t I read this earlier? πŸ™

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