Saturday, April 12, 2014

Felted Rug

What does one do when one's long weekend vacation will be a total wash-out, rain all the time?
Start an over-ambitious, large needle- and wet-felting project, like this wool area rug!


I had some wool batts made years ago from some sheep not particularly known for their fleece (but it was inexpensive!  And it wet-felts exceptionally well).  I made pre-felt in autumnal colors and cut out leaf shapes, making a stencil from a scan of my colored pencil drawing of sassafras leaves:


This project will take me ALL summer!
Keep needlin'!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Starting a Rug

I am starting a small area rug, using some deep brown felted batting I had made a few years ago.  I recently drew (using colored pencils) a loose circle of sassafras leaves in their autumn colors.  I thought  this might make a beginning pattern for an area rug (or wall hanging) repeating the circle swirl outward to the edges of the rug.  Here is the drawing:

Next, I scanned the drawing just to get some cut-out patterns for the leaves I would use.  Then, I made some pre-felt in autumnal colors and began to cut out the leaves, pictured below. 


Here are some of the cut out, pre-felt leaves.  The next step is to needle-felt them into place on the background, then begin wet felting.  I need to do much more work on this, so stay tuned for updates!




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fast Felting Fun

Like most felters, I often have bits and pieces of wool around after making a project, and I sure have a large scraps bag.  One thing to do with these bits, that is fun and fast, is to make wet-felted spheres.  What can you use these for?  Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and jewelry.  Because I often make felted flowers, these can also be the center of unopened peonies. With a little practice, you can make them egg-shaped for Easter decorations.

The steps:
1. Take a bunch of lose wool.  Lightly form it into a ball shape by rolling it between your palms.
2.  Wet the ball of wool with hot water, and add a tiny bit of dish soap.  Continue to roll the ball around.  It will feel loose and squashy at this point.
3. While it is still loose and squashy, check for cracks or fissures in the sphere and fill these in with some fresh wool. I just wrap the fresh strands around the sphere.
4. Continue rolling.  As the sphere firms up, apply greater pressure to make it quite firm.
5.  Rinse.

To make balls of the same (similar) size, select equal amounts of wool.  If the ball is too large, keep rolling.  Too small? Well, it is hard to add more wool once the ball is firm.  Keep trying, and you will get the hang of it.

Keep playing with wool!  You will learn a lot about it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Student's Lovely Work!

Some stunning work by my students in my recent "Needle Felting with
Botanical Subjects" class at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond,
VA.  
 http://www.lewisginter.org/adult-education/adult-educationhappeningnow.php

Lovely work, Kay, Kathleen, Susan, Joan, Gail and Celeste! It was fun,
and I learned a lot from you!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Trillium

Finally finished my trillium wall hanging!

Happy Valentine's Day Felted Hearts


Here are some simple needle-felted hearts for family and friends, two felted with lace, two without. I made them directly on backing fabric and cut them out. (The one that looks like it is orange is really a pink-peach).  Needle-felting through lace requires fine felting needles and a little extra care.
Have a great day!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gift Tag


I am what I call "gift-giving impaired."  I like to give gifts, but often forget things, like: I have the gift, but forgot wrapping paper.  I have the gift and wrapping paper, but forgot the card.  I have the gift, but nothing else.  But a clever felter is never without a card, gift label or gift decoration, even if you realized you did not have part of the wrapping "accouterments" 15 minutes before you are to leave for the party.  So, in this case, for a young girl I call, "Glo," I wrapped the box in tissue paper, wrapped silver tulle around as a bow and quickly felted a heart tag wither her nickname on it!  I did not even need to "sign" the tag, as my young friend's mom knows me well (in other circumstances, I would have felted "Love, Judy" on the tag).
Neccesity is the Mother of Felting!