Browsed by
Category: Made From Felt

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:

 

Do I have a finished vest? (Spoiler: I don’t)

Do I have a finished vest? (Spoiler: I don’t)

Hello! I hope everyone is doing well, or at least managing not to randomly yell at walls.

If you remember, the last time I wrote I was working on a Victorian-style waistcoat mockup, and I was determined to have the real thing ready soon. Famous last words!

Once lockdown happened, my energy levels plummeted, lots of food was eaten with no exercise (in which my waistline might have increased ever so slightly, making the waistcoat a bit more er, snug) and my creative mojo went out the window.

So… this is where I am now:

IMG_5528

After two mockups, I thought I was ready for the real deal. However… see the puckering on the armpit area? It’s driving me mental and I don’t know how to sort it. I’ve tried pinning and tucking but so far, nothing has helped. Argh. Suggestions?

The good bit is, I definitely did practice my tailoring techniques. Using horse hair canvas and a special type of tailor stitch, I partially lined the inside of the waistcoat to make it sturdier. This also helps with shaping – see how the lapel is bending in the right direction? That’s the horse hair canvas and the stitching doing its magic. Behold, my tailoring efforts below.

 

Another issue I’m having is the fabric itself: since the wool is on the thick side, each bit I add (such as the inner lapel) adds bulk, for which the pattern doesn’t account. That, plus my recent indulgence in delicious comestibles, and I’m in trouble… Next Winter should be interesting.

Another thing I’ve done so far is to topstitch the lapel by hand, so the fabric doesn’t pucker when the waistcoat is buttoned up. I think you can tell the slight difference between the topstitched right half and the left, yet to be worked on:

IMG_5530

And that’s pretty much me done for the moment. For those who might complain that I’m not showing any felting, look! I’ve needle felted a couple of little balls to see if they look good with a bead, for knitting stitch markers. What do you think? I’m not in love so far.

IMG_5535 2

Finally… I need a distraction from all my recent mask making, so I’ve decided to work on a miniature felt jacket for a lady rabbit I sewed a while ago. Naturally, Quality Control Kitty was there to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.

IMG_3036

Hopefully in my next post I’ll have a finished waistcoat and a mini jacket to show you…

Oh, and one last thing: I’ve been having trouble commenting on everyone else’s posts, which makes me very sad. Tech is annoying. Please know I’ve been reading them. I really, really hope the tech issue doesn’t impede my being able to reply to your comments, fingers crossed!

Have your lovely selves a great day 🙂

Resht Applique Complete

Resht Applique Complete

Last week I showed you the beginnings of an applique sample. I guess I wasn’t the only one that had never heard of Resht work. Always good to learn something new, isn’t it?

So I started with chain stitching the central flower parts down. I didn’t follow the example exactly but it is similar to the inspiration photo. I had drawn the stitch lines on the background out in advance but didn’t adhere to the drawing exactly. This actually stitches pretty quickly as the chain stitch is easy and stitching through handmade felt is wonderful. I’m not sure why I’m surprised each time I stitch a lot on a piece of felt. It is so nice to hand stitch. I have a tendency to be a bit minimalist so I might have stopped here but the sample was pretty heavily stitched so I decided I would add more.

So on to what I’m calling the drop shadow stitching. I added the dark blue violet chain stitch using a Sulky #12 machine thread. It worked great. Slightly lighter weight than the perle cotton #12. I was really surprised at the impact the dark thread made. Again, I shouldn’t have been surprised because it did need some darker values in the composition. I also added a regular blanket stitch around the leaves with a red violet thread. This pulled the red violet from the central flower out into more of the background.

Then I decided that I needed some yellow orange in the flower. So I added just a little bit of that and decided it was complete. I actually could keep adding more stitching but I didn’t want to overdo it.

I will definitely be cropping off the edges so here’s how it will look cropped. And I thought you’d like to see the surface from a side view. It was a fun piece to try and again reminded me why I like to stitch on felt.

 

 

 

Studio Space -“Final” Layout

Studio Space -“Final” Layout

On my last post, I showed you my new studio space. I had just moved in and my beloved fibre was still very much scattered around, and I felt a little at a loss as to where I should place my furniture.

It’s been 3 months, so how have things progressed?

IMG_5106

The quick answer is, very much as I’d expect – there’s still work to be done! For good reason, however: I’ve been busy working on a new collection and have been concentrating my energy on that instead of changing things around.

IMG_5107

I did manage to add a little touch of whimsy to this corner. A few of my for-dyeing fibres are tucked in those cubicles, and I managed a way to show off a few o my hand spun art yarns, as well as some commercial ones I have plans for very soon.

