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Machine Needle Felting a Wool Collage

Machine Needle Felting a Wool Collage

I have begun another class at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center in LaConner, WA. The class is Advanced Experimental Stitch 301 and lasts for two years. Our first session was all about color, dyeing and then creating different fabric collages in a variety of color schemes. If you want to follow all of my progress and homework, you can take a look at my Permutations in Fiber site.

I decided I wanted to try a few of the color schemes in felt. I could use up some printed felt that were samples from my online courses and also use my Janome needle felting machine that has been languishing in a corner of my studio for years. A win-win!

I started out with a dark violet background and then cut out two partial printed leaf shapes and three circles from orange printed felt. The color scheme is violet, orange and green. It is hard to see the violet and green since they are both such dark values.

First I had to unearth my needle felting machine buried under a ton of stuff. I should have taken a photo of the buried machine but didn’t think of that in time. I began by felting in the two leaves. Since everything was felt, the machine handled it very well. The only issue is the edges get a little wonky and you need to start from the outside edge and work in. The felt leaf shrinks as you go and will get all bunched up if you try to needle felt down the outside edges first.

Here is the end result. The photo on the left shows the front side. Because the felt is printed, it is white underneath and I didn’t like the white showing through so much. I turned it over (middle photo), and liked the back side much better. But still a little too much white. What to do? I have no problem with mixing medias so I found an orange and green Sharpie and just added a little ink to the wool to get the colors the way I wanted them (right photo).

On to adding a little hand stitching with hand dyed thread. I had originally planned to do chain stitch and cover the green and orange completely with chain stitch as a filling stitch. But then I decided I like the colors of the mottled orange and green. So I stuck with just outlining. For the leaves I used stem stitch. I could add some veining in the leaves but decided to leave it as is for now. It’s not a color scheme I use all that often but I like it. Do you try different color schemes? Or do you stick with your favorite colors?

 

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