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Felt and Fibre scraps

Felt and Fibre scraps

I thought it was time I tidied out my felt and wool scraps as the boxes and bags they were in were getting too full. I know it’s really geeky to categorise scraps but whenever I try to find the right size pieces for a project I seem to spend more time sorting and searching than anything else. I never throw anything felt, fabric or fibre away, everything is good for something. This is from my bag of scraps that aren’t usable for anything else, so I save them for using between layers of texture felt.

Often when I’m laying out a project for felting, I end up with a few wisps of wool or fibres here and there, so I put them in a bag and keep adding until it’s full, then card them together. I get some really nice heathery blends, and they always add a lot of interest to felt with such a variety of colours and fibre blends.

Sorting out my box of big spare pieces was fairly easy, I mostly sorted it into thick, regular and cobwebby pieces. The box of smaller spare pieces took a lot longer. In the end I had about 8 or 9 separate piles: thick, regular and cobwebby pieces, and, as shown in this next photo: long wide strips; medium regular strips;  thin strips; regular short strips and really thin and short strips.

I bought some water soluble stabiliser a while ago, so hopefully I’ll find time to use the really short thin strips for making a bowl using Ruth’s tutorial. The longish thin strips are great for making into loop fasteners. I wet them with soapy water and roll between my palms until they’re felted and sew them onto my project. If the piece is long enough I can leave the ends dry, fluff them out and the loop can be felted in with the project.

Once I’d finished sorting all my pieces, I chose some to use for my project-a collage book cover. I’d make a similar one a few years ago using felt pieces and ‘invisible’ thread, but I wanted to use my fancy new machine and zig zag stitch to sew strips and pieces.

This is the front of the finished cover:

And this is the back:

What do you do with all your felt and fibrey scraps and offcuts?

Blue and Zig Zags

Blue and Zig Zags

I made another piece of felt just for fun recently, this time using blue shades of merino wool and blue, green and purpley shades of fabrics and fibres.

I really love this part, it’s synthetic fibres from a novelty yarn, but looks like curly wool.

For the last 25 years or so, I’ve been using an old Singer sewing machine. The electrics were too dangerous, so I removed them and worked it by hand. It was slow going and gave me Popeye forearms (or ‘arm’, just the one on the right!) but it worked well enough for what I needed it for. When I started felting and the world of fibres and fabrics opened up, I started to covet other people’s fancy machines, especially ones that could do zig-zag stitch. I did occasionally think about buying myself a new one, but it seemed a bit frivolous to spend money on something just to add zig-zags to things occasionally 🙂 And then a couple of weeks ago, my Mum gave me her machine. I was worried that now I had a fancy machine I wouldn’t even be able to thread it, but it was quite easy really. I started off by practising straight stitches and trying to control the speed-I still can’t do that, it seems my foot only has two speeds, full pelt or excrutiatingly slow. But I managed to add stitching to a nuno sample I’d made. Feeling a bit more confident, I added some shapes from scrap felt, and finally used the zig-zag stitch

I’ve got a big collection of felt off cuts, so I cut a few into strips and made some bookmarks too

I know I need to practise a bit more, especially using zig-zags to do edges, but I’m not as scared of it as I was a week ago! Have you tried anything new recently?