Although there were many negative sides to “lockdown”, for many of us, there were also lots of positives. On the one hand all of my classes, exhibitions and shows had to be cancelled which was very depressing. One the other hand, it meant I now had unlimited time for walking with Maddie, my staffy boxer cross, which was uplifting. I’m sure a lot of us started to notice things we would otherwise have simply passed by, like these wonderful shadows cast by the trees.
I decided to use these shadows as inspiration for an abstract wet felted Wallhanging. The fibres used are Merino and Viscose and it’s been embellished with free motion stitch, hand spun yarn (my first attempt at spinning!) and Colonial Knots. The finished piece is mounted on board and measures 42cm x 58cm. It will form part of my “Fabric & Fibre of Nature” exhibition at The Quilt & Stitch Show, Uttoxeter in April 2021.
I slept like a baby last night having got home after three very busy, and very enjoyable, days at the Quilters Guild AGM. The event was held on the Jubilee Campus at Nottingham University and attended by approximately 450 enthusiastic quilters. Over the three days participants had the choice to be entertained, and educated, by hour long lectures, half hour mini workshops and demonstrations, half day workshops and full day workshops. There were several traders, a wonderful selection of second hand books at massively discounted prices, a raffle, tombola and exhibitions.
On the Friday morning I gave an illustrated talk entitled “My F-Plan Diet……Fabric, Fibre & Felting” all about how I was introduced to Textile Art and Feltmaking back in 2014 and how my work has progressed, up to present day. I featured a number of pieces to look at in detail, explaining the background to the design process and the materials used.
In the afternoon The Guild held what they call the “Carousel”. This involved four tutors, each in a separate part of the room, demonstrating a particular technique. I called my sessions The Half Hour Flower and at the end of each half hour period and bell was rung and the participants swapped to a different tutor…..it was like speed dating for crafters!
With this being a “quilters” event, and with all the other guest tutors being textile artists, I felt privileged that the organisers had invited me specifically to teach and promote Feltmaking. On Saturday I had a class of 14 students making wet felted “Landscape” themed pictures, several were trying out wet felting for the very first time. The ladies each brought an image they wanted to create and we began by looking at how they could interpret the various shapes and textures in their design using fibre. Some students incorporated prefelts and everyone had time to do a little needle felting if they chose to, to begin to add the finer detail. The variety and quality of work produced in such a short time was amazing! Being quilters I think everyone was intending to add free motion stitch or hand stitching to their work once they got it home so I’m really hoping I get sent some images of the finished work.
Fantastic work all round from Saturday’s class!
On Sunday I had a class of six ladies making Wet Felted Bowls. We began by discussing the different fibre layouts that can be used to affect the shape and structure of 3D objects as well as how we can create interesting shapes using prefelts and differential shrinkage. The ladies each chose a style they wanted to create from my examples shown below and, as you will see, the results were terrific!
It was a great weekend and I got to meet, chat and work with some lovely ladies. I would just like to thank all my students for being so enthusiastic and working so hard! Thanks also to the Region 10 Committee for inviting me to be a part of it and hope to work with you again in the future.
Today saw me driving down to Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden, Northamptonshire to deliver a beginners workshop in Wet Felting. Colemans is a large out of town, retail outlet crammed with all manner of crafting equipment and materials including card making, stamping, fabrics, Felting, beading, knitting, etc. There is a cafe area on the ground floor while the spacious, well lit workshop area is on the mezzanine above the sales floor.
There were nine ladies taking part in the workshop and for all of them this would be their first introduction to Wet Felting. We began by discussing the basics of creating a piece of flat felt and everyone made an abstract sample using Merino fibres and adding snippets of yarn, fabric and silks.
Above are the pieces prior to Felting (apologies for the one that’s missing) and below are the pieces after Felting.
After lunch the ladies were given a choice. They could either make a picture, using the skills they had learnt earlier, or they could learn another laying out technique and make a flower. It was quite spooky how one side of the table chose the picture while the other side chose the flower…..I hadn’t realised the split until I looked at this photo!
The results were wonderful…..
The ladies all said how much they had enjoyed the day and all of them are keen to do more Wet Felting which is terrific to hear. Colemans have invited me back to do another Wet Felting workshop for them on Saturday 14th April so I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones too. Next time we will be creating felted landscapes and learning how to incorporate pre felts in our work.
Many thanks to Jo and the staff at Colemans for making me welcome and to my enthusiastic students!
I’ve discovered an unexpected benefit of running local workshops……I’m discovering villages in Lincolnshire that I didn’t know existed! Today I was at Withern Village Hall, deep in the Lincolnshire Wolds for the first time ever, with seven ladies from the local textile and art groups.
The workshop was to be an introduction to Felting so we began by laying out our Merino fibres and fancy yarns and then wet felting our backgrounds.
After lunch we did some needle felting, adding detail to the work, and then the ladies chose to either machine or hand embroider to further embellish their pictures. I love the tiny bees on Kay’s picture!
There is still a little work left to do before all of the pieces are finished but I’m sure you will agree they are all looking great! Thanks for inviting me to Withern, and for being such an enthusiastic group! It was a very enjoyable day and I hope to see some of you again soon.
I had a great time yesterday with the Waltham Textile Group ladies who meet once a month at Waltham, on the outskirts of Grimsby. It’s a lovely friendly group and workshops here are always a pleasure to do. I was invited over this time to run a wet felting workshop with the aim of producing a flower meadow type picture. One or two of the ladies had previously done a little wet or needle felting but for the majority this would be their first experience of felting. I had intended that we work small and simple to get the pieces almost, if not completely, finished before we went home………no chance!! These ladies know what they want to do and they are all very experienced when it comes to sewing so they decided to concentrate on the felting and the majority of the sewing will get finished at home.
By the end of the session there was some wonderful felt created, I am hoping to get back over to their November meeting when I can photograph the finished work and post an update. In the meantime here are photos from the workshop…..
Waltham Textile Group
Aileen & Anita chose to do a Flower Meadow
Carole based her design on a section of her garden
Kate’s design was inspired by her garden
Margaret went completely “off piste” and created a sea scape
Anita adding hand stitching to her meadow
Jacky adding free machine stitching to her design inspired by the work of Moy Mackay
Aileen adds detail with machine stitching
Brenda chose to make several pieces of flat felt to cut and stitch at a later date
Final show and tell…..lots more stitching to be done so I will post an update next month
Thanks go to Jacky for inviting me over and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.