I’m always amazed at what I accomplished at the end of year. This year I took a few classes in order to expand my creativity in addition to experimenting on my own. I also tried to use up more materials and finish some UFOs.
Here is a bedside case for odds and ends made with some merino inside and unknown fiber batt with silk embellishment.
Experimenting with different types of yarn to make a table runner.
Our First Quarter Challenge – Fauvism.
Weaving then felting.
A Valentine gift for granddaughter Lisa.
Teri Berry’s Snail hat class.
Finishing and hanging an eco print. Crochet around wire bowl.
Framing the felted weaving.
I did a lot of experimenting with crochet stitches.
Practicing for Ruth’s Free Motion Embroidery class.
Crochet hats for my granddaughter and her new premature brother Ken.
A dimensional potholder.
Learning more crochet stitches.
Making a crochet hook case from a crochet sample.
A bowl for the Second quarter Challenge – Celtic
Using yarn on a resist for a vase cover.
Adding dimension to the hummingbird/tiger lily picture.
Felt and crochet earrings.
Crochet beaded bowl with stiffener.
A Pumpkin for Ken.
The Third Quarter Challenge – Edo Period; felt and hand embroidery Sakura.
Ribbon embroidery and framing.
Playing with thickened dye for Ruth’s class on felt.
Finishing a case from UFO pile and FME Butterfly
Maneki-Neko for Third Quarter Challenge Edo Period.
Framing the Rooster.
More stencil play with acrylic and thickened dye.
The Fourth Quarter Challenge — Suprematist
Penguin’s Poinsettia Holiday card.
A couple of scarves for my daughter in laws parents in Japan where it’s as cold as Chicago.
I want to let everyone know I am taking a leave of absence to focus on my health and family. I will be around just not posting weekly. We have a lot of talented artists that will be filling in starting with Tracey Thompson next week.
I want to thank everyone for helping out to give me this time. If you or someone you know has something to share — it doesn’t have to be felt but anything fiber related including paper, please contact me or one of the other moderators on the forum and we’ll get you on the schedule.
I hope everyone has a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! Happy Creating in 2018!
Penquin (Anne Hickley) made me a beautiful Panda card for the holiday exchange. For some reason I was stuck on the idea of a Poinsettia. You may have already seen it on the Forum.
I made one for myself last year to hang as a decoration and wanted to do another. Of course, making a card became more complicated than I had anticipated. But I enjoyed making it.
I started out making thin red prefelt and cut out 5 or 6 layers of different sizes, putting plastic wrap between each layer leaving a hole in the center so they’d all felt together. I had some green for the leaves and laid those underneath. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures before I felted them. But here is the flower after felting with beads for the center.
I stitched each petal and leaf.
Then I felted a white background with some sparkly fabric for a snowy effect.
I did another without the sparkle to be the back. On the back I used Luminescent paint to write the words.
Now it was time to put it all together. I used stabilizer on the back of the sparkly piece and sewed the flower on by hand.
Then the fun part was putting them together using the blanket stitch.
I’m happy Penguin enjoyed it and hope everyone is ready for the holidays!
Drum roll please…… the winner of the December Green dyes and Silk Scarves is Maureen number 28!
Please PM on the forum or send me an email to email@example.com with your full name and mailing address. I will have your prize in the mail asap.
When you have an opportunity to use the dyes and scarves, please share your results with us on the forum or write a blog about it. Just let us know you’d like to do that. We hope you enjoy using them!
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Before I had surgery I felted a couple of small things. The first was using the roving I had dyed for the 3rd Quarter Challenge to make a pod with cuts showing other colors underneath. I had used a lot of coarse fibers and decided I liked the rugged look so I didn’t shave it.
The next was a gift for a friend for her 70th birthday. Another pod, but slightly larger. I made some batts first. I used sparkly yarn as well as silk and milk protein for embellishments.
If you look closely you can see the sparkly yarn inside.
Then to get into the holiday spirit I made a poinsettia flower with the intention of embellishing it later.
I used very thin prefelt, cut out the leaf shapes and used layers of saran wrap to separate them.
While I’ve been recuperating from surgery, I’ve been working on some small projects. I finished the poinsettia by adding beads and adding stitching to the leaves and petals.
It’s now hanging on a wall to add a little holiday cheer to the house.
Mary Stori is a new forum member, but has extensive experience in quiltmaking and fiber art. She introduced herself to us in January as “‘ a wanna be felter living outside of Asheville, NC. For the past 25+ years I’ve traveled the national and international quilting circuit as an author, lecturer, workshop leader, cruise host…..bla, bla, bla. The focus of my work began with wearable art, fine hand quilting, whimsical and highly embellished quilts.”
She attended a class with Chad Alice Hagen a few years ago and is now “hooked.” Her focus went from quilts to felt. But one thing hasn’t changed — her love of embellishments, particularly beading which she has authored several books on. So, with her permission I have put together some of her tips from her blog on beading.
I’m often asked how I organize my beads……this method works well for me.
