It’s funny how one thing can lead to another. A few weeks ago I was out having a coffee when I got chatting to a lady who told me she was keen on various crafts and a member of the Wellingore U3A. I happened to mention that my passion was felting and as a result, this afternoon I held a felting demo for U3A members, Sue included, at home in Horncastle.
Non of the ladies had tried felting previously so I began by demonstrating needle felting and showing some of the different applications I had used it for. They were all keen to have a go but, as time was limited and we had to cover wet felting too, the ladies just did a few minutes with a cookie cutter and some Merino to get a feel for it.
U3A ladies Celia, Myra & Chris trying out needle felting
Sue and Velma getting to grips with needle felting.
Unfortunately, as I was demonstrating, I didn’t get any other photos this afternoon but, suffice to say, the ladies were very enthusiastic regarding both the needle and wet felting so I’m hoping I’ve encouraged their creativity and they have gone away enthused about their new found hobby!
The wet felted octopus is finished and there’s just enough of the afternoon left to get outside with the dog and enjoy the weather.
The body and tentacles are joined and work started on the eyes
The body had been felted so hard I broke 5 needles working on him this afternoon!
Five broken needles later…….
All washed up……..if only we lived at the coast!
Which way to the sea?
Once again I am back to playing catch up with projects and posts. I’ve been feeling pretty down and lethargic over recent months, for reasons I won’t go into on here, but the year is fast coming to a close and it’s time to give myself a good shake up and get back to normal.
So the first project to feature is one I did as a result of being invited down to London to stay with my niece and her husband at the end of November. They have recently moved house and I got a request to make a pair of Roman blinds for their new study…….what better excuse could there be for a week in London? Sophie chose a lightweight dress fabric for the blinds, which give me a little concern as I wasn’t sure how well they would hang. It wasn’t the easiest fabric to work with but once they had been lined I needn’t have worried as they turned out fine and thankfully they are both delighted with them.
The second project was this years “ugly” fabric challenge with Sitting Ducks. Each year, just before Christmas, one of our members supplies us all with an A4 size piece of fabric (which we probably would never have chosen to use ourselves) and we have to make something with it. After a couple of weeks of wondering what to do with my green and orange crocodiles, and knowing that I wanted to completely disguise the pattern, I finally hit on an idea and Griselda was born. She stands 17″ tall, has a wire frame with a needle felted body and fabric wrapped legs & arms. I added three colours of netting as “wings” to make her into an Autumnal fairy. I had intended to make her face from fabric but realised, the night before we were due to hand in our pieces, that if I was going to get her finished in time I needed a quicker solution for her face, hence the air dry clay.
Although no-one said anything out loud, once we had all placed our work on the table it dawned on me that mine was the odd one out as Sitting Ducks is actually a “quilting” group. Hey, ho………I had fun making her anyway!
This evening I held a needle felting workshop for a group of members from the Skendelby Ladies Guild. Not one of the group had tried needle felting before but, by the end of the hour and a half session, everyone had achieved a piece of work to take home with them.
Skendelby Ladies Guild members
Most of the ladies chose to make a brooch and used cookie cutters to form the basic shapes.
Thanks to Sandy for inviting me along this evening, it was a pleasure to spend time with the group and I hope to see you all again sometime.
The Joseph Banks Centre on Bridge Street in Horncastle will be hosting another fabulous Craft Event on Saturday 12th April, ahead of the Easter weekend. If you are in the area and fancy popping in it would be great to see you! There will be several local crafters instore and, weather permitting, in the garden, each with their own unique collection of handmade goods for sale. I will be sitting in a quiet corner somewhere (as ever!) giving a demonstration on needle felting, so if you see me don’t be shy – come over and say hello! Many of the gifts on sale are suitable for personalising so this is something worth considering as it makes a fabulous gift even better! Also we will be happy to take orders for Easter i.e. if there is something you want in a different colour/design/whatever….simply ask and we will do our best to accommodate.