Holes in the walls are a no-no, so I’m buying some MDF, placing it behind the shelves and  drilling that instead to keep my vertical storage organised. Having it propped against the walls as is isn’t agreeing with me.

IMG_5108

My little reading corner, currently filled with work stuff. When I’m sewing I feel I never have enough space to place my finished items.
I managed to add a little artwork to the walls, to liven the place up. My ceiling is very high and the bare walls looked a little sad. Wish me luck when it’s time to remove them…

IMG_5109

Placing the sewing table in front of my window was both smart and silly. I get plenty of light (my initial reasoning) but when it’s windy I can feel the draft from the window ventilation slots. For now, it stays where it is, but I might change it later.

Have I told you I named the sewing machine Marge?

IMG_5110

My former dining table can be completely stretched now, which is lovely. It might look chaotic but every item is in use for my current project! Ok, most items are.
Spot the Christmas wreath in the background… it’s needle felted.

IMG_5111

I made this wreath for my husband, who had to spend the holidays by himself in Scotland. I wanted him to enjoy a little seasonal joy and made this in a couple of hours. What do you think?

That’s my tour of the studio space. I’m still going to add more artwork to the walls, and might change the big table’s orientation. Other than that, I’m very happy with my work area and have found my energy is higher here, especially now that the days are growing longer. I’m looking forward to working in my corner during Summer.

Thank You from Zed and the Holiday Card Exchange

Thank You from Zed and the Holiday Card Exchange

Zed wanted me to include her thanks to all of you for your generous support. Here’s what she had to say:

Ruth,
Please could you pass on my sincere gratitude to everyone who made a donation or bought an e-book or tutorial to support me at this difficult time. I was absolutely blown away by the kindness and generosity of so many people.

I’ve had very little motivation to felt or be creative at all for many months, and whenever I did try, it felt ‘forced’ so wasn’t really enjoyable. As well as the generous donations, I also received many comments and messages which have made me feel very appreciated and cared for. In fact, they made such an impact that I felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I’ve been feeling so much more positive. And although I haven’t had chance to do any felting yet, (but who has over the holidays!?) I feel like I have a renewed love for it, and have had lots of ideas for things to make and write about. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays, and I hope the new year brings great things for everyone. Thank you so much 🙂

Now on to my regularly scheduled post!

Every year on the forum, we do a holiday card exchange where members make fiber art cards to send to their assigned partner. It’s a lot of fun and you get a great small artwork from another member of your “tribe”. It’s always fun to see what everyone creates and the cards are always so different. You can see some of them here. You have to scroll down and go through all the pages to see all the cards that have been posted so far.

My partner this year was Antje. She is one of our regular contributors here and I correspond with her frequently so it was fun to send each other a card. Since I was working on the concept of using stuff up, I searched in my studio for felt that would work for a holiday card. I found some screen printed red and green felt.

The red pieces had almost berry like shapes and the green had pine needle shapes. Perfect! I just had small pieces so I cut and stitched them into strips and then sewed them all together. I butted up the edges and zigzag stitched them together. They were a bit wonky but I didn’t need perfection. Once I had a post card shaped red and green felt, I needed to add an element. So how about a tree? I found a piece of white felt and cut a fairly wonky tree shape.

Here’s the card after stitching around the edge of the tree to attach it to the background. I then found some star sequins and did a little French knot to hold each one down. I then fused the felt down to a regular white card blank.

Then I found a nice font on the computer, printed it in “matching” color and added a holiday greeting. I did add a little surprise inside but forgot to take a photo of that before I sent it off to Antje. It was a bit nerve racking because it took over three weeks to arrive. I sent a package of wool to Lyn on the same day and that was received in less than a week. But a card in a standard envelope took what seemed like forever. Just when I was thinking I would need to make another card to send, Antje received it. Yay!

Then, just after Christmas, I received a package from Antje, much bigger than a standard card. What could be in there?

She did send this lovely card which is gorgeous. Such an innovative way to depict a tree.

But then, I also got these three items. The birch bark piece on the left is wonderful and since I love trees, it is going to find a prominent place in my home. I love everything that Antje sent me and it was such fun finding these extra surprises. Thank you Antje!

We would love to have you join us next year with our holiday card exchange. Join our free forum so you’ll know when to sign up.

 

 

Recreating a Still Life Failure

Recreating a Still Life Failure

I originally created this still life of a vase of flowers in 2016 for a quarterly challenge. The plan was to create dimensional flowers in a still life but I didn’t pay enough attention to the overall design/composition and the vase didn’t turn out very well.

Here’s the original. The vase was dead center and the surrounding negative space feels the same and uninteresting. The black vase is too stark. I did go ahead and frame the piece and try to sell it but no luck. The piece was really big at 24″ x 30″ so I had plenty of room to cut it down and recreate the piece.

