felt under fabric

When I was working on this quilted hanging, one of my aims was to use felt as the wadding in a way that made its colour a central element of the design. I’m still thinking about that, so today I’ve been stitching some studies for my sketchbook pages for the April TIF challenge (changing a piece of fleece in as many ways as I can). I collected a pile of sheer fabrics of varying opacity and made a small sample of each, layered with some of the pink felt I’d already made.

transparent samples

The best silk I’ve found for this is silk organza (top right) – it’s what I used on the front of my hanging; though I think you can get silk net and I’d love to try that. The manmade fabrics at the bottom – nets, voile and organza – are the sheerest of the samples but I really prefer natural fibres (although I confess I went and bought the finer net and the organza specially for this at Reticule today!). It’s partly because I like the feel of natural fibres so much more, but also because so many manmade fibres are petrochemical based. I think if I were to use them extensively I’d look for them in secondhand clothes and recycle.

In the middle are the cottons – an organdie on the right, and on the left my favourite – cotton scrim. I just love the combination of the open weave and the distortion from the stitching and the way the felt shows through and is furrowed by the pull of the stitches.

felt and scrim

I’m going to try a kind of nuno version on a partially felted base, and also with dyed scrim and different colours of felt.

And I just wanted to share these, because they’re so lovely…

tulip tulips

more felt

I’m not sure about either of the pieces of felt I made today but at least I made them 🙂 One is an experiment stitching into prefelt before felting – more play with a piece of fleece. The images show before and after the felting was completed:

embroidered prefelt
embroidered felt

I want to explore this effect some more, but would prefer finer wools for the stitching, I think.  Then, rather than getting all wet and soapy for one little piece, I also made another piece of felt based on thoughts of the sea at sunset. It didn’t really turn out as I wanted, but it’s all experience.

felt

well, it’s done…

… the ‘when will this ever be finished’ wall hanging for City & Guilds Patchwork & Quilting is now finished!

This was my first experiment using felt as the batting so it became an integral part of the design. The assessment was to make a piece using appliqu̩ techniques. It has three layers Рpainted silk organza, handmade felt, and painted silk pongee. The shadow appliqu̩ shapes are hand dyed cotton and hand painted silk, and the machine and hand quilting are in cotton.

I cut back the top layer of some of the shadow appliqué and machine quilted areas after quilting them. I finished the edges with buttonhole stitch and then needlefelted them to break down the stitches into the felt. The support is a piece of driftwood I found on the beach, and the work is 53cm x 78cm (or 76cm x 78cm if you include the wood).

applique hanging

applique detail

applique detail

applique detail

applique detail

weekend ramblings

Warning – moan…. I’ve been feeling a little despondent because the project I’m working on is progressing (too) slowly – and wondering why I bit off so much more than I could chew – hunger? greed? inattention? And because I wasted time today unpicking a whole lot of machine stitching – laborious and eye-straining and nothing to show at the end. Except holes. (Although in another context I could really like the lines of tiny holes you would get if you stitched without any thread…)

And I said I wouldn’t show any more of this work in progress – but as I have nothing else to show for the past couple of weeks, I’m going to anyway! I’ve done the appliqué and machine quilting on the third section (of three) now, and I’m ready to start handstitching it. I’ll be doing some of that each day, but I should also give some thought (or action, even) to Christmas, I guess.

inprogresssmall.jpg

I haven’t had much time to read blogs this week and Bloglines says I have 932 unread posts so I feel a ‘Mark All Read’ moment coming on – but before I got so behind I did see this hand carved stamp tutorial of great beauty on Geninne’s Art Blog and wanted to share it.