What should be on the front?

I’ve made this small note book cover in Norwegian wool with a Wensleydale beard. Hubby doesn’t like the beard ‘too impractical’ but I do like it. Do you?

Helped again!  Not really, this time he was actually trying to distract me as he wanted my attention and kept rubbing himself against my hand as I tried to take photos. Below is what I wanted to show you.

The problem is that the front seems a little too blank and I can’t decide what to put on it. Initially I appliqued a sheep on but it wasn’t right and I cut it off but it does need and deserve something. I’m toying with the the idea of a heart but am also considering a fluid curly(ish) abstract design in stitch and beads. Any opinions or other  suggestions?

Changed

Yes Kate, it has felted down well and I’m pleased with it. After cutting open the seam I worked the felt until it was smaller and firmer and then I’ve added lots more stitching.

 

I kept with the running stitch in purple, red and orange and now really like the finished item, partially because of the texture created  by the stitching.  I know I like texture so it surprises me that I didn’t add more in the first place.

The picture above shows the back and you can now see that I’ve finished it by stitching along the edge in blanket stitch with a wool thread. It’s my favourite way of finishing notebook covers. I like to preserve the slightly uneven edge rather than cutting the felt and as I’m obsessive about the stitching not showing on the reverse I don’t need to line it either.

This little book is quickly finding a special place in my affections. In fact, you could say it’s become a favourite.

 

It needed to change

Some time ago I made a notebook over in orange Merino, added some fabrics and a very little stitch and called it done. I came across it this week and on inspection wasn’t happy with it. Firstly, I felt it a little too bare and secondly I didn’t think it felted enough, what was I thinking?

It was an A5 book cover with no stitched seams, as you can see. To felt it more it will shrink,  nothing for it but to cut open the seams and felt it down to A6 size. However, before doing that I’ve  added some more stitching.

It’s now A6 size and as soon as I finish the extra stitching I intend to do I’l show it again and see what you think.

In need of a name

After failing to make my first flame inspired piece into a book cover I took another run at it.

It always looks so lovely when the dry fibres are laid out ready for felting. Hebridean background with hand dyed Teeswater curls.

Heavenly, you just want to dive into it.

I’m unsure whether to decorate with beads or to leave it as pure wool and I also need help with a name. Any suggestions anyone? Please help.

 

Little stripey book

This is the handmade item that I included in my op swap. I really like reusing and recycling items so I began this by collecting al the little odds and ends of purple, grey and black fibres that were too small or slightly felted to be used in other projects.

After hand carding they made the perfect background.

I used grey, black and plum for the main background then laid on strips of purple fibres to create a striped effect. On top of this I added stripes of single crochet.

To this I added wobbly lines of running stitch using a purple and multi  coloured metallic thread and three recycled buttons.

I love the hint of sparkle from the thread which I’ve also used to blanket stitch the edge. The crochet has felted in well and I like the  little touch of blue that it adds.

I’m not usually a stripe fan but this little book has found a place in my affections. Strange how that happens.

 

Quick update

Suffering a bit with the neck the last few days so haven’t done much felting but have managed
to take a few photos.

These are now making their way into my shop and in case you were wondering, yes this is my first play with a collage of photos using Picasa. I’m sure I haven’t made the best use of it yet but it is early days and makes a nice change to multiple photos.

Stitched in felt workshop

It was one of my favourite workshops yesterday as we combined felt making with a few simple stitches. We began by stitching into the fabric before we then laid out the fibres.

It’s always interesting to see what colours people use. In addition to fabrics, silk and crab fibres, rovings, yarn and neps were added for more interest and texture. Then began the rubbing and rolling.

We stopped at the pre-felt stage and added more stitches and then again at the end.

You could hear a pin drop at this stage as everyone is concentrating so hard. Not that the stitching is difficult, you don’t need to know a lot of stitches, one of the most effective is a simple running stitch. First book cover up is Liz’s.

This isn’t a set of colours that I’d normally use but I just love the subtlety. We used muslin, silk chiffon, silk and crystal organza fabrics.

Fabulous striking purples, blues and pinks by Jeni with textured chain stitch in a metallic thread.

Jackie chose to keep it as a hanging and achieved some great textures adding lace and a chopped up metallic scarf to the mix.

Wonderful colours from Julia. Those of you who know my love of the sea and rust will understand why I’m loving this. What they all have in common is lots of colour, movement and texture. Stitches put into the fabric before we began felting completely disappear into the background and become part of the overall pattern. Stitching at the pre-felt stage has softened off and stitching done at the end stays proud so that they all contribute to the whole but at different levels.

Reminds me of rust

I love rust, the colours and the textures. Fishing boats with mixtures of peeling paint and rust are my absolute favourites and it was this I had in mind when I was laying out the fibres for this little notebook.

The reds, oranges and browns are also quite autumnal so I used a leaf design on the front in nuno felted organza.Th process began by stitching into the fabric before it was laid on the fibres. At the pre-felt stage I stopped and added some extra stitching and then added more once felting was complete.

Extra texture is supplied by hand dyed Teeswater curls in turquoise, yellow and brown. There’s also space dyed roving and some silk fibres on a merino base.  Using organza in nuno felting gives scrummy textures, much bigger than using natural fabrics.

Not sure I’m going to be able to convince myself to sell this one. If you’d like to make your own I’m running a workshop on Saturday 22nd October in which you’ll make an A5 sized cover.It’s one of my favourite workshops and the notebooks make great presents which can be used year after year.

New shop stock

I’ve been busy making new stock for my shop and thought I’d show you a few of the things I’ve completed.

The notebooks are made using rejuvenated wool fibres. They’re not actually recycled as it’s not been used before but sometimes you get old bits of wool that have started to felt or perhaps not enough of a colour to do anything with. I take all these little bits and hand blend them together using carders to produce new colours. I’m not quite sure what it is about the notebooks but I get immense satisfaction from making them.

Notebooks

I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to recently. It all started with an old blue cushion made from recycled silk saris. The cats loved it (far too much) and my daughter played with it (far too roughly). The result was that the silk had torn in several places and a few pieces had even come off. I hung on to it though because I liked it so much, until one day I looked at it and thought it really had disintegrated too far.

Not one to throw things away willy nilly, I carefully deconstructed the cushion and am able to re-use everything except the zip which broke when I was wrenching taking it out.

If you look closely you can see the silk is worn through in places, has torn edges and has faded. Of course, brown is a classic combination with blue so it was the first colour I thought of to make a notebook cover and to set off the colour of the silk.

I’ve named it Faded Glory as that’s how I remember the cushion. The decoration is mainly the silk plus a little of the bright blue muslin which formed the back of the cushion. Other than adding a few beads I’ve left it quite plain which is most unusual for me. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favourites and should make it’s way to my shop very soon.

Not content with one I went on to make second notebook this time using only the bright blue muslin for decoration. I decided to team it with a little jade green and a grey background. I’ve added a few silk fibres for sheen.

I’m still considering whether or not add a few beads or stitches to the circles and I don’t have a name for it yet so if you have any suggestions post them here. The colours on this one are beautiful and it’s noticeable how much brighter the muslin is on the grey background than it is on the brown. That’s the nuno effect of the fibres coming up through the fabric.

If you want to make a notebook cover of your own, take a look at my tutorial.