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Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

I just finished Ruth Lane’s online class.  Since I am also papermaker, I was excited to combine the two passions and see the results.

It was a fun experiment using a variety of papers, dyes, paints and fabrics.  Some worked, some didn’t, but that’s how we learn.

This first one is a paper napkin from one of my Grandson’s birthday party earlier this year on organza.  Since I was experimenting, I used some batts with unknown fibers in two colors, blue and green.

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I decided not to further embellish it since the “characters” were nicely defined.  I suppose I could add some greenery and clouds.  But I wanted to show the results this far.

The next one is also “finished.”  I used a tree stencil on organza with unryu paper which is very fibery.  Again it is on a batt of unknown fiber.

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I embellished around the stencil with silver silk hankies.  It felted very nicely.

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Since these were experiments, I wasn’t concerned about perfect edges and left them organic.

Here’s a closeup of the center.  You can see how those fiber areas look like branches and connect the trees.

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I got great texture as you can see from this side view.

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The one project I completed was a stenciled bird pic.

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I used a couple of paper and fabric types with this stencil, but chose this one to finish even though the colors faded.  It was a dyed paper towel on cotton voile.  You can’t see it in the pics, but the bumps from the towel can be seen in spots. I used it on a merino batt.

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I forgot to cover the edges of the voile, so I used machine stitching to cover the edges.

I decided to hand stitch the rest. There is a lot of dimension in the paper, although it’s not too obvious in these pics.

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I wanted to keep it simple.  I used double rayon thread with threaded backstitches and some satin stitches to embellish it. The green is a variegated thread. I purposely just outlined because I wanted the birds to be the center of attention. Forgive my poor stitching. Here are some closeups.

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Now I have to decide whether to frame it or leave it organic.

Thanks Ruth!  It was a unique class. I need more practice. I’m still working on the final projects.

A Parting Gift

A Parting Gift

My favorite physician is retiring this month and I wanted to give him a special parting gift.  So, what better than a good bottle of wine with a handmade cozy?

I had made a wine cozy/gift bag a while back, but the resist was just a bit off.  I took Lyn’s advice and straightened the lines and rounded the bottom slightly.

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I made some Nuno prefelt for the leaves and rolled a variety of grapes in preparation.

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I didn’t want to replicate the whole first design, so I decided to have the grapes hanging from an old worn fence.  Of course, I forgot to take pictures after I laid out the background and began adding the design elements.  My bad.

Unlike the first one I did using corriedale as the base, I used black prefelt.  Then added some light gray batts from my scarflette, a little mulberry silk and a darker gray for texture in the fence.    Then I added the grapes, leaves and vines and began rubbing.

Some of the vines and grapes were stubborn so I had to do a little needlefelting to fix them after the fulling.  Also I think because of the prefelt, there wasn’t as much shrinkage, so I had to keep fulling to get a good fit.

For the turnover top I used a little green batt on the inside and attached the leaf and vine.  I made a few holes and wove the vines through the top to tighten it slightly.

Again for the bottom, I took Lyn’s advice and bashed the heck out of the bottom to get the rounded shape I needed.  Thanks Lyn!

Here are some views and a close up.

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To Sample or Not to Sample

To Sample or Not to Sample

This isn’t as exotic as sampling Swedish wools, but it was a lesson in the benefits of sampling.

A while ago I had showed you a pile of scarves, blouses and remnants I had purchased to try nuno felting.

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While they all passed the “blow”  test or looked or felt like they would felt well, there were a couple of big surprises.

When I make samples, I usually use prefelt and small samples of each of the fabrics on the same piece.  This way they are all felted the same way in the same amount of time in the same way.

Here is a picture of a couple of them before felting.  The upper left was an open cotton weave, the upper right was a scarf of unknown origin.  The lower left was a remnant that was sparkly with some embroidery and the lower right was part of a silk blouse.

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This isn’t a very clear picture below,  but the second from the left was the one scarf I purchased I thought was perfect for nuno and was looking forward to using it on something special.  To the left of that on top was a scarf that felt like it had some lycra in it below was a piece of lace and sequin on some type of mesh. The third from the left was an organza with sparkle.

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Boy was I mistaken.  After all the others were felted I continued to work on the flower and sparkly pieces, but they wouldn’t felt.  I was really glad I didn’t invest in a big project to use the flower scarf.  I even tried it on another piece of felt. You probably recognize the purple on the left that I used for my jewelry roll.  The scarf on the right also felted nicely.  I even used some wisps of wool on top of the flowers, but they clumped together and there were only a couple of threads on the flower piece that caught.

