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2022 FIRST QUARTER CHALLENGE

2022 FIRST QUARTER CHALLENGE

Do have a go at this challenge no matter what materials you prefer and no matter how new or how experienced you are.

The first challenge for this year is to make one, or more, experimental textile samples using repurposed items such as old clothing or furnishings.

For example, you could deconstruct an old shirt and use specific pieces or just rough cut pieces or even shred the fabric down to threads.  You could unravel an old sweater or scarf to reuse the yarn, or make ‘yarn’ by cutting lengths from an old t-shirt.

So why only make a sample?

Well, it’s quick, fun and there’s no pressure to get something right. It’s a great risk-free way to get creativity flowing and can lead to further experimentation or perhaps a new project. Sampling gives you a chance to test an idea before embarking on a project and it can inspire future work.

Look around at what you have and ask ‘what if?’  Then make a sample to see what happens.

Here are some of our samples of ‘textile deconstruction and reconstruction’:

This large scarf had a few holes in it and wasn’t fit for purpose.

Some of it was cut into strips then knitted to see how it would look and feel.

Old scarves and blouses can be used to make nuno felt.  If you’re unsure whether the fabric will work or not, make a sample!

Small pieces from three different garments were cut into rough shapes then placed onto a few layers of merino wool before felting.  The sample shows how each piece of fabric looked after felting.

This experimental sample is a scrap of fabric cut from an old garment then embellished with stitching.

This is a slice of the sleeve of an old sweater splayed out and stitched down.

Old t-shirts can be cut into strips to make ‘yarn’.  Seamless t-shirts are best as you can just cut round and round – with a seamed t-shirt you have to make joins in the ‘yarn’.

This red t-shirt yarn …

… and some of this recycled sari silk …

… were knitted together, as an I-Cord, on giant needles to make interesting ‘rope’.

Some fulled felt that was left over from a very colourful project was cut into small pieces, laid on top of loose white merino fibres then felted …

… the result was a colourful, textured piece of felt.

These shoelaces were rescued from discarded trainers.  They were handstitched to a piece of velvet and the sample was an experiment to try to ‘abstract’ rhubarb.

You may already have a stash of deconstructed stuff e.g. ribbons saved from gift wrappings, short lengths of yarn from old sweaters/scarves, lace from old blouses etc.

This weaving sample was made from such a stash.

So, look around at what you have to hand and ask ‘what if?’  Then make a sample to see what happens.

Please post a photo of your experimental sample onto the Felting and Fiber Forum under ‘Studio Challenges’ in the thread ‘2022 First Quarter Challenge’.

 

hippie-style crocheted top & colourful floral felted pod – 4th quarter challenge

hippie-style crocheted top & colourful floral felted pod – 4th quarter challenge

Lyn

In the late 60’s I was taught how to crochet by my Aunt Doris and I loved it.  She showed me how to read a crochet pattern and the first thing I made was a green mini dress for myself.

At that time the ‘granny square’ became popular and I made a long, sleeveless jacket for my mum from brightly coloured squares edged with black.

So coming up with a challenge idea was easy for me.  I had a search of the internet and found a free pattern by Michelle of The Snugglery (free pattern) The pattern is for a 60’s hippie-style top.  Perfect.

I auditioned my stash of yarns and picked out some bright ones that I thought went together well – orange was a very popular colour in the late 60’s.

I made 8 traditional granny squares to measure 16.5cm (6½”) each – all the same as the one shown below.

If you’d like to know how to crochet a traditional granny square, there are many free YouTube videos – here is a good one but be aware that US double crochet stitch is UK treble crochet stitch.

how to crochet a granny square

 

How frustrating is it when you come to a knot in the yarn?

Here is Michelle’s pattern showing how to join the squares….

… and here are my 8 granny squares stitched together but not yet joined to make one piece.

A fringe, made with 3 strands of yarn, is essential to the look of this top.  I decided it would be easier to attach a fringe while the squares were flat on the table before joining them to make the top complete.

The thin straps were crocheted using 3 strands of yarn and a simple chain stitch.

