Sunday, 22 July 2018

Felt Bookcovers

I've made a few new felt book covers, recently. First, I made a large seascape in felt:


Then I made it into an A5 bookcover. This is the front:


And the back:


I had a look through my already made felt pieces and found one from a Felting and Fiber Studio challenge which I thought would make a nice A6 cover, so I cut that out:


There's quite a lot of viscose on the orangey yellow part so it has a nice sheen. This is the front:


Not quite so obvious in the photos is the texture near the bottom with silk noil and some cotton fibres. I think I used some dyed cotton nepps too. This is the back:


I'd been making this next notebook cover since January! I had a big clear up and tidied my offcuts, which led to planning the cover. I then sewed some of it in March, and finally finished it last week. Either can be the front or back, so this is side 1:


And side 2:


I used some hand dyed muslin for a backing/lining:


This is how it looks with the front and back opened out:


I still have my offcuts out and plan to make some collage shoulder bags, next.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Experimental Nuno Vessel

Over on the Felting and Fiber Studio site, we have Quarterly Challenges. The 2nd Quarter Challenge for this year was to use fabric as a surface design, and try a technique that you hadn't tried before. Ann made a point of saying I wasn't allowed to make a sample (I do that a lot?!), so I didn't, but it was more of a 'prototype' :) I wanted to combine using 'extreme nuno' that I'd been playing around with a lot, and vessels, so Ann's challenge gave me the push to try it.

I cut out a template, sort of bowl shaped, but not for any reason, I just wanted something big and not square. Then I started adding strips of white fabrics to it: synthetic chiffon, muslin, scrim and cotton gauze. I then added fine layers of Rambouillet. This photo shows it wet down and it's just started to felt:


Once the resist started to curl and I knew it was properly felted, I started to full it on bubble-wrap. It really puffed up!


I removed the resist and carried on fulling, I turned it the right side out, and realised I’d accidentally made a felted cow stomach!


I tested to see if it was fulled enough by inflating a balloon inside, then carried on fulling until I was happy with it. This isn’t the best photo, but you can see the shrinkage, compare it to the first photo - it started out the full height of the netting:


I rinsed it and left on a balloon to shape and dry. This is how it looked finished:


This is another side:


This is some nice ruffley chiffon on the bottom, between some Cotton Gauze and cotton scrim:


And, since the thought behind the idea was that it’d make an interesting lampshade, here it is on a lightbulb:


Close Up:


 And a different angle:


Even though it's just a prototype, I have used it on my little bedroom torch while I've been listening to music before going to sleep!

Friday, 15 June 2018

"Burning Out Doing Way Too Much"

... But Having Nothing To Show For It.


I planned so many things for the blog this year, but abandoning it for 6 months was never meant to be one of them. I love making felt, but sometimes having to take into consideration whether what you make will sell or not and whether or not making it might be a 'waste of time' that could have been spent more 'productively' takes a lot of the fun out of it. And adds a ridiculous amount of anxiety. Which is really pointless considering very little of what I actually do make to sell ever gets sold.
Which then makes me think I should be spending more time doing things which are a bit more succesful in selling, like tutorials and e-books, but every time I start, I soon get overwhelmed by how massively I've underestimated the work involved. Which sucks the life out of me and any bit of enjoyment I was having :(

And often the pressure of having to produce something to blog about and then finding the time and energy to do it, can feel like a huge task, and never knowing if anyone's even ever going to read it or if I did it all for the benefit of that bot or the spammer who earns thousands of pounds working from home, can often make it feel like a pointless as well as huge task.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who's ever felt like this, and I won't be the last! And sometimes when I least expect it, I'll do something which reminds me why and how much I love making felt. Like a couple of weeks ago, making notes for nuno samples of different thicknesses and asking myself questions for things to look out for, like shrinkage  comparisons, and being pleased with myself for accurately predicting outcomes. Or like this week, making a piece of felt just for fun to give to a friend, and really enjoying the whole process.

So, if anyone does still read this blog, apologies for being slack. And if you have any advice, or your own tales of getting bogged down by obligations spoling the fun, feel free to share and have a moan! And, so this isn't just a boring wall of text, here's a few photos of the piece I made this week :)


 Merino, with mostly dyed Nylon fibre, silk throwster's waste and various cellulose fibres.


Felted:


 My favourite part:


Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Scarves Part Two

Do you remember the scarf samples I posted about in October? One of them was an irregular shape with lots of different pieces and sizes of cotton scrim for a base, I wanted to make a full sized scarf based on that idea. I didn't want to make the overall shape of the scarf quite as irregular as the sample though, just more 'uneven'. I got out lots of pieces of hand dyed scrim in variegated shades of blues, greens and greys,  and ironed them-apparently those big plastic craft tables bend from heat more easily than I thought! I laid the pieces out on the template, and overlapped them in places for a bit more texture. Then I chose some 18.5 mic Merino in similar colours and matched the wool layout to the scrim.


It was interesting to just follow the colours of the scrim instead of planning the colour layout, it was a lot more random:



I really like the scrim side, it is so texturey and reminds me of lots of different landscapes:


This next one is a grey marl Merino on hand dyed cotton gauze. I blended up 4 shades of 18.5 mic Merino, 2 greys, a duck egg and black. It wasn't very easy to get photos, they kept turning out blue!:



Those were the last of the scarves, but I did make a few samples to test out some other fabrics. I used some scraps of stranded scarves with a couple of offcuts and some 18.5 mic Merino:


I laid the wool out very finely, cobweb thin really:


The fabric offcut rippled into a nice texture:


I used just two fabrics for this one, strips from a green viscose scarf and strips from a very pale green/beige/ blue charity shop dress which I was convinced was silk until I did a burn test, very realistic imitation!


I laid the 18.5 mic Merino wool tops thicker on this piece, though they were still quite fine. I also didn't go right upto the edges of the fabric:


The ripple textures were interesting, the viscose seemed to ripple more vertically, and the imitation silk more horizontally:


This sample is a fabric which might look familiar as I bought 3 scarves with the same design in different colours.  I think this is the first time I tried it with 18.5 mic Merino:


Well, that's it for this year! I hope you've all had a great year, and enjoyed reading the posts. And if you've got a bit of spare time over the holidays, don't forget I have lots of free tutorials which are all  felt, fibre and fabric related: https://feltbyzed.blogspot.co.uk/p/free-tutorials.html

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Scarves Part One

I've been into making scarves lately, though I probably carded more wool and ironed more scrim and gauze than I used for making scarves, but I have finished quite a few. This is a white one I made a few weeks ago:


I used 18.5 mic Merino, and Rose fibre for embellishing:


I cut the scarf wider than my template, and scrunch gathered it to size before adding the wool, so it'd have some texture on the back:


I also made a short, wide scarf/wrap similar to the white scarf, using natural cotton scrim and 18.5 mic Merino:


It's about 3 times as wide as the scarf, and I didn't scrunch the scrim first:


I used 3 different cellulose fibres for embellishing this: Viscose, Rose and Tencel, this is the Viscose:


Another scarf I made recently is this bright, colourful one. I always prefer the side where the wispy ends of the wool tops overlap (or underlap since they're laid first) the next colour:


This is the other side where the colours are in blocks:


An 'arty' shot to shop how soft it is :)


I think the multi one is the only scarf I made recently which isn't nuno-felt. This next one was made with 18.5 mic Merino and hand dyed cotton scrim. I embellished this with hand dyed bamboo top:



I cut a strip of subtley variegated lemon/yellow scrim to size, then cut the strip into roughly even pieces and re-arranged them before adding the Merino on top:



I've got a few more scarves to show, so check back before the end of the year to see part two :)