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.  

Monday, 16 March 2020

Beautiful Bags with Lyda!!

What a wonderful treat we had when the very talented Lyda Rump shared some of her many talents at our bag workshop held over the weekend in Hillsborough.  Lyda who is from the Netherlands, had many samples of her creations to inspire everyone and inspire she certainly did!

A beautiful little necklet
It was so very good to see everyone turning up on Saturday - we only had one cancellation which was quickly filled.  Lyda got down to business very quickly by demonstrating her method for trapping little objects, glass beads, small shells or stones into the work to add interest.

If you look closely at this bag, you can see where Lyda has trapped little glass beads or nuggets.

Samples of various mixes of wools

We were all very inspired by Lyda's sample books of beautifully executed felting techniques and coveted them all!

The two days passed in a blur as templates were selected and copied, wools weighed, designs finalised and the hard work begun.  Our tutor worked with each participant at every stage, quietly instructing and encouraging everyone.  She was very generous in sharing her skills and expertise and was so relaxed in her support that everyone felt very supported.

These great designs from Lyda with lots of little pockets and folds as well as interesting surface techniques incorporating silks, yarns, recycled knitwear were a great source of inspiration to workshop participants.

So much so that by the end of the second day, everyone had managed to make a second piece, albeit not completed so watch this space for more pictures in the coming days!!

Feltmakers North was very privileged to have such a gracious , generous and talented tutor share her knowledge and skills with its members.  

Unfortunately Lyda had to cut her visit short and return home today rather than being able to spend a little free time in Northern Ireland because of the current pandemic. 

Thank you Lyda from us all.  We hope you will be able to return soon.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

More February Fun!!

 Some beautiful colours of Kap Merino, the wool of choice for Saturday's session when Ann demonstrated how to work with it to obtain a beautiful flat surface of firm felt. 

However before we began our felting morning, Tina took a few minutes to talk to us about her ideas for our community outreach project with Brookfield Special School.  We decided to concentrate our efforts on making little tactile objects using felt as the base for the children to fiddle with.  There were loads of ideas from covering stress balls to provide resistance objects, to spikes and beads and stones.  Everyone is very committed to contributing individual articles as well as working together on larger pieces at our monthly felt-ins.  Tina will circulate lots of pics in the coming weeks to keep the ideas flowing so watch out for those and don't forget to try a few things now.  Sharon got us all excited when we saw the little pieces which she's made already to get us rolling - lovely little balls within balls with finger holes and little bells trapped inside.

 Ann then got us all started by explaining all about Kap Merino and working with batts rather than roving or tops and demonstrated how to do a basic lay around a small resist.

Kap merino is new to a lot of our current members so it was great to be able to experiment with it and to try making a little purse. 

One of Ann's lovely samples

It didn't take long to get everyone started on their project for the day.

Each step was completed by everyone before moving to the next stage which meant that no one was left behind.  Ann ensured that everyone understood each step and it was great to see the efforts being made by everyone especially our new members, some of whom are completely new to feltmaking.

Norma's helping hands!


Say hello to Helen's Mum!!

There was plenty of chat and fun and the morning flew by but everyone managed to get to the final stage of their little purse.  Some deciding to keep as a single with a fold over top and others making two little coin purses, the tops being secured with a zip.

Ann ensuring the attention to detail!
Mandy counting layers

Lots of smiles despite the hard work

Some lovely examples of little purses or folders to keep all those important things made with Kap Merino.  Big thanks to Ann for all her careful preparation and great teaching.  

At the March Felt-in we will all be working together on the first stage of the individual and group projects of the Community Outreach Project so do please keep any odd bits and pieces of wools and silks to use up.   It'll be great to see the finished purses at next month's meeting and perhaps a few more made in between!

Friday, 14 February 2020

February Fun!!!

On Saturday the 15th, we'll be experimenting with a new wool - Kap Merino.  It's a short staple wool with a lovely soft finish and can be transformed into super little purses under the expert guidance of Ann!  Don't worry if you don't have this wool, there will be small bags to buy.😊😄

Saturday will also see us agreeing how we will tackle our community outreach project.  As you know we will be making felted items for use by the children in Brookfield Special School in Moira.  It's a very exciting project and one where we will all be able to contribute.

Everyone is very welcome and we kick off with coffee at 10.00 and finish by 1pm.  Don't forget for members there's free felting space for the afternoon.

See you all very soon.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

January Jewellery!!

Mandy got the New Year of 2020 off to a great start sharing some of her skills in making felted pieces of jewellery.  We had a great crowd on Saturday and there was barely enough room to get round the demo table!

Just a few of the crowd!

 Mandy explained her technique for making little felted baubles starting off with several pieces of wool tops the same length and then tying a loose knot in one before beginning needle felting into a little round shape.  These are then wet felted and dried before adding embellishments or other felted shapes/colours and wet felted again.  She is meticulous in her making and the results are beautiful little pieces.

When it came to making the felted ropes Mandy shared a technique which we all thought was a great idea - she keeps a sample of the different amounts of wool required for the various thicknesses of rope required -CLEVER!!

Everyone was keen to learn and put some of the techniques into practice.  For some it was their first visit to Feltmakers North and it was good to see everyone encouraged to give it a try. 

Of course we had to have our Show n Tell but it was really only show this time as we were all so very busy bauble making and catching up!!

Pleasuaance's highland cow - a pressie to her daughter in Scotland!

Sharon's beautiful poppy

Tina's first grandchild's little mobile - she's very proud!

Feltmakers North is now a month into its 10th Anniversary Year and no sooner has the dust settled on the Community Arts Project in the Island Centre than we are about to begin on our Community Outreach Project.  We had a lovely visitor Sinead who gave us a very interactive talk on some of the challenges facing children with autism.   Sinead helped us to focus in on how we could help one of our local schools.  From now until May we will be making felted pieces to donate to the children of Brookfield School, Moira.  So watch this space as our project unfolds!!

Back to Saturday now with some pics of our lovely members and visitors enjoying the morning session.

The time passed really quickly but we did manage to produce some little pieces, albeit not completed but a super beginning to what promises to be some lovely felted jewellery.

We are looking forward very much to seeing how these all turn out and what wonderful inspiration from Mandy.  Don't forget to visit the Island Arts Centre before the end of this month for a last chance to see the Community Arts Project which will be going on display in various parts of the borough over the next while.

And finally while our workshop with Dutch feltmaker Lyda Rump is now full, there is a waiting list and you never know!  Also booking is now open for Dawn Edwards' inspirational hat making course in April but a word of warning bookings were fast and furious on Saturday, so you'd better be quick,

Thanks to everyone who supports Feltmakers North and looking forward to seeing you all at our February Felt-in,