Here’s how I kept the 3 yarns from tangling.

The finished top will be donated to a retro charity shop and I hope someone enjoys wearing it – even if it’s for fancy dress!  Here’s the ‘flat’ shot …

… and after much persuasion, here’s Annie modelling it, but she refused to take her tee-shirt off!

Annie

I’ve had plans to make some more pods for a while now and as flowers were popular in designs in the 60’s I thought I’d make a floral one for the 4th quarter challenge.

Usually I put the design on the outside after the fibres are all laid down but this time I decided to do it in reverse. I think it would have worked well with a simpler design but it bent my brain trying to lay down felt flowers, yarn outlines and background fabrics in reverse!

In the end I laid out the design for the first side face up over a template circle so I’d only have to do the other side in reverse.  It was quite complicated with having to wrap the design round the edges.

Then I put the resist on top and flipped it all over so that the design faced into the resist.

I laid down the first layer of fibres over the design then carried on making the pod in the usual way.

After I took the resist out I turned it inside out to reveal the design then carried on felting to shape the pod.  I didn’t really think it through – maybe it would have been easier to just put the design on the outside.  But it was fun to make.  Although it’s not perfect it’s not wasted time – any time spent experimenting and making is time well spent if you ask me!

 

 

 

 

2021 FOURTH QUARTER CHALLENGE

2021 FOURTH QUARTER CHALLENGE

The fourth quarter challenge is to felt, spin, weave, knit, crochet or sew something inspired by the 1960’s – a decade that exploded with colour in art, fashion, homewares and music!

Although ‘pop-art’ originated in the 1950’s it flourished in the 1960’s, and Andy Warhol created many versions of his portrait of Marilyn Monroe …

…and Versace made a gown using Warhol’s prints.

Psychedelic and hippie art was everywhere! On posters, clothes, musical instruments and vehicles.

The world of pop music embraced the wildness of design in the 1960’s. Heinz Edelmann’s illustration style for the Beatles’ animated film ‘Yellow Submarine’ was revolutionary…

… and this album cover must be the most recognisable.  Jann Haworth and Peter Blake designed the cover for The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

Peter Max was an influential designer.  Below left to right: He painted this design for Capitol Records, this ‘love’ poster and he designed this fabric.

Flowers featured a lot in 60’s fabrics that would be made into clothes, curtains, lampshades and furniture.

Flowers were also popular in many wallpaper designs.

Mary Quant was an influential fashion designer in the 60’s – she did use colour but she’s well-known for her black and white designs.

And who hasn’t heard of ‘Biba’?  This is one of her dresses. Photo courtesy of V&A.

Fashion was very flamboyant.  Look at these ties for men. Photo courtesy of V&A.

And shirts could never be too colourful.

Machine embroidered clothes were very popular.

Jewellery was bold, bright and chunky.  Photos courtesy of V&A.

Perhaps you remember the 1960’s?  Perhaps you’ve only read about them.  But we hope you find something in that decade to inspire your work.  Please post anything you make on to the ‘Studio Challenges’ section on the Felting and Fiber Forum

The Coronation of King Teddy

The Coronation of King Teddy

THIRD QUARTER CHALLENGE

For my 1950’s inspired picture, I drew on memorable things from my early childhood.

I was born in this house in 1953 – but of course there wasn’t a tv aerial or satellite dish on it then.

And here I am with my mum and my nan, in their 1950’s coats, outside the back door.

My strongest memory in that house is of playing with my teddy bear.  It was cold one day so I sat him in front of an open fire and scorched his fur.  No problem. I played hairdressers and cut it all off – even the fur that wasn’t scorched.  My dad took one look and said we should call him Fred Bear (threadbare).

Apart from my arrival into this world, the biggest event in 1953 was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.  She wore a crown and carried an orb and sceptre to symbolise her monarchy and power.

Had I been a little older at that time I might have had a play-time coronation for my teddy.

Teddy is long gone but I can make a felted picture of what might have been using my memories of my early childhood in the 50’s.