What I did first was to create a different vase. I used some upholstery fabric that I had on hand and cut out a new shape that filled more of the space on the bottom. I then cropped it down with some paper croppers so that I could find the best composition. I had a canvas that I could use so I knew the size that I needed. The new canvas is 16″ x 20″.

I then decided that the vase would look better with some dimension added. So I stuffed it and hand stitched it to the surface. I had to be careful not too over stuff the bottom or left side since they would be stretched around the canvas.

I needed some shadowing on the bottom and left side of the vase. I originally thought I would use black tulle to create the shadows but it was way too dark and had too much contrast. I didn’t have any gray tulle so I decided to use a combination of purple and yellow tulle to give a lighter shadow which tended toward purple. I used matte medium to glue down the tulle to the vase. My original plan was to fuse it down to the vase but when I attempted to iron the upholstery fabric I found that it was some type of polyester and it melted. Oops. I cut out a second vase and used matte medium.

After I stretched the piece around the canvas and stapled it in place. I trimmed off the excess felt. I then decided the piece had “holes” that needed filling. I forgot to take a photo before I started adding other elements. I needed some darker values and luckily had some really dark maroon/purple felt that I was able to fashion into flowers. I hand stitched the flowers together and ended up adding a few more flower buds as well that aren’t shown in these photos. Then I wanted to add some more leaves. I tried some yellow green felt leaves (left photo) but I thought that it needed something darker. I didn’t have any darker green felt so I decided to use some green tulle. The torn tulle gave a different texture too. In the right photo, I was trying the tulle out and just pinned it in place in bunches. I felt the bunches were too over the top so I ended up tearing the tulle into “leaves” and then stitching them down in layers. I also added a few lighter green pieces of tulle under the dark tulle to give a bit more contrast.

I am much happier with the final result compared to the original. The negative spaces (background) are different sizes and give more interest. The center of interest is not right in the dead center of the piece. So the overall composition has definitely been improved.

And the piece has lots of fun texture and dimension. I plan on putting this piece into an exhibition in October. Hopefully, with these changes, it will find a new home. I think that I will just add a backing but not frame it. I like being able to see the colors go around the canvas and the flowers/greenery that reaches off the edge of the piece.

Have you recreated a piece that you weren’t happy with? We would love to hear your story about it over on the forum.

 

Another prefelt seedpod

Another prefelt seedpod

This is a guest post by Kim Winter of Flextiles.

A few weeks ago, Ruth posted about how the shape of a seedpod she made using prefelt was influenced by differential shrinkage. I thought I would try out this technique with a couple of variations. 🙂

This is the seedpod I was inspired by. I found it on a beach in Thailand, but I have no idea what plant it is from!

thai seedpod

Unlike Ruth, I didn’t make “fresh” prefelt. I have a box (or three!) of old felt experiments and pieces I don’t like very much, which I am happy to cut up and reuse in new pieces. Technically this is not prefelt but actual felt. However, roughing up the surface with a wire brush usually loosens up enough fibres to allow it to attach to fresh fibre.

For this experiment I decided to use a felt tablet cover that I didn’t like, as it was very thick (I think it was two layers of merino sandwiching a layer of Gotland).

I worked inside out on this piece, partly because I wanted some spikes protruding from inside the pod and partly because I have found that it is easier to attach the prefelt or fabric this way.

First I made some spikes.

felt spikes

Then I cut out some vaguely diamond shapes from the tablet cover and roughed up the inside surface (which was white) with the wire brush. I laid these upside down (that is, purple side down) on the circular resist.

seed pod resist

Then I covered them with a thin layer of orange merino. I laid it in a circular pattern because I wanted the piece to shrink more around the circumference than along its height.

seed pod orange layer

After wetting down and a bit of gentle rubbing, I turned the piece over, folding the felt diamonds over and covering them with more orange merino. After wetting down and minimal rubbing, I added the spikes in the centre with more merino, rubbing very thoroughly to ensure they were properly attached.

seed blog spikes

Once I was sure that the spikes would not detach, I rolled the piece, rearranging the position of the spikes every time I changed direction.

When the felt passed the pinch test and I could see the darker outlines of the prefelt coming through, I cut a hole in the opposite side to the spikes and removed the resist.

removing the resist

I continued to roll the piece to start the shrinkage and firm up the cut edges and then turned it inside out so that the spikes were now on the inside.

seed pod right way out

To help with the fulling I immersed it in hot water and continued to rub and roll, sometimes turning it back inside out to continue the shrinkage and shaping process.

final seed pod

The spikes were actually a little bit short, so I curled the top edges of the vessel down and pushed up the bottom a bit to ensure they protruded properly. Also, I wish I had made them a different colour – maybe red.

