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Third Quarter Challenge Coming Along.

Third Quarter Challenge Coming Along.

I showed you a blank canvas last time.

I have finally moved forward from there.  It was a slow start. I had a hard time finding a lightweight dissolvable stabilizer. But I did in the end.

Step one was to trace my pattern onto the stabilizer.

I did the rivers first and then the roads. I had to spin some yellow for the roads. I thought it would be easier to use then roving for that part.

I did the rivers first because the roads go over them.

I got the major roads done.

Next, are the secondary roads. That’s all that shows form this level of zoom. I think I will put them in with thread and outline the whole city in red. Hopefully, by my next post, that will be done. once I am finished I can move onto the fourth quarter challenge and get it done in time.

Third Quarter Challenge – Part 2

Third Quarter Challenge – Part 2

I showed you my ideas, concepts and sketches for my cityscape last week. Now on to the felting.

First I needed to make some prefelt for the buildings. I had a mixed brown batt already in my stash so I decided to use that as the buildings in my inspiration photos were variegated brown.

Once I got the brown wool to prefelt stage, I let it dry and then used my sketch to make pattern shapes for the buildings. I used tracing paper to trace the shapes and then cut them out of the prefelt. This is when my perspective began to go wonky.

I found a piece of hand dyed silk in my stash that looked like night sky. I put that over a piece of commercial white prefelt and then laid down the black base, trees and prefelt building shapes. I thought they were well positioned for the perspective I needed but with felting they must have shifted slightly.

Here it is after felting. The buildings are getting wonkier. There is a reason that I don’t usually felt man made designs. I have difficulty keeping the perspective correct and as I progressed in this process, they just seemed to get more and more off as I went. But I had hopes that with the addition of windows and doors, this would improve.

I did fold the extra silk fabric to the back and hand stitch it in place. This gives the edge a more finished look.

I eyeballed where the windows and doors should go and tried to get the perspective correct with them. But that didn’t really work out so well. In hindsight, it might have worked better to stitch my lines for the wooden siding first and then added the windows and doors afterward.

Next week, I will show you the machine stitching and the finishing technique I used to get a starry sky. If you have created a cityscape, please go over to the forum and post it here. 

3rd Quarter Challenge Entry from Teri Berry

3rd Quarter Challenge Entry from Teri Berry

This is a guest post by one of our forum members ‘Teri Berry’. Teri has a wonderful blog if you’d like to see more of her work. Teri has completed the 3rd Quarter challenge in record time and tells us about it here:

Marilyn posted the 3rd quarter challenge a couple of weeks ago, initially I was disappointed because this meant I had been mulling over the 2nd quarter challenge for so long I had missed the end of Q2 (shame on me). Determined not to let the same happen again I was spurred into action. I already had an idea from Q2 that I wanted to use silk cocoons to add some three-dimensional impact, a little bit like this sample:

Teri 1

Added to this, I have been wanting to interpret a favourite photo taken by my better half on a diving trip into felt for far too many years so this seemed the ideal opportunity. Isn’t this fish a beauty?

Teri 2

As per Marilyn’s challenge instructions, I ran this photo through 2 programs, Colour Adobe and Palette Fx.

Teri 3

Teri 4

I much preferred the wider range of colours provided by Palette FX so set about dyeing some cocoons, yarn and silk while blending some previously hand dyed Norwegian and Merino wools (with a little bit of dyed trilobal nylon for some sparkle – I’m a sucker for a bit of sparkle!).

Considering the materials were all dyed in the same bath, I was surprised by the range of colours that came out of the orangey brown bath, everything from bright orange to a lovely chestnut brown. These are the carded batts:

Teri 8

I started by laying out two tones of purple, when the piece is fulled, these different tones will create subtle areas of light and dark on the face of the hanging.

Teri 9


Then laying out the batts, I love working with batts, they are so quick and easy to lay out.

Teri 10

I like to think about movement and the balance of colours and tones when laying out my wall hangings, I find repetition of shapes and colours works well. Here I have laid out 3 deeper colours and added splashes of a bright colour to create movement. I think it is important to keep stepping back and looking at your piece, if it doesn’t feel right now, it’s unlikely to feel right as you add more layers and detail.

Next I added my dyed cocoons, ponge 5 silk and felt ropes for extra texture before wetting it out to regain some control over the growing pile of fluff.

Teri 11

Then some of my dyed yarn, I was thinking about how to lead the viewer’s eye around the hanging when laying these out.

Teri 12

Looking at it again, I felt it was too dark and needed more contrast and the large bumps from the cocoons needed to be balanced by something, the solution, to add some yellow chiffon with felt pebbles underneath.

Teri 13

I made some prefelts with the left over batts, I love working with prefelts and silk papers, they permit a far wider range of shapes than I can create with loose wool tops.

From these I started cutting out shapes, laying them on the base. For me, this stage is very much trial and error; placing piece of felt, deciding I don’t like it, cutting them into smaller pieces, swapping them out for other colours, moving them around. After some time I finally settled on this.

Teri 14

And started rubbing, and rubbing, and rubbing…. I quite like the look of the plastic covered in suds with the design showing through.

Teri 15

More rubbing, and finally a bit of throwing (the large bumps created by the cocoons made this a difficult piece to roll).

Here is the fulled piece after opening up the cocoons to reveal their dyed innards, contrasting with the wool wrapped over their surface. I’m really pleased with the one that spilled out a trail of silk as I opened it up.

I was a little bit disappointed with how the edges of the orange prefelts had gone fuzzy (I should have used a firmer prefelt) so added some machine embroidery to visually sharpen the edges again.

Teri 18

Letting me loose with a sewing machine on a piece of felt is a risky move, I couldn’t stop a just “fixing” one area 🙂

After looking at it the next morning, some more embroidery was needed…

Unlike most of my hangings the felt on this one is relatively fine so instead of hanging from a sleeve or wooden rod I decided to mount it on a canvas frame. To ensure the felt doesn’t stretch and go baggy over time I fixed it to a sheet of poplin cotton with running stitch before stretching it over the frame and stapling it into place.

Teri 25

Thank you Ruth, Zed, Ann and Marilyn for inviting me to post on the forum, this has been a real pleasure. If anyone would like to see some of my other work, please feel free to visit my blog at

Thanks Teri for sharing your work with us!


Third Quarter Challenge 2014

Third Quarter Challenge 2014

I have chosen (Oscar) Claude Monet as the artist for the challenge this quarter.  He was born in Paris, France in 1840 and died in Giverny, France in 1926.

MTIwNjA4NjMzOTE3NzY5MjI4Monet was named the creator of “Impressionism” because he was more concerned with light and form than realism.  The painting that inspired the name came from his painting “Impression, soleil levant (Sunrise), 1872,  which now hangs in Musée Marmottan Monet,Paris.

Impression, Sunrise 1872
Impression, Sunrise 1872

He preferred outdoors to school and amassed a huge body of work based on studies of various landscapes at different times of day, season and weather conditions to study the changes in light and form.


Japanese Bridge 3
Japanese Bridge 3
Japanese Footbridge
Japanese Footbridge















Like many artists of his time, Monet suffered from depression, poverty and illness.  However, it never dampened his passion for his work.

My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects.”
—Claude Monet

Sunflowers The-House-Seen-From-The-Rose-Garden2-small







Claude_Monet-Madame_Monet_en_costume_japonais Claude_Monet,_Grainstacks_in_the_Sunlight,_Morning_Effect,_1890,_oil_on_canvas_65_x_100_cm

There are several good sites of his work, but this is probably the most comprehensive,  cataloging over 1700 of his works.

There are many repeating themes in his work and also a wide variety of styles throughout his long career as his style evolved.  I think there is something for everyone and a lot of it will lend itself nicely to felting and mixed media.

claude-monet-irises-detail Claude-Monet-Water-Lilies-38-Oil-Painting claude-monet-the-artist-s-garden-at-giverny-c-1900










Still-Life-With-Pears-And-Grapes-small cliff-near-dieppe

Happy creating!

Remember to post your challenge pieces on the forum:


3rd Quarter Challenge and a Notebook

3rd Quarter Challenge and a Notebook

I’ve finally made a start on a couple of pieces for Karen’s 3rd Quarter Mixed Media Challenge. I chose two different types of background, the first one is a 7 x 5 inch art board, I think it is meant for watercolour paints. These are boards with a textured paper surface.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI covered this with Weldbond glue then added some cotton scrim, I added some Golden gel medium and added some more scrim, making creases, gathers and folds. Then I covered it in Gesso.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next background is hardboard, the same kind of thing pegboard for workshops is made out of. I got some 8 x 6 inch pieces cut years ago for making polymer clay mosaics.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI covered this in Weldbond glue, added a layer of scrim, then glued another layer of scrim on top. I covered this in Gesso too. They are both almost dry, waiting for me to forget to finish them 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI finished another fabric collage notebook cover last week. This is a small A6 one. This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some flowery fabric to line the inside, and used the sewing machine to attach the flaps, then hand-stitched blanket stitch around all the edges.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s probably not quite as effective as zig-zagging with the machine, but it’s helps stop the fabric fraying.

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