So, to make a 50’s play-time coronation I would need:

A Throne (chamber pot).  Our toilet was outside so for night-time there were chamber pots under the beds – they were called ‘gazunders’ – and anyone sitting on a pot was said to be ‘on the throne’.

A Crown (paper hat). Any kind of celebration involved the wearing of a tissue paper hat in the shape of a crown.  I decided to make it candy-striped because I fondly remember the candy-striped flannelette sheets that were so cosy in the winter.

An Orb (large marble).  I played marbles with my brother and we both loved ‘king marbles’ as they were much bigger than the others.

A Sceptre (a knitting needle). Mum taught me to knit before I could read.  I had a lovely pair of brightly coloured needles with large round ends.

Righto, first job was to make some pre-felt.

After I’d made all the pre-felt, I realised that I had forgotten about teddy’s brown pads on his hands and feet.  Doh!  Off we go again.

I made the background from 3 layers of turquoise and 1 blue blended layer.

I cut out shapes from the pre-felt for the teddy, the chamber pot, the paper crown and the king marble then I laid them onto the background.  Here it is netted, wetted and soaped up.

When it was felted and dry I got to work with needle felting.

At this point I need to apologise.  I had planned to take photos of all the stages of needle felting but I became so engrossed that I forgot!

So, here’s the finished piece – teddy in all his regal splendour!

 

 

 

2021 Third Quarter Challenge

2021 Third Quarter Challenge

The third quarter challenge is to felt, spin, weave, knit, crochet or sew something inspired by the 1950’s.

There was a global economic boom in the 1950’s, and in 1957 Britain’s prime minister, Harold Macmillan, is famous for saying “You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime … most of our people have never had it so good.”

Could you be inspired by ‘Fairy-Tales’?

In 1950 Walt Disney released the cartoon film ‘Cinderella’ – some cute mice and birds stitched her dress.

Walt Disney released 3 more fairy tale films in the 50’s: ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

In 1953, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was taken to her coronation in the Gold State Coach – it weighs over 4 tons!  The photo below is quite recent but it shows the splendour and fairy-tale quality of the coach.

In 1955 Walt Disney opened ‘Disneyland’ where children of all ages could enjoy a magic kingdom.  Below is the ‘Fairy-Tale Castle’.

‘Balmoral’ is a real-life castle in Scotland, privately owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, but it does have a fairy-tale look doesn’t it?

Hands up anyone old enough to remember how children played in the 50’s?

Before the electronic age, play was simple.  Go-karts and bikes made from bits and pieces found abandoned, ball games, hula hoop, hopscotch and skipping.

Some toys that were introduced in the 1950’s are still around today – humming tops, frisbees, slinkies and Mr Potato Head.

So all of you who didn’t put your hands up just now, have you seen photos of how the grown-ups in your family dressed in the 50’s?

Maybe this is the fashion that people aspired to…….

….. but the ‘best going-out’ clothes for many people in England in 1959 looked like this.  A day out on a coach was a special occasion and worthy of a photo!  Can you spot Lyn?

 

There was an explosion of colourful, wonderful art in the 50’s.

Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist, produced these works between 1953-58.

 

David Hockney produced a varied style of paintings in the 50’s…

 

 

… and Karen Lane (lincsinstitches.com) showed her wonderful mixed media quilt on The Felting and Fiber Forum.  It was based on a 1954 self-portrait painted by Hockney.

The 1950’s was an exciting decade for space exploration.  ‘Sputnik 1’ was launched in 1957. It was a polished metal sphere 58 cm (23 in) in diameter with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses.

Of course there was a whole lot more going on in the years 1950-1959 than we’ve mentioned above, and we hope that you can find something that piques your curiosity/interest and inspires you to create something.  Please share your makes by posting a photo on THE FELTING AND FIBER FORUM in ‘Studio Challenges’.

 

 

Key Dish and Pot Plant Mat – 1920’s style

Key Dish and Pot Plant Mat – 1920’s style

Lyn

I chose ceramic artist Clarice Cliff for inspiration in the second quarter challenge because I liked this plate that she decorated in 1929.

