Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy New Year!

                                          Shrek The Sheep!
Happy New Year everyone! I just thought I would share this lovely story of Shrek the Sheep with you. The photo is of Shrek the sheep after he was discovered hiding in a cave, he had hidden for seven years to avoid being shorn! He is a native merino sheep from New Zealand, who after being discovered became a national treasure! He was shorn live on television and his wool weighed 60lbs a normal fleece when shorn yearly weighs about 9lbs! His 60 lbs fleece was more than enough wool to make 20 men suits! After his live performance he went on to promote New Zealand wool and raise money for Charity, he even met New Zealands Prime Minister!
                                           Before his televised Shearing.
        After the Shearing! He needed the coat to keep him warm as it was quite a change once his wool was shorn.
The sheep had an amazing character and loved children and old people, he raised over £75,000 for charity. Sadly in 2011 at the age of 16years he had to be put to sleep due to age related diseases. His owner is putting a bronze statue of him in his town so all his good work will not be forgotten!
Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you on January 19th at 10.15 in Hillsborough Village Centre, Dorothy will be showing us how to make swiss roll beads!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Festive Felting!

The felters at Feltmakers North were full of the Christmas spirit this morning, starting off with mulled wine (non alcoholic) and mince pies! Maria was taking the felt in and she showed us some beautiful work that she had made using prefelts, then we all set about planning our pieces.
         Maria had cut out some shapes for us to use as templates for our designs and there were a selection of prefelts to buy.
     Here is Barbara cutting out her prefelts to add to her design, good christmasy colours!  Below is Dorothy who has woven her prefelts together, she said she was hoping to make a ring out of it when it had felted so I hope she brings it next month so we can see the final outcome.

                                      Barbara was having fun creating her design this morning!

    As you can see there was a great range of designs, and everyone was very relaxed.

Feltmakers North committee has organised what we think is a very exciting programme of events for 2013, so keep checking the blog for the latest details. We have another International Tutor organised for a weekend residential in November, plus lots of workshops in between. The exhibition of our work opens in The Island Centre on the 10th April and will run for three weeks. We will also have a stand at the Creative stitch show in Belfast which is also April.
In January Dorothy is showing us how to make swiss roll beads and I have a wee sneak preview for you, they look brilliant and I think we are in for another treat at January's felt in!

     So all that remains for me to say is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year and we look forward to felting again in 2013!
Fiona Harvey.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bags of Fun!

This month Feltmakers North decided to change the format of the day, we started with the usual felt in, which was using a resist to make a small vessell. Then for those who had booked they took up the opportunity to put their new knowledge in to practice and use a resist to make a bag in the afternoon!
 The morning started with instruction on using a small resist, it was great to see the varieties of colours and finishes used, diverse as usual!
           There was plenty of rubbing and rolling and of course chat! By the end of the morning each person had produced a lovely little vessell, all very different and one lady produced a purse.                                                     
In the afternoon the business of making a bag started, with each person deciding on colours, type of wool and what style to make. It was a lovely relaxed and friendly day which always seems to be the case at Feltmakers North. Above is a bag made using a mixture of native wool and merino with very pleasing results!

     Another bag made using native wool and merino, here Barbara decided to make a bucket style bag, she is going to add a long handle to it and wear it over her shoulder.

                                                       A lovely bag bag where the design in silk fibres was carried through from one area to another, creating a dramatic finish.

   I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did, certainly they all went home with lovely bags! 
We look forward to seeing you all next month for our Christmas felt in, we will be using prefelts so if you have some bring them along and if not we will have some you can buy from us! fiona Harvey                                                                                                        

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sensational Dresses by the Sea, with Charity van der Meer!

Feltmakers North held a fabulous workshop in the seaside village of Portballintrae, with Charity van der Meer as tutor! The lucky participants had two and half days of felting under Charitiy's instruction, and above are the results. The variety of colours and styles were very interesting, each person putting their own stamp on Charity's design.
The first day began with instruction on pattern cutting and making a pattern the correct size for each individual. Charity had great patience and spent time with each person until they had their pattern

            Everyone got all their materials out to look at and select which order they would be added in to the garment! The colour variety was amazing!                                                             
The first day flew in, we cut our patterns and then we laid the silk and started to lay our fibres and work on our design.
The work continued, and before we knew it the time was up and everyone had completed their garment, this is when we decided to go to the beach for our photo shoot!
We are all very grateful for the generous award we received which was supported by The National Lottery through The Arts Council of Northern Ireland this made this two and half day workshop possible! We would also like to thank Coleraine Council for letting us use the Village Hall in Portballintrae, which was the ideal venue for our workshop.

Here are some of the comments from the felters on the workshop, we asked them what was good about the workshop?
"achieving a fantastic coat"
"bright spacious working environment"
"something totally different, great workshop"
"concentrated time to felt with an international tutor"
"being with like minded people"
"more residentials, the variety of techniques explored and the companionship of other felters!"
I will put up more photos in the gallery section for you to see.

We are now on facebook so if you are on facebook go and "like " us!!

Feltmakers North never stop planning fun with felt the next felt is on Saturday !7th November when we will be using a resist and also if you would like you can apply to, stay on and make a bag in the afternoon, all the details are on the workshop page.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cobwebs in October.

For Feltmakers North's October Felt in we had Liz Nicholls as our tutor. She was teaching us how to make cobweb felt and had brought a great selection of samples for us to see. It was lovely to see all the different colours,  in some she had used carded wool, with some beautiful colour combinations.
The turn out was good including some new members who had attended the Basic and Beyond and were very keen to do more felting! After some instruction we set about laying out our fibres to make our cobweb!
It was another very enjoyable and creative morning!

