Saturday, 29 December 2018

New Year Improving Skills Workshop

The Improving Skills Workshop with Ann and Jayne in January. This is a great opportunity to learn or improve on techniques to make your felting experience even more fun!
Application forms are available in an email sent from Jayne Burgess on 21/12/18. 
Please remember cheques will not be cashed until after the workshop date.  Places on the workshops are allocated on a first come basis, so don't delay! 
To secure your place forward the application form and cheque to Pleasaunce as detailed on the application form.  

Felters Festive Fun

The Christmas felt-in commenced with our usual show and tell. Sandy showed her lovely needle felted robin, Christmas trees and snowman. Hazel brought along her twinkling tree decorations from the November felt-in and had transformed one into a beautiful angel with feather wings. All the decoration will look fantastic adorning their Christmas trees. Our new member Cecilia created beautiful small bags with delicate patterns.
Sandy and Hazels show and tell creations

Cecilia showing her beautiful felted handbags
In sparkly festive attire, the panel gave great advice on UFO's (unfinished felted objects). Bronwyn had a delicate length of edged silk she wants to make into a scarf . The panel advised that a single length of fine wool along the centre would bunch up the silk to create a ruffled edge. 
Sarah came with a felted waistcoat from a few years ago. She had cut a piece out to make a flower but Tina rescued the item and tried it on before Sarah's scissors came out again!
The panel, Ann, Gail,Sarah and Elaine advising our members 

Ann also brought along a felted piece of clothing from a past workshop. Gail and Sarah gave advice and even though it suited Ann more turned inside out. Dympna stepped in and offered to re model the item for Ann. Ann also had a colourful silk/felt scarf. She asked for advice on how to felt down the areas of silk that hadn't taken to the fleece. Suggestions included, fine cut fleece along the edges of silk as demonstrated at the Wendy Bailye workshop, free embroidery stitching on a sewing machine and hand embroidered running stiches used in Japanese Bora stitching.

Tina modelling Sarah's felted jacket
Sandy had started to make a needle-felted Kingfisher and wasn't sure how to attach the wings. Dorothy our expert needle-felter agreed that making an armature and felting over it was the best way to shape a bird with outstretched wings. 
Here's a link to a felt artist using armatures for needle-felted animals.
Tina showed her gorgeous felted scarf. All she needs to do is felt the scarf a little more as the fleece fibres were a little loose and not fully felted.
Thank you to our panel Ann, Gail, Sarah and Elaine for their guidance on how to finish items.

We ended the felt-in with a delicious lunch supplied by the committee. A splendid display of tasty food was enjoyed by all.
Keep an eye out for our up and coming workshops in the new year. We have an Improving skills workshop with Jayne and Ann the wonderful Jeanette Sendler visiting from Scotland.

See you in the new year on Saturday January 19th. Gail will be demonstrating cobweb felting and we will have a free felt in the afternoon for personal projects.
Mandy ❅❆

Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas Felt-in 15th December

frosty the snowman snow GIF
Christmas Bring and Buy, UFO Panel & Lunch
A busy felt-in is upon us this weekend. Have you looked through your felting gear, surplus stash, used magazines and books and unfinished felted items?

Remember to bring along your UFO's (unfinished felted objects) to the Saturday felt-in. A selected panel of experienced feltermakers will give advice on how to complete or add to your unfinished items.
You will also have a chance to sell any unwanted felting items at the bring and buy sales table (remember to name and price each item for sale).
To end the day we will relax and have a Christmas buffet lunch together.
Looking forward to seeing you all for some Christmas cheer.


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Show & Tell November

We always love to see what our Feltmakers North members are inspired to make in their own time or finish from previous felt-ins. And here are the fantastic show & tell items from November.
Sandy showing her beautiful bag created at a Mandy Nash workshop. Bronwyn's gorgeous rings with beads made at a workshop she attended in Hungary during the summer and Jayne's sumptuous nuno scarf created using dyed silk and fleece from Tree Top Colours in Australia.
Remember to bring along your UFO's (unfinished felted objects) to our December felt-in. A selected panel of experienced feltmakers will give you advice on how to complete or add to your unfinished items to display at our January show & tell.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

November Festive Felt-In

Christmas is only a six weeks away! Come along to our felt-in this Saturday 17th November 2018 and take part in our festive felt-in.

You will be making a small Christmas tree with Deirdre. Bring lots of sparkly, colourful things to embellish your creations!
Felting Kit for Saturday;
Bring usual wet felting kit (jug, spray ball, olive soap, towel, bubble wrap)
Some small bits & pieces to add embellishment (silk, silk threads, etc )
Ribbon, beads, buttons, bells (just what you have)
Sewing needle & coloured threads
Sharp material scissors (large & small) we will share!
Sharp paper scissors
Pen / Pencil
Shetland Wool Various Colours (purchase some at the sales table)

See you all on Saturday for some festive felting fun!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Needlefelting Birds Workshop

Our very talented Dorothy is taking a needle felting workshop this November. Dorothy will show you how to create beautiful seabirds. These workshops are very popular. So pick up an application and don't delay! Check your emails from the 5th November and 20th October for application forms from Jayne Burgess. 

