I got my husband a ceramic mug/glass for Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have a handle though and when you put coffee in it, the mug is too hot to pick up or hold.
Since the purpose of the mug was for his coffee every morning, it made my gift not very practical. So felt to the rescue!
I have made a lot of felted cup cozies or sleeves but this needed a bit taller version. This is one of the resists that I usually use and generally, I lay the wool out to the edge of the lines. The top just happens to be curved because it was a scrap piece of foam that I used.
Since I wanted this sleeve to be taller, I covered most of the resist, ignoring the lines.
Here’s how it looked after one layer of horizontal wool layout. I only did two layers all together.
And here is the wet down, finished layout. Now I needed to add a bit of embellishment but not too much since I didn’t want it to look “too girly”.
So I decided on some lime green circles. I just used roving and shaped it into different sized circles. It probably would have been more exact if I had made prefelt and then cut out the circles but I decided I didn’t want to take the extra time.
Here it is after rubbing and felting and removing the resist. Still needs to be fulled down to size.
And here it is on the ceramic mug/glass. It’s a snug fit and works great for holding a hot drink now. The only issue is that the design on the mug no longer shows at all. Seems kind of silly to have purchased a mug for its design and then no longer being able to see it.
Each time we have a quarterly challenge, there is a place to post everyone’s creations on the forum. This first quarter challenge has really brought in some great ideas and entries. The challenge was to use a flat resist in felting in a way that you hadn’t before. You can read more about the 1st Quarter Challenge here. I thought it would be fun to show you what everyone has created so far. And if you haven’t done anything for the challenge, there is still time as it lasts through the end of March!
These are in no particular order and I am using people’s forum user names rather than their real names. If you’d like to join us on the forum, please click on the forum button on the side bar, we’d love to have you!
These entries are from Frances. She made a rosebud pod, a vessel within a vessel and a scarf with a sleeve. You can see how to make the rosebud pod here.
Carole aka craftywoman created the layered pod above. We all decided it had a very interesting organic look to it.
Next up is this puppet created by Janekiwi. You can see the resist that she used and the finished puppet on the right. His name is Garlic 🙂
Jwugg created an “octopod”. Here is the in progress photo where she is using a book resist.
And here is the result. Just love this photo out in his habitat.
Lyn posted two pieces using the same “cracked mud” technique using resists to create the cracked effect.
These pieces were created by Blythwhimsies. She used metallic fabric under resists in the top two photos and used a different resist than she had before in the vessel in the bottom two photos.
Mwes created the two vessels above. You can see the layouts/early felting stages on the left and the finished vessel on the right.
These projects were created by Halay. She used some different shaped resists than she had in the past.
Smiff created two different vessels with different book type resists. It is interesting to me that shaping makes all the difference in the world when you use these types of resist. Making the “leaves” become indentations really gives an entire different look to a vessel. Also where you cut the resist out makes a huge difference as well.
I believe Zed already showed her entry on a post here of her flower shaped pod.
The hats above were all created by Teri Berry. She used a variety of resist shapes and added some embellishing techniques including adding foil to her flame hat. All of us on the forum decided she should get a Royal Appointment to make hats for the Queen.
Zara created this nuno felted patch mosaic vest on a resist type she hadn’t used before. You can see the variety of fabrics she used in the close-ups.
And I already showed you mine on a prior post but here’s the “thing” I made with a book shaped resist.
A late addition by Luvswool, a cat cave.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing everyone’s creations. The creativity is astounding and I hope that if you haven’t tried something for the challenge that you will be inspired to try felting with a resist in a way you haven’t in the past. It was great fun and we have had a wonderful exchange of ideas on using resists on the forum. So join the fun! Do share anything with us by adding it to the challenge thread on the forum.
This is a guest post by forum member Frances T. whose blog is here. Frances has a wonderful way of combining her passions of flower gardening and felting. She used a book resist for the first time in response to the First Quarter Challenge to make a rose pod and because she cuts the resist open differently, she gets a totally different result. There is a link to a PDF at the end if you would like to download the tutorial in PDF format.
1. Cut two (2) circles of the same size out of a pliable plastic. For this demonstration a 10 1/2-inch dinner plate was used as a guide.
2. Place the circles one on top of the other and sew a seam down the middle. This makes the book.
3. On side 1 place roving overlapping the right edge slightly and very thinly.
4. On side 2, place roving overlapping the left edge slightly and very thinly.
5. Cover the roving on side 1 with mesh to hold it in place and wet with warm soapy water and rub gently.
6. Repeat step 5 on side 2.
7. Place roving on side 3 overlapping slightly and very thinly on the edges.
8. Cover the roving on side 3 with mesh to hold it in place and wet with warm soapy water and rub gently.
9. Turn the piece over – side 4 – and gently pull the roving that was left overhanging onto the resist which will cover the edges of the circle. Then place roving on side 4.
10. Cover the roving on side 4 with mesh to hold it in place and wet with warm soapy water and rub gently.
11. Turn back over to side 3 and pull any stray roving around the edges up over side 3; smoothing towards the center to avoid thicker roving at the edges that will create a “seam” line.
12. Cover with bubble wrap and rub vigorously with a felting tool. Flip and rub the other side and continue flipping and rubbing until felt is holding together well.
13. Place felt on a bamboo mat and roll. Unroll and place felt in the opposite direction and roll. Roll 10 to 15 times in one direction and then change to keep the round shape. Felt shrinks in the direction it is rolled. Do this about 10 to 20 times.
14. Cut a small slit off the edge and remove the resist.
16. The rose bud can now be shaped and hardened the way any other vessel is completed. One method is using a balloon.
Using a Balloon to Shape and Finish a Vessel
1. Place a balloon in your vessel and then inflate it until the vessel fits slightly loose around (about ¼ inch space between the balloon and vessel). Place the vessel with balloon inside of it into a mesh bag and run under hot water and then put in the dryer on heat setting for about 15 minutes or until the vessel has shrunk to the size of the balloon. Use plastic inserted between layers to hold petals
2. Remove from dryer deflate the balloon. Repeat step one until the desired shape and firmness are achieved.
3. Finish by air drying.
A white one was made first and the difference in how the two came out when shaping is obvious. It is difficult to make exact duplicate vessels.
Thanks Frances for showing us your take on using a book resist. Not all of Frances photos are shown in the tutorial above so click on the link of the PDF to see extra photos with the explanation.
Like Ann, I haven’t been very well lately and haven’t had chance to do anything other than tidy up the mess I let accumulate while I was writing my notebook tutorial 🙂
We always seem to be talking about surface design on the forum: stitching, embroidering, embellishment fibres, beading etc. And there have been quite a few projects using resists lately too: Lyn’s pod that she posted about last week, Nada’s resist Slipper tutorial, and Carole from the forum showed us her gorgeous sculptural vessels with lots of surface design and embellishment. A couple of months ago, Nada reminded me of some projects I’d done using resists to create surface design, so having nothing new to post about, I had a look through my photostream for some examples and hope you don’t mind revisiting some old stuff!
I think this was the very first piece I made using resists to create surface design. I wanted to have a go at trying out lots of different ideas at once, so made a piece using six resists to try out different cuts/shapes.
I wanted to try out using resists with more contrast between the top layer and what it revealed underneath. This one has green/brown/mossy shades revealing slashes of orangey brown shades of wool with embellishments of silk noil, bamboo, silk hankie and soya fibre.
This burgundy piece is cut away to reveal orangey mustard shades with soy bean fibres.
I think this next piece is probably one of my most adventurous. The resists and cuts were fairly straightforward, but it was quite big, very thick to make it stiff enough to support itself, and I used a flat resist – not somethng I ever have much luck with for a 3d shape!
This last piece is one of my favourite vessels. I love the colours and textures and was really pleased that it came out just how I’d imagined!
With all my cat item related posts lately, you’d think I have a cat. But no, two small dogs that don’t like cats. The cat toys I make to sell and I recently made a cat cave to give my sister for Christmas. She has a new cat and requested a cat cave. Her cat is still a kitten but is supposed to get fairly big so I wanted to make a good sized cave. Ann has done a how to post about making cat caves if you’d like further ideas.
I started with a resist made from floor underlayment. That is a Sharpie pen in the middle to give a little bit of scale.
I usually like to work inside out when I use a flat resist. So this is the embellishment layer that will be on the outside when I finish the cave.
The embellishments were mainly nepps and curls in grey and white. I used a variety of fibers including Icelandic, Gotland and Merino.
I then added a couple of layers of black wool which was a mix of merino and mixed 56’s. I wet the black down and then progressed to the white layer that will be the inside of the cave.
Here’s the white layer after it is partially complete. I ended up doing 5 layers in total. The white wool is mixed 56’s.
I then wet the whole thing down, rolled and rubbed like crazy. The felt is starting to come together in this photo.
I used this rolling stick to work it over a bit too. This was originally meant to be a curtain rod and has nice grooves in it to work the felt. I then cut a hole and removed the resist. Fulling in the sink and beating it around quite a bit to stiffen it up. I forgot to take any photos at that point, sorry.
Here’s the cat cave after finishing the fulling process. I put it on top of the original resist so you could see how much it shrunk. After I spun the water out of it, I stuffed it with towels and blankets to dry.
Here’s the finished cat cave. I almost forgot to take photo before I sent it off to my sister’s house.
Now the only question is will the cat fit in this hole? I didn’t want to make the hole really big and I guess she can always enlarge the hole if need be. Have you made any gifts this year? We’d love to see what you’ve made. You can post your photos on Flickr or on the forum.