Thursday, 11 December 2014

Felt bag, bits and bobs and the amazing floating man

Had a good day in Manchester going round the Christmas markets. It was very busy and lots to explore. Had to share a photo of the incredible floating man, obviously some sort of seat fixed to the cane but really looked like he was floating.

Made a felt bag from a piece of flat felt and wanted to leave the uneven edge which made it quite hard to line so next time I may try and make one using a resist so it's all in one piece.

Did a craft fair at Holmfirth High School a couple of weeks ago after getting lost trying to find it. The sat nav took us in totally the wrong direction and we ended up down a narrow no through road but luckily we found someone to ask who directed us. The fair had lots of stalls and I had a good day and had been wondering how to display pictures for ages so finally got a screen which worked out well.

Made yet another poppy picture as people really seem to love poppies. 

Finally did some nuno felting on a hand dyed chiffon scarf and it really turned out well but unfortunately shrunk to about a foot long so may have to use it for something else. It is lovely colours with lots of silk but no idea how people get really long ones as they must have to start with something enormous or maybe join them together. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate

Visited the show at Harrogate on Thursday and spent lots of money on what didn't look like much when unpacked. Got the usual threads, beads and needles and 2 pieces of silk sari fabric which I am going to nuno felt at some point. Discovered the International Feltmakers Association which I am going to join as they produce a great magazine and have groups fairly locally as well as talks and workshops. Getting very into felt lately so should be good.

The exhibitions were Ok although in my opinion the best one was Black Sheep and apologies as this is felt again and took some pictures. I love the colours and organic shapes and the way that felt can be made into a 3D object. Photos weren't allowed on some other exhibits.

Finally my latest felt picture of cow parsley on a painted canvas. Just need to sew it onto the canvas now and put a backing on. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas stars and summer poppies

What a horrible thought and horrible day here too but at least the weekend fog has gone.

Don't normally make Christmas specific items but obviously the crackers put me in the mood and ended up making 9 of them. Decided to try my hand at something different so made some stars with lace and beads which I think came out well. They are decorated on the back as well and stuffed with toy stuffing.

Rarely make pictures with felt although really should as I have 2 banana boxes full of merino wool, just can't resist the colours. Made a felt background of a poppy fields and free machined onto it, embellished it with threads and French knots and it didn't turn out too bad.

Went to a craft fair at Elsecar Heritage Centre yesterday which was OK, nothing really caught my eye which is what I find these day not like the 1980s where craft fairs were full of wonderful individual designed items. Guess they can't afford the time to spend making things anymore as people don't seem to spend the money like they used to. I know my things take ages to make and I couldn't possibly charge for all the hours I spend. One purchase I did make thought was a top hat, not a really tall one as the shorter one looked better. Strange thing I know but love them and will decorate it to wear at craft fairs to make me stand out and hopefully attract customers. The lady was selling steampunk items and looked really good in her hat.

Exciting week ahead as I am off to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate on Thursday so hope to buy lots of things and take some photos of the exhibitions. Having a long day there so may even get time to pop into Betty's for a coffee.

On Sunday I am off to Manchester with my son and his fiance to see the lights. Never been there so looking forward to that. Can't resist shopping.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Dissolvable Fabric

I really enjoy working on dissolvable fabrics and wanted to show what can be achieved. There are several different sorts which include: heavyweight film (Romeo), lightweight film (Juliette), Aquabond, Solufleece and vanishing muslin although this does not tend to be used much these days. Both Romeo and Juliette look like thick cling film and are washed out in cold water although warm water can be used to hasten the action. Once dissolved the work can be slightly stiff if any film is left in although this can be an advantage if making a bowl or 3D object.

Solufleece looks like thin fabric and is also washed out in water and Aquabond has a sticky side so fabrics and threads can be positioned on it and then covered with thin film before being sewn onto.

Vanishing Muslin can be sewn onto then dissolved with a hot iron although this does not tend to be used much these days.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that the threads must all touch otherwise when the film is dissolved the threads won't hold together.

Some books that deal with dissolvable work include Fragile Fabrics Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, Dissolvable Delights Maggie Grey and Stitch Dissolve Distort, Valerie Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey.

Some examples shown below.

Leaf worked on Romeo

Worked on Romeo with the addition of man made cords and knotted cords.

A grid made using threads onto Aquabond

Two pieces of fabric joined using Romeo to stitch onto.

Making Small Christmas crackers

Crackers completed.

You can also make lacy edges for scarves and will show these in the next post.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Finally finished my sunflowers. Had problems putting it down once I had started as really enjoyed making it. The first step was to make 2 pieces of silk paper, one in green and one in blue. This was done using silk fibers and a textile medium then it was left to dry. I started couching various threads onto the green paper and added some scrim.

I made petals from silk and attached these using Bondaweb before sewing on with free machining. Then the task was to add loads of French knots to the centres which took hours.

I made some leaves from organza and some pebbles which I attached and added more knots, couched threads and beads and it was finished. Laced the back and just need to add a backing now. Looks better in real life as the colours don't look great in the picture taken in artificial light.

Earlier this month I went to Holmfirth WI as a guest and will be joining next month when they are doing self defense. There were lots of ladies there and it seems a lively group. We were asked to bring something for the Christmas raffle so I decided to make one of my little boxes. Hope the lady that wins it likes it. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Book cover

As my aim is to try and post more I thought I would show a new book cover that actually sold on it's first outing so now I need to make another. The book was 140g cartridge paper but as the cover is removable and A5 it can easily be put on another book.

Now working on a felted poppy piece and sunflowers on a silk paper background but only the background completed at the moment so not a lot to show.

Saturday, 4 October 2014


Just posting a few little boxes I've made. The white one is similar to my Christmas challenge box made a couple of years ago with wired organza ivy leaves and the others have organza butterflies and dragonflies. The fabric of the box is layers of organza and threads on felt backed with pelmet Vilene and lined.

Now to decide what to make next.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Book covers

I enjoy making book covers as there isn't too much measuring involved as I don't do numbers. The first 2 shown are taken from a copyright free Islamic pattern book and the technique is cut through applique.

The method used was to transfer dye some white felt then trace the pattern onto Vilene. This was then pinned to the back of a cotton fabric and the felt placed on top to give a three layer sandwich. The piece was then machined at the back using the pattern on the Vilene as a guide. Once complete the felt was cut out using a soldering iron to expose the fabric below and then beaded.

Although the cover below is a sketchbook it is A5 so could be used on any book of this size. I love using the technique of strips of different fabrics, couched threads, hand embroidery and beading with added favourites of dragonflies. 

Just in the process of finishing some small boxes now and setting up a textile group so hopefully some exciting news soon. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Nuno felting and bling

Can't believe I haven't posted anything on my blog this year although haven't really turned out an awful lot of work apart from cards and a couple of small boxes and the work shown below. First bit of news is that we are moving to Holmfirth on the 2nd September so hopefully being in Yorkshire will inspire me to do some new work as I have been wanting to move for a while now. The next post may be full of lovely scenery and dry stone walls.

I have made a few things this year with the first pieces being inspired by a workshop with Jane Clark on Indian inspired textiles. I made a wall hanging for my new house which is 1 m across so should look great on a pole behind the sofa. It is a patchwork of 'Bollywood' fabrics and photo transfer pieces with various braids and stitching.

I also made a couple of little bags using the same technique.

I went to a workshop with Alysn Midglow Marsden at the Embroiderer's Guild and we made a 3 sided gambler's purse which took quite a while to make but appealed to my love of bling. It is made from Angelina fibre worked on water soluble film with added sequins.

At Hardingham Textile Group we had a workshop with Pauline Wrighton earlier in the year and I made a couple of framed pieces of encrusted stitch which I enjoyed doing as it was very textural. 

I have always enjoyed felting but up to now never really tried Nuno which is felting wool through silk which makes it crinkle nicely. This works best with chiffon which I will be trying next but so far I have experimented with a piece of dyed silk and am now working on a silk scarf which still needs to be cut through, stitched and beaded.

This piece is finished and although only an experiment could easily be framed. The piece below needs cutting through and beading and when finished I will post the result.