October Felt-in with Jayne

Our October Felt-in started with show and tell. Gail and Helen spoke about the Annemie Koenen workshop they attended, organised by Jacki Sleator. At the workshop they learnt how to make textured scarves and embroidered felt cuffs.
Helen wearing the beautiful detailed scarf Gail made at the workshop
Thank you to Jayne who ran a great felt-in on Saturday 20th October. Jayne used the Gotland wool to demonstrate making pockets and flaps with this fine, long, lustrous and dense fleece.
Jayne demonstrating how to lay out the wool fibres
 using resits to create pockets and flaps
Jayne showing new members rolling techniques
to help felt the fibres
A selection of samples from our felt-in

Monday, 15 October 2018

Bits and Bobs for Bring & Buy Sale

Date:   15th December
Venue: Hillsborough Community Centre
As well as our UFO's (unfinished felted objects) discussion we will be having a bring and buy sale. Time to have a look through your felting gear, surplus stash, felted items, inspiring books or magazines and bring along anything you would like to sell. 

Autumn & New Year Workshops

Needle Felting Puffins & Seabirds

Date:    Saturday 24th November
Time:   10am - 4.30pm 
Venue: Hillsborough Village Centre

Our very talented Dorothy is taking a needle felting workshop this November. Dorothy will show you how to create beautiful seabirds. These workshops are very popular. So pick up an application and don't delay!

More details on the workshop at this Saturdays October felt-in. 

New Year Workshop - Improving Skills 

Date:    January 2019
Time:   10am - 4.30pm 
Venue: Hillsborough Village Centre

This workshop is aimed at those have just begun their journey in felt-making or those who have been felting for a while and want to improve their skills. Spend a day with experienced felt-makers learning about wool tops, different ways to lay tops to achieve various effects, learn about edges, using resists, texturing, nuno felting and much more.
You will be guided in making a range of felted samples and have the chance to make an individual felted piece of your own design. All materials will be supplied on the day. Bring along your usual basic felting gear.

Check your in-box for an application form and information sent from Jayne Burgess on 14th September. Bring along your completed application form and fee (£50) on Saturday.

Get Some Gotland and Have a Go

October Felt-In Saturday 20th October

Jayne Burgess will be facilitating our Saturday felt-in. For this felt-in we will be using Gotland. This breed originated in Sweden and was named after the Swedish island of Gotland. Jayne will be showing us how to make pockets and flaps on felt.

Bring along your usual felting gear and some thin plastic. There will be plenty of Gotland fibre to buy at the sales table. See you all on Saturday.


The distinctive Gotland sheep with its fine features,
black face and legs

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Royal Recognition for Dympna

Congratulations to our Feltmakers North member Dympna Curran. Dympna handcrafted a felt necklace that was gifted to the Princess Royal. Dympna visited Budapest in the summer to learn new felting techniques form Hungarian felt artists, using her new skills Dympna designed a stunning necklace for Princess Anne.

Dympna showing the beautiful necklace
The Princess Royal admiring the gift presented to her

September Felt-in 2018

Welcome everyone to our 18/19 programme of felt-ins and workshops. I am looking forward to taking over from Helen and keeping you all updated on the blog, Facebook and Instagram.

Our first open felt-in welcomed existing members and new faces including Michelle, a glass artist from Port Alberni, Canada.

As promised, this year we will be using native fibres and new blends of fibres at our felt-ins. To get things rolling, Elaine lead the felt-in and demonstrated felting with natural Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester fibres.

Elaine made beautiful wrist warmers using a muslin base
A selection of Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester
items made by Elaine and Gail

Elaine created a stunning winter scene 

Elaine giving advice on felting techniques

Sharon created a gorgeous poppy

A delicate heart with a subtle outline

A selection of the September felt-in samples

To end the day a review of our work using Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester wool

Looking forward to seeing you all at the October felt-in on Saturday 20th October

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

September Open Felt-in


Saturday, 15 September Feltmakers North welcomes back old faces and new ones alike to a super programme for the coming year. 

We are having an Open Felt-in to welcome any visitors who may have come across our work during the summer or simply be interested in learning a new skill and its completely free!

Elaine will be leading the Felt-in and we'll be using Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester wools so if you have any in your stash do bring them along. This year we will be shining the spotlight on native fibres and introducing exciting new blends of fibres and they will all be available at the Sales table.  Please bring an extra towel and bubblewrap to share with our visitors.

It's membership time again and there will be forms available on Saturday and Ann will be very happy to take your money!   You can download forms from Elaine's recent email.

The 'Felt Alive' Exhibition in the Loft Gallery in July was very successful and we've had loads of lovely comments from visitors from across the world.  Mandy will be returning your exhibition items on Saturday so please make sure that you pick them up or make other arrangements as we're not able to store anything.

The afternoon is free felting for members so don't forget your lunch!

Finally the first of our workshops is an 'Improving Skills' Workshop led by our own Ann and Jayne and is on 27 October.  Application forms will be available on Saturday. 

