Thursday, May 12, 2011

Needle Felted foundations

Next week I have been asked to show some needlefelting and landscape work to a local group.
Today I have been working up some 5 minute needlefelted landscape samples for this workshop.
When I say five minute samples, I mean it.  I did not take much time or effort in arranging items, and was more interested in the texture of each combination.
I would use these as backgrounds for stitch and embellishment, they are not finished work per se.
You might also like to look at Janet Lasher's article in Quilting Arts dec 2009 p44.
In no particular order, here are some of my samples.
This is actually my favourite background from today's experiments.  It uses dyed scrim (very coarsely woven muslin or cheesecloth) on a cotton backing.  It gives a very textured and painterly effect.  I like this one because the lovely white area, which was intended to signify clouds, actually looks like a snowcapped Mt. Fuji to me and I think a little stitching will make it so.
This one is simply wool rovings on a cotton backing.  It is a very simple arrangement more along traditional lines, which I intend to create another set of samples for. 
This one is organza on medium weight interfacing.  Organza scrunches up as you needlefelt and creates beautiful texture, yet has almost no bulk and can be layered and layered.
This one is made from hand dyed pieces of batting, both wool and bamboo, on scrim.  I just used the irregular strips I had on hand and they made a great surface.
This one used textured yarns on a piece of woven wool.  After I had started, I saw how the bottom yarn was creating splashing waves and went with it,  however, the silky eyelash did not felt well and would require stitch.
This one is simply threads of yarn on a piece of medium weight interfacinng.  It began as a hill with sky behind, but it actually reminds me of a cliff overlooking the sea.  It just depends on your perspective - and the stitch you add later,of course.
This last one began as a desert scene and still retains some of that feel.  It uses a variety of fabrics: scrim, shot organza, silk, satin, other organzas, textured furnishing and metallic fabrics, all on a backing of stretchy fleece (tracksuit fabric) which makes a great backing and is very cheap, and can also be needlefelted itself.

So I now have a wide variety of fabric samples using many combinations to show the group next week.  I think the main thing to impart to them is that needlefelting is about serendipity.  Sometimes textures and effects happen that you weren't expecting, and if you had never had a go at different things with it, you would never discover these gems.

I have only covered a small group of fabrics and backings and have not really looked at felt and rovings in a traditional way, so there is still a lot more to do, but this is a good start to the workshop.

Create every day and every day will be full of discovery.