At Feltmakers North we are now looking forward to Charity van der Meer coming for our residential week end, which is being held at Portballintrae village hall on Friday 2nd November to Sunday 3rd November so if you happen to be passing pop in and say hello and see the lovely felted garments in production!
Our next Felt In will be on November 17th and we will be using a resist. There is the option to stay on for an extended felt in and make a bag in the afternoon using a resist, however you need to fill in an application form for this which is available from Ann details in workshop section.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Basic and Beyond

Some of the bags and small pouches made using a resist at the Basic and Beyond.
There was a great turn out for our first Basic and Beyond workshop, where the students learnt how to make felt using shetland, jacob, wensleydale and blue faced leister wool. They found it interesting the way each wool felted in a slightly different way and they loved the natural curls that were still present in the wensleydale!
The photo above shows the four native wools being felted to make one large square, containing a smaller square, of each type of wool. The day flew in with new friendships being made and new techniques being learnt and a lot of fun being had!

A small vessell made using a resist, the wool is merino with a decoration of native wool, wensleydale and a little shetland. Although this was a basic workshop all the students showed their individual flare and produced some great felt pieces!
This workshop was a great success and a big thank you to Lisburn Arts Advisory Council for their generous sponsership, which enabled us to run it at such a brilliant price!
Saturday 20th October we are having our usual felt in and Liz will be instructing us on the art of Cobweb felting, so come along and bring your felting kit and join in. Its free for members and only £6 if you are not yet a member!! There are more details about our membership at the bottom of the workshop section or ask a committee member on saturday!!
Look forward to seeing you all then

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Change of time!

Basic and Beyond time change!
The time has been changed for the basic and beyond it will now start at 11am with coffee in the kitchen at Hillsborough Village Centre and will run to 5pm, looking forward to seeing you all there, but make sure you book a place with Ann first! email

Friday, 21 September 2012

Felt that Name!

It was great to start back to our monthly meetings and see all the familiar and some new faces. Dorothy took the felt in and we made name badges, that hopefully everyone will wear each month so we can learn everyones names!
  After some great instruction from Dorothy we started to felt and make our very individual name badges!     
   Some newcomers to Feltmakers North having a good laugh, while making their name badges!
        Some of the very varied designs made during the morning, we are all looking forward to seeing them next month, when they are completed!
This is a wee reminder of the great opportunity that is available to all on October 13th, we are having an all day workshop on basic felting, we will be starting at the beginning on how to make a piece of felt using different native wools, some locally produced for us in Co Down. We will be showing you how to nuno felt using a light fabric and a layer of wool, then moving on to make a rope from wool and using a resist. This is a fun filled day, packed with information, there are a few tutors so the groups will be small, so everyone will get individual attention if required! Due to the generous support of the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee we are able to offer this all day workshop at a mere £12 for members and £15 for non members, in the cost of the workshop all the materials necessary are supplied. so all you have to do is bring along your lunch and a few towels, couldnt be easier!! To apply for this workshop please email she will forward you an application form!
Our next felt in is the 20th October when we will be learning how to make cobweb felt, this is beautiful fine felt, using very little wool, it is very luxurious and cosy, so a great technique to learn before the winter temperatures drop!   We hope to see you at one of these sessions if not them both! Keep felting!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Everyone Welcome!

Our new programme starts on the Saturday 16th September, and we are looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces! We will be making name badges with Dorothy Dinsmore, this is a great chance to learn the basic technique of felt making, and yet make something that people will be able to identify you with!! We hope everyone will wear their felt names badges each month so we can all get to know each other names. Dont worry if you have never felted before we have starter kits made up which are available to buy, plus we have a good supply of some lovely colours of wool to tempt you!
In October we are offering a great day to learn felting and take it a bit further. This workshop is all day and is called the Basic and Beyond, we will start with making basic felt in different varieties of native wool. Later in the day we will make felt encorporating a few techniques, again all the materials necessary for this are included in the price of £ 12 for members and £15 for non members another great value workshop from Feltmakers North, all made possible by the generous support of Lisburn Arts Advisory Centre.
September's felt in will be well worth a visit as all the information will be available for the next three months, and if there are any questions you can always ask one of the committee! There will also be the opportunity to become a member and take advantage of the benefits of being a member, every felt in no charge, priority on workshops also workshops at a reduced rate. Plus some of the workshops the committee are planning are very exciting so Im sure you do not want to miss out!
I would like to thank you for logging on to our blog and I am very pleased to say we now have had over 10,000 hits which is great, some from USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, so hello to everyone and keep logging on!
Take care everyone and see you all soon.
Fiona Harvey

Monday, 13 August 2012

Summer Sensation

On saturday we were treated to a day packed with enjoyment, relaxation and learning! Liz Nicholls took the workshop, instructing us on how to make a light little neck scarf. To enable ths scarf to end up the correct shape the lay of the fibres is very important.
Below this photo illustrates the amount of shrinkage, as the final scarf sits on the original template.
  The day went in quickly and we all learnt something new!                                                           
Look at this beautiful piece of work, and this was Barbara's first workshop, we were delighted to see her as she had heard about us at the Creative stitch show!
Barbara Finlay laying out her layers very carefully using some of the great fibre blends we got from World of Wool, the colour combinations were great!
   Maria getting close to finishing her scarf!
    Some examples Liz brought for us to see, we had a choice of lengths which was a good idea. sorry my photos dont show the great colours in these scarves.
Remember to check out the workshop section as now the  application forms are available for the next few workshops, and the months between september and december we have lots of interesting topics covered,
Our next felt in is on September 15th at 10.15 and we have lots of starter kits for those of you who have not been before so all you need to bring is a towel and your enthusiasm, we will be delighted to see you.
Fiona Harvey