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Author: 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.
Weeping Birch Landscape Completed

Weeping Birch Landscape Completed

Back in early December, I showed you the beginnings of weeping birch trees that I created out of nunofelt. At that point, I had just started stitching the smaller branches.

Here’s what it looked like at that point.

I added quite a few more branches with couching in a variety of colors to give the mottled appearance of these type of branches.

I decided not to procrastinate with the finishing work, so I chose a “matte” fabric of medium value gray, stitched the nuno felt to the fabric and laced the fabric around matte board. The piece without a frame is 11″ x 18″ approximately. It’s now ready to take to the framers when I have some other pieces completed to go with it.

Here’s a closer look at the hand stitching. You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Next up are two more nuno felted pieces that need embellishing.

I think the one on the left will become free motion machine stitched with tree trunks and perhaps more orange leaves in the upper right corner. I am going to try and keep it fairly simple and not overdo the stitching. I want it to stay fairly abstract as landscapes go. The piece on the right may have cone flowers added to it with applique. I haven’t made any final decisions on that one yet. How would you finish these? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Surface Design on Felt Online Class Registration Now Open

Surface Design on Felt Online Class Registration Now Open

The surface design on felt series of online courses are open for registration.  The registration for the 4 modules of Embellishing Felt with Surface Design Techniques – A Mixed Media Approach opens today, January 6 for a class start date of January, 21 2022. Click on any of the links about the courses to learn more. The courses are four weeks of PDF and video information and two extra weeks of instructor support for only $45.00 US for each module. You don’t have to be present at any certain time during the course.

Here is a video that I made about the first module of my online courses, Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination.

The second module is Experimental Screen Printing on Felt. Screen printing is loads of fun and you can obtain a huge variety of results with the techniques you will learn in this class.

Or you might want to try the third module which is Printing, Stenciling and Playing with Thickened Dye on Felt. You will learn how to make stencils and stamps as well as the use of thickened dye to decorate the surface of your felt and make your own unique designs.

The fourth module is Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt. Have you always wanted to add machine stitching to your felt but didn’t know how? This course takes you through the basics of machine stitching on felt and works through to more complex techniques of using your sewing machine to embellish felt.

Want to start off 2022 learning something new? Then please click on the links above for further information about the classes and scroll down to the bottom of the page to register. You will also find the supply lists of what you will need for each class on the linked pages.

If you are interested in our other online classes, Felted Concertina Hats with Teri Berry, Felted Bags with Teri Berry or Hanging Felted Spiral with Helene Dooley, please fill out the contact us form here with the name of the class in the comments section.

Our Wet Felting for Beginners online class is available any time. You will have unlimited access with this class. So if you’d like to know more about the basics of felting including laying out the wool, embellishments, shrinkage and a variety of felting methods this is the class for you. You can sign up any time at the link above.

Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts

I keep telling myself that I won’t “make” any Christmas gifts this year. It always takes more time than I expect but somehow, here I am again, making gifts. This post has very little fiber in it but there is some, I promise. As a maker, I know that I often venture into trying new things including new media outside of fiber art. I find that trying out a new media gives a new perspective to what I usually create.

My friend Deb is moving to Wisconsin and has been clearing out “stuff” in preparation for a spring move. She had boxes and boxes of driftwood that she had collected over the years and was going to take to the dump. Of course, I couldn’t let that happen so all the boxes of driftwood came home with me. And there I was looking at a source of free material with which to create gifts!

The first thought was to make trees out of the driftwood. All I needed to do was layout the right size pieces, drill holes in the center and thread a piece of heavy duty string through the holes. This is the layout for the first tree I created. You can see a couple of the boxes of the driftwood but that hardly gives you an idea of how much wood I had.

Here’s  how the first tree turned out. I liked the look of it and so I decided to  make more.

Here’s a few more that I got photos of. I ended up making nine trees total, five of which were mini trees. I still had tons more wood left.

My sister had requested a yard art armadillo, so that was next on my list. I looked through all the pieces and found what looked like parts of an armadillo. It’s amazing what the wood pieces start to look like in your mind’s eye once you start thinking of a variety of animals. So the photos above show the base that I glued and screwed together. I could have left him like that but I decided he needed some birch bark skin. I took a quick walk and found pieces of birch bark in the woods.

The birch bark was quite scrunched up and dirty. So I soaked it in water and then tied it around buckets to get it to be more circular. Sorry for the poor photo but hopefully, you get the idea.

I added the birch bark with a combination of glue and staples. It was pretty tricky and some cursing might have occurred.

Edgar was not sure about the new creature in my studio. Who is this? The only issue with this gift is that my sister lives thousands of miles from me and I didn’t want to try and ship this guy. I was sure that he would be “killed” by the shipping companies. Luckily, my sister is patient and we will take the armadillo to her on our next cross country trip.

And finally some fiber. I found this piece of driftwood that looked like a hat shape. I added a nose with glue and painted the wood. Then I glued down locks for the beard and pieces of felt for the brim and pompom on the hat. And there you have it, a Christmas gnome.

I made a total of three Christmas gnomes. I love how they each have their own personality. Do you make Christmas gifts? If so, we’d love to see what you have created. You can share with us over on the free forum.

I want to thank you all for being loyal readers and wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and a happy, creative new year in 2022.

 

The Winners and a Start to a New Landscape

The Winners and a Start to a New Landscape

We had quite a response to our recent tenth anniversary giveaway post with over 175 comments. We’d love to hear from you more often on our regular posts.

The winners were drawn by random number generator and the choice of prize was given on number generated first through last of the 178 comments.

#1 – Kristina wins an online class of her choice.

 Kristina says:

Thank you for the continuous inspiration and sharing so many skills! I’d love to take the Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt course.

#2 – Linda Prine wins a sari silk pack.

 linda prine says:

If I win, I choose the sari silk. Thanks, Linda Prine

#3 – Cate Lake Thompson wins an online class of her choice. 

 Cate Lake-Thompson says:

Congrats are due for this 10 year anniversary! Wonderful posts!
I would love to learn free motion stichery on felt.
Cate

#4 – Debbie Loveland wins a sari silk pack.

 Debbie Loveland says:

Happy 10th, FFS! I have been enjoying your posts for the last few years. Thank all of you who share your talent. I wish FFS continued success! I would love to win one of the classes. Print, Stencil and Play with Thickened Dye on Felt looks particularly interesting.

#5 – Shoshana Avramovitz wins a sari silk pack.

 Shoshana Avramovitz says:

Congrats on ten years Ruth!!!
Your posts are always such I highlight for me I so appreciate you 💕
I would love the Sari silk as I have been inspired by your work, to try new things:)
Hope to be here with you for the next ten years
Hugs Shoshana 🤗

Congratulations to all of the winners. We will contact you directly by email to get your information and send your prize.

Now on to what I have been working on. The photo on the left shows one of the nuno backgrounds that I made a while ago that has been waiting for further embellishment. I decided I wanted to use the photo on the right of weeping birch as inspiration. Now to find some fabric that I could applique to the background. I went through my entire stash and found absolutely nothing that would work. What to do? Then I was looking through the silk that I use for nuno felting and realized that I still had a piece of the same fabric. The original background was felted on to black prefelt. What if I used the same fabric and felted it on to white prefelt? That should give me trees that would work with the background but still have enough difference that the trees would stand out. I considered covering a larger piece of prefelt with the silk and then cutting the trees out after felting. But what if I cut the prefelt into tree shapes and then covered with the silk fabric and felted? A new experiment in felting to try!

I cut out the trees free hand, hoping for the best. Isn’t the difference in the background to the original fabric astonishing? The black wool really migrates through and changes the colors and values. The photo on the right shows how I cut the silk to “fit” the tree shapes. I left a border of silk to wrap around to the back side of the prefelt.

I then began felting the silk into the prefelt trees. I did rough up the prefelt a bit with a brush to get good migration of wool through the silk. I did quite a bit of rubbing and minimal fulling. I had given myself a bit of extra room for shrinkage, but not enough for complete fulling. since this is a piece of wall art, I wasn’t worried about the trees not being completely fulled. They just needed to hold together enough for me to stitch them down once dry.

The photo on the left shows the felted trees laying on the background. They have been appliqued down in the right photo. I used a medium value tan thread and the tiny stitches are hardly visible. I have also started adding a couched branch on the right hand tree. This is as far as I have gotten so far.

Here’s a closer look at the stitched branches. There will be more of this type of branch added to the left hand tree as well. I used bullion stitch to make the little seed poddy things at the end of the branches. I will probably add a few more thread colors to the branch.

I haven’t decided yet whether the trees are too much of a contrast from the background. I am considering adding some shading with grey on one side of the tree trunks for shadows most likely done with paint. I am going to add more small branches before I decide. What do you think?

 

Ten Year Anniversary Giveaway

Ten Year Anniversary Giveaway

Comments on this post are now closed as

the drawing is December 2nd. Winners

will be announced on the post of

December 3rd.

 

Believe it or not, it has been ten years since we started The Felting and Fiber Studio. Our first post was on November 20, 2011. Some of the original members have changed, we have added more contributors but we are still sharing our fiber art adventures. We decided to have a ten year anniversary giveaway. We really appreciate you, our loyal readers and would like to give you a chance to win some cool prizes as we celebrate ten years of fiber creativity and fun. We are offering five prizes, three mixed packs of sari silk and two winners of your choice of our current online class selection (dates in 2022).

To enter the giveaway, please comment below with your choice of which prize you would like to win. You can choose either the silk sari pack or one of the online class offerings in 2022. We will have five winners. Make sure that your email address is associated with the comment. If we can’t get in touch with you, we can’t give you the giveaway prize. Only comments directly on the post will count. Comments on other social media such as Facebook will not be entered into the drawing. The drawing will be held with a random number generator on December 2 and the winners will be announced on December 3.

The sari silk pack will be made up of 10 grams of each color shown for a total of 60 grams of silk.

The online class options are:  Felt Concertina Hat or Felt Bags both with Teri Berry.

Hanging Felted Spiral with Helene Dooley

 

Experimental Screen Printing on Felt

Nuno Felt with Paper Fabric Lamination

Print, Stencil and Play with Thickened Dye on Felt

Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt

(four courses listed above with Ruth Lane)

Wet Felting for Beginners with Ruth Lane and Ann McElroy

To enter the giveaway, please comment below with your choice of which prize you would like to win. You can choose either the silk sari pack or one of the online class offerings in 2022. We will have five winners. Make sure that your email address is associated with the comment. If we can’t get in touch with you, we can’t give you the giveaway prize. Only comments directly on the post will count. Comments on other social media such as Facebook will not be entered into the drawing. The drawing will be held with a random number generator on December 2 and the winners will be announced on December 3.

Thanks again for reading, we hope you have enjoyed the last ten years because I know we have!

 

Fourth Quarter Challenge Or How Felt Doesn’t Like To Be Rushed

Fourth Quarter Challenge Or How Felt Doesn’t Like To Be Rushed

I was in a bit of a hurry to come up with something to post about today. I decided I would go ahead and try out another glass cover in the style of a 60’s artist. Last quarter, I created a similar piece based on Mark Rothko. 

 

Photo Courtesy of 1stDibs

I searched for artists painting in the 1960’s and found this photo of Stanley Bate’s Year of the Dragon. This looked interesting and I thought it would work in felt.

I kept the photo handy during layout and the first layer was all about values. I wanted to use the black and white prefelt to achieve the correct values once covered with a variety of colors. I laid out the prefelt on each side of a rectangular resist. And this is where the rushing felt problem really began. The two types of prefelt were different thicknesses. I should have done a light layer of fiber underneath the prefelt first but didn’t think of that until later.

I wet down the prefelt and then covered with a variety of yellow to red colors with pops of blue. I made this layer pretty thin. Also, not thinking ahead and trying to get done in a hurry.

I started felting and noticed several areas that were already developing holes. Sigh… So I did add more wool on to the thin areas and moved forward. But the hole problem continued and finally, I just ignored the holes and moved forward with fulling.

The shrinkage was totally different than the Mark Rothko inspired piece due to the use of prefelt. I had thought that perhaps the prefelt would add an interesting textural aspect but it just seemed to develop weak spots between the various pieces. More sighing…

And here’s the result. I ended up not getting enough shrinkage around to fit over the jar I used last time. Instead, I used a large tea tin. If you enlarge the photo, you might be able to see some holes.

I turned it inside out and decided I might like that side better than the original outside. It even looks more sixties to me. You can definitely see the holes here. I guess I can make the holes a design feature and turn it into a light.

How many years have I been making felt? A long time. Do I still try to rush things sometimes? Of course. Will I ever learn? Doubtful. Perhaps it’s just human nature or the world we now live in, that causes me to be hurried when I really should take my time. How about you? Do you get in a hurry sometimes when creating? I’m not sure why I do it when I am rarely satisfied with felt that has been rushed. Taking a deep breath and slowing down.

 

Finishing Nuno Landscapes

Finishing Nuno Landscapes

I am feverishly working away trying to finish up some landscapes and get them to the framer. I suddenly realized that it’s November and I needed more work to sell for the holiday season. I have always had good intentions of finishing pieces, getting them sewn to the backing fabric and laced to a board when I complete the piece. But somehow, those good intentions are paving the road to procrastination. Here I am again, finishing all the landscapes at once.

I went to the fabric store and found some fat quarters that worked with the various colors. I then hand stitch the nuno piece down to the fabric and lace it around a piece of matte board. Here is “Twilight” on it’s backing board ready to be framed.

This one I chose black fabric for the matting and laced it on to the matte board with a very minimal edge. I only want a tiny bit of black to show. This one is called “Serviceberry” at the moment unless I come up with a better name.

Believe it or not, I have finally decided that my slow stitch project is complete. I stitched it down to some brown fabric but I haven’t gotten this one laced on to the matte board yet. This one is called Autumn Impressions.

For those of you who wanted to see what the original fabric looked like, here it is.  Definitely a bit of a change!

The last one is the green nuno felt that I showed you recently. I finished stitching and decided it was complete. I have it on a dark green fabric background but haven’t stitched it down yet. Hopefully, I will get these finished up this week and get them to the framers by Friday. That’s the plan, anyways.

And here’s a close up of the bottom so you can see the stitching around the poppies. I still haven’t decided what to call this one yet. Several suggestions were made last time and I decided I had to research whether the plant I was thinking of was really Queen Anne’s Lace or whether it was Hemlock. It could be either. So then I kept thinking of titles such as Lethal Serenity, Poisonous or Peaceful?, Deadly Tranquility etc. So I will keep thinking on what it should be called as I finish stitching it down and lacing it.

Nuno Landscape Design Continues

Nuno Landscape Design Continues

I have been continuing with work on my green nuno landscape and thought you might like to see how I “play” with the design. I put on layers of sheer fabric, take them off, try another piece of fabric and keep working with the various bits of fabric until I get a composition that is effective.

I’m using a variety of fabric including nylon organza, silk organza and cheesecloth.

I put pieces on, take a look and then rearrange or take pieces off. Or move them around, add more pieces and so on, always stepping back and looking in between steps. What works, what doesn’t? You can see how sheer the  nylon organza is, there is a piece on the top left side sticking off the edge on the right photo.

Sometimes it is hard to tell what changes and it’s a slow process but fun to see what happens.

