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Monday, January 19, 2009


This very, very soft star bunting was made at the last moment for our newest grandchild, Win, who expected at any time; I hadn't considered polar fleece for SC until lately but it seems it has been colder than usual there and so Nana to the rescue! I've had this pattern for years and just came upon it recently by chance; the trim is flannel in the same shade of blue with a white poka dot. It has a velcro closure under the star applique.

Since I'm just a big kid at heart, I made the "star" tag to go along with it - complete with watercolors and a touch of glitter.


This pillow is a gift; it's just a little token of appreciation for a very kind friend. The front piece was machine needle felted/stitched and then wet felted some time ago and incorporates some silk shibori, silk velvet and hand embroidery. The stitching really adds a delicious touch as the stitched circles "pop" once the wool shrinks during felting and provides lots of interesting surface texture.

The cording matches the back which is a nectarine silk dupioni; the trimmings cut from the front felt were stitched together with lots more machine stitching and a silk velvet covered button secures the two halves of the pillow and adds a designer touch (it occurred to me that this would make a great Valentine cuff!) - the stuffed insert may be removed for cleaning.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

From mohair curls to . . .

These soft and silky mohair curls were the inspiration for another butterfly wing design - the hundreds of combinations of wing patterns lend themselves well to felting.

This time the wings are lacy and I ended up adding some blue wool too - after using my Baby Lock Emellisher to needle felt the mohair and wool on to water soluble fabric, free motion stitching was used and it left a lacy effect once the stabilizer was washed out the piece wet felted.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Just a Glimpse . . . of a Felted Butterfly Wing

The inspiration: The book "butterfly" by Thomas Marent - an amazing compilation of butterflies photographed all over the world.

When I began felting, I'd try to mimic an entire object; however, along the way in my colorful journey, I've become much more interested in capturing the subtle colorways of closeup detail - does that make sense? If you really, really look at nature with a new eye, you can train yourself to appreciate these variations and combinations of color as well as appreciate the exquisite detail all around us.

I always make a test sample before starting a project and take notes of what to do more of and what not to do next time. This little sample is wool and mohair that was machine needle (using the Baby Lock Embellisher) and then wet felted on to black chiffon which is lovely and "puckery" where it peeps through although you can't quite see it here. It was rolled many, many times before "fulling" and it shrunk very nicely making the stitches quite pronounced.

Things learned from creating this sample:

I'll use all wool for my "real" project as although the mohair blend was the perfect color it is still a little hairy in some areas (as can be seen around the edges) although the wool is well integrated and felted.

I'll incorporate some black wool the next time to add more definition. Although I was not initially a "black" wool lover and steered away from it, I've found that it definitely adds a wonderful contrast to even the softest of colorways.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


For those of you not familiar with Scottish culture, it is said that whatever you do on New Year's Day, you will do the rest of the year; that meant that no matter what, I needed to make time to felt since that is what I am obsessed with - it seems I can never get enough. The piece is still wet so the stitching is dark; I'll try to post another once it has dried. It consists of prefelt, mohair, wool, velvet, silk shibori ribbon, silk scraps all layered and then stitched. Once wet felted, it shrunk considerably (as it should) and it is a nice hard felt although I added a little hair conditioner as I always do to the rinse which adds a "silky" touch. Although difficult to tell from the photograph, the circles are pronounced with some actually quite "poufed". I plan to make a "thank you" pillow for someone special.

Back to the Scottish culture and the wonderful memories I had while growing up - there were other New Year's traditions too - the house had to be clean, the bills paid, the shopping finished before New Year's Eve. While Christmas was mainly for the childen, New Years celebration "Hogmaney" was for adults and indeed they did know how to have a good time singing and dancing. If the "First Foot" (the first person to walk through your door from the outside after midnight) was tall, dark and handsome, you could expect good luck the rest of the year; he had to leave a silver coin. Every year, when I hear "For Auld Lang Syne", I can't help but think about Rabbie (Robert) Burns, the Scottish poet who wrote it - I'm sure in his wildest dreams, he had no idea that it would become the traditional song of New Year sung throughout the world every year.

Oh Baby!

This adorable wool felt puppy dog (pattern from Kari-Me-Away) has been appliqued on to the softest, softest pure cream wool yardage that was "fulled" (washed several times in the washing machine and dried in the dryer to shrink) and then the silkie and very soft silky satin was added to the edges; every small child loves silky binding on his/her "blankie". Look closely and you'll see that the puppy's bone is in the corner, so he'll have to hunt to find it!

One more gift made by Nana Margo with love for John Winston (Win) expected soon! He is named after his Dad's father (John) and my husband's middle name (Winston) - how is that for special honor!