Card Weaving Class

This last weekend I took a Card weaving class at my Guild. Judy Kavanagh was the teacher. I am not a weaver but this looked so fascinating I wanted to give it a try.

After Judy explained generaly how it all worked and how the chart we would use to thread our cards worked we picked our colours and made our own charts for the colours we had picked.

We used playing cards to make our cards. First we cut them square and then we punched holes in the corners and labeled them so we could thread them correctly.  We wound a short warp (the long threads we put through the holes) I don’t have a picture but you just wound threads around the 4 corners of a warping board. We could have used anything with about a 1.5 meter circumference.

Then following our charts we  threaded the cards. It looked a bit of a mess to start, but after making sure all the cards were the right way and I straitening them we were all set.



Some of us tied to the cabinet doors and others to the looms.  We started weaving.  It got very quiet as we all concentrated. The shuttles we used were made by Judy. I bought this one because I really liked it and didn’t want to give it back.

We rotated the cards 4 turns forward weaving between each turn and then backwards 4 turns weaving between each turn so that we made lozenge shapes in our weaving.  We tried variations on that.

Here is a short video (taken by Judy) of me actually weaving…..  applause here. LOL

Ann doing card weaving from Judy Kavanagh on Vimeo.

You can see that mine is smaller than the others. Judy said to beat the weft (the cross fibers we are putting in) very firmly. It seems we have different definitions of firmly. No matter, the only thing I didn’t get to try because of it was making my weaving round like a tube. My weaving was to inflexible. You can see the little broken thread sticking out on the right hand side of the right hand picture. That is where I tried to pull it into a tube and broke the thread instead. if you click on the picture it will pop up bigger so you can see it better.

It was cool. This was only 10 cards but you can do as many as you like. There is a free program that you can use on line to make patterns for up to 64 cards I think it is. You have to join to play with it but its free. You can get very complicated, turning some cards forward and some back at the same time. You can spell out words and do very complicated patterns and pictures. If you google image card weaving patterns you will see so many. I couldn’t chose which to show you.







Posted in Classes, Design, Uncategorized, Weaving, workshops | Tagged | 14 Comments

Finishing and Framing Sanctuary

I have several pieces that need to be finished and framed in some manner. It would be handy if I always followed the same procedure but many times I like to show organic edges but my recent piece Sanctuary wasn’t going to work out well framed that way. I needed to crop it and then frame it. It is very thick as it has several layers of felt appliqued to felt. And I didn’t want it to stretch out of shape while I was sewing the edges.

I marked the edges first trying to keep everything square. You can see faint lines around the edges where I marked the line I was going to machine stitch. By machine stitching, I could hold all the layers together as some of the hand stitched edges were going to end up being cut away.

I stitched with a dark brown thread and followed my line. I stitched over it twice to make sure everything was holding together. To keep it even and straight, I added a heavy interfacing to the back and pinned it all together before stitching.

Once it was stitched around the edge, I trimmed off the excess with a rotary cutter. As you can see, I didn’t quite get the top edge straight. But it will have to do 🙂

Then I zigzag stitched all around the edge a couple of times. There were a few white bits of felt sticking out and I fixed that with the appropriate colored Sharpie marker. Now to mount it on a canvas or in a frame.

I could put it in this frame with a white mat but I feel that the white is a little bit too stark and it would look better with a slightly darker mat board. Or on a lovely piece of fabric that I don’t seem to have. I definitely need to dye some cotton fabric backgrounds for several pieces now.

Posted in felt art, Finishing/Framing | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Landscape Challenge – Uffington Horse and Some Tiny Abstract Landscapes


I took inspiration, for the ‘Landscape Challenge’, from an old photo of my dad stood in front of ‘The Long Man’ of Wilmington in East Sussex.  The figure is carved into the chalk hill and is approx 235 feet high.

I liked the different colours and curves in the landscape, and at certain times of the year the fields in the middle ground would be brighter colours.


I was also inspired by Ruth to use up stuff that I already had, so out came the scrap box!  I sorted out several pieces of felt of different colours then chopped them into small pieces.

3. chopped bits of fulled felt

I decided to make the landscape first then needle felt the chalk figure on afterwards, so I arranged the coloured pieces – a bit like making a mosaic – on top of four layers of white merino wool.

This technique requires a pair of tweezers and a swear box – moving the little pieces of felt across loose white merino wool fibres is a test of patience and persistence.

4. chopped bits of fulled felt placed onto white merino wool

I felted it all together very carefully so that the pieces didn’t move out of place.  Here is an angled shot after felting showing the texture …

5. angled photo after felting

… and a close up to show the variety of colour made by chopping up bits of felt …

6. close up after felting

… and doesn’t the reverse look pretty?  Quite a strong migration of colour through four layers of white!

7. reverse after felting

I started to tack some white yarn onto the hill to represent the ‘Long Man’ but it didn’t look right – so I needle felted a different chalk figure!

The ‘Uffington White Horse’ in Oxfordshire is the oldest British chalk figure, believed to have been carved in the late bronze or early iron age, approx 3,000 years ago.

The finished size of the coloured area is 42 x 30cm (16.5″ x 12″).

8. Uffington Landscape


Thought I’d do the same as mum after reading Ruth’s post about using things up so I gathered fabric and felt scraps and laid out a piece of felt with lots of blocks and bits that could loosely potentially become landscapes through a viewfinder later.

piece_to_cut_up - small image

One of the more interesting pieces was created by using up all of the frilly edge pieces cut from various bits of felt over the years.

scrap_edges_landscape - small image

Do you remember inchies, twinchies and thrinchies?  I don’t know if they are still popular in the craft world but I decided this would be a good way to get lots of abstract landscapes from my piece of felt.  I made a 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch viewfinder from white cardboard (just a piece of card with a square hole cut out).  I cut four 3 inch pieces…

scrap_thrinchies_mosaic - small image

…then nine 2 inch pieces…

scrap_twinchies.mosaic - small image

…then I was down to the scraps so I thought I’d see what I could get out of them.  With a bit of imagination, and possibly a few stitches or a dab of paint, these sixteen 1 inch pieces make cute tiny abstract landscapes too.

scrap_inchies_mosaic - small image

This was a fun little project – a bit like the equivalent of collage and cutting and sticking in a sketchbook.   I might make some more landscapes with more intention later but this was a great play exercise to generate ideas. Simple is good sometimes!

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Sweet Nothings Retreat

Sweet Nothings Retreat

I am thrilled to announce that I will be offering two wet felting workshops in France this coming July. The workshops will be held at Sweet Nothings Art and Crafts Retreat in the beautiful Charent region. The retreat is owned and run by husband and wife team Natalie and Lawrence, originally from the UK, and you can read how they came to be running a business in rural France by clicking here.

During each six day retreat there will be three workshop days and, with a maximum number of six students per class, there will be lots of opportunity for one to one time. A small class also allows for lots of flexibility so we can tailor each project to suit the individuals specific wishes/needs rather than all having to work on the same design or template. This also means we can accommodate absolute beginners alongside those of you who may have experience of Wet Felting but want to experiment or develop your technique further. 

15th – 20th July Nuno Scarf /Collar – In this workshop we will be working with Superfine Merino and silk fabrics, learning the basics of Nuno Felting, to create a beautiful, soft scarf/collar. Each student will work at their own pace and, once finished, you have the option of relaxing or putting your new found skills to practise on another item such as a Necklet or Bracelet. Being both practical and decorative, the beautifully soft, extremely lightweight Necklets bridge the gap between a scarf and a necklace and are ideal for wearing under a jacket on cool evenings. The bracelets introduce another technique, differential shrinkage, which allows us to create interesting, undulating surfaces on a flat plane. Once again, each of the additional projects will be totally unique and these can be further embellished with hand embroidery and beads. It’s your retreat…you decide!

Nuno Scarf/Collar
Nuno Necklets
Nuno Bracelets

22nd – 27th July Wet Felted Wallhanging – In this workshop we will be covering a variety of techniques including wet felting, needle felting, free motion stitch and hand embroidery to create our own unique wall hanging. It is suitable for any ability from absolute beginner to the more experienced felt maker as well as being a great introduction to free machine embroidery for those who haven’t yet tried it. 

Wet Felted Wallhanging

Using photographs or sketches as our source of inspiration we will begin by designing our layout and colour scheme. There will be examples to look at as we explore the different techniques we might use to create our pictures. The main body of our work will be wet felted, using loose fibres to “paint” our pictures. We will also explore the use of our own hand made pre felts, needle felting, hand and machine stitching to add areas of detail. Students can work to any size they wish, working on a large scale and concentrating on the one project, or working to a smaller scale and having the choice of an add-on felting project or simply enjoying more “free” time! 

Wet Felted Wallhanging

If you would like more information about the workshops I will be offering please use the contact form on my website to get in touch  If you have any queries regarding the accommodation or would like to make a booking please do that via the Sweet Nothings Website.

Posted in Announcements, Classes | 16 Comments

Going Batty

Last week you saw Jan post about the spin in Wheels on Fire. LINK It was lots of fun and I bought a lovely batt from  Judy Kavanagh I loved the colours and it made me think of a wild landscape. I decided to just open it up and felt it as is. Here is before:

And after:


I also got this lovely little red batt form Bernadette Quade. I don’t know what I will do with it yet but I like the depth of red. The colour is not good here it is quite red with a little purply blue. There was a picture of her table in Jan post linked at the top. She doesn’t have an online store but I can get you in contact with her if you like.

Then as my luck was in, I won another batt in the door prise draw. Also very pretty and I don’t know if I will pull it apart or felt it as is or maybe even spin some of it. It is from  Creations Christine the batt I won was non feltable so she traded it for this one.


Last Saturday was the other spin in in my area. In a small town called Chesterville.  I am lucky I am just about in the middle between both theses spin ins It was there 20th annual spin in. I wanted something interesting to spin.   I was tempted by some “fancier” less blended batts but didn’t think my spinning skill was up to them. I bought a small batt from Judy Kavanagh again. Reds and blues.

This is the first small ball done on Saturday.

Having said that the other batts were to complicated for my spinning ability, I kept being drawn back to this one by Alpaca Tracks. I reminded me so much of a storm over the ocean.  It has quite a bit of shine too but it just doesn;t sho in the picture. I am not sure if I will use parts of it or do the whole thing adding some sand near the bottom. or use parts of it for sky in other pieces.


Then while I was Showing a 4H group how to spin on a spindle and getting them to each spin a small bit for their project binders, my number was called for a door prize. I chose this lovely batt by Celine Paquette of La ferme le moment present. part of this one may become the sand with the storm batt above. When I opened it I realised there were 4 lovely wooden  buttons in it too.

I have made a few plainish backgrounds to work on this last while. One I put a blue stream in . and then promptly ripped it off when dry. Why do we always think of water as blue. it is seldom blue. It looks more like a stream now than before. You will have to wait for the next blog post to see it.   Time to get out the needles and start working on the backgrounds.





Posted in Fairs and Shows, Inspiration, Spinning, Surface Design, Uncategorized, Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

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?


Posted in Free Motion Stitching, Made From Felt, Repurpose, Surface Design | Tagged , , | 19 Comments


Last weekend I took part in an exhibition at The Creative Craft Show held in Manchester’s EventCity. I attended as a member of Jeudis, a mixed media textile group who meet monthly in the village of Rothley, Leicestershire. The group work to a different theme each year and each member creates either a large piece of work, or a series of small pieces, in their preferred medium. The current theme is Abstraction and so far I’ve made three pieces, two framed pictures using Merino fibres, Lutradur and sheer fabrics and a wall hanging in Bergschaf. As they are all on the large side I had to select just one to exhibit and went for the Bergschaf “Rockpool”.

Abstraction – 72cm x 40cm mixed media
Abstraction II – 80cm x 40cm mixed media
Abstraction – Rockpool 53cm dia Bergschaf and found objects

This is the work created by the rest of the group…..

Sue also works in fibre and created these wonderful pictures enclosed in tree bark
Christine is a book maker and creates mixed media collagej
Gill created a large bowl incorporating fabric, paper and stitch
Cathy’s work is very geometric and often features architectural imagery
Linda used her interested in yoga and the various associated symbols to create this colourful quilt
Hazels hand coloured and embroidered scroll
Jeans mixed media with fabric, paper and stitch
Elaine’s piece is hand painted and stitched on pelmet vilene

We had a lot of visitors to our stand and some great feedback which was very encouraging. It also led to me designing more “rockpool” inspired items for the sales table…

These are just a few more photos from the show…..

Posted in Guest Writer, Uncategorized | 20 Comments