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Here’s a closeup of the right one.

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The other samples turned out nicely. The blue green and red were silk and the gold a polyester organza.

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The one on the right below was a burnout fabric which surprised me it felted so well. On the left a silver gray polyester organza.

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The blue on the left was a piece of lycra which didn’t do well either, but I wasn’t surprised at that. Above that was a piece of acrylic yarn that felted nicely.

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The blouse felted very nicely and I’m sure I’ll use that for a special project in the future.

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I was also surprised at the sequin and mesh.  I thought that also had a lycra base.  I loved how the mystery blue scarf turned out.  It has a shine and felt like a polyester with something else.  It has a very nice texture.

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My favorite was the brightly colored scarf.  Now, I wish I had yards of it instead only part of a scarf.

20150509_131214I don’t always do samples, but if I want to use something for an important project I’ve learned its best to take the time to do it.

Now I know what to expect when I use these fabrics and which ones not to use for felting. Although a couple of them might work with coarser wools.  But that’s for another time.

Making Ornaments with the Boys

Making Ornaments with the Boys

Thanksgiving was supposed to be in Florida with the Grandsons, but the whole family was sick so we postponed our trip for a week.  I had promised Luke I would bring more wool next time I visited, so I did along with some foam balls to make some ornaments.

I prepared by making some batts in different colors and brought embellishments and different colored roving for the boys to choose from. I thought the batts would be easier for them to work with on a round surface and I was right.

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Josh had never played with wool, but seemed to be more fascinated with the soapy water.

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I let them choose their colors and embellishments. After putting all the wool on the balls, we dipped them in the soapy water and I rubbed to get it started.  Then I had the boys roll the balls in bubble wrap. ( mostly to keep them engaged in the process.)  Of course, the Florida boy had to get into the swing of working with water. I put the balls in nylons to make it easier to work with for them.

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When the wool started to shrink I put the balls thru the washer and dryer.

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Luke also started to pull wool off to make a snake.  Later, he abandoned the idea, evidently Grandma wasn’t working fast enough.

The finished ornaments.  Three for Luke.

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Two for Josh.

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I made another for pink one Baby Lisa in California.  Josh asked me about the pink one.  When I told him, he picked up his green one and said he wanted Uncle Brad to have that one.  Awww.  Such a sweet boy.

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I was really happy to share my love of felting with the boys and they both seemed to enjoy it.  And now they have a souvenir for years to come.  Best Christmas present.

Happy Holidays!

 

And the Winner is… Plus a Few Small Projects

And the Winner is… Plus a Few Small Projects

Drum roll please…… the winner of the December Green dyes and Silk Scarves is Maureen number 28!

Congratulations Maureen!

Please PM on the forum or send me an email to feltandfiberstudio@gmail.com with your full name and mailing address.  I will have your prize in the mail asap.

 

When you have an opportunity to use the dyes and scarves, please share your results with us on the forum or write a blog about it. Just let us know you’d like to do that. We hope you enjoy using them!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Before I had surgery I felted a couple of small things.  The first was using the roving I had dyed for the 3rd Quarter Challenge to make a pod with cuts showing other colors underneath. I had used a lot of coarse fibers and decided I liked the rugged look so I didn’t shave it.

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The next was a gift for a friend for her 70th birthday.  Another pod, but slightly larger.  I made some batts first. I used sparkly yarn as well as silk and milk protein for embellishments.

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If you look closely you can see the sparkly yarn inside.

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Then to get into the holiday spirit I made a poinsettia flower with the intention of embellishing it later.

I used very thin prefelt, cut out the leaf shapes and used layers of saran wrap to separate them.

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While I’ve been recuperating from surgery, I’ve been working on some small projects.  I finished the poinsettia by adding beads and adding stitching to the leaves and petals.

20151115_130411 20151114_141015_edited-1It’s now hanging on a wall to add a little holiday cheer to the house.

What have you been doing for the holidays?

Bengala Dyes by Guest Artist Cathy Wycliff

Bengala Dyes by Guest Artist Cathy Wycliff

Our guest artist today is Cathy Wycliff aka Luvswool.
Over the past couple of years, I have been experimenting with different kinds of dyes. I started with Wilton icing gels, playing it safe for my first experience. I moved on to acid dyes, with the encouragement of Forum members, and I was delighted with the bright, beautiful colors.

