First Quarter Challenge Part Three

I am still working on ideas from the paint poured felt and fabric that I created for the first quarter challenge. I had several good ideas from the comments on my previous posts and I was thinking along the lines of stitching and then making the painted cotton into something else. But I couldn’t find a good tutorial on sewing a pouch with a zipper. I am hopeless with zippers and just couldn’t seem to make out what the instructions meant. Then someone on the forum asked about inclusions in felt and Karen of Lincs in Stitches showed us her wet felted pendants with acrylic paper inclusions.

What if I used the painted cotton fabric as an inclusion in felt? I love how our little community always helps me out, even if they don’t know it!

I decided to make a sample to see how it would work. I used two different colors in the layers. I didn’t want the top black layer to be so stark and I have found it’s easier to see where to cut out the inclusions if you have a little migration of color through the areas where the inclusions are not. The bottom layer is a mix of natural wool colors that is fairly coarse.

I cut a few pieces of the painted cotton and place them on top of the bottom layer.

The top layer is short fiber black merino and I added a gray embellishment fiber out of my stash. It’s not silk but I have forgotten what it is. Bad me for not labeling things better.

Then I felted it. You can see where the inclusions are because it is more black in those areas where the bottom layer fiber hasn’t migrated through.

Here’s the first inclusion showing through after cutting. The cotton got fairly wrinkled up. It adds texture but I decided I might like to see how it would work if I used a piece of plastic as the resist and then cut it open as above. But then I would remove the plastic and insert the painted cotton. That way it wouldn’t get all wrinkled up during shrinkage and I would know the exact size to cut it to fit inside the pocket. But that’s for next time.

Here’s the piece after it’s completely dry. The poured paint is a very nice contrast to the black wool. I may stitch around the edges to make sure it stays in completely. It won’t fall out but you could definitely grab it and pull out the painted cotton pieces.

Here’s a couple of close up shots so you can see the texture of the painted cotton against the felt. This technique has definite possibilities. This could certainly be used for making felt and paint jewelry or for adding embellishments to almost any kind of felt. I have quite a lot of poured paint that I need to do something with so there will probably be more experiments coming up.

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13 Responses to First Quarter Challenge Part Three

  1. queenpushy says:

    Maybe next time you could not go so far to the edge of the cotton when you cut out the felt and it might be more secure. Loving the use of painted cotton tho!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks! You are absolutely right that I cut too close to the edges and left too narrow a margin on the felt. The main thing I don’t like though is how wrinkled the cotton gets. I think it would look better if it was smooth.

  2. They look great Ruth. They would look lovely as pendants like Karen’s or as accents on a bag or book cover. I want to know how she got those lovely rounded smooth edges on her cut outs. Mine are always sharp like yours. I like the ides of adding the inserts after you are done . Do you think the edged may stretch to much when you put the insert in?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Ann! I think Karen uses quite a it more felt on the top. If you notice her edges are really built up and thick. That much wool may also help so it doesn’t shrink as much either.

      In regards to inserting afterwards, I have never tried it that way. But because the cotton is fairly soft and pliable, I think I could fold it and put it in without too much stretching. The other idea I had was to put a bigger piece of flat foam underneath the cotton. Make the cotton smaller than the foam. The foam would hold it’s shape and give room for the cotton not too shrink. Then cut around the edges leaving only the cotton showing. More experiments to come.

  3. Love it! I think it will be worth trying to cut the felt after fulling then insert the cotton with stitching – perhaps very obvious running stitch around the edge?

  4. Karen Lane says:

    This is looking great Ruth. I really like the contrast between the fabric and the wool. I’ve done one piece using a resist which I cut out and then inserted a red satin fabric. I did this for the same reason you are thinking of doing it….I didn’t want any ruckling. You can see it here https://lincsinstitches.com/2016/03/05/wet-felting-with-resists/

  5. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    I really like the contrast between the painted cloth and the felt. I agree I prefer it smoother. Great experiment. I’m sure you’ll get it perfected.

  6. Pingback: First Quarter Challenge – Part Four | feltingandfiberstudio

  7. zedster66 says:

    Great experiment, Ruth! Even though the painted part contrasts with the felt, in the close ups where you can see the felt txture more with the embellishment fibres, it also matches the swirls of the paint. I suppose individual pieces of cotton, with the paint just in the middle would felt in more firmly as the edges would be bare to attach.

  8. ruthlane says:

    Thanks Zed! Next time I just need to find a way to integrate the painted part more into the felt instead of it just being stuck in there. But this was just a trial to see what would happen. Hadn’t thought about leaving the edges raw cotton. Not sure how I can do that with paint pouring as paint gets everywhere but probably could do it on a large piece.

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