Stitching the Felted Samples

January 13, 2009



I have been thinking about the progress or lack thereof the felting projects. A good friends’ son recently died of Neuroblastoma, this was a mammoth detour that blindsided me. I have been terribly distressed as the boy was only five years old and Caden was like a grandson to me. His story can be read on Often when all measures to wrestle an issue fail, I migrate to my art studio. I often feel guilty that I must resort to this activity nonetheless once I concede the rewards are tremendous. Time loses its meaning and I become free of worries, fears and unbridled emotions.

New Zealand Wool with Stitching

New Zealand Wool with Stitching

So, to recap the activity over the past few weeks of the felted pieces, I have three sample felt pieces all about 9’ by15”. I re-learned how to merge carded fibers into a singular piece of dense wool cloth. I gain knowledge of what is not felted enough and how to rectify it. I discovered it is easier to felt thin globs of fiber with

multi-layers, than thick roving and only a couple layers.  I explored the technique of needle felting, which is NOT my thing. I am not a need craft kind of person; it is boring and requires too much attention. I can appreciate the value of needle felting, so I am glad to add this to my fiber vocabulary in an experiential dimension.

One of my hobbies is to frequent second hand stores; I particularly enjoy these types of store more than tourist retail stores. For example I will buy a blouse just so I can remove and use the unique buttons for a project, or unusual but visually stimulating items that can be incorporated someday into my work such as trim, cuffs. Several years ago, I discovered under a box of someone else’s treasures, a bag of tangled bright, vibrant German thread. It had a nice sheen and instantly we had a connection and it needed to be mine. The spool says, “Sulky 40”. It appears to be made of rayon, but that is merely a guess, as it has not been through the burn test. I spent the fifty nine cents to call the  jumbled thread, mine and since then, it has been tucked away for maybe four years or five years.

the treasured thread was going to meet its destiny and be displayed in all its grandeur. I have distant myself from my Riccar, full rotary casing, sewing machine for about nine years as I pursued other interest. Years ago I was an avid clothes designer for all ages, the theater and even the grand event of a lady’s life: wedding gowns. Back then, my skills spilled over into the men’s tailoring area which I liked as the line was almost always predictable, simple, and easy to construct, repair and fit but I rarely use these skills even to mend. However my one proficiency or expertise was pulled from the recesses of my memory and I began reacquainting what the machine can do. It is limited as it is 25 years old zigzag machine and does not have the elaborate capabilities of newer machines. Nonetheless, I forged forward and discovered some interesting things by adjusting the stitch width and length. I have a vision this can mature and develop on future pieces. So my journey begins with this piece.

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