After a heavy workout of felting a tote bag, I decided to take it easy and just play around with wool. I have been inspired to try some of the exercises in the book Creative Felting, by Lizzie Houghton. Although she explains how to make felt, pre-felt and other basic things, this isn’t really a how to book to make anything in particular. It is a way of looking at colored wool and putting them together with other materials that you wouldn’t normally think about doing.
I decided to make small samples of 8 inch squares. I did make an 8×8 inch template to work from. I am trying to work in order. These are the first three experiments. The lower right is Merino with a little bit of viscose and silk fibers. It isn’t easy making circles from tops. I wet them to make it easier. I also deviated from the exercise by adding some yarn. I ended up with a 6×6 inch square. The top right is from the 2nd exercise. We have Merino wool, sari silk fabric and sari silk fibers. The sari silk fabric was a tight weave and I added a few fibers on top to help hold it down, but I don’t think that is necessary when using the sander. This shrunk to 6×6 inches. The third lesson was to make bark. I used Merino wool in a variety of colors, sari silk fabric and a template. The silk made some really nice texture and the template was a good idea. I am working on a smaller scale than is suggested in the book and I don’t have all of the materials, so I am using what I have.
The next exercise called for making a shibori effect, but I didn’t have any marbles, so I used buttons. I didn’t take a photo as I am not happy with how this turned out. This project called for just wool and marbles. The buttons were too flat so I definitely need marbles and I probably needed to add another layer of wool. No string was used in this project. I just have a yellow square that doesn’t look great, but I will save it as I do with everything in case I can use it for something else. I skipped the next exercise as I partly didn’t understand it and I wasn’t inspired to try it. I did however make a sunflower.
I already had some green pre-felt, so I added sari silk fiber and glitzy merino for the center. The flowers are made with two shades of yellow merino and sari silk fibers. As the flower was rather large, I had to think how I would use it and decided to make a little wall hanging. I had collected some embroidery hoops from the charity shops, and had bought some fat quarters from Lidl. I used the embellishing machine to attach the flower to the fabric. I have the machine, so I might as well use it. I then embellished some throwster’s waste on the center and added some lovely blue beads. My green center is a bit wonky as I had an unusual shape leftover from another project and just went with it. I then embellished very carefully around the center as the piece was quite thick now and I couldn’t move it. I just went over the same area a few times and then moved the piece around. It is quite sturdy.
What is a sunflower without a bee? I had plenty of space, so I added a bee to the mix. First I laid out some black and embellished that in. Then I added the yellow and white and embellished that in too. Afterwards, I needle felted all the colors in. I still have some needle felting wool in spite of selling off most of my stock. I wanted a nice fluffy bee. I tried needle felting the wings, but that was taking too much time, so I used some commercial white pre-felt and needle felted that onto the bee for wings and then embellished the rest into the fabric to hold the wings down. I think it looks cute now. It makes a change from making a wearable or practical item.