During this 5 week course, you will have the opportunity to make at least 3 bags/purses.
In week 1, you will make an animal themed spectacles/phone/pencil case, this could be in the image of your favourite pet or a friend’s pet (they make very thoughtful gifts) or a mythical beast of your own imagination! You will use multiple resists, introduce some nuno felting and make a closure entirely from wool.
In week 2 you will learn to make a small to medium shoulder/handbag (purse to our US friends), this tutorial will demonstrate how to add internal pockets, a magnetic clasp, adjustable shoulder straps and take shaping the felt to the next level so the bag has a flat bottom and stands up on its own.
The week 3 tutorial is a little more ambitious, you will learn to make a backpack with adjustable straps, multiple internal compartments and internal pockets.
Weeks 4 and 5 will be for catch up / further development, you might like to apply your own design to a bag, Teri will be on hand to answer any questions and talk through any challenges your design might create.
As with all the online courses, there will be lots of opportunity to share your work with the rest of the group and share ideas.
The content of this workshop is suitable for felters with some experience, you do not need to have made a bag before but if you are confident making felt pods, bowls etc. over a resist you will be able to make these bags.
The class begins on February 13th. The price for this five-week course is £60 GBP (approx. $79 US, $105 Canadian, €70, $112 AUD, $119 NZ) and the number of places will be limited to 30 students.
Thanks to Terri Simon aka Meterrilee on the forum for sharing her eco printing experience today.
Today, I would like to share my experience with eco-dyeing. Most, if not all, of our blog hosts and many followers have experience with eco-dyeing, but it was a first for me and I loved it! I decided to take an online class with Nicola Brown from Ireland. She is a wonderful teacher—very thorough in describing the process in an online format, including several videos to illustrate further. She was available daily for six weeks to comment, problem solve, and encourage us as we journeyed through that week’s lesson. Like other online classes, there are “chatroom” areas to post pictures and ask questions, and to comment on one another’s creations. The online environment is available for six months and all of the lessons were downloadable in PDF format. Additionally, Nicola created a Facebook page for us to continue communication. Thanks, Nicola, for a great online experience!
As a dyeing newbie, I had to assemble equipment. At a nearby thrift store, I found an aluminum fish cooker with all kinds of inserts for steaming, an iron stake, and a length of copper pipe which I cut into pieces to fit into the fish cooker. We had an outdoor fire source…a propane tank and hook-up for deep frying a turkey. It worked perfectly on my covered back porch (this is Southern Oregon’s rainy season). Here’s my equipment:
All for $20. Not bad!
I ordered a bunch of silk, silk/wool blend, and 100% wool scarves from Dharma Trading, which had a good selection and reasonable prices. I also made pieces of felt to experiment with. For vegetation, I used rose leaves, loose tea, red and brown onion skins, strawberry and blackberry leaves, Japanese cut leaf maple and eucalyptus, donated to me by a friend who has several trees. The rest came from my garden (and kitchen.) There are lots of different “brews” for obtaining the prints. Some involve rust water, others vinegar water and other things thrown into the cooking pot (different metals, plants…). And of course, there are multiple ways to prepare the fabric for dyeing, none of which use harsh chemicals (the harshest chemical used is vinegar). I really like this aspect of eco dyeing…it’s all very natural. I am amazed that the beauty of a leaf can be imprinted substantively on fabric, right down to the intricate veining.
Here are some photos of my experiments.
This turned out sort of dark and muddy. These are Japanese maple leaves. The scarf actually looks good with the right outfit, but the prints are very subtle and not what you want when you are just starting out (at least not what I wanted!).
These are pieces of handmade felt, with eucalyptus (the skinny and bright orange leaves) and strawberry leaves. The purplish looking circles are cut from red onion skins.
Next is a blend of wool and silk. You can really see the details of the onion skins on this fabric.
The scarf below is 100% silk. The print is much softer looking. I like the tie lines produced when wrapping the bundle.
Finally, I made some felt placemats and while they are interesting, I am not a fan of the muddy yellowish background. I found out it was operator error for not keeping the heat up high enough for a long enough time. I had to go out for a bit and turned off the flame under the pot, letting the placemats sit for about an hour until I got home to untie them. My mistake! Had I kept the heat up for the full five hours, I would have produced a much clearer print, such as the example pieces I have included in this picture. But, they are still pretty in a muted way.
I highly recommend Nicola’s classes. She is an excellent teacher, very thorough and organized and she has a delightful wit as well. You can find more information on Nicola and her classes here: http://www.nicolabrown.ie/
I have been busy creating my next online class Print, Stencil, and Play with Thickened Dye on Felt. It will be ready soon and I’ll be announcing the dates of the class and opening the registration by the end of August. (Keep an eye out here or send me a note on our contact us form if you’re interested in taking the class.) So I have lots of samples and in my “spare” time I have been stitching on them to give that finishing touch.
The water lily is getting highlights added with hand stitch. The outline stitch is stem stitch and the little bitty stitches are seed stitches.
Here’s some felt that was screen printed several times and then I stenciled the falling leaf design with green screen printing ink. The ink was a bit too dark (on the left) so I added a bit lighter green with colored pencil and veins with a gel pen. I also did a bit of free motion stitching on the machine around the edges of the leaves. They show up a little better now.
So don’t be shy about using other forms of art media to add to your felt. Just give it a try to see what happens!
I seem to be a little stuck on landscapes lately. When I first read Ann’s 2nd Quarter Challenge I immediately thought I could do a stitched strip landscape. I have seen these in a variety of formats either with fabric or paper. So I decided I wanted to do one with felt scraps. I have lots of strips of felt that were cut off the edges of things and most I can’t even remember what half of the projects were to begin with.