Once I was happy with the composition, then I pinned pieces in place. I really should have taken the time to baste the pieces in place but I was feeling lazy. On the right photo, I have started to stitch the sheer fabric in place at the top. I didn’t want the stitching to really show that much, so there are tiny stitches in similar color/value thread to hold the sheer fabric down.

These last two photos are of the piece hanging on the design wall. This is really helpful for me, to see it hanging and to be able to back away from the piece and view it from a distance. I had stitched in the three orange flowers in the distance but they were really bugging me. The flowers were too big for the distant hills. They were the size of trees. So unstitching occurred and I removed the far flowers. I haven’t decided whether to add them back into the middle ground or not. The photo on the right is the amount of stitching I have completed now. Once I get all the rest stitched down, I will decide if it needs anything else. I also have to think of a better name than Green Nuno Felt Landscape. Any suggestions?

Registration Open for Hanging Felted Spiral by Helene Dooley

Registration Open for Hanging Felted Spiral by Helene Dooley

We are happy to announce that we are now offering an online class with Helene Dooley. The class is all about learning to felt a hanging spiral and will begin on October 29th. There are only 30 spaces available so register now to reserve a space. Register here by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the page. 

Helene has developed a method to create the felted spiral shown in the photo above. You will learn with Helene’s excellent videos and downloadable PDF’s. She will also be available on the class website for questions, sharing of your spirals and to encourage you to experiment with the knowledge gained in the class.

If you’d like to learn how to create a felt spiral, now’s your chance! To register for the class, fill out the form on the information page. 

Please note that Helene’s class is aimed at felt makers who have already developed their technical felting skills.  It is not suitable for felt makers who are at the start of their felting journey. A knowledge of book resists is preferable, though not essential.  Previous experience working in three dimensions is essential.  Also required is a basic knowledge of needle felting and sewing.

 

If you are a beginner, our online unlimited access Wet Felting for Beginners course, is always available. Please click on this link for further information and to register for the class. 

 

Revisiting the Yurt

Revisiting the Yurt

If you haven’t been a reader here for very long, you might not know that back in 2013, I made a 16 foot diameter yurt (ger) with my husband. I wanted to try “large” felting and decided a yurt would be a good idea. It was a real learning experience and a ton of work but I had a good time and we ended up with a yurt (ger). Click on any of the links in the post to read the original post which goes into the details of how it was made.

The yurt began with buying 200 pounds of wool in March of 2013 and getting it processed. You can read all about it in my post “Wool Gathering”.

Then we moved on to building the frame. “Yurt Beginnings” explains how we handled the lattice walls.

We continued working on the walls with drilling, sanding and figuring out how it all went together in a big lattice puzzle. In my post, “Sanding and Being Confused”, you can read more.  Then another update about the wall is in the post “Wall Success”.

Then in August, I finally started felting. The photo above shows my sample for thickness and shrinkage which you can read about here. 

 

Next we started working on the roof structure which is called a tono.  We were on 51 days and counting for constructing the yurt.  Somehow, I’m getting tired just rereading these posts.

 

Finally, we got into the large format felting. We made our first wall panel and with the help of the tractor, we got it felted and fulled. 

 

Then because it was so much work, I recruited more labor. We had a felting party! And then we had a day of felting in the rain.

Next up was painting the wood structure orange which is a traditional color for Mongolian gers (yurts).

We were feverishly working into October to try and get this enormous task completed. It was getting cold and as you can see, I got a little muddy. But we were getting closer to the end being in sight.

One of my favorite things about building this yurt was the community involvement. I even had a youngster named Kostya who was born in Kazakhstan who came to learn about the process. 

And we did it! Our yurt raising party was held at the end of October and it worked. We had a yurt. It was really satisfying to complete the project and honestly, looking back now, I’m not sure where I got the energy. Of course I was a bit younger then but I guess determination and perseverance can get you anywhere. I hoped you enjoyed the reminiscence with me.

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