Planning Sewing Projects

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but planning a project – doesn’t seem to matter what kind – always takes at least twice as long as you imagine! I’ve been trying to match felt with backing fabric, zips and cords for small zipped bags or shoulder bags. Sometimes it seems straightforward. I cut a piece of felt in half and found a piece of fabric to match. I thought this piece would make a nice bag, so matched some cord too:

I used the same fabric for the other half of the felt piece. I think I’ll add a zip to this, but don’t have one to match yet:

The fabric seems perfect for both pieces of the felt. But when I was moving things around, I placed the pieces next to each other differently and suddenly they didn’t seem to match!

Luckily I’ve got these photos to refer back to, though the pieces won’t actually be next to each other on the finished bag. I thought I’d found the perfect combo of backing fabric, felt, zip and cord for the next bag project:

I’m not quite so sure when I put the zip and cord on the back of the felt, but let me know what you think?

These two pieces don’t seem to match, but put together, I quite like them:

I had some fabric with purple in it, the piece wasn’t right, but putting it close to the felt made me think I might need something more purple:

When I was looking through my fabric pieces, I found some upholstery samples I got a while ago:

These ones either look like ink stains, or birds on a branch, it changes each time I look!

I’m not sure I have the exact fabrics I need yet, which can only mean a trip to the fabric shop is well needed 🙂

Posted in Made From Felt | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Sew on Labels

Not too long ago the Dutch Label Shop from Pennsylvania USA contacted me to do a review post about their labels. There would be no obligation to do a positive review and they would give me a gift certificate to get some labels. I had been thinking about labels for a long time, what kind? what size? etc. This seemed like a good opportunity with no strings attached.

label group

The site was easy to navigate and I had no problem creating a label. Or so I thought. I had chosen much to small a label for what I wanted on it or I chose to much to put on the sized label I wanted, depending on how you look at it.  They contacted me very quickly to let me know and we went back and forth in emails to sort out what I was looking for and what would work. They were very helpful and very nice to deal with. They sent me a proof and I put in my order.

It arrived very quickly and I must say I am very pleased. They feel nice and they are not to stiff.

label in green hat close

I added them to some hats

label in green hatlabel in green hat closelabel in red hat close

and some scarves

label on purple scarflabel close on purple scarf


and on a lighter colour

label close on pale green scarf

They went on easily. I used fine invisible thread so I didn’t have to try and colour match thread.

I haven’t decided where I should put them on the small ruffled neck scarves. Where do you think would be good?

I have a code for you to use to get a discount.  shepherdsspringfarm15 It is good for 60 days from August 9 2018.

Do you have labels for your felt? Are they woven or printed? What do you like or not like about them?

Posted in Design, Meet the Supplier, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

Third Quarter Challenge Sample

I have been trying to decide what to do for the third quarter challenge. I remembered a post Zed did a while back that showed the back of her piece and how a colored piece of prefelt showed on the back as the edges migrated through the felt. So I thought I would try that idea.

I used a piece of white merino prefelt and then cut circles from a batt of short fiber merino in black. The plan was to put the circles on the back of the prefelt and see how the color migrated through the prefelt. I used only one layer of prefelt.

I placed the circles on the prefelt and then wet it down. I flipped it over and then mainly worked from the front side rubbing to felt.

Here is the piece after felting. The front is on the left and the back on the right. There was definitely a lot of migration of the black fiber through the prefelt. It gives it a muted appearance.

I then blocked the felt on a foam square to even out the edges a bit.

And here’s the finished felt after blocking, left is the front and right is the back. It’s interesting how the edges of the circle migrate more than the centers. So you get a darker line around the edge. Now to decide how to finish this. I was thinking of screen printing some circles over the top. What color would you suggest? I think I might cut it up afterwards and make some note cards.

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Autumn Necklace

Although we’ve got baking temperatures and scorched grass outside, indoors I’m amassing quite a collection of Autumn leaves made from Lutradur!  I’ve decided its time to start thinking about what I’m going to do with these leaves and incorporating some of them into new pieces of work.

This particular leaf has been painted with Dylan bronze fabric paint to give it a metallic look.

The leaf, top right, before painting.

Bronze painted Lutradur leaf

I decided to incorporate it in a very simple choker type necklace.  The leaf is quite intricate so anything fussy would distract from the detail.

I began by cutting out a 4cm wide crescent shape from a piece of white superfine Merino prefelt 20cm x 29cm.

This was overlaid with Oyster Merino on the left and Antique on the right.

