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Year End Review and Giveaway Winner

Year End Review and Giveaway Winner

I’m always surprised when I look back on the year and see I achieved more than I thought, even this year when I know I haven’t had the opportunity to make things as often as previous years. I’ve had quite a lot of changes this year, including an additional 2 people in our household, so I’ve had less space, and less time to make things. And, like I mentioned in a blog post not so long ago, production anxiety has made it difficult to just enjoy making things. Luckily, I have the Well Being centre sessions which help with having a nice space to be productive/creative in and the time set aside nearly every week to do it. I liked Ruth’s idea of splitting the year’s creations into two slide shows, so I’ve borrowed it! Here are some things I made in the first half:

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The plan is for a couple of people at our house to move out before too long, and, I don’t want to count my chickens, but I’ve pretty much redesigned the spare room in my head to be my new studio! It’s a great room too, upstairs and facing South-ish, so it gets more ‘daylight’ than any of the other rooms at this time of year. I started working on a nuno workshop during the Summer, but just haven’t been able to get very far without space or light for taking photos and video, so hopefully, I’ll be able to work on that before too long. As well as liking Ruth’s idea for the slideshows, I like the recommitment to a daily dose of fibre too. I’m sure I must spend at least 5 minutes a day doing something to do with fibre, so I’m going to start keeping a log of what I manage. It might make me feel less like I’ve done nothing! Here’s a slideshow of stuff I made or did during the 2nd half of the year:

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Thanks a lot to everyone who entered my Giveaway, and thanks a lot for all the really nice comments. If you’d really like to buy a copy of the book, it’s available via my blog: http://feltbyzed.blogspot.com/p/the-right-fibre.html or via the Shop here https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/shop/felt-by-zed/

The winner of The Right Fibre e-book is: Barbara King! I’ll email you via the e-mail address you used to comment, Barbara ๐Ÿ™‚

Another 4th Quarter Challenge Sample

Another 4th Quarter Challenge Sample

Sorry for the late posting, like Ann last week I lost track of the days and missed getting some photos in the brief window of time we call ‘day’ here at this time of year! I managed to get some decent ones today, though it ended up being one of those days where every time you try to do something, another thing comes up! I had another idea for combining wool tubes and fabric which I wanted to try, so did that this week. I wanted to see the effect of wrapping fabric around wool tubes and then felting. I thought it’d be a good way to see the results if I used the same colour wool for the tubes as my base colour. Green always works well on camera, so I used that. I planned on using a few different fabrics in white, but only had cotton gauze and synthetic chiffon on hand, here’s the finished piece:

I did think some pieces would be very flat, but it turned out they all kept a fair bit of dimension:

I think this piece of synthetic chiffon had the most dimension/texture:

It was the only chiffon piece which I wrapped around the wool along its length, it uncurled along one edge, this is the edge still rolled under:

The other strips of chiffon were wrapped around the wool-wrapped kebab skewers diagonally:

This is one of the gauze wrapped pieces which I wrapped diagonally, above:

And from the side:

And this is one I wrapped horizontally along its length:

I think if I want to use this idea to better effect, I should maybe try a sample using more, and less wool in the centre. I can see it being usefull with less wool for getting a defined shape/line with little texture, or using more wool for creating a more 3D piece. Maybe a sample with narrower strips of fabric wound around would be good too.

4th Quarter Challenge Sample

4th Quarter Challenge Sample

I thought I’d try an idea out for the 4th Quarter Challenge. The basic idea was to use wool tubes with fabric, some under, and some over. Because they are quite thin and hollow, I thought they probably wouldn’t have much effect on the fabric, other than visual. I did use a couple of wool twists too. This is the finished piece:

When I’d rinsed it and squeezed the water out, I didn’t roll it in a towel or try to flatten/smooth it, like I usually do, I wanted to keep the texture. You can see it from this angle:

And this one:

This is a strip of cotton gauze:

This is some synthetic chiffon. I’m guessing I used twists under this piece because there seems to be more of an effect:

The close up photos of the silk strip didn’t turn out, but here’s where silk, cotton gauze and silk taffeta all meet:

This is a close up of the Silk Taffeta, I used twists over and under this:

I used some heavier synthetic chiffon. I know this fabric doesn’t attach very firmly, but I like to use it because it does ripple nicely and looks good:

I love my camera! I can see inside the ripple here:

It’s given me a better idea of what I might do on a bigger piece. How are your ideas coming?

