Skip to main content

Garden felting

For a very few days each year the blue irises in our garden are in bloom while the marsh marigolds are
still flowering. 
marsh marigolds
The complimentary colours of yellow/gold and purple/blue  are wonderful to behold.

We are enjoying a little heatwave just now so the other day I sat in the garden and did a little watercolour sketch of an iris.    And today I set about making an interpretation of these flowers in felt.

The first step was to select my colours of merino wool fibres.  It was definitely a question of blending as nothing I had was quite right for the irises - which are somewhere between blue and purple. 

I decided on the inlay method - that is, make some pre-felt for the various components of the piece and cut them into the various shapes that I wanted. 

The process of painting the flowers is helpful because it helps to analyse how the flower is formed.  The iris has three petals that point up into a peak, three smaller petals that spread out horizontally and a further three large petals that curve gracefully downwards with lovely markings that entice the pollinating insects.
I wanted to have a degree of 3-D so I employed resists to keep certain parts of flowers and leaves free of the main surface.

While one just has lots of fluffy fibres laid out on a table it is almost impossible to work outside because the breeze blows everything away, but once it was all in place and wetted down I was able to lift it outside and work on the picnic table at the studio door while enjoying the sunshine.


It has certainly been a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday.   I am writing this blog while waiting for the felt to dry enough to put it in the car and go home.  Tomorrow I will assess whether I want to add any stitching details or decide to leave well alone!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making facemasks

Yesterday, 28th April 2020, the Scottish government announced they had decided to recommend the wearing of face coverings in a bid to limit the spread of the Covid-19 corona virus.   The idea is that they limit the chances of someone who may be infectious from spreading the virus to other people, rather than as a way of avoiding catching the infection.

So I did a trawl of the internet looking at patterns and instructions for making such things.  They ranged from okay, but with limited detail to totally hopeless.    I fixed on one style that to me looked neatest and most effective and set about figuring out how to make it so that it fits my face.  I have a small face (despite people thinking I am rather "big-headed!) and it was obvious that the dimensions given were not appropriate for me.   If the mask isn't a good fit, it's no use to man nor beast!

Here is my method, starting with how to take your own measurements so you can make them to fit you.

Step 1 - Measure your fa…

Sewing Machines

We have several sewing machines in our workshop and they are on full view so that people who visit us can see us working on them.   Because of this we often get asked about people's problems with their machine, or asked advice about what sort of machine to buy.

One service that we offer is an introductory one-to-one course "Get to know your sewing machine".  At a mutually convenient, pre-arranged time you can come with your sewing machine and I will go through it with you step by step explaining how it works, the importance of good maintenance, giving advice about stitch choice, tension, bobbin winding and so on.

Recently a young woman came in with her very elderly Singer machine which had sat un-used in a cupboard for about 10 years.  This prompted me to get out some of my older machines and have a good look at them again.    I thought people might enjoy seeing some photographs and reading a bit about them, why we chose them and what we have done with them.

First of all…

Symbolism in my Ecclesiastical Stoles

At The Workshop we all work together on some things, but we also have our own areas of specialism.  Mine is in Ecclesiastical embroidery - designing, embroidering and making vestments and paraments for use in churches.  www.angelforce.co.uk

Sometimes people choose to buy a stole with one or other of my regular designs, but more often than not there is at least some degree of customisation.   I am known for my stoles with Celtic designs that also feature tartan.  For some people, simply choosing which tartan they want is enough, but for others it is important to get the symbolism right.
This can be achieved in a variety of ways.   For example the stole might incorporate a cross that has significance to the client, or perhaps has representation of some architectural feature of the church in which they serve.
For many, there is a particular saint that has significance.  In the past when literacy was not common, most saints had symbols that helped people to identify them.  Examples of thi…