Monday, 24 May 2010

Felting and Other Things

As I drove to college in Skipton this weekend the sun was shining and I was struck by the colours in the landscape -  the bright lime green of the new leaves on the trees against the blue sky and the bright yellows of the dandelions and laburnum. Our tutor Lesley's sample was very appropriate although her inspiration was daffodils in her garden. She had created a background of random cotton fabric shapes on dissolveable film and stitched across before dissolving the film in water. She had created flowers, also using dissolveable film, by free motion stitching. This lacey sample ticked several boxes on our syllabus and is beautiful too! Here's another of her samples made in a similar way with net over the top:

The main focus of our work this month was felting. OK, it's a textile technique rather than strictly patchwork and quilting but felt can be used for applique as in Penny Rugs. On Saturday Anne Marie arrived with an embellisher machine which Hobkirks Sewing Machines had kindly lent her for us to try. Wow! This was a quick and easy way to make felt without even getting your hands wet!

The embellisher has 5 barbed needles which felt wool and other materials together. It's about the size of a regular sewing machine but you don't use thread in it. We all had a go and produced some really lovely samples. I was really taken with it and could see myself embellishing clothing - both items I make for myself and shop bought things like jeans as well as making felt for applique. Hobkirks have the Husqvana ER10 which we were using on special offer this week with a £50 discount so guess who bought one? Yup, another gadget to add to my collection!

On Saturday we needle-felted flowers and tried nuno felting on the embellisher:

My felted flowers

Rachel used the embellisher to felt colourful wool onto organza
I tried felting different yarns and wool onto silk organza

On Sunday Lesley brought some other felt samples to show us made the more traditional way with soap and water and lots of friction. I think this piece is stunning:

She demonstrated how to make a felt vase by felting wool around a beer bottle:

Aren't these cute? Rachel made a stunning one in plain petrol blue but I didn't get a photo. I'll be on the lookout for unusual shaped bottles to have a go at this. Lesley also brought a colourful little bowl which was made using a similar technique:
So I had a fun if busy weekend and the queue of possible projects in my mental list has got even longer!


  1. Oh no, a new gadget and a whole heap of new ideas!! Isn't our hobby great?

  2. Have you been busy playing with your new toy? To say none of us wanted to do felting - i think we all gave it a good bash and ended up with some good results. Looking forward to seeing what you produce with it over the next few months :)