First Quarter Challenge – Repurposing Sample

First Quarter Challenge – Repurposing Sample

For the First Quarter Challenge, I was intrigued by one of Lyn and Annie’s samples. It was chopped up bits of felt from an old piece added to a new one. Their piece was very colorful bits of felt on white wool but I was thinking in terms of florals in a landscape. I could try a small sample before I did a larger landscape that might not work as planned.

Here is the sample that I planned on repurposing. I made this several years ago and I can’t remember why I thought I should try this but it is wool with layers/ruffles of dyed cheesecloth. It worked but I didn’t really have any kind of plan on how I would use this method and it’s just been in a bin since then. But it had good California poppy colors so I thought I could chop it up into small bits to represent poppies in a landscape.

I only used a very small amount of the sample to chop into bits with my trusty rotary cutter. I have loads left if I decide to create a larger landscape with this technique.

Next I laid down a piece of green prefelt, covered it with a variety of small green bits of wool in a variety of locks, breeds etc. Whatever I had laying around, another way to recycle little bits of wool. Then I sprinkled the orange bits over the bottom portion for the poppies. Sorry for the poor photo quality, I took the photos in the kitchen where the light is poor. The sample size is about 6″ x 8″ or so. I was going for a small sample but one that I could perhaps use as a mini landscape if it turned out well. (You can always use these small samples for greeting cards or small framed pieces.)

Then I wet down the sample and felted as usual. I did lose quite a few of the small orange bits but I didn’t worry about that. I had lots on there and I thought it would still work with the majority of “flowers” that did adhere. This process reminded me of working with wool nepps which have given me some problems sticking to the felt in the past. I could have added a bit more fiber over the top of the orange bits but I wanted to see how they attached without it. Most of what fell off was cheesecloth.

Here is the final sample after felting and fulling. I am deciding whether I want to add any stitching or just frame this small piece as is. I like the “Van Gogh” look of the trees in the background and the orange stayed very bright and true to color without any wool on the surface. I feel confident that I could make a larger landscape with this technique and I can repurpose more samples this way. Thanks for the challenge Annie and Lyn!

15 thoughts on “First Quarter Challenge – Repurposing Sample

  1. The piece of wool+cheesecloth really was a challenge because the holes in the cheesecloth had already shrunk and the wool had already felted.

    Your mini landscape was an experimental piece indeed, and it worked! The ‘poppies’ stayed bright because you didn’t use wool to trap the bits and the resulting texture makes them stand out.
    Definitely something to keep in mind for a future larger picture!

    I wonder if you’d used all loose fibres to make layers, instead of starting with a pre-felt, would the pieces of orange have ‘sunk’ just a tad further into the the green fibres for a little more adherence?

    1. The cut up bits definitely resisted the felting process. Using a base of loose fiber might have worked better. It was a good experimental sample. On to a bigger one!

  2. I really like this result Ruth, I can see all sorts of possibilities in it.
    “See”, I tell myself, “sampling is a good idea!”

  3. Excellent sample, Ruth. Good recycling of odds and ends as well as a piece that didn’t have a purpose. Great that you both got information for a larger piece and made a useable small picture too. A win-win!

  4. I like it. its a nice abstract landscape. Already felted pieces are always a challenge. I wonder if you gave the piece a good brush before cutting it up if that would have helped. Given you some loos fibres to work with. of peel off the cheese cloth, if its going to fall off anyway. The peeled side would have some fuzzies.

    1. Thanks Ann, I am sure brushing it up might have helped. And yes, you could pull some of the cheesecloth off. But I just let the pieces fall off that didn’t want to stay on and still had plenty that did stick. So I was pleased with how it worked out.

  5. You’ve definitely created a Van Gogh vibe with this sample! I wouldn’t be able to resist a bit of free motion stitch to emphasise the swirly movement of the trees.

  6. Love this experiment Ruth. Your colour choice is so rich too. I have a pile of prefelt off cuts that I was thinking about cutting up smaller to play with. Do you think I should work off a loose base rather than the prefelt to secure the prefelts? But I see what fell off on you was mostly the cheesecloth so I might be safe using the prefelt as a base. Looking forward to seeing the bigger version.

    1. Thanks Helene, my offcuts were fully felted so I think if you roughed up the prefelt, your bits of cut prefelt should felt in easily. I guess I will have to get started on the bigger version at some point 😉

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