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.

Felting a tree

You may remember me rambling on about items I find when out walking and I did mention some pine cones I’d found. In addition, I came across some mini cones and these have inspired me to make a tree picture. Ages ago I’d made two of the felted tails below to go in a project and then changed my mind and put them in my bit bag. I thought they’d make the perfect basis for the tree.

Continuing the recycling theme I carded the fibres from my bit bag, using up all the old greens with a little purple, brown and grey added. I was thinking about heather moors when I was doing this. You can see that I’ve chopped the tails up and rearranged them to make the tree.

You can see that in order to join the bits of tree together you need to cut on an angle to enable you to fit them together with no gaps. I’ve joined them quite crudely as I’ll be covering the tree with some more fibres and you won’t see stitching or joins. I had the idea of adding more low relief at the bottom of the picture and chopped up other discarded felt rolls and felt balls which I embedded in the middle of the fibres. You won’t see them but they will give the impression of boulders under the grass.

I carded different browns, grey, black, purple and green fibres to cover the tree. I allowed the original colour to show through in places as I think it adds to the depth. You can see that I’ve also gone over the whole tree with a felting needle to make sure that I really got the definition I was after. I then wet felted again.

The cones are attached by a few couching stitches. As they’re quite brittle and therefore fragile I don’t think they’ll last for ever on this piece but it’ll still look good long after they’ve gone. It’s strange, I wasn’t expecting to like this tree so much but it’s one of the items I like most in my recent work.

Beach glass spiral

I’ve had various projects in mind for quite a while now, one of which was to use up some of the many pieces of beach glass that I’ve collected on my trips to the seaside. So it was obvious really that I’d be inspired by the colours of the sea and by what else you might find there. In an earlier post I showed you seaquest, an item inspired by the sea and recycling a ceramic ball from my garden. Below you’ll see the spiral.

beachglass1beachglass2

I don’t know if you can see but some of the glass is ridged, coloured or has other patterns in it. Because glass can’t be rolled up (it’d pierce the felt) the whole piece was created just by rubbing. I laid out four layers of white fibres, put in the glass then laid 2 layers of white over the top plus the final carded layer you see above. It’s a substantial piece which I intend to hang outdoors.

These are just two of the finished pieces, I’m now working on a third one inspired by rusty pieces of metal that I also collected from the beach. I wonder what I’ll be inspired to do with the cones, feathers and shells awaiting my attention?