Making Prefelt for the Monet Challenge

I finally started on the third quarter challenge for the Felting and Fiber Studio which is using Monet’s work as an inspiration. I originally thought I would use on of his floral/landscape paintings but changed my mind after I looked at more images of his work. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the inspiration once you see the pattern.

Layout for Prefelt

To start, I needed to make some blue prefelt. I used merino wool that I had previously dyed with indigo and then carded into batts.

Freezer Paper Pattern

I made the prefelt and left it really soft. I then made a pattern out of freezer paper to cut out what I needed for the Monet piece.

Prefelt Cut Out

I ironed the  freezer paper to the prefelt and then cut it out. Have you guessed the inspiration?

Close up of Prefelt

Perhaps you can see in the close up how soft the prefelt is. I want it to just sink into the background. It has two layers, one light blue and one dark blue. Hopefully that will give it a more mottled look.

Cut Out Prefelt for Monet Challenge

And here’s the prefelt all cut out. For the background, I am planning a solid piece of white or yellow felt. Then I want to make a break down screen print to go over the surface to give all the color to the piece. I’m not sure how it will turn out but it should be a fun experiment.


Normally on Fridays, I spend all day doing fiber art of some variety and then post about what I did in the evening. But yesterday, that wasn’t the case. We had nearly a foot of snow here on Thursday and hubby’s “back is out” so he couldn’t do the usually plowing. So I ended up spending 3 1/2 hours on Friday morning (after having a lovely mammogram), shoveling and snow blowing. It was “great” fun. Then somehow, I had signed us up to participate in the “Mini Maker Faire” at the community college on Saturday to set up the yurt and demonstrate felting. So I spent the rest of Friday, getting all the yurt felt rolled up and packed as well as other felted items for demo. The we packed up all this stuff – 1 pick up truck and 2 SUV’s filled to the brim – and taking it over to the college Friday evening.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere is a bad photo of the pile of stuff we brought in. You can see hubby in the background in a sort of bent over position. I didn’t let him lift anything and he got a little grumpy.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a better photo of some of the stuff we brought. This is about half of it.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s the yurt being set up with the ladder in the middle holding the center piece where the roof poles fit in.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Paula helping to fit the poles in. She was very brave and climbed up on the ladder.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere it is before we started adding the felt covering. I was planning on taking lots more photos but then the people started pouring into the faire. We got the yurt covered and then we started doing felting in a bag demos. I think we probably had 80-100 kids felt a “flower” in a bag. We had an assembly line going and just kept felting and felting and felting. Everyone loved the yurt and I can’t believe how many people don’t even know what wool is. Most often we heard “where does wool come from?” – I tell them a sheep and they looked at me like I had two heads. One lady was very disgruntled because “just think how many sheep were killed to make this yurt”. Paula explained that no sheep were killed, they were just sheared to harvest the wool. The lady didn’t believe her. But we did teach tons of people how to felt and showed them a variety of projects that can be made from felt. The faire lasted 5 hours and I would estimate 400-500 people came through in that time. Then we had to take the yurt down, pack it all back up and haul it home. Thanks Paula for all your help – I really appreciated it. Next time I mention that I think it would be a good idea to do this again, shoot me.

Felting Session

I was busy today making samples for a felting class and working on the 1st quarter challenge making a piece inspired by Jackson Pollock.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe felting class will be for high school students at an “art retreat” and I’m going to teach them to make a cell phone case. The theme is “Intergalactic Disco Carnival”. So I thought a “cosmic cell phone case” would be the perfect class. This photo is a little dark but you get the idea.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI also made this one with cheesecloth on one side. This is some of the cheesecloth that I recently dyed. I sent pieces to Zed, Ann and Lyn and they are going to play with it to. I just used a tiny piece – I have lots more to try.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I did finish my 1st quarter challenge piece but you’ll have to wait to see the final photo. I’ll post about it on the Felting and Fiber Studio site next week. This is the pile of pre-felt that I used to make it. I also worked on my ice flower piece but didn’t have any photos because it got to dark. I’ve gotten all the flowers and leaves sewn down. Now I need to sew it on to the background fabric and attach the “twiggy bits”. I haven’t ordered the stretcher bars yet. Got to get that done.