Then I tried dyeing with natural plants, like madder, logwood, and osage orange. I ended up with some beautiful dyed wool. Marilyn and I brewed an indigo vat last summer, dyeing everything from lace curtains to wool and T-shirts. This summer I experimented with eco-printing and had some success, but a few failures as well.

When I studied Saori weaving in Minneapolis recently, my instructor, Chiaki O’Brien, also introduced me to Bengala dyes.

They are natural dyes made from the soil in Japan. I was excited to try yet another type of dyeing. I had the trial set of three colors–pink, orange and gray. I liked the idea of natural dyes, already prepared in liquid form, and non-toxic with no boiling water and no mordants. Following is my pictorial on two sessions of Bengala dyes.

I dyed some cotton, linen, silk ribbon and a silk scarf to see if there were any difference on how each dyed.

Session 1

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Session 2

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If anyone is interested in using these dyes, they are available for purchase from Saori instructors throughout the world.

In the USA, you will find them here: saoristudiofun.com/bengala-dyes/

Otherwise, you can google “Bengala dyes” and find offerings from other parts of the world, including Japan, where they are made. I know for sure that Australia, Canada and the UK have the dyes available from Saori instructors. The dyes are particularly
useful when dyeing with young children.

Thanks Cathy for sharing your experience with us about these Bengala dyes!

Combining Techniques and Materials

Combining Techniques and Materials

I’ve been planning this picture for a while.  It’s not the first time I’ve combined techniques, but this time I wanted to add more dimension to the picture.

It may seem like an odd choice of subject, but my sister Lorraine has loved elephants all her life and this is a little thank you for the Trunk Show I had at her Quilt Club a few months back.

I started by dyeing some silk and wool, then making batts.  My original intent was to use the silk for texturing on the trunks, but the area was too small and since I wasn’t going to use it over all the elephants I let the idea go.

I built up the trunks, faces and foreground legs with coarser wool underneath, sewed them closed with wool thread and used resists under the ears.  The eyes are garnets.  I don’t know why the pics look brown, the prefelt was shades of gray.

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The base was made beforehand with Corriedale.  Before placing the elephants on I used batts for the water, sky, background and tree tops.  The light beige ground is hand dyed silk gauze.  I also used bits of Oussant fiber (from France) sent to me by forum member Aphee.  They are the brown and beige areas in the foreground.

Of course, I had to add a little silk to the water and sky.

The tree trunks are silk/merino mix.

Once the background was all laid out, I added the elephants and needlefelted them down.  This is before  felting and fulling.

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I did get some texture in the elephants, but the picture was a little flatter than I wanted so I added some needlefelting and fiber to the tree trunks and around the legs, hand embroidery on the toes and around the eyes, stitching and free motion stitching in the foreground grasses.  Also the Oussant flattened losing it’s springy texture so I needlefelted more of it to give better dimension.20150926_125059

The treetops in the background were purposely left vague to let the elephants have center stage.  More needlefelting and adding fiber for dimension and texture.

20151007_155604Some detail closeups.

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Final hanging on the wall.  I may have fulled it a little too much but I was worried about the thickness of the dimensional parts.

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I sure hope my sister likes it.

More Samples with Interesting Results

More Samples with Interesting Results

We’ve been talking on the forum about how important it is to make samples, especially when using new fibers or unknown fabrics.  It’s better to take a little time to make a sample, than to waste a lot of time and fiber.

I still had one fiber from WOW I hadn’t tried.  It was actually a Jacob batt.  The batt was very uneven so I used two layers and still ended it up with a couple of sparse spots.  I only felted the samples to the prefelt stage so I could use them in another project.  The end result of the Jacob was it was very loose and spongy.  I’m tempted to full it to see what happens.  It is very similar to the Black Welsh I featured in a previous post.

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I recently did an experiment with one of Fiona Duthie’s 15 minute projects called Mountains.  It’s lost it’s bowl shape a little, but I really liked the curliness of the base, but couldn’t remember what fiber I used.

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I have been trying to use more of the coarse fibers I have.  But I have been terrible about remembering to write down what I’ve used.  I thought Icelandic was harder to felt.  It has a very long staple, dyes well, and whenever I use it in has to be shaved when finished. So, I decided to make a prefelt of this as well.

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What I discovered is it is soft at this stage, but felted easily.

So, have I been badmouthing the wrong fiber? I have a fair amount of Cheviot so I figured I would experiment with that as well.  The Cheviot had a shorter staple but the resulting prefelt was soft and a little lighter in color than the Icelandic which I thought was a lighter color. Hmmm.

