Thursday, 21 February 2019


Shibori with Dorothy

What a lovely morning we all had on Saturday sampling shibori techniques with the inimitable Dorothy. However before we could get stuck in we had a really brilliant session chatting about the many and very beautiful pieces which members have been working on over the last while.

The Improving Skills workshop led by Ann and Jayne was a great success and there was very positive feedback from participants who brought some of the pieces they'd created from sampling different wools and learning about them through nuno felting and finally little 3D vessels.

The two one day workshops with Jeanette Sendler produced some beautiful work which included a child's jacket and a wall hanging. In both workshops participants had incorporated some very fine machine knitted one ply wool which was then distorted into wonderful shapes and used to embellish the pieces.

During Show n Tell members also shared their own individual projects from Elaine's tower inspired by Yeats' poem 'The Cloths of Heaven' and Dympna's lovely wrap and jewellery all created from a 'lucky dip' bag at the Christmas Bring n Buy. We were also treated to the results of an afternoon free felting when Elaine kindly demonstrated the technique taught by Gabi McGrath of making a felted lampshade.

Finished work from the Jeanette Sendler workshop

Dorothy had brought a huge number of delightful samples and talked us through many of the techniques she'd used including natural dying using onion skins.

Everyone made a piece of prefelt and then got to grips with working on the shapes they had chosen to sample. There were lots of marbles and small pebbles employed and in some cases various shapes of felt were incorporated into the prefelt giving some soft very appealing finishes. 
Dorothy had enhanced many of her samples with stitching using various colours and she encouraged participants to experiment with shape and colour and embellishment.
The morning passed very quickly and by lunchtime we had an amazing array of small samples to talk through together. Next month's Felt-in will be a very interesting one to see what everyone has made of their initial sample piece so watch this space!
Many thanks to Dorothy for a great morning and congratulations to everyone for creating such beautiful work.

Here's a link to some videos on simple Shibori folds to inspire you all.

Thank you to Gail for our February blog post. Keep a look out for information on the March lattice scarf workshop coming soon.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Shibori Felt In Satrurday 16th February

Saturday is our Felt-in and we have the fabulous Dorothy taking us for Shibori felting.

Please bring your usual felting kit and;
  • undyed wool
  • a large sewing needle
  • some strong thread
  • marbles or small smooth pebbles
  • white or undyed wool, fibres (there will some available to buy from the sale table)
Bring new work along for ‘Show and Tell’ at the start. We want to see the fabulous creations from the Jeanette Sendler workshops.
Our member’s extended Felt-in is in the afternoon, so if you have a project too big for your table, stay and use the tables in our room. If you plan to stay, remember to bring your lunch.
See you all at the usual time, 10 am in Hillsborough Village centre.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Weekend Workshops with Jeanette Sendler

What an exciting weekend of workshops with artist Jeanette Sendler and her creative partner Alison Mountain from Big Cat Textiles 

During the workshop on Saturday participants made wonderful garments using pre-felt, beautiful dyed yarns and knits. Under expert guidance from Jeanette the group made small jackets from templates and decorated the fabrics using the dyed yarns, knits and pre-felts. Norma choose a grey pre-felt background with a magenta knit laid on top. Sharon, Pleasaunce and Ann went for a stunning turquoise background. Sharon laid silk shapes on top of her pre-felt, Pleasaunce choose a foresty dark green knit to lay on top of her pre-felt and Ann used a fresh yellow/green knit to contrast with the background. Helen choose an zingy yellow and burgandy dyed knit on top of her pattern.
From top left to right, Gail and Ann discussing the pattern cutting, Sharon laying her template and cutting the jacket shapes
Bottom left to right Ann finishing her template cutting and Helen carefully preparing the base pre-felt shape
From top left to right, samples of Jeanette's finished jackets to inspire the group, Norma laying and cutting the magenta knit, Ann fresh green/yellow knit arrangement and Helen carefully placing the burgandy knit across
 her cut pre-felt shape
Top left to right, Helen also added some silk hankies to to her creation, close up's of Ann and Norma's work and a sample of Alison Mountains hand-dyed knit in a wonderful shade of green

Day two workshop enabled participants to make wall hangings. Sandy used greens and grey triangular shapes with a dark green dyed knit. Dorothy used brown/green tones and cut prefelt to create a moody forest feel. Barbara used her favourite pinks in a knit to lay over a grey pre-felt to make a shawl. Ann had a fawn coloured base and multi coloured dyed knit on top. Pleasaunce created an amazing colourful floral design that flowed from top to bottom in an array of colours. Jayne had fantastic textures and colours inspired by the Mournes to create a mountain scene. Elaine expertly made a galleon ship moving across the sea with billowing sails using her own white knit. Sarah our experimental felt maker used exciting materials on a grey pre-felt with shapes cut in blue and turquoise and Leah choose a grey background with a beautiful sunset orange and shades of green on her wall hanging.

Thank you to Jeanette and Alison for this wonderful creative weekend and also to Feltmakers North committee for planning another successful visit from talented artists.

Keep an eye out for a post this week regards this Saturdays felt-in Saturday on 16th February using Shibori techniques.


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Improving Skills 26th January 2019

Our talented felt-makers Ann and Jayne lead the Improving Skills workshop in January. Ann facilitated the morning workshop using Merino 64's and 70's to demonstrate, recognising the pre-felt stage, edgings, embellishment, rolling and fulling the samples. The participants also had the chance to create samples using natural Jacob, Wensleydale and Blue Faced Leicester fibres. Finally, to end a busy morning session, Ann showed the group Nuno felting using silk and fine Merino with added embellishment.
Ann and Jayne showing the group samples of Ann's Nuno felted scarfs and garments
In the afternoon Jayne lead the workshop demonstrating how to create a bowl using in Shetland wool. The group found out how to lay the fibres, use embellishment, cut remove the resist and finish edges.
Thank you to Ann and Jayne for sharing their felting skills and making the Improving Skills workshop a fun day for all. Looking forward to seeing the members use their new skills to create wonderful pieces of work.

Two close up samples of Ann's colourful Nuno felting

Demonstration of laying fibres to create a neat edge

A fantastic array of colours from the groups first samples

Having a go at laying out natural fibres before felting

The improving skills participants paying great attention to the