Back on the flower trail – 2

In my first post I showed you the basic flower shapes made up ready and waiting for stamens. I’d now like to show you my three favourites, one from each of the colour ranges.

pink flower

It’s not just the shape I like in the pink one it’s the starkly contrasting stamens.

purple flower

I think the purples really show off the lovely Ramie fibres.

turquoise flower

What can I say, I was bound to like this, turquoise is a strong favourite of mine.

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They look lovely together don’t they. My next job was to select a piece of wood from offcuts in the garage and to give it a wash and a sand down.

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It definitely looked a bit grubby before the wash. Those of you who read my blog last year may already have realised where I’m going with this idea. Next job is with the glue gun and here are the results.

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It’s so nice I couldn’t resist showing you more than one photo.

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I’ve tried to glue the flowers on in such a way that it could be hung from either end or horizontally.

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I was so pleased with this and so loath to discard the flowers I made during demonstrations at another show, that I’ve mounted those too.

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Back on the flower trail

It’s just as well that I enjoy making felt flowers as that’s exactly what I’m doing again. At Adelaide Walker we sell felt flower kits where you can choose your own flower colours. These same kits will be coming with us to the shows this summer but it’s not practical to offer choose your own colours in those situations so we’ve decided upon three colours – pink, purple and turquoise.

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I need to make some flowers up for a display centrepiece so people will know what the finished item is like and so that I can take a photo for the front of the kit. On Friday I made up some pink and turquoise flowers and yesterday I finished off the purple.

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What do you think of our colour choices?  Is there a colour missing that you believe would be a best seller?  In each pack we put three shades of wool plus some Ramie tops which are the fibres giving that lovely lustrous shine and wiggle decoration to the flowers. Obviously everything else needed to make the flowers is included along with colour instructions.

When the display piece is finished I will show it to you but for now I have 17 flowers awaiting stamens so I’d better get on with the next stage.

Nuno flowers 2 and 3

In playing with fabric and fibre I was keen to use some fabrics which I wouldn’t normally consider. usually I’d only use fabric through which the fibre can migrate during the wet felting process. This time I began the process by dry needle felting the fibres through the poly cotton.

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The poly cotton is dense and closely woven which is why it can’t be used in wet nuno felting. It was so dense I couldn’t dry felt it from the fabric side I had to turn it over and needle felt from the fibre side.

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Here it is when I’ve finished the dry needle felting. The red heart has velvet on one side. You need to be careful not to overdo the needle felting or when it’s subsequently wet felted the fibres may conceal the fabric.

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After wet felting. Lovely textures from both fabrics but I especially like the blue and white patterned poly cotton.

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Beaded up, stitch and seed beads added, bow trim and edged round with blanket stitch.

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I really like the red with turquoise, I can definitely see me making more.

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I love this one though, it has a real vintage feel, I think my daughter is coveting it.

Nuno flower 1

I love to combine fabric with wool and have been playing around with a few nuno flowers. I began by carding up some scrap ends of Merino.

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Then I laid large pieces of fabric, in this case it was net curtain, on top

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and finished with a little more fibres in the centre.

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here it is when I’ve finished wet felting it. Not sure whether I like it or not.

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Here it is again, this time with the centre beaded up. I really like the large texture created by the net curtain but each time I look at it I change my mind on whether I like it or not. Love it, love it not.

Nuno flower workshop

We had a fabulous sunny day for our nuno flower workshop with 4 sunny tempered ladies who made it such a joy. The first image up is by Jean or Jubilant Jean we ended up calling her as all her colour choices throughout the day were so vibrant and full of fun.

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We actually began the day by felting fabrics you don’t normally associate with nuno felting, polycotton and velvet. Polycotton is very closely woven and so doesn’t allow the fibres to migrate through the fabric during wet felting. We overcame this by dry needle felting fibres through from the back of the fabric and then wet felting. You can see that they give great texture and have made two splendid hearts ready for further embellishing.

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Putting away the felting needles we went on to explore different fabrics in nuno felting. Lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon work very easily but can be subsumed into the felt and therefore add more colour than texture, chunkier fabricslike  lace give greater texture but can obscure the colours of the fibre if not handled carefully.

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The blue flower from Christine has silk chiffon which has given delicate blues but very little texture. The mixed purples in front is from Gill and contains cotton muslin which adds texture but also knocks the colour of the fibres back a little. Jean incorporated parts of two old synthetic scarves into the yellow flower which gave some texture and each fabric felted in quite differently. The pink and orange flower from Stephanie contained synthetic crystal organza which has lovely vibrant colour and great texture.

