Wednesday, 25 July 2012

'Magical Meadow' Embroidered Felt Wall Hanging

 Hello my lovely friends. 
Today I can finally show you my latest wet felted and embellished art work. I've called this one Magical Meadow. I think it looks as though it should have fairies hiding in amongst the flowers, lol. 
 This is how it began, looking all soft and fluffy, completely covering the top of my kitchen table. For anyone who doesn't know how felt is made, first several layers of fine wispy tufts of Merino wool tops are layered onto bubble wrap to create a background. Then more wool and other interesting fibres are added on top to create the floral decoration. It looks beautiful and is soooo soft and fluffy but very fragile, this one took me about 7 hours to lay out. I had to stand on a chair to get it all in the picture, at the same time shouting at the rest of the MarmaladeRose household to 'Shut that door! Don't cause a draft! It'll all blow away! Aaargh!'
 Then the magical but scary part happens. The felt has to be wetted with warm soapy water and then agitated by rolling and rubbing and bit of rough slapping around to cause the wool fibres to lock together. In fact you treat it exactly the opposite to how you would treat your best woolly jumper. The scary part is that you never quite know how much the wool will shrink and where all your carefully placed flowers and petals will end up, as they can move around quite a bit.
 Wow! Look how much it has shrunk! Remember it filled the table top when it was dry. Now it has to be left to dry naturally, this one took nearly 3 days! That'll be tea on our knees then folks!

 This is a close up of the felt drying. The colours are a little more diffused after felting but now the fabric is extremely strong and will not fray or tear.
 Next I stuff as much of it under my sewing machine as I possibly can and begin some mad free motion machine embroidery. This is the back of the piece. There is a lot of threading and unthreading of the sewing machine and hundreds of tail ends to be snipped off both on the front and the back. I got through 5 full bobbins of bottom thread doing this one.
 Next comes the hand embroidery. Lots and lots of French Knots on this one and some particularly shiny gold thread that twinkles beautifully when it catches the light.
Lets take a closer look. If you click on a picture it should pop up larger.
None of the flowers are meant to look real,
they're just imaginary. 

 I think this is my favourite bit, lol. I love these fluffy yellow flowers, they each have a halo of gold stitching around them.
 Then just when you've sat back and admired your work thinking that you're all done... you remember that it has to be backed with fabric which I carefully hand stitch to the felt.
 Then I cover a wooden rod with the same fabric and slot it through the casing so that when the finished piece is hung up, all you see from the front is the felt.
Fingers crossed for a quick sale and a loving new home.
Next time we'll catch up with some secret crochet...sssh...

Love Fi x

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Felt Flower Brooches and a Secret Felt Wall Hanging.

 Hi, are you ready for a bit of wet felt overload today, lol. I can finally show you this felt wall hanging I made for my friends 40th birthday. 
 And some felted brooches that I've been selling in my local art gallery. OO! nearly forgot to mention some very exciting news, do you remember my 'Meadow' felt wall hanging that I posted about recently? Well a couple of weeks ago a lovely lady bought it to hang in her lounge. Oh the delicious warm feeling that a total (but lovely) stranger has fallen in love with something that I've made and likes it enough to want to gaze upon it every day! Priceless!
 Anyway back to wispy felt flower brooches.
 These peacocky coloured ones are something new for me, I hardly ever work in blues, I'm very much a pink girl.
 They take an absolute age to make (well it feels that way) each individual petal has to worked between my fingers until it's felted.
 But it's worth it in the end.
 They seem very popular at the gallery.
 Now to the 'secret' felt wall hanging.
 I made this for my lovely friends 40th birthday. 
 Lots of curly wurly wool tops on this one, and some sparkly sequins to make it shimmer as the light catches it.
 It's not too large... after all, she may not actually like it. She may decide to hanging it in the loo. You've got to think of these things, lol.
 Well it's time to go now so I shall leave you with a sneaky peek of my current felty offering. Here's a pic of me grappling with it on the kitchen table. It's waaay bigger than my bamboo blind can cope with, I'm on the look out for a 3 or 4 foot wide one. 
Right, back to the sewing machine. 
Thanks for dropping by. 
love Fi x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Sunshine Tonic from Me to You. x

 Hello my lovelies. I hope you're still with me? It has been a little while since we met up last but there has been oodles of felting and stitching going on over the past couple of weeks that I want to share with you. I actually prepared a post full of felty goodness but then stumbled across a file full of glorious sunshiny meadows that made me feel so good that I thought I'd share them with you in the hopes of lifting your spirits on another dismal rainy day. 
 So lets leave the hens scratching about in the garden and go for stroll in the Yorkshire Dales Sunshine. 
 No time for browsing today, we're heading to the river.
 Always a good photo opportunity here on the bridge. I'll wait while you snap the waterfall.

 Through the meadows.
 Down by the river. Sneaky dog always in front.

 Our own little local 'beach', I could'nt resist snapping these sandcastle, probably the last thing you would expect to see soooo far inland. We later found out that our friends had spent the previous evening here, drinking wine (the grown ups) and building sandcastles ( their little person)

 Across on the opposite side of the riverbank are little woolly danglers snatched from their owners as they brushed past.
 Left behind by these lovely ladies.
 A little bit of welcome shade.

 You've heard of the 3 billy goats gruff, lol. WM quickly renamed Sneaky Dog, 'the troll'.
 Time to start heading back.

 Goodbye river.
 So long, meadows.
 There's the village nestling in the lush greeness and WM carrying my collection of found treasures (bits of wool and interesting twigs and stones)
Back to our little stone boxes. I hope that cheered you as much as it did me. 
There is 'secret felting' to share with you next time and a sneaky peek of my largest piece to date. I'm off to start embroidering it now. 
So till next time.
love Fi x