The year 2020 has been a strange one for many of us. For me, I sold The Purple Pomegranate, the craft gallery I have owned for 20+ years, in mid March just before the pandemic hit here in Montana, USA. It has been a bit of an adjustment for retirement, pandemic and continuing my Level 3 Stitch course online. I have learned new ways of communicating with Zoom and GotoMeeting as well as working out the best way to stay on track with my artwork and playing with fiber.
So is it a curse or a blessing? “May you live in interesting times.” I think it’s all in the attitude and I have tried to see the positives in the past year. One of the positives for me, has been spending much more time in my studio creating. I haven’t shown you my work for my stitch course but I have spent many hours working on homework and I’m currently creating a large wall hanging. I won’t be showing any of that work until after the course is completed but much of my year has been spent enjoying the exploration into design, learning new stitches and creating multiple samples to move forward with my wall hanging.
Each year I like to look back over my posts and remind myself what I created that year. Many times, I have forgotten all the details and it’s good to see the projects and ideas from the year.
Differential shrinkage and wool layout experimentation was a big part of 2020. I had started these experiments in 2019 and continued looking at different methods throughout the year.
Some of these ideas worked better than others but I learned something with each trial or sample.
I also looked at adding texture with machine stitching but never ended up making a pod with this texture.
I took a break from experimenting on shrinkage and created a felt necklace for the first quarter challenge.
Nuno felted landscapes are one of the items that I sell in a gallery in Bigfork, MT and I decided to create more. The first was this Whitefish River landscape.
The next was of Flathead Lake.
Then another idea for differential shrinkage for the second quarter challenge.
Then I got back into another nuno felted landscape. This one turned into a very slow stitch project that is still ongoing. Some people have asked why I don’t use a different technique that is faster than the tiny hand stitches. Of course, it could be done much faster, but for this year, it has been a nice change to spend the first 30 minutes of my day, by adding seed stitch or detached chain stitch to this slow moving landscape.
So here’s the last iteration and there is more to come so you’ll be seeing this slow stitch project going into 2021.
There was one last nuno felted landscape which was based on Montana wildflowers. All of the landscapes are still sitting around because I haven’t done the finishing and framing bit. I have to quit procrastinating and get that done!
I then went back to experimenting with differential shrinkage and using felt rope. This was the first try and a bit of a disaster.
This was the next try that ended up looking like a felt dill pickle.
The next two experiments turned into yard art and finished up the experiments with felt rope and how it affected structure. I decided that I liked using prefelt better than felt rope for structure in creating differential shrinkage.
For the third quarter challenge, I created a hat that included some differential shrinkage that actually didn’t work out all that well. But since I don’t wear hats, it wasn’t a real loss.
Here’s an experiment with a mystery fabric and nuno felting that I created to sample laying the wool only in one direction and how that affected the shape of the scarf.
For the fourth quarter challenge I made a set of snowman ornaments. These made great gifts for friends for the holidays.
This is the card I created for our annual holiday card exchange. More plans for this design in the future!
That concludes my journey back into 2020 and I am looking forward to an exciting 2021 where I might be able to venture out of the house at some point! All the best to you and yours for a wonderful holiday celebration (even if it’s socially distant) and a wonderful new year for more creativity and fiber goodness!