First of all……you won’t use them if you can’t find them, so take the time to gather them from all your hiding places, organize them, and then put them in a convenient place…no matter how many or few you have.
A location away from sunlight, heat, and excess moisture is best.
Because there are no closets in my studio, my teaching materials are stored in a large walk in closet in a guest room nearby. The bulk of my workshops in recent years have focused on beading techniques or projects that incorporate beads. Therefore, I purchase a LOT of beads in bulk from a distributor for my classes. They generally come as strung kilos, which I repackage into kits and store in boxes and plastic bins.
Above is my own personal stash…… One entire side of the closet is fitted from floor to ceiling with shelves…and almost all are used to store my embellishments. I could consolidate them if the space was needed for other things, but as it is now, I’m easily able to walk in and quickly find what I’m looking for without having to dig through dozens of items stacked on top of each other.
I like to use plastic fishing tackle boxes, or embroidery floss containers. Beads are stored by style and color in see-thru plastic tubes or small bags. Here you see some seed beads.
Besides using beads, I utilize many other embellishments, trinkets, charms, buttons, found objects into my work. This unit has plastic pull out containers with large divided sections which are more suitable for these items. It too goes on my shelves in the closet.
If tubes or small bags aren’t handy for you….try storing beads in small containers such as film canisters, pill bottles, or metal breath mint cases. If you glue a bead to the lid….you’ll always be able to quickly know what’s inside!
Another big key to beading……is making your environment comfortable during the task. A table top or floor model Ott light will save on eye strain. As will a pair of ‘cheater glasses’. I always tell my students that one of the biggest secrets to successful beading is ‘spacing’….and the ability to see the bead and to judge the placement of the needle into the fabric is vital.
Many people are unaware that beads may not necessarily be colorfast. For instance, this beautiful blue bugle bead below may appear as if it’s blue glass. Not so……it’s clear glass that has been dyed or painted blue. Often the color remains secure on the bead, other times not. So…..if you think there’s a possibility that your project will be washed, become damp, or even require high steam for pressing…..take a few minutes and test your beads for colorfastness.
Most of the time, there isn’t a problem, but for that heirloom project….you’d be devastated if during a final steam pressing, the bead color ran into your fabric. The pricier beads may be just at risk as the less expensive ones…..you can’t tell by looking.
Here’s how to test:
– Fill a shallow dish with hot sudsy water….drop in a few beads….let it sit for 15 mins.
– Remove them…rinse and let dry on a paper towel.
Note….sometimes color will be visible in the water, other times….the color will slowly eek out as it dries. As you can see….this blue bead has run…..red is another color I check carefully.
Don’t let this scare you…….we are all aware that colorfastness can be an issue with fabrics……now you know that beads carry the same risk. Even if the bead color doesn’t run….sometimes the fancy coatings……that make a bead’s surface shimmer with various affects, (like rainbow) can dissipate……and the bead will lose its luster.
I’ve tested very, very few beads that I decided not to use……or that I’ve used with caution……beading is worth any effort….hopefully with this hint….all your projects will continue to shine brightly!
I’m a stickler for good quality construction…..for me it’s not all about fast, rather…it’s about great design that has been executed to the best of my ability. If precautions aren’t taken, beading can cause fabrics to distort. Therefore, I ALWAYS secure my work in a Q-snap frame. The only exception is when I’m beading the bindings/edges of my quilts.
Q-snap frames are simply PVC tubes which come in a variety of sizes. This one is 11″ x 11″, my choice for smaller projects. The work is attached using clips that snap over the frame. Though you could use a round embroidery hoop…..I don’t because it pulls the fabric diagonally which can stretch the bias. I’ve found it’s best to keep the fabric ON GRAIN by using a square or rectangular frame when beading.
As for felt, unless the felt is super thick and sturdy, I always secure fabric (of any kind) in a Q-snap frame for beading and embroidery. However, I generally avoid using the plastic clips…….instead I attach the material using muslin sleeves or pin the fabric around the frame to avoid damage to the fabric and beads. There’s nothing more unattractive than distorted, stretched out wool!!!
However, as the beading design develops, requiring repositioning of the fabric, I avoid using the clips in places where they could damage the beads. Instead, if the piece is large enough as it is in this sample, I wrap the excess snugly around the frame, and secure the layers together using straight pins or by thread basting. This keeps the fabric on grain, and well stabilized to assure good thread and fabric tension.
My ‘artist’ inspired piece is now in the beading phase…. The piece is attached to an 11″x17″ Q-snap frame…note I used 1 clip at the top, where it didn’t interfere with the beads.
I also want to mention that I’m beading through 2 layers only…..the quilt top which has been stabilized with batting. This approach will hide and protect the threads once the backing is added later.
You can find more information on Mary’s website and blog. She’s also the author of “Beading Basics,” “All-in-One Beading Buddy,” & DVD – “Mary Stori Teaches You Beading on Fabric” & “Embellishing With Felted Wool”
I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve been traveling and have several family affairs looming that need my attention.
