The Big Ski Chair Affair Completed

We did it! We finished our chair for the fundraiser that I told you about previously here and here. Dennis and I delivered four different chairs to their business sponsor locations. There are six more to move but thankfully, I have some help with four of those so I only have two more to move. Until the auction event that is. You can see some photos of the other chairs on the The Big Ski Chair Affair Facebook page.

The addition of the leaves took us quite a while to accomplish. We had to connect a lot of different wires and make sure all the leaves were secure.

You can see that there is an extra rock next to the main boulder that I felted. I already had this rock and thought I would add it to the chair. But I didn’t have a good way to connect them all together securely and so you couldn’t see the connection. So only the big rock was used in the end.

Here are a couple of close up photos of some of the leaves.

Here’s the back of the bench. We used a wooden rod through the two holes on the back of the chair and used that to hold up our back cushion with straps sewed into the cushion and velcro attachments.

Here’s a bit closer look at the rocks.

And a closer view of one end of the cushions. The cushions were eco printed on an old army blanket. We also have some throw pillows to go with the bench but we decided not to keep them with the bench until it is ready to be auctioned off. Since the bench will be sitting outside, we were afraid someone might walk off with the pillows.

And here I am with the chair after we moved it to the Firebrand Hotel who sponsored our chair.

And a slightly closer look of it against the rock wall. The colors are perfect against the rock and it looks like we meant it to go there! We didn’t know where the chair would be when we planned it so it’s amazing how well it fits in the space.

It was a big project and took a lot of time but we all really enjoyed the challenge. So if you ever are invited to try something big like this type of art project I would say, go for it!

Posted in Mixed Media, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

A Glimpse of Free Motion Class Projects

I took Ruth’s Free Motion Stitching on Felt class in March. While I have done some free motion before,  it was good for me to stay on task to practice and learn some more about it.  We covered the basics of the machine, moving the fabric, supplies and set up.

At first we practiced a lot of lines, loops and circles to get used to moving the fabric and felt around under the needle.  I definitely needed a lot of practice.

The first piece of felt I practiced on to create dimension was a sample I had done a while back using some scraps of silk paper. If you look closely you can see circles.  However, the felt was just a bit too thick to create too much dimension.

Here is the sample of machine lace I did.  I used a flower pattern which turned out to be too open.   It looked better before I felted it. It’s laying on a piece of paper, but if I were to hold it up to the light it would look like a window.

I did more of the thread sketching and started to feel more comfortable and confident.

Here is  some coral in the water.

My Bird of Paradise.  Here I filled in the back of the leaf where it turned over, but I didn’t like it so I tore out the filling which isn’t fun in felt.

I probably should have just made the leaf whole.

Cathy (Luvswool) had given me some of her felt scraps and I really liked this red piece. (Thanks!) I debated what I could put on it to make use of the red.  Then I decided on a bare tree and some  stones and birds.  I call it Red Dawn.

I used metallic thread on the stones because I felt if they were dewy they would probably reflect differently in the red dawn.

I haven’t finished my final project, but will share that when I do.  It was a great class and it helped me gain confidence and skill.  I still need more practice but feel I made progress.

Posted in free motion embroidery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Exploring Different Pod Shapes

We have another Guest Post by Tracey from the Forum today.

I wanted to carry on exploring how to make different shaped pods by altering the shape of the resists. I thought a stone shape may open up new possibilities regarding the surface design. I have always used pond liner for my resists, I think it is perfect for the job, especially as we had a lot left over from pond construction! Here is the resist, it roughly measures 15.5” x 10.5”.

As before I placed six layers of Merino wool either side of the resist and here it is wetted down with yellow and orange silk hankies as decoration, the colour of the wool is a lovely rust so I thought how this would compliment it.

After lots of hard work felting, I cut a cross to take the resist out, it is a small hole, luckily I have small hands to get inside to start the fulling!

Once it was fulled, I packed it with fabric to help it dry out, by doing this it creates ‘memory’ and hopefully retains the shape you want it to be. When it was dry I had plans to decorate it slightly with some Mother of Pearl nugget shell beads that needed a home, the colour matched perfectly. Here is the finished pod.

Because by then, I definitely had the bug, I made more.

When I am layering the wool, I try to lay it neither too thinly or too thickly, but evenly of course. I was putting down six layers of wool each side of the resist as I have mentioned before. However, when I have held my pods I feel that the very bottom ‘gives’ a little, even though I work them until my shoulders and arms ache!, so I was not very happy with this. I decided to go to seven layers, a lot of wool!, but I am far happier with the outcome, much sturdier and thicker of course!

I then decided to change the shape of the resist once again and cut an oval shape, this one measures 16.5” x 13.5”.

For this design I put down four layers of Merino each side, wetting down each time. I then added two small circles of resist to reveal craters in the end design, with a different colour underneath. Here is the picture, I didn’t realise at the time but it looks like a happy grinning martian! I then continued with the remaining three layers each side.

I then decorated it with lots of lovely Blue Faced Leicester locks and wool nepps.

Lots of hard felting and fulling later, here it is, with a little bead detail.

Posted in Guest Writer | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Cat Cave Class part 1

I taught a Cat cave class a while back. It was great fun but it very nearly didn’t happen. There was a delay in the wool I had ordered getting here in time. But between my personal stash and our workshop coordinators stash we had enough wool to go ahead, 4 kg of Finnish wool. Here are some of they layout pictures.

A future beagle

Kimberly wanted a curly tail and curly spikes on her cave. these ones are for the top

She made a long fat spike for the tail. Here I am explaining how to attach it.

And then of course after all the wool was laid out and the embellishments added the was a lot of rubbing followed by a lot of rolling.

This is a big project. It took 2 full days to do. I think we made it to the first rolling at the end of day one. More form Day 2 next time.





Posted in Classes, natural wools, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Early Celtic Art Challenge Project Part Three

The next part of my pileus hat project for the Celtic Art 2nd Quarter challenge was to add the prefelt design to the hat.

Here I have just laid out the two layers of cut out prefelt to make sure they were still going to fit. I was a bit concerned that the hat might have shrunk too much but it was fine.

I separated the two layers of cut design and pinned one in place. I then basted the prefelt in place as I didn’t want it to shift. I was originally planning on using lace weight wool to stitch the prefelt in place since it would just disappear but then I read the label and it was superwash. I was afraid I would end up with loops of wool thread on the design since it wouldn’t shrink down. So I ended up using an old purple polyester thread that I had on hand.

Once I got one side stitched on, I lined up the second piece of the design, pinned it in place and basted the second side.

Here it is after basting both sides. The center is where the ends of the two designs come together. Once felted, I don’t think you’ll be able to tell that it was in two pieces to start with.

Then I began the felting of the prefelt design into the hat with gentle rubbing and cool, soapy water. It felted in quite easily and didn’t shift at all so I was glad I had taken the time to baste everything down.

Once the prefelt was felted in and well attached, I began fulling the hat. Again by rubbing and a bit of rolling on itself. At the very end I did a bit of throwing too.

And here’s the hat after being fulled. You can still see the design but it is definitely subtle.

I stuffed the tip with plastic bags and put it on my hat form to dry. It is a goofy looking hat when on and I’m sure you’re sorry that I didn’t take a photo of it on my head. Hubby said it looked like a dunce cap. I decided to add stem stitch with the wool superwash lace weight thread.

I added stem stitch right around the edge of the Celtic design.

Here’s the hat completely finished.

Here’s a closer view of the design. Click on any photo to see it closer. I like the white on white design although it’s hard to see in the photos. Not sure I’ll ever wear this hat but it was a fun challenge.


Posted in Challenges, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 12 Comments

More Crochet Adventures

I took up Lyn’s challenge to crochet a wool bowl then felt it.  I got as far as making a small bowl.  I haven’t had time to felt it yet, but will show you the results when I do.  It’s a little floppy now, but should be firmer after felting.

Then I’ve continued to try new stitches.  Here is the Box stitch which is alike on both sides.

The Crocodile Scale stitch was a bit of a challenge but  definitely has interesting dimension.  It looks like little tongues or leaves, too.

Of course, I had to try a hexagon, this one has a flower center.

Spring is finally here in the Midwest, so I couldn’t resist the Tulip stitch.  Here it is in one color.


Then I tried another Tulip stitch and learned how to change colors. It looks entirely different. I decided to finish it with the same stitching as the bottom.


Here is the back.

The front really looks like like mini tulips.

My sister Carol’s ewe Dusty recently had a new lamb.  13 lbs. 12 oz!

Happy Spring! (For those of you that are experiencing it now.)

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Latest Sewing Projects

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get my sewing stuff out, I make a right mess! So I like to get lots of things done at once. I cut out the pieces for some coin purses a few weeks ago, it took a while, but I got the tops of the inside pockets blanket stitched so I could move on to the next stage of joining the pieces together and sewing the seams on the machine. Here are 3 pink ones sewn up:

This is what they look like closed:

The next step is to round off the corners of the front flaps, then stitch all around with blanket stitch. I think choosing the right thread for the blanket stitch can take as long as the stitching sometimes! I had to make a make-shift table out of a cardboard box to put all the things waiting to be stitched, that stack of boxes on the right is about 9 of the thread drawers I have:

At the beginning of last year I made a nuno sample piece with some strips from a viscose scarf and a linen scarf. I thought it would make a nice pencil pouch. I made myself one a few years ago and use it almost every day. The idea is to use an extra long cord to wrap around to close it instead of a zip or other fastener. This is what it looks like closed:

This is the back when it’s opened:

And, inside, I lined it with some nice fabric I got a few years ago:

And, while the machine is out, I may as well … root through all those offcuts I tidied away. This is a bookcover I’ve been working on; the front, inside front sleeve, and the back is finished. Here, I’m planning the layout for the inside back sleeve. I thought I’d make enough for a future one while I was at it, so made it extra long:

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments