Some Assembly Required

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my Mother is 88 years old, lives independently and is a magnificent quilter and needle-worker. 

As she has aged, she has found it hard to come up with projects to do, so that is where I have tried to step in.  We have finished one quilt together and are in process of a second.  She has gone thru a drawing phase, a Jigsaw Puzzle phase, a “paint-by-number” phase and I am hoping to trigger another phase with her Mother’s Day present.

After categorically stating on this blog and to my friends that I really didn’t like needle felting, I decided to give it another try, and of course, I love it!!!!   My biggest problem was that I didn’t have an idea of what to do and I am not very good at  just putting wool roving down and turning them into something.

Much of the impetus for this project came from just having completed my River Challenge and being fairly happy with how the wool roving looked as the background. 

So, for this project I started with a piece of wool felt and started adding bits of wool roving to create a meadow scene.

DSC02795I particularly like how the variegated  roving looks.

I then took my hand punch and started working the threads in using a foam block for the base.

At one point, I decided to add a bit of purple roving to the sky thinking that it would add interest…..

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But, after I had felted it, those accents turned into far off mountains….I LOVE IT!!

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I was afraid that the bits of roving that punch thru to the back of the felt might bother Mom so I fused a fine interfacing to the back.  After trimming, I zigzagged a single line around the piece to help hold any loose roving on the edge (this will be trimmed off at the end)….

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I am sending this to my Mom, along with these threads…..

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….and the instructions that this meadow needs trees, flowers, rocks or whatever she can think of to add.  

I am hoping that this will encourage her to look thru her embroidery books and plan a beautiful meadow!!!

So much for the Mother’s Day gift that has ”some assembly required”

Bits and Pieces

I finished the last two BQL challenges yesterday, including binding. Here they are…..

I especially enjoyed doing the embellishing on the purses.

I had commissioned my friend Anita’s husband (Bill) to make a rust piece for me that looked like sunflowers. Last night she presented me with this wonderful piece…..

I cant decide which side I want to use…..what do you think?

I think that I am going to print out a bunch of copies of this photo and practice designing the quilting.

I am leaving for Texas in the morning to spend a few days with my Mom. The main project that I want to do is to document all of her quilts……she has done some wonderful ones.

I will try to post if I can. I am actually excited about trying to do an email post, but am not sure that I know how. If you see some strange entries, you will know that I am trying to figure out the process.

Until later…….

A day with the Felting Machine

On Saturday morning my husband and I did the local attractions and visited a Dog Show and the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation artists market. We bought a few pottery pieces that we will take on our next overseas trip to use as thank you’s for people who host us. We like to take things that are made here at home.

When we got back home, Michael (hubby) kicked me out of the kitchen so he could make Marinara Sauce (and listen to music VERY loud), so I retreated to my studio. Even though I have several quilting projects going on, I decided to pull out the Felting Machine and play a little bit. I ended up making this small purse out of a piece of black wool felt that had been given to me.
I am still not super good with the felter, but I know that I learn something from each project and that I will soon get the hang of it!!!

For this piece, I used a Silk Hankie and a Silk Cap that I bought last year in Australia, and some wool yarn that I found on a clearance table for $2 per skein.

What I SHOULD have been doing yesterday!!!

Actually the title is not entirely correct…..I spent yesterday organizing my stash (see last post), when I should have been doing tax returns!!

However, at the end of the day, I spent about 30 minutes doing something that I have wanted to do for about a year. I took three of my needle felting pieces that I made over a year ago and framed them and got them ready to put into our Guild Show Boutique.

Until now I have HATED framing pieces because I didn’t feel that they had a professional appearance, especially on the back …but that has now changed.

I did some research and found a tool that allows you to put the brads in the back of the frame to hold the piece in properly. The tool is a Picture Frame Fitting Tool and is made by Logan products.

It works great and I think that it makes my pieces look a lot better.

Now for the pieces….here are the three that I framed this evening and I am happy with how they look…that is a first!!!

Back to Felting

This Sunday afternoon, I had an hour or so to spare and decided to spend some quality time with my new felting machine. I have only used it on one other occasion and ended up with two bookmarks made from my practice piece.

Today, I took some felted wool that my friend Anita had given to me and took two types of yarn and felted squiggles all over the wool. It helped to give me a better feel for the machine and how it works. It feels very different from a sewing machine and will take some getting used to!!!!

I ended up with this piece……

and since I cant stand to waste anything, I cut it into two bookmarks……
It proved to be a VERY fun use of an extra hour on a Sunday afternoon…..maybe even better than a nap!!

My New Toy


This past week I got an early Christmas Present…….a needle felting machine!!! I had decided to use the money from my Mom and M-I-L to make this VERY unnecessary purchase. I spent quite a bit of time researching them and finally decided to buy a “Janome Xpression”.

It is a machine that has five barbed needles that punch fibers together to form felt. I have done a bit of felting using a hand punch, but found that it took too long to finish a project…..at least too long for my tastes!!!

On the first day, I only had about 30 minutes to play, so I did a small flower on a black background…..nothing fancy. Yesterday, however, I spent some time playing with the different colors of roving that I had, along with several different kinds of yarn and decorative threads. The result is not particularly professional, but has worked to give me a good feel for the machine.

I took the piece that I made and cut it into two long rectangles and turned them into bookmarks to be given to two friends from my gym. I originally had punched a hole in the top of the felt and put a ribbon in, but became afraid that it wouldn’t withstand any pulling, so I ended up folding over the top section and stitching it together to make it sturdier. I was also concerned about whether or not the edges would eventually ravel, so I got out the sewing machine and sewed a blanket stitch around the edges.

Nothing fancy, but a fun exercise!!!!

Now, back to the UFO’s!!!!