I made the felt quite thick and really worked it hard to shrink it and firm it up which resulted in a very textural effect and a subtle change from one colour to the other.  The leaf was sewn in place using a bronze coloured linen thread.  There is a chain fastener across the back but for now you will have to take my word for that…….I didn’t think to photograph it and I’m writing this post sitting in my B&B in Scotland while the Necklace is back home!  I will take a picture and add the image when I get back.

Posted in Guest Writer, Mixed Media, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

A Few Recent Things

I know I said I’d decided not to make anything specific for the craft fair, but I was thinking about the comments I get and questions I usually get asked, and one thing which people often say is that they’d love to have a go at felting if they had the time. When I made the practice felting videos recently, even though I was being conscious of going slow to demo properly, both the layout and felting only took about 15 mins each, so I thought this might be a good ‘selling point’. So I put together a few small fibre packs, spent some time editing the videos to speed them up, copied them onto my phone and thought I’d take my tablet with some tutorials and do a special offer to go with the packs. I did get some interest, but even though it was a really cloudy day, you could barely see anything on my tablet or phone from the glare! Best laid plans and all that!
If you remember, the camera battery had run out before the end on both videos. I redid the wet felting process one, and took the piece from the video with me. I don’t know why, but it looks like it has been scrunched in a box in these photos! Maybe it got creased on the washing line.

I do like the light turquoisey blue nylon fibres, especially on the pink:

Close up:

I took some sari silk to the well being centre a few weeks ago. I’d cut the pieces to take a while ago, so I’m not sure if this green piece is from a sari I’d already used. They have a few different areas of pattern and I’ve not had the whole pieces out for a while. It actually looked like quite a plain pattern, but the texture makes it look a lot busier:

It rippled quite ‘deeply’:

Close up:

A while ago (so long I can’t remember when!) Tracey sent me a beautiful piece of silk. I only got around to trying that out recently too. I only managed to get one decent photo of it:

I love the way it felted, and I think I’ll try a piece with some gooseberry or lichen wool to match the green parts, see how different it looks. Thanks for the silk, Tracey, it’s gorgeous 🙂

Posted in Nuno Felting, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ruffle Scarves

This week I have been working on some short ruffle scarves. They go just around your neck. I need to build my inventory for the fall shows.

I lay them out in the usual ruffle configuration. I have a template under my plastic so they are all the same and one end isn’t smaller than the other. This is the class I will be teaching at Almonte fibrefest this September.

I do not have many in prosses pictures. I got into a groove and forgot to take them.  This is what thy look like finished but wet. These ones are nuno felt as well. The purple and turquoise one is an upcycled scarf someone gave me. I wasn’t sure how it would work but it felted right in.

and dry,

I think they look like dumbbells when you roll them up for storage. I hope people like them. They are nice inside your coat. You can leave them up like a tall collar to keep the wind out or fold them down over you coat. Either way the are warm and fashionable. I almost forgot to tell you I will put a button on each one.




Posted in Fairs and Shows, Scarves, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Silk Paper with Leaves on Felt

The original idea for this post was to create something for the 3rd Quarter Challenge. I also wanted to use up some silk paper I had made ages ago. We had been talking about using silk paper in felting on the forum a while ago and I thought it would be a good surface design.


Here’s the silk paper. I made it with leaves and stretched silk hankies. These were then glued together with fabric medium. The leaves have held up amazingly well since this is 3-4 years old at least.

A friend gave me some merino batt that was cut up into a variety of pieces. I placed them all together to make the wool base.

It was pretty thick which didn’t bode well for the “Beneath the Surface” part of the challenge.

Here’s the silk paper on the wool before felting.

I then added some coarse wool underneath the batt thinking it would migrate through and show on the surface. I don’t remember the breed but it’s coarser locks.

I then carefully felted the piece. Trying to avoid crushing the leaves but getting everything to attach. The merino was surprisingly hard to felt. I’m not sure why that was but it took a while. The coarse wool on the back didn’t migrate through hardly at all. So much for “beneath the surface”.

Here’s the end result. The silk paper felted in nicely and the leaves are entirely intact. They didn’t break or crack at all.

Here’s a closer look and you can see the surface texture here too. Now what to do with it? It’s about notebook cover size but I’m afraid that would be too hard wearing on the leaves. I took it back to my studio room and ended laying it on top of one of the canvases that I am working on for a different project.

It looks pretty good. Hmmm….. I think it would look good if I trimmed off the felt edges and then added some either stitched, tyvek or lutradur leaves. Perhaps a few viney bits too. As you can probably tell, I haven’t quite decide what to do with this yet. And I need to do something else for the third quarter challenge.



Posted in Surface Design, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 19 Comments