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Double flowers were next with fabrics on the inner layer of felt. The most striking example here is Christine’s innovative use of white lace on the purple flower. The piece of lace had a flower within a lace circle, Christine removed the central flower and used the remaining lace doughnut shape. It creates a really lovely eye catching centre to the flower. Gill added cotton muslin to the pink and purple flower at the back but then brought the fibre colours forward again by adding thin lines of fibre over the top of the fabric.Very effective.

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Christine’s interpretation of a poppy worked out well and Gill was delighted with her more spiky shaped blue and green flower even though she normally doesn’t do spiky. The sweet little flower in front has lace petals and is from Jubilant Jean. Stephanie has promised to forward a picture of her final flower (large with 3 layers) when she finishes it off. Thank you ladies, it was a lovely day.

More flowers

It’s difficult to believe that Yarnival is now less than a week away and I have so much to do. I’ll be appearing as myself, complete with demos, plus Hubby will be there assisting with sales both on my stall and the one for Adelaide Walker. Don’t know what I’d do without him!

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Adelaide Walker will have felt brooch making kits on offer so I’ve been  making up flowers using the kit colours. There’s ten above ready to go, two more in the roll behind and four drying on the windowsill. That just leaves another eleven. Never mind, I can have a break on Tuesday when I run my flower making workshop – er, perhaps not that much of a break, good job I like flowers.

Just had to leave you with the photo below. Three out of our four cats decided to play trains on the sofa, they’ve never done this before. Puck being Puck is facing the wrong way and Tatty was upset because she couldn’t get in on the action, no-one would move up for her.

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Catch up two

After landscapes I then moved on to plant life and the first idea I came up with was cotton grass, you get a lot of that on moors.

 

It’s not really my usual thing but I did enjoy making it. First I wet felted the background then dry felted the cotton grass onto it finishing off with some cotton fibres. More of these?definitely. This led me onto further plants but I wandered off the moors into the hedgerow for this next one.

Poppies are red, well that was what I’d always thought until I started to build this one up and included orange and pink too. I think I prefer the cotton grass but this has it’s own appeal.

Flower workshop

The flower workshop is one of the most prolific workshops, hang on, no, it is the most prolific workshop I run. Judge for yourself.

This particular workshop was also one of the noisiest for a long time but what a great sign that is. People chatting, having a good time and creating such beautiful work. There were a couple of brooches that would have matched my outfit but no=one was willing to donate them to me.

I did say that actually I, as tutor, got to keep everything they made but they didn’t believe that either.




The Dying of the Sun

This is the final piece I submitted for the exhibition and probably the one I like the most. Inspired by the title I thought I’d make a sun and show it from red hot through to dying ember colours with the whole thing made from flowers.

When I thought I had enough I laid them out in a circular shape but it really wasn’t working for me. Not enough flowers?  too small? To be truly spectacular in a circular shape I decided it needed to be far larger, would need more flowers and that I would run out of time. I still liked the idea so I wondered if it would work in another shape. A rummage in the garage found me these two pieces of used wood.

I chose to work with the longer narrower piece and set to with scrbbing brush and water to clean it up. I didn’t see how I could use a single hook mechanism to hang it as unless it was dead centre the finished piece wouldn’t hang straight. I solved it by using 2 D rings with wire between them so that it could find it’s own centre.

Best way to attach the flowers? Hot glue gun. I began with the hot colours at the top.

I did actually work it with the wood vertical gainst the wall. This is how it will be seen when hung and I didn’t want to end up with any gaps by working on it flat.

Going well, colours blending into each other quite well.

Still going well. Nearly there.

Blast, ran out of flowers! At this point work on assembly stopped whilst I made more flowers. In total I made and attached 50 flowers.

Finished. The whole family love this piece and I’m hoping that it will come back home after the exhibition. I know I could make another one for me but it wouldn’t be the same and where would I find the time? I reckon this has taken something like 15 hours to make.

I thought you’d like a couple of close ups of the colours used.

I’ve used reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, blues, greys, browns and blacks. A lot of blending and carding. I’ll leave you with my favourite picture, I’m one contented felt maker.

Swaledale flowers

For the exhibition in Swaledale next month I thought I’d make a small contribution. It really is small you know, it has to fit inside a 5″ cube. What to make has exercised my mind for some time and many ideas have been rejected.In the end, it was a sudden decision to make the roses.

I’ve made them as three separate flowers, each of which can be detached from the landscape
background and worn as a brooch if desired.