See you all then

Monday, 27 August 2018

SURFACE EMBOSSING - with Wendy Bailye

What an amazing workshop with Wendy Bailye. As many of you know Wendy lives & works in Australia creating beautifully artistic felt pieces. Thanks to the Committee who have been planning this visit for a couple of years & it was definitely worth the wait. 

Wendy is a skilled tutor and Saturday morning began with a discussion regarding processes, designs & techniques employed. The colour palette was restricted primarily to black and white. Initially this seemed rather daunting however, by limiting colour choice the mind was really able to focus on technique. As the day moved on attendees were able to toy with a variety of ideas and work on small samples using a plethora of materials including not just silk paj, georgettes, chiffons, but also cottons, linens, wools, velvet,  organza, ribbon etc. Even string! And this produced some surprisingly effective textures. Cotton batting and Vilene were among the mediums used to produce shape, depth and interest. 

The use of cotton batting was a first for many and undoubtedly this will be added to their basic stash. Indeed a few industrious folk went home on Saturday & prepared their batting for Sunday's session. The rain on Sunday did not dampen spirits as everyone quickly got down to business. Some focused on furthering their sampler work whilst others created longer pieces such as scarves. 

Wendy gave helpful tips on how to neaten corners, edges, making longer pieces with limited table space, free embroidery to add interest and 'polish' the finished piece with an old bag!

The limited colour palette did nothing to hinder the design process and can be seen in the pics below. Sharon perhaps created the most intricate design. Deirdre used resists to create slashes, Joan used a variety of fabrics some worked others perhaps not so well (but this was good learning for all). Mandy the little minx brought along permanent markers & drew on white cotton to produce some really interesting patterns. First to finish was Fiona-the-gnat(!). Although as we all know she should be in the naughty corner for her illegal use of colour. Very bold indeed. 

Thanks again to the Committee for yet another successful weekend workshop.  Thanks to Wendy for coming a long long way to share her skills and knowledge. On behalf of Feltmakers North our thanks to Lisburn & Castlereagh Council for help with funding and to Uel Mackin, Lord Mayor & his wife for their interest and attendance on Saturday morning. As always, big thanks to the ladies who keep us supplied with tea, coffee & goodies and who top up our soapy water and mop up spillages - Mary Walker & Pleasaunce Perry.

It will be great to see the finished articles so please remember to bring these to our September Felt-in. 

This is my last blog (& Facebook post) as I shall be undertaking some other Committee responsibilities. No more horrendous hyperbole, mixed metaphors, dubious links, funky 'fotos' for yousins but I do hope you have enjoyed my blurbs. Mandy will continue providing info and updates on the blog, Facebook and as you know she has already set up instagram for Feltmakers North. 

I'm looking forward to assisting Elaine our Secretary and undertaking the sales table. This year Feltmakers North will be focussing on using a few different wool fibres & I have some of these for our table in September. There will be a selection of, not just merino but also shetland, corriedale, perendale batting, and some new fibre mixes, 'taster' bags of sari silk (a little goes a long way), exciting colour blends, and the usual bauser bulbs, soaps etc. If there are any special requests let me know.

And so to the pics.........
Gail with Uel Mackin (Lord Mayor, Lisburn & Castlereigh Council) & Wendy Bailye
Wilma getting down to business
Gail telling Fiona to get back to her own table!
Joan's samples
Our very own smiler, Deirdre
A very focussed Mandy with some great samplers
Jacki Sleator - a local fabulously talented felter. Hope to see you again Jacki.
Mandy taking a breather

What can I say....... the most undeniably hardworking, superbly talented,  greatest felter, blogger, now sales-y person, Helen :-)
Elaine's gorgeous lay
Top marks to Sharon's intricate pattern
Sharon trying to decide whether she should add some stitches to create definition - but remember Sharon you have yet to finish sewing your minaret!!!
Ann having too much fun

Add caption

Fiona getting some help (again) from Wendy before dashing off
Some dubious jokes on 50 shades of grey!
Fiona - you should be standing IN the corner for your unparalelled abuse of colour

A great day with a great group of ladies
& finally the perfect look for all those felted fish with wonky eyes!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

LOVELY LADIES at Yarnfolk Festival

Lots of thanks to the lovely ladies, Gail, Sarah, Mandy & Pleasaunce for manning the table at Yarnfolk Festival today. There were some beautiful items for sale & bracelets to be made for anyone interested in wet felting. 

Feltmakers North secured a great table located at the entrance of the main venue resulting in a high footfall and lots of interest. Undoubtedly some more folks shall be joining us in September.

All those eagle-eyed folks may have noticed in the pic we have a new freestanding banner. This roller banner will help promote Feltmakers North & felting. As we all know Felt is a very tactile art and thus, it has been designed with an area where some of our felted work can be easily attached. Thank you to Gail, Mandy & Helen who worked with Jacqueline Boyd to achieve this unique design. 

Our next thrilling workshop is with Wendy Bailye on 25 & 26th August, The Art of Surface Embossing. Undoubtedly those attending are gathering up their stash, getting excited & preparing to unleash that inner creativity. Remember to bring your samples & finished article to our September felt-in & of course have a great weekend.