Some Needle Felting

Some Needle Felting

We’ve been needlefelting at the Well-Being Centre. We started last week when there were just a few of us. One of the members liked this painting of ducks that is on the wall:

This was how far she’d got at the start of this week after doing a little of work after taking it home last week:

I think I’ve mentioned it’s a basement room with strange lights and 2 tiny windows, so the light isn’t great. I started an abstract piece using some of the dyed locks we have:

Some of them are commercial dyed BFL from World of Wool. This is a green one:

And, I think this is some dyed locks Lyn donated to us when we were first starting out:

These weren’t done at the centre, but one of the members brought them in. She was a really good sport about us laughing at her first attempt. And we weren’t being mean, we know it’s just at a stage where it looks comical:

She started on a different one, and liked how that progressed so did a little bit more:

I’m looking forward to seeing them finished! She also brought in a nuno sample she made a few weeks ago, at the same time I made mine, this is the blended 18.5 mic Merino side:

This is the front:

And this is a close up of the texture:

I’ll have updates of the needle felting next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Cases And a Cover

Cases And a Cover

I got a couple of cases made this week. I thought I’d made a mistake and forgotten to add the cord at the right stage for this first one, then remembered I wasn’t making a bag after all! I added a piece of braiding/trim and a split ring. This is the felt side:

And the back/fabric side:

I did change my mind about what I was going to do with the piece of felt I used on this next one. If you saw my last post, I’d planned to make a small shoulder bag. But as I was cutting it out, I thought it was too narrow to work that way, so also made this into a case:

I changed my mind about the fabric to use aswell, I wanted something a bit more sturdier, so chose what I think is upholstery fabric:

A while ago, I made a piece of nuno with lots of shrinkage and rippling. I kept looking at it and thinking it’d made a cool book cover, so that’s what I did. This is how it looked after sewing up, but without a book in, outside:

Inside:

I wanted to keep all the edges as they were, and only had to trim off one small part. I haven’t decided which side I like best, so here’s one side:

And the other:

I might go over the stitching again, I want it to be secure, but don’t want to zig-zag stitch it as I like how the edges look.

A Few Recent Things

A Few Recent Things

I know I said I’d decided not to make anything specific for the craft fair, but I was thinking about the comments I get and questions I usually get asked, and one thing which people often say is that they’d love to have a go at felting if they had the time. When I made the practice felting videos recently, even though I was being conscious of going slow to demo properly, both the layout and felting only took about 15 mins each, so I thought this might be a good ‘selling point’. So I put together a few small fibre packs, spent some time editing the videos to speed them up, copied them onto my phone and thought I’d take my tablet with some tutorials and do a special offer to go with the packs. I did get some interest, but even though it was a really cloudy day, you could barely see anything on my tablet or phone from the glare! Best laid plans and all that!
If you remember, the camera battery had run out before the end on both videos. I redid the wet felting process one, and took the piece from the video with me. I don’t know why, but it looks like it has been scrunched in a box in these photos! Maybe it got creased on the washing line.

I do like the light turquoisey blue nylon fibres, especially on the pink:

Close up:

I took some sari silk to the well being centre a few weeks ago. I’d cut the pieces to take a while ago, so I’m not sure if this green piece is from a sari I’d already used. They have a few different areas of pattern and I’ve not had the whole pieces out for a while. It actually looked like quite a plain pattern, but the texture makes it look a lot busier:

It rippled quite ‘deeply’:

Close up:

A while ago (so long I can’t remember when!) Tracey sent me a beautiful piece of silk. I only got around to trying that out recently too. I only managed to get one decent photo of it:

I love the way it felted, and I think I’ll try a piece with some gooseberry or lichen wool to match the green parts, see how different it looks. Thanks for the silk, Tracey, it’s gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚

Finished Bookcovers, Unfinished Purses

Finished Bookcovers, Unfinished Purses

I actually finished a couple of notebook covers this week. The first one is the landscape piece I showed cut out ready for sewing. This is the front:

And this is the back:

I think every time I use ‘scene’ type pieces for book covers, I tell myself to make the top and bottom ‘sections’ bigger next time, because I always have to compromise over what gets cut off. I always forget! But, then I can use those nice pieces for something else, like part of a collage book cover! I tried to make this next one nice and bright, you might remember me choosing some of the pieces back in February:

And I did make a start on it in March, and then put it away for a while. I realised last week that I was going to be hot, sweaty and miserable no matter what, so I may as well just try to be a bit productive and get my sewing machine out and finish the cover:

Other side:

This is the inside, with some hand dyed cotton fabric as lining:

Front and back opened out:

I bet a hat made like this would look great! I still haven’t manged to get any further on some purses I cut out, but I did get a photo of them:

2nd Quarter Challenge Piece Finished

2nd Quarter Challenge Piece Finished

I finished off the natural vessel I showed felted, but not shaped or fulled, a couple of weeks ago:

It’s made with various wools, I took a range of naturals to the well being centre and I think the first two (inside) layers are Portuguese Merino from a batt, and the next two are brown Finnish. I took lots of locks in too, mostly Swedish breeds/crossbreeds from Zara in lots of shades, but I might have used a few BFL locks too:

If you saw my post last week, you might be interested to know how the thing which looked a bit like a pizza base turned out. This is my entry for Ann’s 2nd Quarter Challenge, which is “using fabric as a surface design instead of a base”, but Ann then added “As an extra challenge to you it canโ€™t be a sample and it canโ€™t be a book cover” ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily, I’d already had an idea which would fit the challenge, since we’d been doing ‘extreme nuno’ and vessels at the well being centre, I’d planned to combine the two at some point, and Ann’ challenge gave me the push to do it.

I cut out a template, sort of bowl shaped, but not for any reason, I just wanted something big and not square. Then I started adding strips of white fabrics to it: synthetic chiffon, muslin, scrim and cotton gauze. I then added fine layers of Rambouillet. The photo I showed last week was where I’d wet it all down and had started to felt it. This photo is of the piece felted, you can see the resist starting to curl from the shrinkage:

As soon as I started to full it on the bubble-wrap it really puffed up!

I removed the resist and carried on fulling, I turned it the right side out, and realised I’d accidentally made a felted cow stomach!

Close up:

I did a bit more fulling and tried it on a balloon to shape and removed it see if it was fulled enough:

It wasn’t, so I did a bit more fulling, , this isn’t the best photo, but you can see the shrinkage, it started out the full height of the netting:

I rinsed it and left on a balloon to shape and dry. This is how it looked finished:

Another side:

This is some nice ruffley chiffon on the bottom, between some Cotton Gauze and cotton scrim:

The chiffon ruffles up so nicely:

This is an area where I overlapped different fabrics:

And, since the thought behind the idea was that it’d make an interesting lampshade, here it is on a lightbulb (btw, if you tell someone to look at how cool something looks on a lightbulb, warn them when you’re going to take it off, apparently some of us forget and ‘blind people for hours’!)

Close up:

Different angle:

So, did I fulfill the criteria, Ann? ๐Ÿ™‚

First Quarter Challenge 2018

First Quarter Challenge 2018

A few weeks ago I showed some printed fabric transfers I’d applied to muslin. Or tried to apply-I lost the instructions so they didn’t all turn out very well! I trimmed them down and nuno felted them recently for the First Quarter Challenge. The first one was a small image of a face, I used some Skudden wool for this sample:

It attached well, and evenly:

It wasn’t a great photo to use, and got distorted with the shrinkage, but I think other designs or images would work well. On this close up you can see the difference between the plain muslin and where the design is, and how you can still see the weave at least in the blue part. It shows how much the Skuden migrated too:

The other transfer I tried was one which had printing mistakes on, and also I tried to remove the transfer paper too soon, so the coating was left on in most parts. I used Rambouillet top for this sample (first time I’d used it and I love it!) This is the whole piece:

I think there were only tiny corners of letters which came out properly, so it was just varying degrees of coating left on. I think this is one of the thinner patches, the space between the letters is wide enough to see the coating and where it ends on the fabric:

There was lots of the coating left on here:

From this angle you can see how the part with the most coating on didn’t attach at all, like most people predicted:

This is a photo of the back, which also makes it obvious where it attached, and didn’t:

And just because I loved it so much, here’s a close up of the tiny crimpy texture of the Rambouillet felt!:

And finally, no, this isn’t a pizza base I was making, it’s actually part way through making a piece for Ann’s Second Quarter Challenge, which I’ll show you finished next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Guest Blog Post – The Bird And His Breakfast

Guest Blog Post – The Bird And His Breakfast

This is a guest post by Lyn of Rosiepink. She created a wonderful piece for the Second Quarter Challenge. Thanks Lyn!

The second quarter challenge is to use fabric as a surface design instead of a base, so
out came my boxes of fabric! Spring has come to my garden and it’s a welcome sight after the winter, so what better place to find inspiration for my challenge piece – the bird and his breakfast.

First I drew a bird. It’s not accurate, anatomically speaking, but I like its quirkiness.

After a lengthy rummage through my fabric stash – and finding lovely pieces I’d
forgotten all about – I chose two very open weave fabrics for the background and the
bird so that the nuno felt would end up flat rather than ruched…

…then I made two pieces of nuno felt using four fine layers of white merino wool under
each piece of fabric.

The brightly coloured fabric was a triangle, so I cut it in half and placed the two pieces
together to make a square to make the felting easier – you can see the cut in the photo
above.

Both pieces of nuno felt needed a light shave to remove the superfluous white fluff from
the surface to reveal the bright colours. You can see the white fluff obscuring the colours in this angled shot…

…and here’s a close up of pre and post shave – quite a
difference.

The bird has 12 distinct shapes within its form, so I used the drawing as a pattern to cut
12 shapes from the brightly coloured felt when it was dry.

Using the side of a dark blue ‘Sharpie’ pen point, I touched along the edges of every
shape to give a little definition. I coloured in the eye, using the same pen, then added
three small white stitches for the eye-glint.

I needle felted the pieces into place – it was a bit like doing a jig-saw! I didn’t go too
close to the edges of the nuno felt shapes because I thought it might disturb the surface
too much. I needle felted gently so that the shapes adhered to the background but didn’t flatten, so the bird is in relief.

The worm is wool yarn needle felted into place. The piece of worm going from the
ground to the beak is thin compared to the bit hanging from the bird’s beak to show how
stretchy worms can be!

Great post, thanks Lyn!

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