I planned to make a shallow bowl and matching pot plant mat, in the style of Clarice’s plate decoration, using the resist method to make a pod

This is the shape of the shallow bowl I wanted to make.  It would be white on the outside (like the reverse of the plate above) and decorated on the whole inside surface.  The large circle that would be cut out from the top would not be wasted but would be worked into a pot plant mat.

I have made a similar bowl before using this method so I was confident with my idea.

I took my colour palette from 8 plants that are growing in my garden during the second quarter of 2021 – red, mauve, green, orange, yellow, pink, white, blue.

I cut a circle of paper 24.5cm (9.5”) in diameter then drew shapes on it – similar to those above on the plate – then I coloured in the shapes using the colours of the plants…

…then I set about making 8 pieces of pre-felt to match.

To enable me to cut accurate shapes from the pre-felt I used freezer paper – the paper has wax on one side.  Tackling one colour at a time, I traced the shapes onto the non-waxed side of the freezer paper then pressed the paper waxed side down onto the pre-felt using a medium iron for 2-3 seconds.

After cooling, the paper will stick to the felt making it easy to cut the shapes out and the paper will peel away very easily.

Here are the shapes after cutting out – I didn’t realise until I was up to my elbows in wet felt and soap suds that I forgotten to cut 2 of the orange shapes.  There should have been 10 – doh!

I placed the paper pattern onto the bamboo mat then covered it with a clear plastic circle.  I misted the plastic with soapy water then I made some black yarn wet and very soapy – hopefully to make it ‘sticky’ – then placed it onto the plastic circle following the lines of the paper pattern beneath it.

I dunked the felt shapes, one at a time, in a dish of soapy water then placed them on top of the yarn.

I covered the circle with 2 layers of white merino wool top before flipping it over.

I removed the paper pattern then once again put down the black yarn following the pattern showing through the clear plastic circle.

Then I placed the coloured shapes on top as I did for the first side.

For this project, I put 4 layers of white merino wool tops on each side then worked it as described in the pod tutorial.

I cut the hole, as shown below, leaving only a narrow edge.

I finished the felting process on the circle that I cut away for the pot plant mat, then I turned my attention to the bowl-in-progress.

My plan was to make a shallow bowl in the shape shown below.

I’m not sure what went wrong but the felting gods were definitely not smiling upon me and my shallow bowl didn’t form as I’d planned.

So after a quick re-think I cut away the edge of the non-bowl then turned the remaining circle of felt upside down on a cake tin to form a dish in the shape of a pin-tray by Clarice Cliff (2 pin trays shown below).

It took a lot of soap and persuasion to get it shaped and my fingers looked like prunes after a while but I was very determined!

I did achieve my pot plant mat, but instead of a matching shallow bowl I made a key dish instead!

They would be ideal for a hallway table.

I hope you feel inspired by the 1920’s to make something in your chosen medium, and if you do, please post a photo in the Studio Challenges Section on The Forum.

2021 Second Quarter Challenge

2021 Second Quarter Challenge

We’ve chosen 4 decades from the 20th century upon which to base the challenges for 2021, and the second challenge to all felters, spinners, weavers, stitchers, knitters, crocheters and mixed media fibre artists is …

… to make something inspired by the decade 1920 – 1930.

The ‘Roaring Twenties’ is well worth investigating for inspiration – here are a few photos to whet your appetite.

The ART DECO movement originated in the 1920’s – a style featuring clean, simple shapes – and it influenced design in arts, architecture, fashion and homewares.

Clarice Cliff was a ceramicist and is best known for her colour rich, Art Deco designs. This ‘Crocus’ cream jug was made in 1928.

photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/art-deco-clarice-cliff

 

The sunray, or sunburst, was a popular Deco motif, which often featured in stained glass windows.

Clarice Cliff’s ‘Sunray’ vase was made in 1929.

photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/art-deco-clarice-cliff

 

In the 1920’s Rene Jules Lalique made glasswork in the Art Deco style.

Lalique’s ‘Oranges’ vase.

photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/art-deco-ren%C3%A9-jules-lalique

 

Lalique’s glass window panels ‘Blackbirds and Grapes’, 1928, were made for the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express train carriages.

photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/art-deco-ren%C3%A9-jules-lalique

 

Natalia Gonchorova designed this evening dress in 1923.

photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/art-deco-fashion

 

The Chrysler Building in New York was designed by William Van Alen in the Art Deco style and building work started in 1929.

Chrysler Building (commons wikimedia)

Chrysler Building Lobby (commons wikimedia)

 

FLAPPERS

Quote from Wikipedia “Flappers were a generation of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts (just at the knee was short for that time period), bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior.” Unquote

The dresses were flamboyant.

left: 1924 Charleston dress / right: Alice Joyce 1926  (commons wikimedia)

Who hasn’t tried to dance ‘The Charleston’?  This is Josephine Baker dancing at The Folies Bergere, Paris, in 1926.

Josephine Baker (commons wikimedia)

 

HATS

Cloche hats were fashionable in the twenties and today people still felt, knit, crochet and stitch them.

left to right: Actress Aileen Pringle 1926 / Actress Vilma Blanky 1927 / Actress Joan Crawford 1927 (commons wikimedia)

 

PAINTINGS

The 1920’s saw many different styles of art.

‘Wisteria (right half)’ by Claude Monet 1920 (commons wikimedia)

‘Menin Gate at Midnight’ by Will Longstaff 1927 (commons wikimedia)

‘New York, Early Twenties’ by Thomas Benton, 1920/24 (commons wikimedia)

‘The Bridge of the Tug Boat’ by Fernand Leger 1920 (public domain)

We hope you feel inspired to take part in this challenge – please post your photos in the Studio Challenges section on The Felting and Fiber Forum, we’d love to see them.

Lyn and Annie’s first quarter challenge entries

Lyn and Annie’s first quarter challenge entries

Lyn – Neubronner’s Pigeon in the style of Delauney

I’ve taken inspiration from both Neubronner (an inventor) and Delauney (an artist) to make a picture for the first quarter challenge 2021.

Dr Julius Neubronner developed a miniature pigeon camera to photograph the earth from above and the patent for his invention was granted in 1908.

How cute does Neubronner’s pigeon look?  All dressed up and ready to go to work.

I wanted to make a picture of the pigeon but not an exact copy.

So I looked for inspiration in the works of artists during the first decade of the 20th century and I found this painting by Robert Delauney, “Portrait de Metzinger “, painted in 1906.

Robert Delauney used bold blocks of colour in oil paint to create this portrait …… hmmm …… how about making the pigeon from blocks of colourful pre-felt?  They would look like brush strokes of oil paint on canvas.

My pre-felt stock is low,  I had some colours I wanted but not all, so the first job was to make some more.  I like to make it in batches to save time and effort and I like the mix of colours where they overlap.  This is the dry layout.

Then I made the ‘canvas’ for my picture from 4 layers of white merino,  pre-felted to the same stage as my pre-felt.

I cut coloured pre-felt into small rectangles, then using a photograph as a guide, I started to ‘draw’ the pigeon.

The only things not made from rectangles were the beak, eye and feet.

I didn’t copy the camera.  It looked too complicated for me to try!  So I made up a simple one that I hoped would be recognisable as a camera.

I added yellow variegated pre-felt rectangles, to imitate broad brush strokes, for the background.

But I didn’t like it.  The background overpowered the subject.  So I removed the yellow to leave just the pigeon.  I then added a little purple pre-felt to the front of the camera because it looked too plain.

I wet felted the pigeon then when it was dry I added the background by needle-felting rectangles of ‘Noro Rainbow Roll’ pencil roving around the pigeon.  The ‘Noro’ pencil roving is so fine (see photo below) that it’s almost see-through and it made a soft, complementary background.

The purple pre-felt bled a little bit during felting giving a pale pink tinge to the white background but I can live with that!

A couple of white stitches to put a glint in his eye and he’s done – the finished picture is 30 x 23cm (12″ x 9″).

 

Annie – Imaginative Flowers inspired by Odilon Redon

I felt inspired by many of the things that happened between 1900-1910, and was having trouble choosing what to do. Then I came across Odilon Redon’s floral still life work and it caught my eye, here is an example: ‘Bouquet of Flowers’ circa 1905.

And I also found a quote from him that appealed to me:

“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”

I had planned to do something a little less in my comfort zone and a bit more adventurous like mum did, but then I thought oh well I like making flowers from my imagination so I’ll just go for it!  It is still a work in progress but here’s what I’ve done so far….

I laid out a big square of white fibres with the intention of making several small sample pieces to start with but got carried away and just went straight for one big piece in the end.  I placed the vase right in the middle at the bottom which I wouldn’t ordinarily do as it seemed that’s how he did most of his.

 

I got a little way into laying out and although it was OK I decided it wasn’t working for me so I pulled up all the colour except for the yellow background and started again.

 

I made the flowers into a big bunch and then left some space at the bottom.  I had thought I’d leave space all round to include some “fronds” but hadn’t made my “canvas” big enough and ended up overdoing it so not enough room!

 

 

 

I haven’t finished it yet, but this is where I am so far.  I’m going to attach the vase after felting because it is very fine fabric which stretches and frays and I think too much yellow will come through because it is rather open weave too.  So I’ve ironed it on to some glue stabiliser for now and laid it on the picture temporarily. 

The fabric is a nod to Redon’s butterfly paintings and use of butterflies in his floral works.

I will undoubtedly faff about a bit more with the flowers, and possibly put some shadowy darker yellows in the background, before felting it.  It’s 52cm x 58cm (21″ x 23″).

Also, lesson learned, I didn’t check the dates properly on all of the reference pictures and only 1 of the 3 in my photo falls before 1910, but they are close enough 🙂

I’ll show the finished picture on the forum in the Challenges section.

 

2021 First Quarter Challenge

2021 First Quarter Challenge

We’ve chosen 4 decades from the 20th century upon which to base the challenges for 2021, and the first challenge to all felters, spinners, weavers, stitchers, knitters, crocheters and mixed media fibre artists is …

… to make something inspired by the decade 1900 – 1909.

At the beginning of the 20th century the Wright brothers achieved the first powered flight;  Australia became a Commonwealth;  the first silent movie was made; Marconi made the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission; Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity; the Suffragette Movement became strong and the North Pole was discovered!

We hope the public domain photos below will help to kick-start your imagination.

Alexander Graham Bell (better known for his work on the telephone) developed many tetrahedral kites of varying designs (1903-1909) – here are two of them.

In Australia someone had an unusual pet!  Photo dated 1900.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson Bentley photographed raindrops and snowflakes most of his life   This photo of a snow crystal was taken in 1905.  Below it are more of his photos but they are undated.

 

A First Nation Group near Lethbridge, Alberta, 1909.

Arthur Smith’s photos were featured in a book “Nature through Microscope and Camera” 1909 – here are just a few of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beckett and Hadfield took these Lantern slides in Norway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Julius Neubronner developed a miniature pigeon camera to photograph the earth from above.  The patent for his invention was granted in 1908.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The images were processed and sold as postcards at expositions in Dresden and Paris 1909-11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a lot of inspiration to be had from the art world.

“Vetheuil” by Monet, 1901

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Anenomes” by Renoir, 1907

 

“La jetee a L’Estaque” by Derain, 1906

Buildings and statues can be inspiring too.

The Flatiron Building – an iconic skyscraper  in New York –  completed in 1902.