I got out all my scraps and sorted them into color piles. Some of these scraps were screen printing scraps and others from a variety of projects. The table these are laying on is 6 feet long to give you an idea of how many scraps I have.
I cut a piece of thin interfacing for a background. Some of my felt scraps were pretty thick so I didn’t want anything thick for the background as it wouldn’t fit under the sewing machine easily. Luckily, I cut this larger than 5″ x 7″ because it worked out that the landscape will fit in a 5″ x 7″ matt which is a standard size here in the US. I then started auditioning different scraps to make a landscape.
This is the layout that I came up with. The bottom brownish green felt is really thick and I was a bit worried it wouldn’t work but decided to just try it anyways. The sky and the felt right under the mountains were screen printed scraps.
I started by stitching the screen printed scraps that were towards the middle of the landscape. I didn’t tack anything down but just stuck it under the sewing machine and free motion stitched the pieces down. I cut off the ends hanging over each edge as I went along.
Here it is after stitching down the sky and then the mountains. I didn’t try to add much detail with the stitching, I really stitched just enough to hold the pieces down.
On the orange piece closer to the foreground, I did add a little bit of stitched detail representing grasses.
Here’s what it looked like after I finished the machine stitching. I put it under a matt to cover the rough edges. It seemed like it needed a bit more in the foreground.
Here in Montana in the spring, we have a plant called Beargrass. I decided to add a stalk of Beargrass to the foreground. This shows the cut up pieces of white felt being auditioned.
I hand stitched a stem and leaves and then stitched each small piece of white felt down by hand with white thread. And this is the finished landscape. The pile of scraps I started with hasn’t shrunk in the least so I’m sure I could make another 8-10 landscapes with the rest of the scraps and still have some to spare. I do have some other unfinished projects that I might also work on with this challenge. Maybe I can do one for each month of the challenge. I will post my results if I do more.
Don’t forget that today is the last day to sign up for my online class Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination that begins on Friday, April 29th. You can sign up here. It’s going to be a fun class so I hope you’ll join me.
As I announced last month, I am teaching an online class Experimental Screen Printing on Felt beginning January 22nd. You can sign up for the class here. But I am also giving away a free spot in the class for one lucky winner!
To enter the give away for a free class spot leave a comment below. You can get additional entries by sharing this post on social media. Just share on Facebook, your own blog, Twitter, Instagram or wherever you like to socialize online. Then come back here and leave another comment about where you shared the post. You will get one extra entry for every different place you share the give away post. For those of you that have signed up already, if you win, I will refund your payment for the class so just jump right in and try to win. So spread the word and you get more entries! The winner will be announced here on January 14th – post your comment and shares by January 13th on this post only to enter.
I thought you might also like to see what I have made from some of my screen printed felt samples. I made eight different notebooks.
These are all of the different journals. The left column is the front and the right column is the back. But the nice thing about these journals is that you can use either side for front or back. All of the covers are made from felt that has been silk screened with a variety of different methods. You can learn all these methods by taking the online course.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these journals from me, they are $45 US each. You can e-mail me at laneruthe at gmail.com. I can invoice you by Paypal or if you’re in the US, you can call and order one by phone from The Purple Pomegranate on our toll free number 1-866-406-7227.
Here is what the inside of all the notebooks look like. The books inside are blank sketchbooks. The size of the notebook is approximately 6″ x 9″.
Remember to comment on this post to win a free class spot and share it for additional entries. Good Luck!
I am excited to announce that the second module of Embellishing Felt with Surface Design Techniques – A Mixed Media Approach is scheduled for January 22, 2015. The second module is Experimental Screen Printing.
All of the felt in the photo above is a screen printed sample that I made during my preparations for the class. In this class you will learn how to make your own screen and print board, learn how to thicken dye and steam the felt after screen printing and numerous screen printing techniques. For more information about the class and to sign up, please see the class information page.
I love to experiment with different techniques and I will show you how to screen print but also encourage you to experiment with combining various techniques. You will learn how to create printed felt or silk that is uniquely your own. I will show you how screen printing is easy to do and how you can use items from around the house to create wonderful printed surfaces.
Remember, the course will begin on Friday, January 22, 2016. There will be four weeks of course material and then an extra 2 weeks to access all the course materials and videos. I will be available throughout the full six weeks to answer questions and provide tutor support. The cost of the course is $45 US.
If you have someone who still is looking for a good idea for a Christmas present for you, wouldn’t this make a nice present? Just have them put your relevant information in the contact form and I will bill them for your class and send you an e-mail notifying you of the gift.
I would appreciate it if you would share this on social media to spread the word. Thanks!
I’ve been talking about Fiona Duthie’s Surface Design Online Class for months. Ruth Lane first announced a class giveaway on February 19 on the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum. I entered, but didn’t win. However, I signed up immediately after learning I didn’t win because I was intrigued by what the class had to offer. The class was a big commitment for me — six weeks long and more than 21 different techniques to learn plus a final project.
Over the following few weeks, I found I wasn’t the only one from the Forum to sign up. Cathy (Luvswool) and a few other members also registered. Since Cathy and I live in the Chicago area, we started excitedly messaging about our preparations, supplies, resources and after the class started our plans and progress.
Part of the class agreement was not to share Fiona’s techniques because this is how she makes her living, but we are free to share our class work. So, today Cathy and I are sharing several of our favorite samples.
I had never taken an online course so this was a totally new experience for me. However, Cathy has taught online, but I think we both agree this was a unique experience.
Here are Cathy’s favorites:
Now a few of my favorite samples:
Since I’m always looking for functionality, I chose to use the spikes above as ring holders in case you’re wondering why there is jewelry hanging around.
These are just some of the wonderful techniques we learned during the class. It was a great experience doing the assignments then seeing the different interpretations of the techniques by other students on our weekly discussion site.