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When I went with Cathy to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, I purchased some Navajo Churro which I have never used.  It had a short staple and was coarse to the touch and filled with little knots.  The resulting prefelt was very hairy and much flatter than the others.  It reminded me of Gotland I had made a sample of a while back, but while they look similar, the Gotland was very smooth to the touch. It also had been fulled, so that may make a difference.  The Churro was very hairy.  I have some white Churro I will try dyeing later on.

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Last but not least, I made a Romney prefelt and found my curly fiber.  (its more noticable at the sparser edges. It is rougher to the touch but I like the cobweb wavy type look.  It also has a long staple.

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I had done similar samples using habatoi silk, mulberry silk fiber and yarns on each of them a while back, fulled, dyed and then stitched them together. Here is the Four Day Dye Experiment http://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2014/06/15/four-unintentional-days-of-dyeing/

These samples were fully felted and it is hard to tell the difference except to rub my hands over them. The Icelandic and Domestic 56 are coarser to the touch than the Cheviot and the Romney.  Different than at the prefelt stage.  I think in the future I may take a smaller sample to full and compare obviously they are different.

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Now as a preview to some more future sampling on a pile of fabric samples to test.

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What is your experience with sampling?

 

Dyeing for Special Projects

Dyeing for Special Projects

On the Felting and Fiber Forum, I had mentioned doing some dyeing for projects and Zed encouraged me to write about it.

I’ve had a couple projects in mind that I needed specific colors in silk and wool and needed to mix colors to get the shades I needed.

The first one was for my daughter in law for a wall hanging.  More about this next week. This one I used a dye bath for silk gauze, silk roving and merino.  I also threw in some Corriedale to have on hand. I washed the silk gauze in synthropol an soaked it and the silk roving overnight in a vinegar bath.  I soaked the wools in a vinegar bath for about a half hour before dyeing.  I didn’t need too mix colors for this job. It was an Idye mix I had made a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t sure if it would still be ok, but it worked well.

I was pleased with the results and got the exact shade I needed.

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The second project I wanted to try mixing browns,  greys and a green with acid dyes for another project. Here are a couple of my color tests.  I’m not sure where the rest went I had quite a few formulas I tried.

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I used saran wrap, a squirt bottle and a sponge brush to apply the mixed dyes to the pre-soaked silk pieces.

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I used merino pre-soaked in vinegar in baggies and steam for this one.  I thought I had saturated the fibers enough and rubbed the acid dye into the fiber.  However, while it was in the steamer and left overnight the dye settled in spots.  I expected the mottling on the silk which was fine.

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However, all was not lost.  After running the grays through the drum carder the colors were perfect.

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Stay tuned for more on this project later.  I ended up only using the gray wools, then making prefelt for the project.  I will have to think of another project to use the silks and the browns.  I did use some of the green wool as well which was fine as it was.

I find it interesting to mix colors to get a specific colors, some times it works well, others not so much.  How has your experience been mixing dye colors?

 

 

Take One, Take Two and Roll

Take One, Take Two and Roll

While I was getting organized for our trip to Europe, I realized I could use something to keep my jewelry in other than little plastic bags like I have done previously for travel.

I devised a jewelry roll with netting inside to hang my earrings.  But my first attempt didn’t go well.  Even though I knew in my mind netting wouldn’t shrink, I proceeded anyway.

I used two layers of purple prefelt with a small pocket at the bottom.  I’m not sure what I was thinking then either. On the front side I used a strip of from a silky scarf down the middle then hand dyed cheesecloth on both sides for decoration.

On the inside I put the netting in and two panels of the scarf with a thin layer of plastic wrap so the panels wouldn’t felt to the inside.  I thought perhaps I could control the shrinkage so the netting would work, but I also wanted that texture the scarf and cheesecloth would provide. Hah!

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I got my texture, but the netting just puffed out. I cut it out, but wasn’t happy with the way I could fix it.

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So, on to the second try.  Same layout only without the netting and the small pocket at the bottom.  I put an extra narrow piece of felt along the edges of the panels to help them felt in straight and give it some extra strength.

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After I got the ruching I wanted and the felt was dry, I hand sewed the netting around the edges and a line through the middle to keep it from stretching out.  The panels were a little puffy, but their job was to hold in the earrings after being rolled so they wouldn’t fall out the sides.

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I hung the earrings from the netting.

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Success! I sewed on a matching ribbon to tie the roll and I was done!

2015-07-27 14.34.38 2015-07-27 14.39.25Now I have to figure out what to do with the first piece of felt. Any suggestions?

 

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