Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Making Things

I mentioned recently that I had a look through my box of felt pieces to make things with. I think I put as many pieces back as I kept out (I think anyone who makes felt knows how hard it is to cut pieces up to make things!) so I went through it again telling myself it's a waste to keep them all packed away in a box :)  I had quite a lot of pieces this time. I started looking at some of the bigger pieces to see how many notebook covers I could make. Some of you might recognise this flowery piece from my e-book, I'm trying to convince it it's big enough to make a notebook cover from! In the end I decided to make a couple of camera cases from it as it had a base layer of muslin.

I cut out a placemat and two coasters from a thick felt piece I made just before Christmas and found some pieces perfect for making into glasses cases and coin pouches. I added some stitching to these to make the felt stiffer. I tried to find the perfect embroidery thread to blanket stitch them, but I wasn't happy with what I had to waited for the threads I ordered from Rainbow Girl on etsy. They are just like DMC coton perle but with more colour variations. I also finished sewing together my other cotton gauze purse, but haven't sewn the button holes yet.

Quite a few of the pieces I had were perfect for gadget cases (camera, phone, iPods) so I ended up with a huge pile of cut out felt pieces waiting to be sewn up with the machine. I finished them by Monday, though I think half that time was spent trying to thread the needle, just as I thought I was about to get the thread through, my eyes would flicker and I'd miss :)

Machine stitching might make me feel like the cases are secure, but I never feel anything is finished properly until I blanket stitch it, so out came the threads again.

One thing I did manage to get finished this week was a notebook cover. This piece of felt really was hard to cut up!

When I made a pot pouri case last year, I kept the natural edge of the felt for the flap, I really liked the uneven edges. I liked them so much that I try to use the natural edges as much as possible now instead of cutting, and luckily this piece of felt was the exact width I needed for a book cover and I left both the inside flap edges natural and just finished them with blanket stitch. When I've managed to work out postage prices and convert to US $, I'll add this to etsy.

Talking of etsy, I'm trying to add a variety of different things to my shop there and this last week I added some more collage sheets. They are all A4 sheets with 9 ATC size (3.5 x 2.5 inch) images. There are a couple featuring English census returns images and I'm working on a series of sheets featuring altered versions of my original artwork... oils, pastels acrylics and gouache.

UK readers probably know that postage prices have gone up again, and not only that but the weight categories have widened too, so the prices/weights jump quite steeply. The new price list is available online now, but it seems they've tried to make it as complicated and as clumsy as possible. I went through it and made myself a couple of charts to simplify it. I think I copied all the info correctly, so if it helps, here's a PDF of prices for letters and small packages.


  1. What a lovely lot of things you made! Love the flowery felt, what a gorgeous camera case that must be!
    I love using the natural edges too :)
    If you change your shops currency to GBP you just put your prices and the p&p in in ££s and Etsy converts that into whatever currency people are viewing your shop in. That way you always get the price you want for items regardless of changes to conversion rates.

  2. Thanks, Deborah :)
    I think it'll take a while to finish them with blanket stitch!

    I thought I'd changed the setting, I couldn't work out why it was in dollars. I just clicked 'Help' and it said it's under Shipping currency! "Your Shop > Shipping & Payment > Currency. Shipping & Payment is in the menu on the left after clicking Your Shop."
    I've done it now though :)
    Thanks a lot, that will save heaps of time and be more accurate :)

  3. OOh what gorgeous gadget goodies, colourful coasters and beautiful book covers. Such vibrant colours.
    Its so hard to cut into pieces of felt isn't it? - even when they are intended as smaller items. I have a box of pieces I should use rather than store - thanks for the nudge!
    I love natural edges too and always try to incorporate them where I can. Beautiful blanket stitch - you must have oodles of patience!

  4. They all look amazing zed and your collage sheets are gorgeous, i agree with Ali, you must have oooooooodles of patients lol xo

  5. Thanks, Ali and Kaz :)

    No, I don't really have lots of patience, I just have dodgy vision so I have to sew really slowly and carefully. It takes a really long time to finish each sewing project, but on the upside the stitching looks neat :)

  6. Zed, I really love your works and you do inspired me quite since a few years ago I searched internet and found your amazing site. The pink/ blue / pinquins/ ships all so lovely., I then fall in love with wool felt and now stitches.....

  7. Thanks, Terrie :)
    I think you might be getting me a bit mixed up with Lyn and Annie from Rosiepink, though with the pink and blue and penguins, but I'll take that as a huge compliment :)

  8. I love the felt you've used in the notebook cover, so many colours and textures, I could stare at it for ages! Liz x

  9. Thanks, Liz :)
    I made a few pieces like this 'just for fun' last year when I was writing my e-book, and all my other felt was carefully made samples in colours that would photograph well, so I went all out and added as many fabrics and fibres in the colour schemes as I could find! I think they were 3 of my best ever pieces :)