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Shades of Green – Nuno Felt with Applique

Shades of Green – Nuno Felt with Applique

In my Level 3 Stitch class, we are working on applique this session. After creating an applique using silk organza, I decided I wanted to see if I could combine a nuno felted background with silk organza applique. I thought the texture of the nuno would contrast well with the smoothness of the silk organza.

I created the nuno background with some deconstructed screen printed silk and a piece of white prefelt. I stitched the edges of silk that didn’t adhere down completely on to the back of the felt to give a neater edge (right hand photo). I also shaved and removed any large white pieces of wool on the surface of the silk. This piece immediately made me think of the woods, now on to the applique.

I used the background to help figure out the tree shapes and placement. Here is the silk organza trees laid over the background.

I basted the trees in place and stitched with tiny stitches trying to avoid fraying the silk organza as I went. The photo on the left shows the piece partially stitched with the basting lines still in place on the right side. The right photo is when the trees were completely stitched down. I used a stab stitch and machine weight thread.

Here’s a close up of the tiny stitches. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

Next, I started working on the path. I wanted to have a vague path but not something that overpowered the rest of the composition. So I used a variety of green threads with running stitch to create the path. But in the midst of stitching, I kept finding my eye drawn to the black dots over the bottom portion and then in a straight line up into the sky. What to do?

I considered adding stitching to diffuse the black dots but decided in the end to cover them with a paint pen and markers. I have no problem mixing my media, so I used a white paint pen and then covered the white with green marker. I definitely think that helped to take that line of dots away and emphasize the path more. I also added a bit more darkness with black marker so that there wouldn’t be such a straight line of “ground” at the base of the trees.

Next was the decision, leaves or no leaves? I tried a bunch of different types of fabric and ended up using black and green tulle cut into pieces with a layer of green sheer pieces over that. In this photo, the leaves haven’t been stitched down.

Here is the completed piece. It is hard to see the subtleties in a photo but I am pleased with the result. It reminds me of walking in the woods at dusk as the shadows deepen and perhaps you can hear the owls saying good evening.


Machine Stitching Japanese Edo Period UFO

Machine Stitching Japanese Edo Period UFO

I am still busy using stuff up and trying to do something with all the UFO’s (unfinished objects) lying around the studio. This piece was started in September 2017 for one of the Quarterly Challenges. You can see the post here on how I created the piece thus far.  Until I reread my post, I had forgotten what a pain this was when I was making it. I’m sure that’s why it got put away and left for dead.

Here’s the piece before I did anything too it. It’s OK, but I thought it might be improved with some free motion machine stitching. I worked on it in the mornings before work for 10-15 minutes at a time. I have the machine all set up and ready to go so I can sit down and start working for short time periods.

I decided to fill the inside shapes with dense stitching. I used a light lavender thread in Sulky 30 weight cotton. I wanted to have a contrast between the dark design and the thread but still be able to see the color of the silk underneath.

I completed all the stitching inside the design and it really helped the design to pop out from the felt. Then I added a couple of circles around the design. I used a bowl to mark around with a dressmakers pencil so I had a line to follow. The pencil just wiped away after stitching.

Then I cut the circle out around the outside stitched line. I even like the back side too.

Now I have to decide how to finish it and hang it. I have a 12″ x 12″ canvas that I could cover with fabric or paint and then attach the circle. The photo above shows a possible fabric choice. I only have a small piece of it so I would have to dye more. Perhaps slightly darker than this background? If I painted it, I considered making a partial stencil to decorate the corners of the square with a similar design. I guess I could try that and if it didn’t work, I could always cover it up with fabric. What do you think? How would you finish it? Hubby suggested using it as a hot mat but the silk on top wouldn’t hold up very well. Plus I have absolutely no pink in my house so it doesn’t exactly go with anything.

Updating my post to remind everyone that Terri Berry’s online concertina hat making class registration opens on February 7th. Go here for more information.

Nuno Felting

Nuno Felting

When I read this week that the second quarter challenge is to be Nuno Felting I thought I would share the first of the few Nuno projects I have done so far.  I say “few” because although I trawl the charity shops for silk and chiffon scarves on a regular basis most of them still reside in the plastic box under my table!  I’ve actually done very little with them so this next challenge should see some of these lovely fabrics being put to good use!

My introduction to Nuno Felting was in 2016 when I attended a workshop at Artvango with a lovely feltmaker called Clare Bullock.  Rather than taking the easy route (silk, muslin etc) we had been encouraged to try a wide variety of fabrics, some of which were going to need a lot of coaxing to get the fibres to migrate through.  Clare kept a watchful eye on us to ensure we weren’t taking any shortcuts which meant everyone’s samples were successful.  By the end of the workshop I took home five pieces of work incorporating a variety of fabrics including fine cottons, viscose, silks, wool and polyester.

Fabrics prior to fulling
Fulling complete


It seemed a lot of work at the time but there was something magical about seeing the textures emerging as the wool shrinks and I just loved the texture from the green woollen shawl…pity I didn’t get a “before” picture of the green/blue fabrics.

I came across the orange and the green/blue samples again when I was having a tidy up last year and decided, rather than putting them back in the drawer, to add some very simple stitching and frame them as landscapes.

Since then I’ve made several Nuno scarves but not really taken the time to be experimental with Nuno……this next challenge should provide the inspiration I need to have a play!

A Fingerless Mitt Experiment

A Fingerless Mitt Experiment

Christmas is coming so I am still working on fingerless mitts for my guild sale the first weekend in November. One of my scarves made the poster.


I decided to try an experiment with a couple of pairs of Mitts. I wanted to make long cuts to reveal another colour.  I wrapped some shrink tubing and some regular tubing like you might use in a fish tank in some wool. I gave it a quick felt to get the wool tight around the tube. I thought this might be the best way to keep the fibers where I wanted them. I placed them between the layers of the mitts.

tubes collage

It worked really well.  After I cut the felt and took the tubes out I steamed them and opened up the slits. They are purple and pink and pink and purple but the cameras seems to think the purple is blue. I think it is because the wool of the table is so yellow.

purple and pink pink and purple

This is what they look like on. Sorry the pictures are bad I had to take it on my own arm.

purple and pink on pink and purple on

They turned out really well . I think I could have used less wool around the inclusions. I think I might felt them more next time too.

the other thing I did recently was make a matching set of hat and mitts. I added some silk to both, scrunching it  up to make it very textured. One small part didn’t stick down properly on the hat and will need a couple of stitches.

gray hat and mitts

I have more hats on the go and need to do some scarves before the sale but I think things are going well so far. Have you tried anything new recently?

Nuno Felting Experiments

Nuno Felting Experiments

I started thinking about Ann’s challenge right after it was announced in April but this is the first time I have been able to start working on the challenge actively. I wanted to try several different ideas I had for nuno that I hadn’t tried before. One was to try a cut prefelt shape sandwiched between two pieces of silk, the second was to try using rows of cheesecloth attached by felting and the third was to use locks as embellishment on nuno felt.

Pre Yarn Layout - BackI started with the largest piece that will be used on a project for an exhibition planned in October. This is the back side of the silk where I used preyarn to give a branching effect.

Layout FrontI then flipped the silk over and applied merino wool mixed with a variety of other fibers including silk noil, cashmere, angora, tencel, flax and banana fiber that I had carded into batts over the last month.

Added LocksNext came the locks which I added randomly over the surface. These were hand dyed Wensleydale locks and they are pretty coarse so I was wondering how they would migrate through the silk. I used 5mm silk gauze that I had previously hand dyed.

Finished Green Nuno

Here are the end results. I got lots of texture which I really wanted.

Texture Green NunoThis is the back side. You can see where the locks migrated through in the spots that look more yellow. No problems migrating through the silk.

Pre Felt on SilkMy next attempt was with the prefelt. Here is the shape that I cut out and I used some silk I already had. I did think to myself, this is 8 mm habotai silk and I don’t know what kind of wool is in the prefelt as I made it several years ago. Will it work? You should always listen to yourself.

Pre Felt SandwichI covered the prefelt with another piece of silk and then felted the piece by rolling. The fibers were migrating but not very quickly and not evenly. I kept working at it but it was slow. Next time I do this it will be with 5mm silk gauze and merino prefelt.

Finished SandwichHere is the result. I got a lot of ruching which is expected with 8mm habotai and all of the prefelt design is not attached. It would have worked better if I had listened to that little voice that warned it might not work.

Orange Pre FeltNext up was the experiment with cheesecloth and prefelt.

Hand Dyed 90# CheeseclothThe prefelt was another left over piece with unknown wool content. Here’s the cheesecloth. It’s 90# so pretty close weave for cheesecloth.

Cheese Cloth Strips

I ripped it into strips.

Ruffle Layer LayoutLaid it on the prefelt and then added a little bit of wool on the base of the cheesecloth that I wanted to felt in.

Wet Down and Plastic LayerI then wet that section down and covered it with plastic.

Second LayerThen I added another layer of cheesecloth and a bit more wool. Wet that layer down, covered with plastic and repeat.

All Layers Wet Down and CoveredThese are all the layers ready to start rolling.

Checking LayersIn the middle of felting, I did check the layers and did a bit of rubbing over the added wool.

Finished Layers

And here’s the result. Layered cheesecloth in rows that have been nuno felted in to the felt. They are very sturdy and you can’t pull them off.

Side View Cheesecloth LayersHere’s a side view where you can see the felt on the bottom. This would certainly have been simpler if I had just sewn the layers of cheesecloth down with the sewing machine. I’m not sure what the benefit of felting them would really be. But I guess on a three-dimensional piece that could not be sewn. it might be useful.

I enjoyed these experiments and have to think up some more ideas. I do have another idea floating around using Zed’s idea of nuno and resists that she showed earlier. Hopefully, I’ll have some time to try that idea out as well. Have you done anything for the nuno challenge? We’d love to see so please post it to Flickr or the forum.

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