Thursday, 3 July 2014

Two Workshops

I wrote in my last post about the needle felting workshop I had enjoyed, here is the result of my homework. 
I felted the base using wool onto hessian during the workshop, with the aim of creating a "seascape" feel to my piece, and then got carried away with embellishment once I was home. 
As you can see I have added beads and buttons and done quite a lot of stitching. I backed the work with a piece of calico to give it a little more body but mainly to give it a smooth feel as I intended the piece to be a cuff. 
Here it is on, with the large buttons making the fastening with ribbon loops on the opposite end. I'm pleased with it and it is comfortable to wear although a little but of me thinks cuffs should come in pairs!

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of joining friends old and new at Fenland Textile Studios and doing a workshop with Angela about natural dyeing. I did a little "Eco Dyeing" in Japan with Nat and have had various attempts myself, some successful, like my rose petal dye, others less successful, it was time to get things right. 
The studio was more like a witches' coven meeting than a textile workshop, in fact more than one lady expressed the desire for a cauldron!  We brewed up a variety of natural materials: barks, leaves, flowers, gathered locally, and a few obtained from commercial suppliers.
We dyed with and without mordanting our cloth and thread and our washing line became a veritable rainbow, with labels!
Of course we had time for a tasty lunch, in the sunshine. 
During the afternoon we made further spells, which Angela referred to as bundles. Dyestuffs were wrapped around a large pebble
which was then tied up securely and the whole bundle was boiled up, with the water being changed each time it became difficult to see the bundles. The buttons are purely for identification!
My bundle is now sitting in a glass jar on the kitchen windowsill while I try very hard to resist opening it up for at least a few more days. All in all a great day, loads learned, super reference collection of samples (to be made into a book? quilt/wall hanging?), lots of tips and loads of laughs. Thanks everyone. 

Finally, today's photo of the local wildlife - these baby swallows in their nest. There are five squeezed in there!


  1. Your swallows look like they're fit to fly the coop! I've done a natural dyeing workshop with Angela and it was great. I still have all the little samples. I can see indigo and natural dyeing in your future ;-)

  2. You must have had a great time at the convention. What magic qualities will these pieces of fabric have? Self ironing? Flying?


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