I started out in 2014 as a forum member and then in March I was a Global Moderator! This past year has brought many challenges and delightful learning and wonderful outcomes in terms of felting.
My year started with experiments in dyeing.
I shared my venture into encaustics.
Tried my hand at painting with wool.
Experimented with different wools.
Participated in the quarterly challenges.
Tried framing methods.
I broke down to drum carder envy and began my foray into making batts. Woo hoo!
Cathy and I tried indigo dyeing.
My marketing blogs…
I know it’s been awhile, but its more fun felting than marketing… Sorry.
I taught a felting class.
There was a period of obsession with pods and vessels.
I ventured into free motion stitching.
Then I experimented with embellishments and making a book cover.
Designing and making a handbag was a huge accomplishment for me.
I experimented with 3D felting – grapes and flowers.
I learned a lot of new techniques in Fiona Duthie’s class.
It was a busy year visiting farms, mills and fairs.
I made scarves including a cobweb scarf.
A big project was a 3D free motion stitched bowl, oh my!
Felting a rooster, I learned to combine wet and needle felting.
Our holiday exchange was an experiment of combining beading and felting.
All in all, it’s been a very productive and inspiring year felting. Of course, there were many more projects that were completed. It has been a wonderful year. I want to thank all of you for teaching, inspiring me and encouraging me to do and try more. Thank you! A special thanks to my fellow moderators and Luvswool (Cathy), Leonor at Felt Buddies and Nada for pitching in and contributing to the blog. It’s been a terrific, fun journey. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings and what I learn and try!
One of the things I wanted to start doing was adding more video tutorials to the site. So I thought I would give making a video a try. My husband is running the camera and I am turning the pages of my beaded book. This is very primitive and we obviously have a long way to go. But it’s a start and I learned the very basics about how to edit and upload a video. I hope you’ll be able to see a few details on my beaded book.
The front page has a beaded cabochon and a single “zipper” beaded edge.
This page shows various ways of attaching rows of beads singly. The top edge is another “zippered” edge, the side is a single bead and the bottom is two stacked beads.
This page has various ways of stacking beads on top of each other. I have already forgotten what this edge is called but it makes a kind of diamond or vee shaped pattern.
This page is covered with brass washers. The ones on top are covered with buttonhole stitch and one is even beaded. The edge is a rope edge.
This page is various pieces of metal couched down with beads. The top and middle rows are couched down using raised chain band stitch. The edge is one I made up with two stacked beads and then connecting them with three smaller beads to make a “dome”.
This page I designed myself and is supposed to be an iris. It is a solid layer of beads. The edge is another one I have forgotten the name. I would definitely need to reread the instructions to remember how to do these all again.
This is the sequin page. A bit hard to get a good photo due to the shininess. The edge is a “wave” edge.
This is another page I designed myself. I wanted to use another cabochon and the long bugle beads. It looks like an Egyptian eye but the original design was from a birch tree if you can imagine that! The edge is two chains interlaced.
This is the scattered beads page. This is a “lacey” edging.
This page is making patterns with bugle beads. Again, a poor photo due to the reflection of the glass beads. The edge is a connecting type of short fringe.
This is the first fringe page. It shows a variety of ways to make fringe. The edge is a branched fringe edge. This edging took nearly a full tube of seed beads.
This is the last page and is another showing different fringes. The edge is made up of all different kinds of fringe and is a bit extravagant.
And here is the binding which is done with raised chain band and I added a bead between each stitch for spacing. The book weighs over a pound and I did add a beaded tassel after this photo was taken. You can see it in the video above. I enjoyed making this book but it is probably the only one I will ever make. I hope you enjoyed seeing it closer. It was part of my homework for my Level 2 Stitch Class at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center.
Her work is so beautiful. I’ve never really wanted to learn about beading before but since getting into more of the mixed media side of things it’s made me more interested in the beading process, of course not on the scale of Robins though , just enough to try to work into my pieces. Robin has been beading for a long time and she has written a couple of books, she has now put out her first book as a free book for anyone to read, so since I was following along I thought I’d take the time to read it. She explains her methods of beading and basically works free hand with no pre conceived ideas, or nothing set in stone. So having read that I thought I’d give a small piece a go, mind you I don’t have thousands of beads to choose from so I started this little one with one of Zed’s hand made buttons and went from there.
It definitely helped to read her book as I was under the impression that I should have some sort of design in mind before I started, but I actually found it so much easier not to. This is only a small piece I know but reading her book gave me the courage to have a go !!
I’ve also made a couple of small note book covers, inspired by Zed once again, and I wanted to do something else with my flat pieces of felt and not just wall hangings. The first cut was the hardest I must admit, spending all that time rubbing and rolling the felt only to cut it up in the end. These 2 covers were made with the one piece and then cut in half so I had the 2 different colours in each cover.
I then embellished with embroidery stitches learned from the TAST 2012, so I used Blanket, Fly & Cretan stitches and then added some beads in too.
I did not have any success with creating skeleton leaves so we’ll leave that for another day lol
I hope everyone’s had a productive week and I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.