I love making things with the felting machine so much, I've continued with it throughout February. Which puts me behind in my challenge, but, hey - it's been too much fun to leave behind just yet.
The main reason I love this craft/art is because it lets me play with color and fiber. Here is some of the fleece I've accumulated:
Warm tones, reminding me that spring will indeed come some day:
Cool reds and purples - my favorites:
Blues and greens - an ocean of color:
And neutrals, including some very cool curly locks:
If you're not familiar with a felting machine, it looks quite like a thread-less sewing machine. No bobbin, no thread. Just a shaft that goes up and down. And on the bottom of the shaft, a head that holds 12 barbed needles. These needles push the fibers through the base fabric, felting the two together. The base can be any number of clothing or home dec fabrications. It can also be the interfacing-like Solvy product that dissolves in water. For most of the work I've been doing, I've used prefelt, a very lightly felted wool fabric similar to needlepunch (that stuff we used to make shoulder pads with, back in the dark ages).
Here's a photo of the needle head. I don't have all 12 needles in it here.
If you click on the photo, you may be able to see the barbs on the sides of the needles. (I removed the plastic protective shield for the photo. It should never be removed during use, as it protects fingers and whatever else from being pierced.)
So what have I been doing with all of these supplies? I started by simply playing with the fleece, felting it onto a woolen fabric. After breaking a few needles, I got the knack of it. It requires a steady, heavy foot on the pedal, and smooth, regular movement of the fabric using both hands. I do use a hand-held felting tool sometimes, for detail work or to "baste" a piece of roving or yarn in place. And that's all there is to it.
I have little to show for all of my explorations thus far, because I didn't like certain pieces for one reason or another. I haven't taken photos of the rejects, for fear they'd show up on Pinterest or somewhere. But here are two projects I'm pleased with:
Coasters! I used a fleece batting that was several colors blended together, which is why the background is so rich. Then I felted the leaf shapes on, and added the hand stitching. It's really rewarding to see an item come alive with the stitching. It adds texture, more color and a focal point.
Second, a big, bold cuff bracelet:
The whimsical spirals on this band make me smile! The large spiral is stitched over a thick strand of hand dyed yarn. It gives great texture and is a focal point for the piece. The smaller spirals are stitched with a variety of threads and types of stitches. Two magnetic snaps close the bracelet, and it's lined with silk dupioni. It's a good 3+ inches wide. That would be too large for many women, but it's great on my long arms. It's really comfortable to wear, despite its size. Its softness and flexibility boost the comfort factor.
Today I started a felted wall hanging, but you'll have to wait for my next post to see it. I'm pondering what to explore as my technique for March. There are so many things I want to try, it's going to be a fun year!
Oh, and clothing? I made a couple of ponte jackets in late December. I'll get them photographed one of these days. I have no need for clothing right now, so new clothes can wait a month or two. In the meantime, I'll be felting, embroidering, and longing for spring!
|Our deck on February 15th. Way. Too. Much. Snow.