 

Statue – a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’, Buffalo in the USA, 1903.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade cards were popular.  This valentine card was made in 1900 (maker unknown).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wealthy ladies had some impressive clothing !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you feel inspired to take part in this challenge.  It looks like there was a lot of really interesting things going on back then offering all sorts of exciting ideas for fibre projects.  Please post your photos in the Studio Challenges section on The Felting and Fiber Forum, we’d love to see them.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Annie (rosiepink)

For the 4th quarter challenge I made a few different things because once I started thinking about it I came up with lots of ideas and I couldn’t decide which to make!  I ended up making:

a stars themed table mat

a Christmas pudding decoration

some stars on sticks to poke into my houseplant pots

and a wreath of holly & stars

I needed a mat for the side table in my hallway because people always put keys etc on there and it gets scratched.  I was going to make one in the summer but didn’t get round to it and now that it’s winter I went for a theme of dark inky blue sky with white stars for a festive feel. I had a disaster with it when it wouldn’t felt, but that turned into a triumph when I rescued it with the embellisher because the mat not only felted but also became reversible where the pattern migrated through to the back 🙂

There is more detail about it over on our blog if you are interested: https://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/2020/12/starry-night-hand-felted-table-runner.html

When trying the mat on the table I saw my simple felt “flower” on a stick that is poked into one of my flower pots, and it gave me another idea.  I thought some stars on sticks would look nice and festive scattered in my plant pots. The flower is just a circle sample of felt from the odds box that I stuck on a wire one day and pushed into the soil.  A friend commented that she really liked it so I left it there.  Also, I had promised my plants I would make them some name tags this year and I didn’t, so they can have a star each instead 🙂

Since making the Christmas Podding a few years back …

https://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/2014/12/christmas-podding-and-the-chocolate-thief.html

… I kept thinking I’d like to make some more wired twisty holly leaves, possibly made into a wreath.  After some experimentation I made 3 sheets of colourful felt to cut the leaves from…

…but then decided it would take too much time to make all the leaves, so I decided to make a flat Christmas Pudding instead that could stand as a decoration and then I’d only need to make a few leaves!  The pudding is stood on a plate but leaning against a hidden glass jar.

To make the holly leaves I pinned some fabric to the back of the felt for stiffness then free motion stitched a few holly leaf shapes round 3 times in black thread and twice with white.  I also used some old felt to make some other leaves to mix up the colours.

To make the pudding I raided the scraps box. From scrap felt I cut out two main shapes – a 20cm diameter circle for the pudding and a wavy “topping” for the custard. I backed both pieces with fabric then stitched them together.

I cut some little “raisins” from orange felt and stitched them on then free motion stitched a pattern around them on the main pudding.

I attached the holly leaves and added some felt balls for berries. I had already made these a long time ago but they were perfect for this project.  Lastly I added a few little yellow stars for extra sparkle.

I had originally planned on making holly leaves using a base of green fibres plus a lot of other unusual colours to make it a bit quirky. I made a big sheet of felt to cut them from, but found I had used too many dark greens and not enough of the other colours so it wasn’t quite right. I decided I wanted to go more colourful, resulting in the felt I made above.  However, it is a lovely piece of felt and has some interesting passages in it.  For example, I can see lots of little landscapes in it and I will revisit it at some point because I think it has potential.  For now it’s one for my pile of “Ideas & Projects in Progress”.   Again, there is more detail on our blog about this if you are interested because this post is way too long as it is!

https://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/2020/12/from-felted-holly-leaves-to-landscapes.html

Then in a sudden swirl of enthusiasm I decided to make a big bunch of holly leaves after all to see if I could cobble together a wreath of sorts.  Here are some in progress photos:

After making lots of holly leaves (but sadly no wire, no time!) I hit a problem in that I couldn’t get the leaves to attach nicely to the metal wreath ring I had. I didn’t want to glue gun it in case I want to take it apart and repurpose the bits at some point.  What to do? I had a look around and rediscovered a narrow felted “scarf” that I had made in the summer.  I had been far to impatient when making the scarf and it turned out nothing like I had hoped (basically lovely colours but a complete disaster!). I kept it in the hope that it would come in handy one day, and it did.  I wrapped the ring in the scarf which gave me something to stitch the leaves to:

I mixed in some felted stars and some yellow glass beads as berries (yellow, red, who cares?!)  The stitching is appalling as it was done in record time, but it’s on the back so it won’t be seen.  My patience has limits especially on something fiddly like this when I’m running out of time!  But I think the overall appearance is fun and a bit different and if I ever make another wreath I have learnt a lot along the way for next time!

Here is everything together on the table in the hallway:

 

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