This week, I made a case for my best friend’s birthday. I made it all in one piece using a resist. I laid out a piece of silk on the resist first so that the back inside had a nice pattern, I also thought this would help strengthen the flap so it doesn’t stretch if it’s opened often. This is the front with the flap open:
And the back with the flap open:
This is how it looked with the flap closed:
I used some dyed silk throwster’s waste and dyed soy staple for the embellishments:
The silk has a paisley design on it, which can still be seen, but close up you can’t tell with the texture:
I always have trouble choosing buttons for cases/purses etc. I’m sure I said this last time, but I really need to make some more buttons out of polymer clay. I bought a bag of green buttons at a hobby fair about a year ago, I thought this one was quite nice, but a bit small:
I liked this ‘fancy’ button, but it’s a bit big and too thick:
This was my favourite and what I ended up using:
I blanket stitched around the button hole and around the opening/flap, but didn’t get chance to photograph it finished. My friend loves it and he’s already using it 🙂
I mentioned in the blog post before last that we’ve started working with resists at the well being centre. After our first piece using strips to cut make channels and cut flaps, we moved onto 3D. Our next piece was using just a flat resist to make a simple case, either with or without a flap. I chose to do mine without a flap, because I wanted to finish it off at home and shape it differently over a bottle. I shaped it over a Lucozade bottle so it would fit perfectly:
The week after we moved onto bowls using a flat, round resist. After we’d done our final layer we added some carded Bluefaced Leicester and a few locks. Somehow our balloons for shaping had vanished so we took them home to finish off. I really liked the shape of mine, it was really texturey. It still had a bit of a ridge around the middle, but I decided to just leave it because a previous vessel I’d liked the bumpy shape of lost it went I worked on it a bit more and put absorbent cloths in. The vessel is still wet in these photos. This is the bottom:
The other side:
One of the weeks, there was just a couple of us and none of the new members so we made slightly more ‘advanced’ vessels. I used a resist that I usually use for birdpods, but shaped it for a vessel:
The top had an interesting shape where I’d cut it open, I thought about neatening it, but liked the curves:
I fulled it a lot and got some nice migration from the yellow inside. It looks a completely different shape from this angle too:
I rarely take photos at the well being classes, the room has a strange orangey light, and I generally just forget! We had another new member so we’re making soft wispy pieces again, and opposite me, our previous new member is making a more advanced vessel with very little instruction. I hope she brings it in next week, it was a great cylindrical shape by the time we finished, but needed more work at home:
We’ve had some new members join our wet felting group at the Well Being centre this year, so I’ve been making ‘beginners’ pieces with them the past few weeks. One I always enjoy doing is a Nuno strip sample piece. I try to pick some fabrics I’ve not used before and like to pick an unusual one which looks like it’d never work, but I know from previous samples that it does. It’s usually one of the weird scarves I’ve picked up at a charity shop, and I chose my favourite ruffled loopy one this time.
The fabric I hadn’t used before was a piece of lacy fabric which I think was previously a blouse. It’s not that obvious it was lacy, but you can tell a bit better from this close up:
I usually start off absolute beginners with a soft wispy piece because it helps to learn to control pulling off the wool tops, but one of our new members joined while I was sorting out supplies so didn’t have them all at the centre. We had a practice run of pulling off the tops, and she did it well so we made a simple landscape which we usually do on week 2. I usually stick to a simple design for this to make sure it gets done, has a good outcome, and I don’t have to answer a million different questions: 2 layers, green for grass, blue for sky, add some embellishments for clouds and flowers, then felt. But there were only a few of us, and I could work 1 on 1, so I went with her ideas and just showed her how to realise the ideas, so we each made a kind of farmer’s field picture:
I usually end up with odd random things on mine, because I use it as a demo piece if someone isn’t sure, which is why it looks like I have discarded kids’ toys lying about (viscose nepps) and some half dug out potatoes (cotton nepps)! We used some pencil roving waste too, we both used a length of natural brown to make a ‘wall’, and I added some variegated green to see how it’d work for a hedge. I’m not sure it looks very hedge-like, but it did get a nice ripple to it, you can see the brown piece a bit clearer on the close up and see that the blend we used just above is actually made up of yellow and purple:
Our new member’s landscape piece turned out so well that we moved onto using resists the next week, some other members mentioned before New Year that it’d be good to do vessels again and maybe more resist work, so for new members to build up to and give a refresher to others, we made a simple piece with resist strips. Some of us put fibres or fabrics under or on top of our resists for extra effect, and embellishments on the top. I used the lacy fabric from the nuno sample piece, and a nice pink wool lock:
You can see more of the laciness on this piece:
Some of the fibres from under one of my strips:
Those nuno sample pieces always come in handy for when I’m planning a collaged felt project:
Because we all know the first rule of tidying up has to be getting everything out to make a mess again!
If you visit the forum or follow Zara’s blog, you’ll have seen her challenge to ‘felt the elements‘. I was just making my breakfast the other morning when I had this flash of inspiration and knew what I wanted to do! It seemed so simple, yet would look great. My idea was to lay out a couple of layers of scarlet Merino, then add some wisps of yellow. Then I’d get some two-tone red/yellow organza, fold, sew and ruffle, place on top of the Merino, add a resist, then a couple of layers of black Merino. After felting, I’d cut a slit in the black, remove the resist and the organza would spring out, like flames. For an extra touch of genius, I thought I’d slice the black carefully to reveal cracks of red, like burning coals or molten lava. Well, it just looked like black wool with red migration and a red slit! I couldn’t even get any decent photos of the disaster because I was working on a tutorial and my camera battery died. By the time it charged I had the unusual problem of it being too sunny! Here are a few photos, though. This is the organza flames leaping from the slit:
And how the flattened, crumpled organza really looked:
And the sad little embers under burning coals:
I even tried to do another one quickly:
I did make a nice piece of nuno last week though!
Have you had any ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ moments lately?
This week I made more cup cozies. I made 2 sets of flat ones that will have buttons. I started out with a rectangle. I decorated them in a random way. I then cut them into 4 at the prefelt stage. The purple has some orange blobs of orange throwers waist. It should show up again when they are dry. The green has some of my hand spun single yarn. It is quite stable until you wet it then it get its twist back and goes all crazy.
I finish them on a glass wash board. It is very fast.
These are the rest of the ones I made. They will get buttons. Some will fit a coffee mug and some will fit travel mugs or water bottles.
Here are some of my buttons I will be picking through for these. I have many more if I need them. I will use a thin round black elastic loop to close them. That way I think people may be able to adjust them by looping them once or twice as needed.
I also made some that are like the cardboard sleeves you get at take out places.
The multicoloured one was made using a batt and prefelt triangles I cut out of some scraps. The black one is regular merino top with a white silk hanky stretched over it. The white one is made with prefelt and a black silk hanky stretched around it. The white one shrank much more top to bottom then the other two. I didn’t look carefully at the piece I had before using it. Prefelt is directional. If I had looked I would have used it in the other direction.
I use the washboard to finish them as well.
This is the group drying. I really like the way the back and white ones look like marble.
If you made it this far here are two unrelated pictures. One is my grandson helping me with my ice cream cone at the farmers market on Sunday.
And the turkeys I showed you a few weeks ago. The first one is when they are 1 week old. They are now 4 .5 weeks old. They grow very fast. They will be moving to new quarters this week.