Sunday, 19 March 2017

Lumps and Bumps with Dorothy!!

It is always such a treat for us at Feltmakers North when Dorothy leads the Felt-in and today was no exception.  She brought a huge array of samples with her to get us all inspired. 

Of course we had our usual Show n Tell before we all got felting and Fiona who's hiding behind her hanging, shared her felted image of mountain sheep which everyone loved


Flo has been doing a course on embellishing and shared these little fish which she's been experimenting with and Norma is  understandably very proud of her scarf which she made from mohair yarn.

'Old Homer' the Holm oak in Warrenpoint which was nominated for European Tree of the Year was the inspiration for this hanging which Flo is working on.

It is so good when we share our work as it provides a great opportunity for receiving feedback and support in developing ideas and also gives us all a kick towards getting creative ourselves!!

Dorothy whose own creations are a great source of inspiration, talked us through some of the myriad of samples which she had brought along explaining about using up to nine layers of prefelt as in the hood of this little jacket to pinching and stitching to create ridges and to adding nepps to make uneven lumpy surfaces.

She demonstrated how to create little raised bumps by adding resists, in this case small marbles,  in the middle of the lay.


Most felters decided to try this technique on its own but Helen really experimented by incorporating quite a number of different shapes into her sample; it'll be great to see the final results. 

Maria and Patricia having fun

Leah and Bronwen concentrating hard!

Cate works hard with those marbles with lots of support from Norma

Alwyn, Jane and Helen enjoying themselves!

Jayne and Dorothy happily concentrating

Our morning went by very quickly and only a few very hardworking felters managed to get to the cutting stage but as the little samples below show there are already some very interesting results!

We all had a lot of fun, learnt from a real expert, enjoyed ourselves and are already
looking forward to next month when Ann will be demonstrating shibori techniques in feltmaking.

I'll sign off with this close up of one of Dorothy's samples where she has used prefelt, nepps, silk chiffon and stitching to create this little gem. 

Happy Felting Everyone!

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Deirdre led our February Felt-in with a great session on using felting needles to create lovely felted rings.  We shared lots of tips about the little holders for the needles and everyone was introduced to the basic skills of using these specialist barbed needles in making felt.

All were rapt in concentration as Deirdre took us through the stages of making a lovely little ring carefully explaining how to shape and that all important factor in any ring, how to ensure it fitted!!

It was a welcome change not to have to spread out bubblewrap and get warm water sorted before working hard to complete a sample piece during the session.  We were encouraged to use scrap pieces of wool and maybe blend some colours together - such a great opportunity to use up all those bits of wool and yarn that we can't bear to throw out!


Everyone enjoyed themselves if the smiles are anything to go by!

Deirdre brought along some old zips which she had recycled and in a spin off from one of our earlier sessions led by Dorothy, she showed us how she had fashioned a ring using a piece of old zip and some wool.

We always try and encourage each other to share our work and everyone was very keen to see the results of our recent wall hanging workshop.  Helen had liked her sample piece so much that she framed it and I must say I don't blame her!

She also shared her larger piece which she is still working on. It's a lovely example of planning your work and using loads of different techniques to get the effects you want.

And talking of special effects I couldn't resist taking a SNAP of Sarah's name badge!  Isn't it great?

It was lovely to meet some new faces to Feltmakers North and to share our work.  These little animals of Cate's were well behaved and clearly well house trained!

Carol and Bill are used to working with wool and she shared these colourful pieces with us.  We hear on the grapevine that Carol accepted Bill's ring and did agree to marry him again!

Thanks to Deirdre everyone had good fun and there were no stabbings for a change!

Thought I'd finish with this lovely photo of Elaine modelling her cobweb felted scarf which she had fashioned after our January Felt-in.  See you all soon.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

                               Dagmar Binder Workshop

Great news!!  Applications are now open to experienced felters to join us at our very exciting workshop being led by the inspirational German feltmaker Dagmar Binder. 

This is the first time that Dagmar has held a workshop in N Ireland and we feel very
privileged that she has agreed to come at the invitation of Feltmakers North.

The workshop is on Friday to Sunday 7, 8 and 9 April from 10.00am to 5.00pm and is being held at Ardnavalley Scout Hall, 109 Milltown Road, Belfast BT8 4SP.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn first hand the techniques Dagmar has perfected herself by creating a garment and a pair of matching wrist warmers.

If you are interested and for further information please contact us via our email at

Monday, 6 February 2017



Some samples from Elaine and Sarah

What a great day the girls had on Saturday at the Wall hanging workshop led by a very creative team Elaine Mc Combe and Sarah Foster Jarden.  They had brought along some samples which proved very inspirational to our felters as the lovely results of the day have shown.

The girls got cracking quickly building up the background to the hangings and it looks as though they had some fun -

Karen is happy!
Olwyn is too!

Sharon starts her background (she looks happy too!)

Lesley with her stunning sky 


"I had a definite plan  ....knew I couldn't manage it on my own ....their knowledge and advice helped a lot"'  "excellent explanation of how to build a picture...create definition"'  "time to plan and think", "learnt a lot of tips", "great demonstration and help given throughout". 

Elaine giving Karen some practical advice

Fiona works her magic!

Sarah giving Olwyn some tips

Helen in the midst of the hard work!

Deirdre gets creative!

Ann's hanging taking shape

Deborah's creation begins

Ann and Sharon make progress

Once the initial lay was complete, it was time to get down to details which included needling, using prefelts, stitching and host of other techniques.

Elaine and Sarah inspired everyone and as one happy felter wrote "great ladies so helpful and kept inspring everyone and nothing was a bother"

The girls worked hard all day and produced work to be proud of.  Their evaluation of the day speaks volumes of the learning which took place and also the enjoyment  -  "a well worthwhile Saturday", "had a lovely day", "thoroughly enjoyable".

A very happy group of felters with tutors Elaine and Sarah

Well done everyone and special thanks to Elaine and Sarah.  Looking forward to seeing the finished pieces at our next Felt-In!!.