Tree of life 4

Using much the same technique as before I began with a piece of BFL pre-felt and a paper sketch of a tree.


Cutting out a patteren from the pre-felt with nothing to guide me is too difficult so pinning the paper to the felt allowed me to cut through on one side of each cutout piece. The actual cutout was completed once I’d removed the paper. I really hope that makes sense to you!


Instead of laying fibre behind I used a second piece of BFL pre-felt onto which I had nuno felted some lace. I didn’t attach them through needle felting just laid the two pieces together and rubbed carefully so that they wouldn’t be disturbed.


Technically this has worked but I’m not at all sure that I like it.However, when I went to the last Metaphor meeting Rosie took a liking to it as a background and has taken it away to work on it. Once she’s worked her magic we’ll put this into the exhibition as a joint piece. I can’t wait to see what she does.

Tree of life 3

Do you remember this page from my sketch book?


Using the bottom image as my inspiration I created a piece from BFL felt leftover from a previous project.



Fine blanket stitch along the edges of the cutouts and lines added in the centre to accentuate the curves. Do you like it? I do.

Tree workshop 2

Working from the same simple sketch and another piece of pre-felt, I began by cutting out the curving lines of the tree.


Each curve was then outlined in purple and a mix of red fibre laid behind and needle felted all over. Small circles of yellow pre-felt were added in the crook of each bend and attached with a quick stitch in red wool.The sections of red wool that I cut from my previous piece were twisted and laid onto the trunk for additional texture.


As before, I felt the tree went too much into the background. To combat this I added some stem stitch across the twisted bits of red on the trunk and then purple stem stitch along each of the curving lines of the tree.


On each of the yellow circles I added a little trio of red french knots.


Another great set of colours.

Tree workshop

Last Autumn I attended a workshop at York Feltmakers run by Jackie Lunn  we were experimenting with pre-felt techniques. I decided to use it as an opportunity to create more tree pieces and made a quick sketch to get me going.


As requested, I’d made some pre-felt in advance from leftover scraps pf Merino. A little yellow laid out and needled in gave me some cutting lines.


Small circles cut out at the top of the tree and a few areas on the trunk too.


The technique was then to lay fibres out acrosss the back of the pre-felt and secure with needle felting all over. Behind each hole I put a circle of blue/green fibre in various shades. Some of them courtesy of Jackie who’d brought her bit box along for us to rummage through.


The mix of red/oranges with blue/greens is one of my favourites. Needle felting across the piece from back to front pushes little spots of the background colour forward. I felt that the background was then a little busy and the tree was less visible.


A little work with thread brought the tree forward again. I’ve done a running stitch along each yellow line of the tree, I did try stem stitch but it felt too heavy. In each blue circle I’ve put french knots in various shades of blue.


It’s turned out well. There’s a second workshop tree in progress which I will show you soon.


Tree of life 2

Following on from my last post, I’ve now tried the tree on an oatmeal BFl background rather than the ecru.


What do you think of it? I’m not sure I like it on this background, I could try it on a fawn Masham or light grey Swaledale. Thoughts anyone?

Tree of life

A tree of life was one of the designs I looked at as part of my mythology investifations in the work I was doing as a member of Metaphor textile group. When we agreed the exhibition that will run in March this year the theme of make do and mend was decided upon.


I’ve chosen to re-use my earlier tree of life design (sketchbook page above) and to work in various techniques to develop it further plus I’m trying to do the whole thing using just my stash or items bought from other peoples’ stash, nothing completely new if I can help it.

When a member of the group wanted to de-stash she brought some mulberry bark along for sale and I was tempted, very tempted. It’s so beautiful and shiny and once you’ve soaked it in water for a while you can manipualte it. There was a small piece which had become detached from the rest and I could visualise it split and manipulated into a tree shape.


I really loved the way this looked and I wondered what it would look like if I added some silk fibres behind the tree to kind of fill it our a bit more.


Having covered it with BFL and mulberry silk fibres I then covered the whole item in 2 layers of BFL wool in an oval shape.


There’s something about the shining white tree on a natural white background that really appeals to me but I am worrying that the tree itself isn’t obvious enough. I may have to play with the background colour a little more.

Metaphor 3

As in my previous post, I’ve worked from a photo of cup and ring stone markings to create a drawing from sections, painted and torn papers then I’m moving on to manipulation in Photoshop.

The crop.

slim crop

Four copies of the crop manipualted to form one new image.


The new image tiled and colour added.


I’ve not put nearly so much colour on this but I thought the colours worked so well together that I didn’t want to do more. Shall we repeat the exercise?

The crop.

odd crop

Four copies of the crop manipualted to form one new image.


The new image tiled.


Colour added.


I don’t think this is quite so successful colourwise but it never ceases to amaze me how far it travels from the original inspiration.

Whilst playing around I also created this, unintentionally I may add.

odd & slim

Amazingly, I do know what I did and can recreate it. It’s an overlay of one tiled image on another creating an even more complex pattern. Rather lovely isn’t it?

Metaphor 2

Having; drawn, painted papers and torn them, my next step was to photograph my work. Once photographed, I cropped a section from each and then began to work with them in Photoshop. Hubby was most helpful with this part of the process and I managed to complete it without losing my temper, although I did feel quite brain dead afterwards.

The crop.

swastika crop

The tile.


Then I manipualted four of the crop images to create one new image.


The new image was then tiled.


And colour added


I love the new pattern, feels a bit like William Morris stuff?

Another one soon.


A couple of months ago I was invited and felt privileged to join Metaphor, a textile group comprised of some very talented and friendly textile artists. It’s fun to meet with like minded people and I intend to work with materials other and as well as felt but before then, it’s back to design stage.

It’s not usually something I discuss very much here so I thought you might enjoy a quick walk through of the process I’m currently following. We’re studying folk culture and I chose to look at cup and ring markings on Ilkley Moor.

Below, are some of the specific stones I’ve used for inspiration.

Swastika Stone


and my drawing.

IMG_7970 2

Green Crag Slack cup and ring marks.

Backstone Beck

I drew sections from each of these then painted papers and created my images again using torn paper.

IMG_7971 2

Dobrudden Stone

and my torn paper interpretation

IMG_7972 2

and finally, I created a new pattern from some of the edges of the torn papers.


We then moved on to manipulate the images in photoshop which I’ll show in my next post.