Felted Coffee Cuffs

I started working on some felted pieces that I am planning on putting in the store in time for Christmas shopping. I made three coffee cuffs today. I haven’t done any “small” felting for a while now since I’ve been working on the yurt. It seems I have forgotten a few things. Or perhaps I was just in a hurry 🙂

Layout Coffee CuffsHere are the three cuffs laid out. I did a very quick layout which is always a mistake in my opinion. The more time you take with laying out your fibers, getting them even etc. the better the end result. But I didn’t do that.

Butterfly Layout

I used a few of the prefelt butterfly cutouts that I had in my stash, indigo dyed merino and yellow/orange silk noil.

Green LayoutThis is the same batt that I used for my umbrella tree. It’s got a bunch of different fibers in there and I can’t remember what all I used.

Orange LayoutThis is an old batt as well. One that I originally used for making slippers. It’s mainly merino and silk noil if I remember correctly. Anyways, when I wet these down, they spread out all over the place and I kept getting ridges when I tried to roll them. So I just ended up doing it all by hand and rubbing them. I fulled them very tightly and put them over a paper coffee cup to dry.

Finished Cuffs

Here they are. They have very organic edges. Usually I do a bit better job with the edges but they will work.

Finished Orange CuffI really like the colors of this one, very autumn colors.

Finished Butterfly CuffThis one turned out better than expected. I don’t really care for butterfly motifs that much.

Finished Green CuffThis photo doesn’t show the variation in colors very well. Perhaps it needs a little hand stitching? But I don’t want to spend too much time on it so I can keep them affordable. I plan on making more of these and the next project will be Kindle and I-pad covers. I also did some free motion stitching on one of my leaf printed scarves and it looks much better. I’ll post about that over at The Fiber and Felting blog next week.

A Little More Groundwork

I have been continuing to work on my Shelter exhibition umbrella tree. I finished the ground and the roots. Most of the ground was fairly flat so I wanted to add a bit more dimension. I thought about using raw wool to pad underneath but I was being stingy and didn’t want to use it all up. So instead, I used some really soft wool sweaters that I had originally gotten at the thrift store to make wool flower pins. They were too soft for that but would be perfect to pad underneath the ground felt.

tree paddingIn this photo, you can see the rolled up pieces of sweater on the bottom of the felt. I just rolled it up and needle felted a little to hold the shape. Then I needled the ground felt down to the sweater pieces.

gopher hole paddingHere you can see a little round bump I made. Can you guess what it’s for?

padded rockHere you can see how the surface now has more lumps and bumps to represent rocks etc. I then glued the ground felt down to hold it in place on the wood base.

gopher holeThe round bump turned into a critter hole. There was already a hole in the felt so I decided that the ground critters might need a little shelter too!

ground and roots completedHere, you can see what the ground looks like from above. I worked more on the roots as well, tacking them down and adding some texture with the felting needle.

close up rocks and rootsI really love how the roots came out. They look quite realistic in with the rocks and ground felt. I haven’t decided if I should add more details such as moss or just leave it. I don’t want to overwork it or make it “cutesy”. So there won’t be an animal popping its head out of the hole.

stitched poem on soluble fabric

Next, I wanted to add more texture to the tree trunk and I wanted to incorporate the tree poem inspiration into the piece. You can read the poem on my recent post at the Felting and Fiber Studio.  I used soluble fabric, put it into a hoop and stitched the poem in dark brown thread. I only messed up one word but as you’ll see in a minute, it didn’t really matter.

poem lines before dissolvingNext I cut all the lines of the poem apart and soaked them in water.

stitched poem dryingAnd this is the result. Stitching that vaguely looks like writing but you can’t really read it. Perfect for adding texture to my tree trunk. Now I just have to attach the lines of poetry. I will most likely stitch them on but I haven’t tried it yet. I could always glue them but I thought stitching would hold better.

Dennis and I did get started building the yurt frame. There will be a post tomorrow on the Felting and Fiber Studio if you’d like to see how the yurt is progressing. I’m off to LaConner, Washington next week for Level 1 Color Studies class at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts. I’m looking forward to it, I love being able to spend 5 full days immersed in creativity.