There are many sources now for 100% wool felt. When I buy it I put it through the washer and dryer to shrink it to a pebbly feel. More on that in another post, but for now I want to show you a simple pillow that’s an easy project for a gift.
A purist might stuff it with wool fleece, but I used poly fill from the fabric store for this one. I couldn’t bear to part with my fleece that has been beautifully cleaned and carded for spinning.
Soon I will do a post on spinning and things to make with your own wool!
On a trip down the Volga River in Russia in 2003 I looked in vain for old fashioned folksy nesting dolls. At each stop there were stalls and shops filled with things for tourists to buy. Alas, the nesting dolls they had were modern with curly eyelashes and sparkly paint- not at all what I had in mind.
Here are my Babushkas, collected over the years from all over. See the two sets that are vintage…
I found some blanks online and also at Urban Outfitters of all places. It’s fun to paint your own! Some little friends of mine painted the ones in the last picture.
I went to a thrift store to get some real 100% wool sweaters. The best ones were in kids’ sizes. I threw them in the washing machine on hot and then into the dryer. They fulled beautifully. * I found a mitten pattern somewhere and tweaked it till it seemed to fit me. Then this happened:
And then this happened, too!
The striped pair has another pair inside. I made the inside pair from lightweight green cashmere so it’s really soft. I put on the green ones inside out and slipped my hands into the striped pair. The cuffs were the sweater hem. So far the blue ones are not lined. I used blanket stitch to do the whole thing- a perfect take along project!
The fingerless mitts were an afterthought. They will fit my 5 year old grandie, Angelica. See the thumbholes cut into the arm seam and then blanket stitched? I used some pretty crocheted trim for embellishment. The sweater cuff is the end that will go over her fingers.
I think I will be making a lot of these.
*For those who might not know, FULLED means knitted fabric that has been felted. FELTED actually refers to loose fleece that is manipulated until it felts. This is a technical point and you can get away with calling fulled wool felted and no one will care except those of us who are a bit persnickety.
Faux tile patterns are fun to paint. Inspiration for them is everywhere. Here I’m using acrylic paint on canvas pretreated with Gesso. The background paint looks best if it’s a bit thick and lumpy, showing the brush strokes. I lightly mark off the squares with chalk and ruler, but try to keep it freehand as possible.
First thing I cut up a Priority Mail envelope into long thin strips.
By making slits in both ends of each length you can join them together.
Cast on loosey goosey as it won’t stretch at all
Because it is apparently a federal offense to use Priority Mail envelopes for anything other than actually mailing something I thought I better say that I’ve recycled this one.
Have you ever tried to rip one in half? I believe it’s made of Tyvek, the stuff they wrap around new houses to keep moisture and wind out under the siding. It’s really strong.
I cut long strips and connected them to make a ball of “yarn”.
The question is not ” what will you use it for or DO with it?”
The question is “was this a FUN project?”
And the answer is “YES!”
Yacht? Sloop? Schooner? Ketch? Yawl? I did learn this in sailing class a long time ago, but I don’t remember much. I do have wonderful memories of sailing in 210s, Lightnings, Flying Terns and Turnabouts. We had wet sponge fights after the races and if it was really hot we dared each other to capsize our terns learning too late that the new fangled metal rudders were not secure and our dads had to hire scuba guys to retrieve them.
Some years ago I taught appliqué stitch quilting at Cranberry Quilters in South Hamilton, MA. This is an example of appliqué done with zig zag stitches on the sewing machine.
I have a beautiful little beach near me and I can never stop stooping to pick up sea glass. Most of it is brown, white or green (beer bottles?). I have a lot after seven years and am thinking of fun things to make.
I like the pink blocks best. They don’t crumble like the blue ones and the white ones. So far I haven’t liked the Lino or wood because it’s much harder to carve and I can get as much detail with the pink as I need.
I tried tracing with carbon paper and all that but now I just keep it simple by free hand drawing with a ballpoint pen. You don’t have to follow the lines exactly and you can really see what you’ve got with no smudges.
I use a bunch of carving tools that you can buy in almost any art supply store. “NIji” brand tools have a straight wooden handle. “Speedball” has a set with a bulbous red handle. I don’t recommend one over the other, I just pick up whatever feels sharpest and right at the moment.