Sunday, August 25, 2019

A felting miss-adventure

Welcome - yes, I did have a felting miss-adventure last week but wasn't going to post about it until I had done something positive with part of my felted piece. I'm quick to admit to mistakes learning moments but I love happy endings 😉

Festival de la fibre TWIST
Festival de la fibre TWIST
They always have the best postcards!

It all started when I attended the TWIST fibre festival last Friday with a fellow fibre artist. The yearly festival occurs in Saint-André-Havellin in Quebec, about an hour away from Ottawa. I had wanted to attend for years now and was thrilled to go with someone who could take me along.

It was a beautiful day and there were both artists and vendors - of pretty much anything fibre. I bought some beautiful roving, a little bit of yarn and a few fat quarters. It was very busy but manageable. I even met a couple of fellow Quilt Guild members. It was a great day.

In the afternoon, we attended a demonstration of a Felted ruffle collar by Anna Mathis of Ploome Fibre Arts. In 45 minutes, Anna completed a beautiful felted collar with ruffles. She was really interesting, full of energy and made it sound so simple!

Angora fibres all in place

Anna working hard to felt it

Pulling the felted collar to make the ruffles

Trying out the felted ruffled collar
Felting miss-adventure

Can you tell where this story is going?

The angora ready to be felted
On Monday I decided that I wanted to try out some wet felting. Anna had made it sound so easy!

I should have started with a smaller project but I couldn't help myself. I wanted a felted ruffled collar, even if I couldn't wear it (I'm allergic to wool).

It started off well. I had bought some angora roving so I used a light pink for the base and a darker pink on top.
Starting to felt. Slowly massaging and then
getting more vigorous. 

This picture was taken before I got discouraged. After two hours of felting, I had to put things away to go to a meeting. The next morning I was at it again.

The results looks like something pink that the cat coughed up. I'm not being modest - it was scary!

I put it aside and worked on some of my other quilting projects. But I really wanted to create a piece with this mess, so that I had something to show for all of my trouble.

Here it is!

The finished block - the first square of my Exit Strategy piece.
I cut a strip from the felted piece and cut that down to one side (the purple strip was in the middle), and then I:
  • Needle felted on top of the scraggly felting. I used both the darker pink and the lighter pink.
  • Added some curly sheep bits to the edges.
  • Lined the purple strips with some yarn.
  • Beaded some amethyst and pink rose quartz along the purple strips.
  • Added more beads and then the Lotus Flower button.

I've attached the felted piece to the improvisational batik block that I made while doing the One Week Improv Challenge with Amy Ellis #improvwithamy. I continued making improv squares without knowing what would come of it. I'm now working on a project with these blocks, and this is my first one. I'll explain in another post.

What I learned
  • Someone said that experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted (I had the posted in my room - always the cynical one). I got plenty of experience on this project....but I did end up making something, and learning, from my experience 😊
  • I believe that my mistake was not using enough angora roving. It just wasn't dense enough to felt, except in the middle.
  • In hindsight, I can't believe that I embarked on this miss-adventure. It's one thing for an expert to make something in a demo, but entirely something else to expect the same results the first time around.
  • I paid dearly for my experience. Today, six days later, I can almost walk normally. She wasn't kidding when she said to bend your knees! Since I'm on holidays, I used the time to rest and stretch, a lot!
  • I am really happy with my finished piece. It's a miss-adventure that ends well (and I have another two feet of the mess to play with!)
Related links
Linking parties
This is definitely a squirrel project, so I'll be linking up to DrEAMi! with MMM! quilts as soon as it opens as well as some great linky parties. Let's go see what others are up to! Slow Sunday Stitching,
Free Motion Mavericks with Muv, New to Me 2019, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, What I Made Monday, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Friday,


  1. Informative post. Going to a seminar that was long awaited, enjoyed the demo and promptly repeated what you learned at home. Perhaps the results were not what you expected, but you now have a completed, lovely project. Colors are pretty and it is nicely embellished. GOOD job!

    1. Thanks Jill. I'm glad that I was able to make something positive from the results!

  2. Love that postcard! And great job at jumping right in and trying it yourself. Often I have gone home and thought I'd try something someday, and that someday never comes.

    1. Hi Nancy, you're right - that's usually what I do also, or I'll start it and never finish. I have a whole bunch of UFOs like that but I'm glad that I was able to make something from this one!

  3. Experts always make these thongs look so easy don't they! I had to laugh at your description of your first attempt well done though for making the proverbial Silk purse from the sow's ear :)

    1. Thanks so much Fiona. Of course experts make it look easy - that's because the're experts lol! I am really happy with the results of this little block. I've also figured out that I can add bit and things to the original felting and just keep on going. I might do that, but in smaller, more manageable chunks :-)

  4. Love the demo photos! It was good that you experimented, if you don’t try you never learn! Looks very hard on the back, but I enjoyed reading about the process.
    Nice post, Andree!
    Barbara xx

    1. Thank you so much Barbara. It was insanely hard on the back - she warned us, and so did my colleagues at Out of the Box. I guess I had to learn the hard way, but I was told that smaller projects are much easier to that's what I'll do the next time :-)

  5. I'm loving your exit strategy block. It sounds frustrating that it didn't all go to plan but it's been good learning and a great creative opportunity. I can't wait to see what you do with the rest of it :)

    1. Thanks Janine - it was so frustrating, but I got over it, which is the main thing. I've learned that I can keep felting and adding things to it, but I'll do it in very small chunks. Easier on the body, time and expectations :-)

  6. What beautiful roving colours! I love what you did to salvage this; those beads are exquisite. When I first saw it (maybe on IG?) I thought it was a little bag! I'm curious to see where this goes. Hope your back is 100% by now. Thank you for linking up with DrEAMi!

    1. Thanks Sandra - I find that roving is even more enticing than fabric when the colours are pretty enough to eat! Yes, it was on IG. This is going to be a learning adventure, so who knows where it will lead. At the very least with lots of blocks and lots of learning. Thanks the back is almost better :-)

  7. Well, you are one step closer to being able to do this than the rest of us, but I feel your frustration. And I hope that you are not sore and stiff any longer. xx

  8. Hello Andrée,

    Your bright pink felt fur ball experience is hilarious. Even when projects go wrong we know we have to keep on going! I have been having a similar experience with knitting today. It's all very character forming.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv


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