And quite a lot of the Gotland has migrated through, so the final piece is a bit hairy. I might shave it.

seed pod

Thanks to Ruth for the inspiration!

Heart Cards

Heart Cards

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you who celebrate it. I have been working on creating some simple heart cards from felt and fabric in my pursuit of “using stuff up”. My stash includes hoards of printed felt and fabric. So I decided to combine the two with a bit of free motion machine stitching to make some Valentine’s Day cards to sell.

I started with a pile of fabric from orange to purple. I thought it would be good to have some contrasting fabric for the hearts.

First I cut out a stack of felt backgrounds that were the right size for my cards. The cards are smaller than I usually make and the pieces of felt were only 3 1/4″ x 5″. The photo on the right shows one of the pieces of felt sitting on the paper note card. Next I chose the fabric to go with the different colors of felt. I then put fusible web on the back of the fabric with the iron to give the fabric a bit of stiffness. I wanted to be able to free motion machine stitch hearts on without using a stabilizer and I hoped that the fusible would give enough stiffness. I ended up leaving the paper backing on, then stitching and then removing the paper backing.

I then free motion machine stitched the cards. I was using white bobbin thread and didn’t have the tension exactly right but it’s good enough for me. The photo in the middle shows the back of the stitched fabric with a portion of the paper backing still in place. I removed all the paper backing and then cut out the hearts. Then I fused the hearts to the felt and fused the felt to the paper card. Fusible web sure does make things easier.

And here are the cards after I finished fusing them all together.

I put them in cellophane sleeves, luckily I had the right size although the envelope was a tight squeeze. Now they are at the store ready to be snapped up by customers (hopefully). Do you make cards for specific holidays? How do they sell for you if you sell them? Or do you just give them to friends and family?

 

I’ve got rainbows on my mind

I’ve got rainbows on my mind

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this in the US! I hope you had a nice celebration.

Today I’m sharing some rainbow-y fibre I created, plus a “throwback” item that I hope you’ll like.

Being an indie dyer means I get to play with dyes fairly regularly, but it had been some time since I adventured into the world of saturated rainbows. I think it was the grey London Autumn that got me inspired, I just needed to get a colour fix. Off to the dye pot I went.

IMG_3780

One of the things I’ve been a little obsessed with lately is how yarns look when they’re in skein format – I love it when colours look cohesive and have a certain progression to them when displayed, so I went for a red “bottom” that would change as the eyes look up. Hopefully you’ll see that this was done consciously.

I knit this into a hat (complete with a pompom) that I think looks very cheery. It’s going to be a Christmas present so I hope the recipient likes it.

IMG_3887

I hope you’re not fed up with bright colours yet…

DSC_1358

Although not technically a rainbow, this wool top came out super bright and happy (to my eyes at least). If you’ve ever dyed wool top or roving you’ll know it can be an adventure to control where the colours go. This is superwash wool (it doesn’t felt) so it wasn’t as difficult to get “right” as non-superwash fibres, but I’m still perfecting my methods. Suggestions are welcome!

This being the Felting and Fiber Studio, there should be some felting, so here is a little Piglet I made a couple of years ago and gifted to a friend. I really loved creating this little guy and think he came out really well. I got to see the sculpture again a few days ago at a friend’s house.

IMG_3863

Have you done any hand dyeing or needle felting lately? Share your experiences with me in the comment sections.

Pieces For Greetings Cards

Pieces For Greetings Cards

It seems like we’ve not had any well-being centre felting sessions for ages. We meet up on a Monday so we lose days when we have a bank holiday; the reception had a bit of a weekend make-over too so was closed one Monday after and August being popular for gigs and festivals has meant less attendance and cancellations too. So, I was feeling a bit impatient to be creative this week. I could have made something with the strips I pieced together last week, but I wanted something a bit more ‘instant’! I need to make some more greetings cards, so thought making pieces for those would be a good way to be productive. This is the first one:

I stuck to Blues and Greens because it’s so messy and fibres/threads get everywhere. This is the 2nd one:

These next two are two halves of one piece I made. I thought it made sense to make a longer one and cut in half. I also made these more green:

I like the blue offcut with cotton nepps on this piece, it was left over from the piece I turned into a notebook cover not too long ago:

They all look very similar when they’re all togther. So, for something a bit different, here’s a piece of nuno I made earlier this year. I used a piece from a silk scarf I got at a charity shop. I think I planned to make a coin purse out of it:

Close Up:

Do you have any ‘quick + easy’ projects for when you want to feel productive and accomplish something?

%d bloggers like this: