Felt to Give Away

 

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Flower Bud by Laura Wasilowski

Many years ago I purchased stacks of wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. I love working with it but my collection of colorful felt and the cut-aways seems to be growing, not diminishing.

So it’s time for another felt give-away!  

flowerbud1aYou ask, why do you like working with this blend of wool/rayon felt? Here’s why:

  • It doesn’t fray,
  • It is easy to hand stitch, 
  • You don’t have to worry about cutting it on the straight of grain and,
  • It has deep rich colors.

feltscraps

Last time I gave away 2 sets of these cut-aways. This time, it’s 3. (I really can not use this all up on my lifetime.) Please take mercy and leave a comment below. You may be a lucky winner!

Beautiful Cloth Baskets

beverlysbowl1

I’m always amazed at what people create with my hand dyed fabrics and threads. Here you see a beautiful basket made by Beverly using my Snake Skin fabric. You may want to see her newly minted website, Colorworks and Design,  to see more of her work. The site is easy to navigate and there is a link to her Etsy site where you can purchase these reasonably priced baskets.

beverlysbowl2

As a textile people, we can certainly appreciate their tactile feel and her ingenuity in making them. Imagine their use as a knitting basket or a handy place to hold your current stitch project.  Thank you Beverly for sharing your well crafted baskets with us!

Stitching Like a Middle Ager and the Winners!

cluny1

It was my good fortune to happen across the Cluny Museum in Paris last month and discover an amazing exhibit called The Art of Embroidery in the Middle Ages. It was inspiring to see beautiful handwork from their European collection covering the 12th to 16th centuries. The exhibition, housed in the ancient Roman Frigidarium, is sadly now closed.

cluny3

Too have seen the detail of this extraordinary stitching close was so inspiring. It gives me the chills! Viewing embroidery first hand rather than through books or on the web really brings it to life for me. 

prinkphloxmissdye

And for my fellow stitch appreciators who left comments on my recent blog post, thank you. The name suggestions for my thread dyeing mistake above were a wonder. As in, I wonder why there were so many suggestions related to wine?

I’m not adverse to a good Bordeaux as a wine or as a thread title. Both Annette R and Jeri P suggested Bordeaux as the thread name and each win a size 8 skein of the new Bordeaux colorway. I also promised to give away a skein to a random winner. Congratulations Lea Ann F. you are my lucky winner! 

My Mistake and a Thread Give-Away

threaddryingAll is quiet in the Artfabrik studio. My hand dyed threads (sizes 5, 8, and 12 pearl cotton) are all washed by hand and hanging out to air dry. It’s a long, messy process but you have to love the results, rich color and beautiful gradations.

studioisclosedAnd so I hang out my “studio is closed” sign (hand crafted by a talented grandson).

prinkphloxmissdyeBut wait! I see the Prinky Phlox colorway I’ve dyed is completely wrong. It is way too dark. Yes, I must have been distracted by a riveting TV show when dyeing it and used the dye recipe at full strength rather than cutting the color formulas with water. 

Oh well, my mistake is your gain. Leave a comment below and you may be the lucky winner of a skein of this rare size 8 thread. And if a second winner gives me a great name for the “new” colorway, they will get a skein of the size 8 thread too.

Stitching on Felt #3

naturalgardening1eIf you have a pinking blade or pinking shears, you may want to trim your felt fabrics before attaching them to a background fabric. Here you see the light green felt with a pinked edge embellished with festive embroidery. Isn’t that fun! The sequence for stitching these long leaves follows. (See individual stitch directions here.)

  • Stitch Blanket Stitches down the straight edge of each leaf securing it to the background fabric.
  • Stitch Fly Stitches following the pinked edges of the leaves securing the outside edges.
  • Stitch French Knots in the center of each opening between the Fly Stitches.

naturalgardening1fThe sun in my Felt Like Gardening #3 embroidery is a simple round felt shape embroidered with these stitch combinations:

  • Fly Stitches (facing in) around the edge of the sun shape to secure it to the background fabric. French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
  • Straight Stitches inside each “V” of the Fly Stitch.
  • Chain Stitches around the sun stitched on the background fabric.
  • Fly Stitches (facing out) around the edge of the sun stitched on the background fabric..
  • French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
feltlikegardening3

Felt Like Gardening #3 by Laura Wasilowski

I hope you enjoyed seeing how this small embroidery was made. The felt fabric made it easy to stitch and the time doing the embroidery really did give me a feeling of serenity and joy. May you enjoy your stitching to!

Stitching on Felt #2

naturalgardening1dThis detail of my Natural Gardening project shows a favorite way of making artwork. It is a combination of using a pre-cut felt shape with free-form hand embroidery. There is a little bit of structure (using pre-cut shapes on a background fabric) and a whole lot of making-it-up-as-you-go-along stitchery. Improvisational stitchery means making all sorts of arty decisions. Yum!

I recently read an article on NPR which included this quote by Girija Kaimal, professor at Drexel University and researcher in art therapy: “Anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you.”

Thank heavens art making is good for you cause that diet isn’t working for me.

naturalgardening1cWhat’s engaging my creative mind as I stitch? First, what basic stitch is needed to fasten the shape to the background felt? Then, what’s the best size and color of thread to use. And finally, what stitches will enhance the fabric shape and create a wonderful design?

Here’s the solution to my creative puzzle and the order of stitching the pink flower above to a dark green background: