Saturday, 19 September 2020



Today saw us back to basics and what a perfect way to launch into our Covid Conscious Felt-ins!  

Hillsborough Village Centre was eerily quiet this morning but not for long as Feltmakers North got back to business after our six month absence.  How good it felt to see everyone again - although unfortunately with most of us it was eyes only!  With carefully restricted numbers things didn't feel quite the same but everyone was eager to work together again as we concentrated on making some small samples to be used in the weighted blankets Feltmakers North is preparing as part of the Community Outreach Project.

But first it was Show N Tell and lots of us shared some of the pieces we'd made during lockdown.

Jayne's gorgeous bag with a leather strap which she made as part of Lyda Rump's workshop in March.

Isn't the leather trimming really something on Ann's bag - just makes it very special.

Sarah's bag with machine stitching which beautifully highlights the flower and leaves

Ann and Gail had done some eco-printing with Nicola Brown in her online courses and shared some of their pieces

Some girls brought their finished scarves from our recent Shelley Steele workshop and everyone admired the amazing colours.

Elaine's little granddaughter shared much of her lockdown time with her grandparents and under Elaine's watchful eye the pair created their first dragon!  Still to be stuffed and given the means of flight but a lovely creative thing to do over lockdown.  Her bag seen in the picture is from Lyda Rump's workshop.

I honestly think we could have spent the entire morning looking at the creations and chatting about techniques and the merits of various wools but we had a project to begin.

Jane talked us through the myriad of samples she had made discussing each one in turn and then demonstrated the careful lay using an A4 template as a guide.   

Each sample was carefully labelled and Jane suggested lots of interesting things which could be included in our samples which would be child friendly.

The creme de la creme came when she shared her technique for ensuring straight edges using netting and soap and very careful handling of the wet wool.

Finally once everyone had completed their individual samples to the fulling stage, Jane again went through each of her fulling techniques to shrink the sample by 30% - essential for uniformity and really good solid robust felt which would stand up to lots of wear n tear.

Jane against a background of lots of clutter!

I'm going to share some of our photos from today just working away together.  I'm sure you'll notice, we are all wearing masks and are at least 2 metres apart!

Anna showing a little van she created to be used for the children's project.  The pieces didn't get finished by the time we had to pack up so Jane's fulling techniques will have to be completed at home - all except speedy Sarah who always seems to get her things finished!

Some of the yet to be completed pieces for the weighted blankets.

A big thank you to Jane for leading the session and inspiring everyone to get back to felting and helping us to refresh some of those skills which might have slipped a bit!

I'm going to sign off with another couple of images of pieces shared today.

A close up of Ann's beautiful hanging made during lockdown.

And finally I couldn't resist not sharing these with you made by Maighread for her new grandchild

Just adorable - congratulations!!

Please keep in touch with us and look out for news of the next Felt-in planned for October - so fingers crossed. . . . . .

All the best

Saturday, 5 September 2020


Shelley's Stunning Shibori Scarves

'Great relaxing day', 'lovely tutor', 'I just love felting again'  . . . . . . . 

Just a few of the super comments after our first workshop in six months and delivered in Covid times!!  This was our third attempt to run this workshop and we finally did it and what a success it was.  Our tutor Shelley Steele from Ballymena brought along some lovely samples of her work as demonstrated above and helped everyone complete their project in this day long workshop.

Some beautiful scarves all ready to dry and just in time for autumn!

Shelley provided the materials for this workshop, hand dyeing the silk, wool and curls to tone and everyone was able to choose their own colourways.  

We were so fortunate to be able to secure the use of the Downshire Hall belonging to Hillsborough Parish Church and everyone is proudly showing their scarves against the beautiful backdrop of the church grounds.  Many thanks go to Norma and the select vestry.

Feltmakers North has been working away in the background over the last while to come up with plans to enable its members to be able to get together and felt together while remaining as safe as possible in these Covid times.  And it was so special to see the results of the hard work in practise today.

As you can see lots of distance between felters and not a bare face in sight!!  Hand sanitisers were in place, face masks and visors used and everything wiped down to ensure cleanliness at all times.

Shelley worked methodically through a very well paced workshop ensuring that everyone was well supported throughout and clearly demonstrating each stage.  

Norma who was looking after the venue was disappointed not to be able to offer our usual refreshments but everyone just brought their own and took their breaks when needed which actually worked very well.

There were lots of little tips from Shelley about how to achieve different effects and finishes from the shibori and some very good foundations were laid down for building upon over the coming months.

Happy faces as the girls worked at completing their scarves.


A big thank you to Shelley for a great workshop and we hope she'll be able to visit us again in the future.  

Finally we couldn't let the day go by without thanking Norma in particular for all her diligent working away in the background to secure our wonderful venue and ensuring that we were all supplied with lots of encouragement and hand sanitiser!

Norma with a little bouquet from FN!

We are looking forward to welcoming our members back on the usual third Saturday of each month beginning on the 19th September at Hillsborough Village Centre.  Watch this space for more info in the coming days.

Friday, 19 June 2020

CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES! . . . . . . . .  .

Do we want to be soothed by gazing at a seascape or imagining we're walking in a wooded glade?

These lovely pieces were created by our own very talented Sharon Boyd who confesses that they're the product of working away in the early hours!!  All I can say is roll on insomnia if it produces something as positive as these! 

No doubt we're all having our moments in this strange situation but I know we are hopeful now of things beginning to change for the better. 

This Saturday would have been our June Felt-in but good news!  The Committee has been meeting via Zoom and we are going to be able to see everyone next Saturday 27th for our 10th AGM via Zoom.

There will be lots of time for us all to share our thoughts and maybe take a peek at what little bits of felting we've all been managing to do?  That would be great if you can gather a couple of things together to show everyone else and then we'll all get inspired to try for ourselves. 

The Committee is hopeful that we will be able to meet up as soon as the Village Centre is allowed to reopen and we have been looking at ways to create and cope with the 'New Normal'.  We'd love to hear your own ideas and thoughts about how we might be able to meet up and felt together again so do please have a think before next Saturday 27th and share your ideas next week. 

Please send in your pics so we can all enjoy the wonderful creations our talented members make. 

You may remember we had the amazing feltmaker Lyda Rump with us for a workshop in March and we shared some of our photos.  The images below come from Deirdre who sent shared these a while back.

I love this bag so much that I'm coveting it!!

Aren't the colours inspired?

Thanks to Sharon and Deirdre for sharing their work - a talented pair!!

Hope to see everyone next week . . . . . . . . .

Cheers Gail

Friday, 1 May 2020


Hello again everyone!  Just a little adjustment to Sharon's pics as it looks as though it's not possible to see them if you're reading this blog on your iphone.  So here goes

Hope you like them and please don't forget to let me have a few pics of your work.  It'd be great to see all the lovely work you're doing.

Take care

Wednesday, 29 April 2020



Isn't this a lovely piece of felted art which Sharon has created?  I love the colours and textures.  And it's great to see what one of our members has been busy creating.

And what about this beautiful pod which Ann has made and leaving to dry in the garden.  She's got all sorts of plans to begin eco dyeing once this lockdown is over.


This is another of Sharon's creations which she has needle felted - a woman of many talents!!

Thank you to Ann and Sharon for sharing your creations.  This is such a strange time for us all and its very reassuring that some things just go on as normal!  So keep on felting and do please share your creations with us all at Feltmakers North.

AGM May 2020

It's with great disappointment that we have to postpone our AGM which was due to take place on Saturday 16 May.  We had lots of plans for making it a special occasion but next year's will now have to be a really amazing event and definitely with a big cake!!

We will plan on a month by month basis now until things become a little easier and we can make realistic plans.  I know everyone understands and will support whatever we are able to do in the coming months.  In the meantime, please do stay safe and look after your loved ones.

PS don't forget to keep on felting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gail x

Thursday, 19 March 2020



Very disappointingly Feltmakers North Committee has taken the decision to cancel the March and April Felt-ins.  We are clearly all in a very rapidly changing situation and we will try and keep you updated about our felting world.

As you know we've launched the Community Outreach Project and everyone has been asked to contribute some little felted pieces for the children of Brookfield Special School.  So what better way to spend some of that spare time that we may all have very soon than to do a spot of feltmaking? 

So for inspiration, I've posted some pics from Tina to help us on our way.  If you'd like to get a copy of her full presentation to us at the February Felt-in and how we as feltmakers might get involved then please get in tourch.  In the meantime have a wee think about making something and sending us a pic so we can post on the blog.  It'd be great to get to see what everyone else is doing and a super way to inspire us to make more!!

These super little ideas should get us all inspired to begin making a little horde!  Over the coming weeks we'll try and post some more ideas to keep everyone going but do send me a pic or two to help.

Tina and the team were planning to for us all to make a project together on Saturday at our Felt-in.  The idea came from a project created by Katrina Virgona and published in the Australian magazine ArtWear.

Looks and sounds pretty fantastic but doable we reckon.  So again if you'd like me to forward the details do please let me know.

In the meantime we hope you stay safe and healthy and able to keep those pics rolling in!!

Take care of yourselves

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

More from Lyda's Workshop

Thanks to Mandy we can now share all these great pics of the girls and their work over last Saturday and Sunday.

Ann modelling Lyda's creation which incorporates upcycled bits from an old jumper - super!

Deirdre's second lay and such concentration from Wilma!

Lyda gives Veronica's creation a tiny tweak!

Congratulations to everyone on their achievements and a very big thank you to Lyda for her inspired teaching.  And also to Mandy who was a great helper over our two days.  It'll be great to see the finished articles when we all are able to meet up together again.