How do you do it?

I like to see felt on the wall but how to get it there can sometimes be problematic. Speaking to a local framers I’ve discovered that mounting with double sided sticky tape doesn’t always cut the mustard as the felt peels away over time and ends up having to be glued in place. Now glue works very well but it makes it difficult to remove the felt from the mount without cutting the felt and destroying the mount. Disappointing if you’ve decided to reframe or use as a hanging instead.

In the past I’ve put a hidden channel in the back of the felt and threaded a rod through it. This is quite effective but after a while the felt moulds to it and the line becomes visible. My favourite method is to sew curtain rings on the back and either hang the felt from those or from a rod threaded through them. Sometimes the points at which you sew the rings on can become visible on the front (esoecially in softer felt) and occasionally the top of the felt begins to curl over.

Stitching the felt to another fabric like calico and stretching the calico over a frame works. In the one above I’ve glued it to the canvas with spray mount and then put in a few decorative stitches which makes sure it’s held securely to the canvas.

So my question is How do you do it? How do you mount your textiles, especially felt, and not have any sign of it on the front.

Oh no, not again!

I can be such a drip. Five out of six of the schools wallhangings are now complete and I’ve even returned three of them to the schools for a few weeks before the exhibition. But, I can’t believe it, I’ve forgotten to take photos of them all! I was so busy worrying about finishing and returning them that two have been returned before I’ve photographed them. The only saving grace is that I will get them back later this month and will be able to take photos then. I really must try harder to remember the photography.

June has been an incredibly busy month with two weeks of it seeing me teach every day. It was such a boon to have good weather so that I could dry the equipment each night before repacking it. I don’t know how I’d have managed otherwise. It’s taken me a whole day just to tidy things away so that I could do some felting. The piece below was started at the weekend and finished yesterday.

After all the schools work there were oddments of colours and damaged fibres so I carded them together to make this hanging. The colour theme for this year’s Felt United is yellow, green, blue and I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. My daughter thinks it looks like sea and the beach and even my husband likes it. I designed it with yellow at the top but it could be hung either way or even used as a table runner. I’m contemplating whether to make more like this in other colours. Not sure if they’ll sell, what do you think?

Hubby has also been very busy in the garden witrh some assistance from yours truly. We now have a brand new trellis fence and bench. They look great and he’s now moved on to repairing the old fence which has meant a lot of digging out of old concrete, sweat and a ittle bad language. My contribution was to hang a piece of felt against the garage wall.

It’s on a north facing wall so we shall see how it ages in comparison to the one hanging on a south facing wall. The top half of the garage is a little bare at the moment so it also gives me something to look at. The weather has broken and we’ve had lots of rain, I wonder if they’ll stretch when the fibres are soaking wet?

Garden Art

Increasingly I’m moving to using and exhibiting my felt outdoors. It just seems a natural progression to festoon the garden with as much felt work as the house has received! This will inevitably lead to loss of colour in dyed wools but actually I don’t mind this idea. I’m excited by the thought that my felt will change over time by: becoming paler, stretching or shrinking, gathering moss, changing shade when it gets wet, perhaps even getting a little moth eaten. To watch it change (or not) across the seasons will be interesting.

So when I found some blue tatty rope on the beach I just knew it had to go outdoors. There’s a little spot at the back of the house which is long and narrow and for which I wanted to make a felt hanging. The best part about the rope was the loop at the top, a ready made hanging mechanism. Beach, blue rope, the hanging just had to be blue too.

I also like rust so I added a layer of tan merino to begin and allowed it to show at the edges slightly. I covered the rope with three shades of turquoise and blue merino, allowing it to break out and sit on top of the fibres in places. On top I used a few wips of tan and rust merino, ramie,silk and bamboo fibres in tiny quantites for a little sheen and a teal crystal organza to create more texture and give a hint of shine. It’s not a great picture of the hanging but I thought you’d like to see where it will sit. It is south facing so if I leave it there I’m expecting to see colour fading quite quickly.

Although I was very pleased with the hanging it just felt like it needed something more. I wondered what I could add and remembered my ever growing stash of beach glass. Excited I pulled out lots of lovely white (it was once clear) glass and sprinkled them on the felt. It didn’t work, but when I replaced it with brown glass I knew I’d hit upon the right thing. It was also lucky to find amongst my threads one in turquoise which was quite twisted. I’ve used some scrappy looking knots to fasten the glass on and positioned it near the rope. This has had the effect of making it look like it became trapped there naturally.

On a separate beach trip I’d found a lead weight from a fishing net and that’s what you can see tied to the bottom of the felt. I can’t decide whether to leave this on or not. It helps to weight the felt and stop it blowing about too much but I’m not sure about how it looks or if it will stretch the felt. It’s tied on using the rope which is embedded into the felt.

What do you think I should do about the weight, leave it on or remove it? This is a style of felt art that I’d like to do more of and be able to sell. What do people think, would you buy it? It’s not like a sculpture for the garden. It will be quite long lived but it’s condition will contsantly change. Will it sell?