Sunday, 17 May 2015

Fifth AGM

At our fifth AGM we whizzed through the business, although for Gail Cooke and myself it was tinged with sadness as we were stepping down from our rolls as Secretary and Chairperson, which we have held since we founded Feltmakers North, over five years ago. 
When the business was over we had decided to have a session on UFO, which is unfinished objects, or items that we were not pleased with! The panel of experts were Dympna Curran and Dorothy Dinsmore!

It was a very interesting session with a lot of advice, and chat!
Leah was advised to iron the silk fabric edge of her nuno scarf, so we made her do it straight away! lol! The difference was amazing it looked really lovely!
We saw some lovely pieces, and the girls were able to give advice and encouragement!
                                     Barbara's lovely flower scarf!
Joanna's necklace in the making, great colours!
We had a lovely lunch which the members had brought a wide range of yummy food from savoury to sweet! Then a few people stayed on for a free felting afternoon! 
 Our next felt in, in June is to discuss and plan our items for our second exhibition which we are holding in October, in the Island Art centre, Lisburn! There will be free felting in the afternoon, to try out and experiment with the ideas from the morning!

 We do not have felt ins over the summer, so our next felt in will be in September, when we will be exploring the delights of some native wools!

I will just finish off this post with a couple of lovely sheep photos!

Enjoy your felting!! Fiona Harvey

Monday, 20 April 2015

A Busy April!

This is our fabulous stand at The Creative Stitch Show in Belfast, Elaine Mc Combe had worked very hard and we were very pleased with the results!There was a lot of interest in our stand and the workshops we held in felt making.
It is always lovely to meet new people who are creative and interested in our craft, we had mini demonstrations going on over the three days at our stand!
Saturday was also our felt in, so it was extremely busy for the committee, unfortunately Mandy was unable to take the felt in, so I volunteered to stand in.
We had decided to explore adding texture to our felt, to inspire our members to be more experimental with their pieces for up and coming exhibition, it was also a good chance to show our new girls how exciting making felt can be!
We started as usual with a show and tell, always fun and gets the chat started! Sara had needle felted this unusual fellow!
I showed the girls how using a touch of another colour can add real life or buzz to your work, for my visual aid I used my wrappers from my Easter eggs, which of course I bought only for the tin foil colours!!! 
Some of my sample pieces incorporating a silk window in the centre, with bands of silk fabric and an unusual knitting fibre! 
This sample is to illustrate N Ireland as we have lots of tiny fields all different colours, these are made by using different squares of fabrics from silk to cheese cloth.
It was great to see the variety of work being created, there was a lot of experimenting going on. We also had quite a few new people whom we had spoked to at the show, and it was lovely to see them and we hope we will see you all again ( I have a funny feeling we will!)
I am going to include some comments from the girls present at the felt in.
Enjoyable and inspiring!
Really enjoyed the day of experimenting!
Great way to spend a morning!
Great teacher, good follow up and keeps you right!
Great way to use up all my bits! Great Atmosphere!
I will end with one of new first time felt makers comments
I made Felt and really enjoyed it!!

Next month is the AGM for members only, for those attending remember to look out your UFO UnFinished Objects, or bring along any Felt item you would like advice on, we have a small panel to give helpful and constructive advice!
We will have our usual felt in, in June, so we hope to see you all then. Take care and keep felting!
Fiona Harvey

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Needle Felting!

Saturday's felt in was needle felting with Joanne Nordman, who is one of our talented members, it was a lovely relaxing morning. Joanne gave us good instruction on how to tackle a cuff style bracelet.
She advised us to use a needle holder than could take more than one needle to speed up the process! However Bronwen didn't have such a tool so she decided to do it with both hands!!

As usual our members made many variations, some adding in items from previous felt ins!
During the morning all eyes were down on the subject in hand, however it didn't stop the chat, which is an important part of the session!

Sadly Deirdre wasn't always her happy self, as she looked up during needle felting and paid the price! However she regained her composure and was able to continue!! Lol!
It was a great morning and we all really enjoyed being creative together under the guidance of Joanne.
Devise that holds more than one needle!
Keep checking the diary dates for what is happening over the next few months, so you don't miss out!
At the AGM for members only we are holding a UFO day when you bring along items that are unfinished or that haven't worked out the way you wanted and get advice from our panel on how to proceed. 
Our Second exhibition will be held in October at the Island Arts Centre, so we are hoping all the members will exhibit approximately four items. So that is a good goal to finish all the UFO or make that item you have had in your head to make and haven't got round too! The last exhibition was a big success and I am sure this one will be just as good if not better!!
Yes just take a closer look, very cute and I couldn't resist adding this photo to end the post! See you all soon, keep felting!
Fiona Harvey

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

100th Blog Post!!

Well I hope you all enjoyed our wee video, showing what the committee gets up and what is involved in putting together our programme for the year! The list of activities is extensive, committee meetings, testing ideas for workshops, weighing wool out for workshops, applying for finance, doing the books, making tea and coffee for tired felters, doing the books, lots of paperwork to mention just a few of the tasks involved, not to mention taking photos even when people don't want them taken!!Also please watch this on a computer and not a phone to get the committee in their full glory!! I laugh every time I watch it!

So this is our 100th post and I am delighted to say we have readers from all over the world, so "HELLO" to everyone in the  USA, Canada, Russia, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands and Moldovia!!

Now down to the latest news on our exciting workshops. First of all the Hanky Panky workshop with Nancy from Treetops Australia is fully booked with a waiting list! There are a few places left on the Residential with Jeannette Sendler so hurry and get your application in, so as you don't miss out on the fun!
Our next Felt in is on Saturday 21st March Joanne will be showing us how to needle felt a small item, which will be a great morning of fun and learning, we look forward to seeing you all there. 

Woops! I was nearly in trouble, I would like to thank my very patient daughter Vicki McGuinness for all her help and advice on putting together the video!!

Fiona Harvey

Friday, 27 February 2015


       Announcing Applications Available!!! 
I am pleased to announce that the application forms for Feltmakers North's next two workshops will be available from Tuesday 3rd March, Jayne will be sending them out by email, if you do not get one and would like one email Jayne at

The first workshop is a Two day Residential on the beautiful North Coast and is being held in Portballintrae Village Centre, The tutor is the lovely Jeanette Sendler, some of you will know her as we have had her several times to tutor us. Her calm gentle approach suits all ranges of abilities!The dates are Saturday and Sunday 6th and 7th June!
We will be making a hat with a choice of styles, and there is the option to stay in The Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, which is a small but friendly hotel with good food! (Good food is important after a busy day felting!!) The cost of the workshop for two days including materials and a light lunch both days is £100 for members and £140 for non members. We are grateful to LAAC and lottery for some funding for this project!
The second workshop the tutor is coming all the way from her home in Australia, its Nancy Ballesteros from Treetop Colour Harmonies! Nancy will be showing us how to make a scarf using some of her amazing silk hankies. The workshop is being held in the Scout Hall in Hillsborough and is on the 31st July and 1st August. The cost of the workshop is £115 for members and £145 for non members, this includes some Treetop materials (no Lunch included)We are grateful to the LAAC and Lottery for some funding for this project.

We are very lucky to have two exciting workshops lined up for the next few months, places are limited so get your applications in quickly to avoid disappointment, the closing dates for applications is 31st March. 
I hope you are successful with your application and I know that if you are you will have a wonderful time, I am really looking forward to them!
Just have enough room to add a wee sheep photo! I couldn't resist this one as I thought it looked like Carrick a rede rope bridge on the north coast but its not!
 Rather them than me! See you soon next felt in March 21st at 10.15!
Fiona Harvey

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Busy but fun filled Saturday!

Elaine McCombe one of our committee members took the morning felt in!
We had a busy morning with Elaine, she was showing us how to make holes in our felt, on purpose! She demonstrated two two techniques one using a resist, and she added in lots of interesting fibres to create a textured piece!
Bronwen carefully laying out the fibres, before she made her holes!
Here is Leah enjoying the morning session, while modelling her pink sheep name badge made at last months Felt in.
This is the Chairperson (me) giving out our new Feltmakers North pens which advertises our blog, I was also asking members to suggest names for our exhibition, which we will be holding in October in The Island Arts Centre, Lisburn. So if any members have any ideas you can email them in to me, I was very pleased with the response on Saturday we had some very good suggestions, and some very funny ones too!
After a quick lunch Gail Cooke our secretary took our first "Start from the Start" workshop. The idea behind these workshops is to give beginners good instruction and to learn a good technique, so they can move on with confidence!
We Had twelve every enthusiastic girls, some of whom had done a little felting and some complete beginners! Gail had the idea to make a small collar, rather than just learn to make a square of felt, the girls were delighted with this plan! The workshop took on the form of step by step instruction so no one would get left behind!

A few of Gail's inspirational sample collars.
On this one Gail had made a little zip broach to hold it closed!

Sarah gentle rubbing her wrap, she had chosen a cyclamen pink wool to work with!
Photo above and below shows some of the lovely embellishments added to the scarves! These were inspired by the colourful samples Gail had brought along.
Everyone worked hard and were able to go home with a lovely collar, which they would shape and dry at home. Going by the comments on the evaluation sheets this was an enjoyable experience which they would like repeated, so watch out for our next Start from the Start workshop!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Year of the Sheep!

Today is the Chinese New Year, which is the year of the Sheep, this gave me a little excuse to show you some lovely sheep I photographed this week! I saw them in a field near my house and jumped out of the car to take their picture, sadly for the poor sheep they thought I was going to feed them and they all came running over to me.This worked well for my photos but not so well for the poor sheep!
They are very cute!
Well I am looking forward to seeing you all at the felt in which Elaine is taking I think it will be a great morning!!! I am also looking forward to meeting all the new people coming to our first "Start from the Start" workshop in the afternoon!
Saturday 21st February, Hillsborough Village Hall at 10.15 am  for the felt in, see you there.
Hello to those of you who read this blog and wonder about coming along some Saturday, please do we are a friendly bunch, its open to everyone over the age of 18 and on "what to bring to a felt in"page there is a list as to what is required if you want to take part. Hope to see you soon!
Fiona Harvey