When I began felting a few months ago I hadn’t imagined that it was going to turn out to be this much fun and this addictive! At some point in the not too distant future I will have to do some housework, phone some friends and generally catch up with all the stuff I have shelved while I have been enjoying myself! In the meantime I thought I would share the two pictures I have just done. Both of these started out as wet felted backgrounds (Merino tops onto muslin fabric) and then I added detail with needle felting and free motion embroidery. When they were finished I found that I liked the reverse of the pictures as much as the front…they had a real ‘sketchy ‘ quality to them. I sometimes forget to lower the foot before embroidering so I tend to get the ‘birds nest’ effect on the back of my work. If I can get my head around not doing this I will get a neater finish and be able to use the reverse of a picture as the front.
Floral picture using wet and dry felting and machine stitching.
The second picture was inspired (albeit very loosely!) by Ruth’s Jackson Pollack challenge on the Felting and Fibre website. I looked at some of his work and really liked the colour combination of Yellow Grey Black. With this in mind I planned my background using three shades of grey and mixed the lightest of these with a flesh tone to warm it up a bit (remember I did say very loosely inspired!).
Fibres laid out ready for felting – three shades of grey and a flesh tone to add a little warmth.
So here is the finished article….I realise it was a bit of a cop-out to do flowers (yet again) but you can’t say I am not consistent!
Reverse side of Yellow Poppies.
Back in November I mentioned the needle felting workshop I held at the Joseph Banks Centre where we looked at the basics of creating a needle felted picture. Since then Sheila has gone on to finish her ‘Autumn Leaf’ picture and this week I received a photo from another of the ladies showing her finished ‘Flower Meadow’. Eileen chose to mount her work to make a greetings card and the finished effect is beautiful. Watch out for Eileen’s next picture as she rises to the challenge and try’s her hand at wet felting – the background is done and looking fab so can’t wait to see it finished!
Work in progress….time is running out so this will be continued at home.
The finished picture looks great mounted as a greetings card.
Sheila’s Needle felted landscape.
I have recently been helping my friend Sheila with a project she has been working on, a needle felted landscape, using one of my pictures (see banner heading) as her inspiration. It was really nice to work on this together, trying out different materials and bouncing ideas around. The hills are a mixture of merino top, knitting wool, fine netting and free machine quilted fabric. Rather than being 2D, we made the tree 3 dimensional which gives added interest to the piece. The trunk was needle felted as a separate element, and then placed over a sausage shape of wadding before being anchored to the background. Tapestry wool was used for the branches and also to depict vines growing up the tree trunk. I have to say I love Sheila’s version – it’s very colourful and vibrant and looks great in its frame.
Tooth Fairy Jars
O.K…I know… they are taking over my life…. I am in danger of becoming ‘Fairy’ obsessed but quite honestly I don’t care, I am in my element! My latest idea is the needle felted Tooth Fairy Jar and I would love to have your feedback on this one. It combines the fairy and the toadstool and results in a unique (as far as I am aware) gift that the Joseph Banks Centre are keen to put in their shop. Fortunately Kate, one of the ladies who helps run the shop, is also a fairy fan so we are currently planning a ‘fairy grotto’ area to spread a bit of magic to the shoppers in Horncastle! Obviously these will not be marketed as toys, and the jar would need to sit on a bedside cabinet rather than being placed under the childs pillow, but I have several friends who are ‘Fairy’ fans so am hoping this is a goer! The plan is to make several toadstools in various different colours of Merino wool, each one will have a tiny ladybird inside which will be made in the same colourway as the toadstool top. I have used two different methods for the wings, one is Angelina Fibres, the other is simply Merino top, I like both but the Angelina is nice as it gives that bit of fairy sparkle so this will be the preffered material.
Kate suggested the jars would also make cute little trinket boxes, they are small but could hold a favourite ring, earings, etc.
Tooth Fairy Jars can also be used as tiny trinket boxes.
Pink version of the Tooth Fairy Jar.