Browsed by
Tag: collage

Something Different

Something Different

I’m still trying to finish projects and WIPs so I can tidy my summer sewing stuff away. I found an unfinished project from years ago when I was putting some felt offcuts away. Hopefully, this link will show some of the pieces I made, if not search my photostream for ’embellished’. It inspired me to finish it off and make some more. So I had a rummage through my offcuts and found lots of nice ones, so many that I started to think that maybe I wanted to do something a bit bigger, like a notebook cover (surprise, surprise!). I found some thin pieces of felt to use as a base and sewed them together. I really wanted to make something the complete opposite of the carefully measured and carefully and neatly sewn notebook covers I usually make. So after spreading all the felt offcuts out, I got some contrasting sewing thread and set to work attaching the pieces to my felt base. I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did and I got through quite a few episodes of Foyle’s War while I sewed πŸ™‚

When I’d attached all the pieces, I attached a piece of thin blue cotton fabric to hide all the stitching and thread. Then I folded the flaps in, machine stitched them in place, then hand stitched the top and bottom edges. I think you’ll agree, that it’s nothing like what I usually make πŸ™‚Β  This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI tried hard to make sure nothing matched, and that it wasn’t too neat or even, including the top and bottom edges, I just followed the edges of the base felt. This is the cover opened out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t attach felt pieces to the base where the flaps would be, I didn’t want it to be too thick. The felt I used for the flaps was originally white merino and cotton which I experimented on with direct dyeing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also made a strap closure for it in much the same way as I made the book:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt just fits around the book and clips together with a Delrin clip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I thought this notebook would stick out likeΒ  a sore thumb in my etsy shop, but surprisingly it doesn’t. But maybe that’s because it probably has a little offcut from almost every other piece in there with it!

An Old Piece and a New Piece

An Old Piece and a New Piece

I only realised yesterday when I started to plan my blog post, that all my photos are still on my old hard drive. I was looking for another felt scrap piece that I recently started on when I came across a piece I made quite a while ago which I never posted about. If any of it looks familiar, it’s because I used it for the banners for the studio site and the forum πŸ™‚
I wanted to make a piece with colours and textures inspired by the natural colours of the landscapes between Manchester and West Yorkshire. I used lots of different coloured natural wools and wool tops: Merino, Bluefaced Leicester, Manx Loaghtan, Zwartble, Black Welsh Mountain, Jacob, Gotland. I also used raw gotland locks and Lincoln locks.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI mostly used mid to dark shades of wool and animal fibre, there’s some sandy coloured Alpaca in here too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor texture I used some wool nepps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd also some silk noil, I added a lot of this so it would look like a solid band.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo create a kind of mossy/spongey moorland type grass look, I blended some plastic fibre with some natural shades andΒ  green shades of merino.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the shape, I wanted an organic shape because I thought this suited it better.
I did find the scrap piece that I was working on, I think this will be the outside of a notebook cover.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finishing Projects

Finishing Projects

I’ve been trying hard with Ruth’s Daily Dose of Fiber challenge, but so far that mostly consists of me rewriting the same list each day πŸ™‚Β  I have managed to complete a few projects recently though. The first one was a small shoulder bag I started a while ago when I was using my felt offcuts. I think these kinds of bags are known as ‘passport bags’, it’s big enough to fit a camera and coin purse in. I had some nice fabric that I salvaged from a worn out camera bag, so I used this on the inside flap. It might look familiar because I took photos of the magnetic closures for a post not so long ago.

BagI covered over the tops of the magnetic closures with felt-craft felt on the inside and a nuno felt offcut for the front, before sewing the sides together-that’s usually something I’d forget to do!

bagOnce it was all sewn up, I finished around the edges with blanket stitch in the same maroon colour I’d used for sewing. Another project I finished recently was a felt placemat. I made the felt sometime last year and used a piece to make a mirror case, and cut out the placemat, but I never got around to blanket stitching the edges, so one day last week when there was about 30 minutes of light, I finished it off.

coasterThe last project I managed to complete this week was a set of two coasters for by the kettle. I used a plain piece of felt and cut an 11 x 7 inch rectangle, and a square roughly 6 x 6 inches. I zig-zag stitched around the edges then did random straight stitching, first one way, then the other. This thickened up the felt and because I wasn’t aiming for neatness, I didn’t need to concentrate hard or strain my eyes πŸ™‚

trivet

square coaster

What have you been working on lately? Have you finished any projects you had waiting for a while?

Looking Ahead 2013

Looking Ahead 2013

Will anyone notice if I re-post my plans for 2012? πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to have more spare time for felting this year as the few hours a week I’d normally have for felting were taken up with working on my business plan and futile searches for info about government schemes and how to write business plans πŸ™‚

I’d like to be more organised, so that when plans get disrupted or stalled as they often do, I have a back up plan or alternatives so I can make the most of what little time I do have. I recently got a really nice big old desk, like an old teacher’s desk, so I have more space to work and can leave projects out. I’d like to find the few extra minutes it’d take to lay out and felt some extra small pieces of felt to use in collage pieces. I really enjoyed using my offcuts for that last year, and now I’m running low on spare pieces of felt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs usual, I’m looking forward to the forum challenges. I followed Lyn‘s example and started to write plans in my diary to help with Ruth’s challenge. I don’t have anything at the moment that I can spend 5 minutes a day working on, but I am taking a few minutes each day to think about fibrey things to try to plan so I can make the most of the time when I get a couple of hours to work on a project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoing Karen’s weather challenge reminded me how much I like making felt just for the sake of it, and how abstract felt can make really nice art ‘paintings’ especially when framed. I’d like to find time to make some small pieces with that in mind. As always I’ve really enjoyed our conversations and topics on the forum and really look forward to more of those this year, everyone who comments on the blog and joins in on the forum makes our community a really nice one to belong to πŸ™‚

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat plans do you have for 2013, have you joined in with Ruth’s challenge?

Suggestions Please

Suggestions Please

I haven’t had much free time to felt or make things lately, but making the collage notebook cover made me realise I could have a sewing project on the go that I could spend 15 minutes on here and there when I feel like taking a break (instead of watching cat videos on youtube!) I still had my felt offcuts to hand so I made myself a glasses case to match the notebook. I needed a sturdy one for the glasses I keep in my bag, so they don’t get damaged by all the other useless stuff I pile in there πŸ™‚

I got some nice fabric from Ikea a few years ago and used some to make a nice lining.

When I was sorting through my spare felt and offcuts, I came across a few pieces of felt that I made earlier in the year to use for stitching practice. You may remember a few of us said we were going to do the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge? I did try and probably lasted about 10 weeks, but I found the instructions too hard to follow. Ruth kindly looked up videos to help us, but sometimes there wasn’t one available, so I lost interest when I was spending more time looking for understandable instructions than actually doing the stitch. So, now I have 4 spare pieces of felt and thought I would ask everyone for their suggestions what to do with them. These first two are both about 8 x 12 inches


And these two, made from all natural shades of Merino and Bluefaced Leicester are about 10 x 12 inches



I look forward to hearing your suggestions and I will post photos of what I finally decide to do with them πŸ™‚

Felt and Fibre scraps

Felt and Fibre scraps

I thought it was time I tidied out my felt and wool scraps as the boxes and bags they were in were getting too full. I know it’s really geeky to categorise scraps but whenever I try to find the right size pieces for a project I seem to spend more time sorting and searching than anything else. I never throw anything felt, fabric or fibre away, everything is good for something. This is from my bag of scraps that aren’t usable for anything else, so I save them for using between layers of texture felt.

Often when I’m laying out a project for felting, I end up with a few wisps of wool or fibres here and there, so I put them in a bag and keep adding until it’s full, then card them together. I get some really nice heathery blends, and they always add a lot of interest to felt with such a variety of colours and fibre blends.

Sorting out my box of big spare pieces was fairly easy, I mostly sorted it into thick, regular and cobwebby pieces. The box of smaller spare pieces took a lot longer. In the end I had about 8 or 9 separate piles: thick, regular and cobwebby pieces, and, as shown in this next photo: long wide strips; medium regular strips;Β  thin strips; regular short strips and really thin and short strips.

I bought some water soluble stabiliser a while ago, so hopefully I’ll find time to use the really short thin strips for making a bowl using Ruth’s tutorial. The longish thin strips are great for making into loop fasteners. I wet them with soapy water and roll between my palms until they’re felted and sew them onto my project. If the piece is long enough I can leave the ends dry, fluff them out and the loop can be felted in with the project.

Once I’d finished sorting all my pieces, I chose some to use for my project-a collage book cover. I’d make a similar one a few years ago using felt pieces and ‘invisible’ thread, but I wanted to use my fancy new machine and zig zag stitch to sew strips and pieces.

This is the front of the finished cover:

And this is the back:

What do you do with all your felt and fibrey scraps and offcuts?

NYC Travel Journal Update

NYC Travel Journal Update

This is an update about my trip to NYC and filling out my travel journal that I made. Everyone else was happy with their books but only my brother-in-law (besides me) filled his in. My sister and husband just saved things to paste in later. We were busy for the entire time we were there and I only had a few moments each day to work in my journal. I would collect lots of paper bits during the day to paste in the journal. I then would paste in a few things and write about the day with a permanent pen. The extra sketches and embellishments were done on the trip home. I used Inktense pencils and a water brush to do the “watercolor” portions. This works great if you used a permanent pen but won’t do well if your pen will run with water. You are welcome to click on the photos for a larger view and you can read what we did in NYC if you’re interested.

I still have a few blanks spots for photos and the last three pages to fill in with some photos and subway maps. We were in the studio audience for The Chew which is on ABC while we were in NYC. The show airs on August 2nd. We might be visible in the studio audience.

I really enjoyed filling the journal out and since I can never keep things straight about where we went and what we did, this will be an excellent reminder of our trip. Have you used a travel journal? Do you take any art supplies with you when you travel? I’d love to hear about it or see your journals if you have any.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: