Archive for May, 2008

Felt Name Banner

There isn’t much story to tell here. I don’t remember how this idea materialized, but it has been lurking around for a while.

Let me present: custom felt name banners (ugh, what a clunky name). You choose the background color and we work together to select a motif that can be represented in felt.

I hate the title, but couldn’t think of anything more zippy. Where are my creative powers? I’m hoping that an imaginative writer will make a better suggestion.

The background for each banner is made with wool roving from Harrisville Designs. They have 56 colors available, though I have approximately half currently in stock. These two samples measure 17″ wide by 12″ tall.

In addition to being posted in my etsy shop, these samples will be on display at Venue in Ballard.

Felt Sushi Pincushions

Enough people commented on the shame of hiding the colorful parts of the pincushion on the bottom, that I worked to alter the design.

I started with a small snake of felt, needled it a little to hold the edges together, then added successive layers, needling a little as I went along. With each layer, I varied the colors along the length, which accounts for the variations between each pincushion. When it was large enough to draw snide remarks from my sidekick on the sofa, I put it aside.

The next day I wetfelted it as best I could, an unwieldy process considering the size of the roll. Next came rinsing and then slicing. Finally, each piece was finished off with ten minutes of needling to trap the fibers and firm up each individual piece.

These are now listed in my etsy shop, either with or without felting needles.

Refashioning Corduroy

Sophie and I attended a fun event called Swap-o-Rama-Rama as part of GreenFest at the Washington Trade and Convention Center. Piles and piles of clothes were amassed for the sole purpose of refashioning discarded items into something new. A sewing machine dealer in Bellingham brought six machines, two sergers and an overlock, as well as a needlefelting machine.

The first day, I was signed up as a volunteer, but had so much fun, I brought the whole family back for more sewing. We created our own pile of clothes with appealing fabrics or design features. Before long, Sophie and I decided to tear apart an extra-large women’s corduroy jumper with large front pockets.

Sophie has played with my mother’s hand-me down Kenmore machine enough that she knew was able to work on her own piece independently while I alternated between helping my neighbors and experimenting with the serger. There were also two large embroidery machines hooked up to tablets. I encouraged Sophie to ask for a design early in the afternoon before the masses noticed the spiffy machines. She selected the font, color and flower embellishment on the back of her bag.

I decided to take advantage of the free screenprinting offered by Scott of Mothpress. He patiently explained the silkscreen process over and over to anyone who wandered by, and embellished items with several original designs.

There was so much going on that I was unable to finish more than my single bag, but I took away a nice stash of fabrics and a perfect project bag for my to-go knitting project ‘du jour’.

Felt Geode Pincushions

These pincushions were a suggestion from Diane at Venue in Ballard. She bought something similar at Bumbershoot several years ago, but doesn’t know who made them or where to get more. My apologies to that artist, whoever you are. Please identify yourself if you read this post.

I started the first pincushion with the red center at swimming lessons on Saturday; first I needlefelted a solid ball, and then needlefelted subsequent layers until I ran out of colors. This ball was fairly solid when I was done, which accounts for the smooth outlines of each color layer.

The second and third balls were made by rolling roving into rough a ball shape, needlefelting just a little to hold the roving in place and then adding additional layers. The navel orange was melon-sized by the time I stopped adding roving.

All three balls were wetfelted to varying degress. Some friends suggested I finish them in the washing machine, but that really didn’t squeeze them hard enough. So after going around with a load of towels, I wetfelted them by hand. The red pincushion needed very little work, and is still the most dense of the three pincushions. The green and orange pincushions required a lot of felting because they had to compress so much to create a solid felted core, which resulted in the swirls.

For the sake of scale, the smaller two pincushions measure 2″ in diameter, about the size of a clementine orange. The largest pincushion is about the size of a navel orange. This would be a great kid project, especially if you had a Clover needlefelting tool to keep inattentive fingers safe.

These are now available in my etsy shop.


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