Hello my lovely friends.
Today I can finally show you my latest wet felted and embellished art work. I've called this one Magical Meadow. I think it looks as though it should have fairies hiding in amongst the flowers, lol.
This is how it began, looking all soft and fluffy, completely covering the top of my kitchen table. For anyone who doesn't know how felt is made, first several layers of fine wispy tufts of Merino wool tops are layered onto bubble wrap to create a background. Then more wool and other interesting fibres are added on top to create the floral decoration. It looks beautiful and is soooo soft and fluffy but very fragile, this one took me about 7 hours to lay out. I had to stand on a chair to get it all in the picture, at the same time shouting at the rest of the MarmaladeRose household to 'Shut that door! Don't cause a draft! It'll all blow away! Aaargh!'
Then the magical but scary part happens. The felt has to be wetted with warm soapy water and then agitated by rolling and rubbing and bit of rough slapping around to cause the wool fibres to lock together. In fact you treat it exactly the opposite to how you would treat your best woolly jumper. The scary part is that you never quite know how much the wool will shrink and where all your carefully placed flowers and petals will end up, as they can move around quite a bit.
Wow! Look how much it has shrunk! Remember it filled the table top when it was dry. Now it has to be left to dry naturally, this one took nearly 3 days! That'll be tea on our knees then folks!
This is a close up of the felt drying. The colours are a little more diffused after felting but now the fabric is extremely strong and will not fray or tear.
Next I stuff as much of it under my sewing machine as I possibly can and begin some mad free motion machine embroidery. This is the back of the piece. There is a lot of threading and unthreading of the sewing machine and hundreds of tail ends to be snipped off both on the front and the back. I got through 5 full bobbins of bottom thread doing this one.
Next comes the hand embroidery. Lots and lots of French Knots on this one and some particularly shiny gold thread that twinkles beautifully when it catches the light.
Lets take a closer look. If you click on a picture it should pop up larger.
None of the flowers are meant to look real,
they're just imaginary.
I think this is my favourite bit, lol. I love these fluffy yellow flowers, they each have a halo of gold stitching around them.
Then just when you've sat back and admired your work thinking that you're all done... you remember that it has to be backed with fabric which I carefully hand stitch to the felt.
Then I cover a wooden rod with the same fabric and slot it through the casing so that when the finished piece is hung up, all you see from the front is the felt.
Now residing in The Chapel Gallery, Hawes.
Fingers crossed for a quick sale and a loving new home.
Next time we'll catch up with some secret crochet...sssh...
Love Fi x