Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Textile Bravery!

These little 'fluffies' were the result of  a mini needle felting workshop given by Hilary, one of my quilt group members at last week's meeting.

Of course, DD1 looked at it over breakfast the next day, and got very excited as she thought that she'd be allowed a go too.  Gulp!  A frisky 9 year old and a very sharp barbed needle being stabbed up and down a lot....what could possibly go wrong?  I decided to be brave, spent £15 on eBay, and became the proud owner of these lovely colours of wool and 5 felting needles.

By Saturday I was brave enough to allow DD1 (right) and one of her friends, and their younger sisters to all have a go at needle felting!  They were great - imaginative and focused.  Yes, we did need one plaster.  Yes, 3 out of 4 claimed to have pricked their finger at least once.  No, it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be!  My bravery was rewarded!

These are just some of the items that they produced - we also had trees and another egg or two, in addition to the rainbow scarf, glasses, and all sorts!  A couple of brooch backs were added, and a good time was had by all.  I think that the girls were pleased not only that they'd been able to make some lovely items, but that there was yet another craft that they hadn't realised existed before!

My next bit of bravery was to experiment again with some hand dyes.  Once again following on from the quilt meeting, were I'd talked to someone who said that she washed all her hand dyed pieces together in one wash, not finding the need to separate them by colour family when she was rinsing / washing them.  I used the last of the dyes that I had mixed last week and set up a range of colours.  After about 36 hours I slopped them from their plastic bags and into the washing machine - all in one load with a couple of colour catchers - and pressed the 'start' button.

These colour catchers show the progression of 'loose dye' reduction - but it took five lots of 59 minute washes to get to the bottom pale blue.....so still not completely free of loose dye, but well on the way.  I'm not sure that I'm desperately comfortable with the amount of resource that it takes in order to dye this small amount of fabric, but at least I know that there is an alternative to the (for me almost impossible) tasks of rinsing / washing separately by hand.

My range of hand dyed FQs looks like this now - it must be time to stop admiring them and start using them!
I realise that these are only tiny braveries, insignificant in the world, but they make me happy!  Hope that you are having small happinesses too!


  1. I am rubbish at needle felting. I am too impatient and I hurt myself every single time!

  2. Much lovelieness going on here. Well done on the needle felting with the girls.

  3. Oooooh, you deserve a medal at the very least! I have a safer method if it calms your nerves - a 5 needled felting tool (clover I think) with a safety guard, and I did felting onto polystyrene shapes, so no fingers get damaged on the process, and less felt is used for the 3D creations. I can bring for show and tell over Easter if you want

  4. PS love, love, LOVE the dyed fabrics!

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