Thursday, 6 October 2011

Helenium Cushion - process pics

This all started with a lovely project article in FELT magazine - an Australian magazine which celebrates felt in all its forms :)  I have only been able to get hold of the one issues of this (issue 3) but really enjoyed it.

The project was for a poppy cushion and was written by Wendy Bailye.  Lovely clear instructions and lots of photos for making a seamless 3 dimensional poppy cushion with 3 petal layers (1 being the outer frill).  I very much enjoyed making this.. as you can tell from the fact that I followed Wendy's instructions :) something I rarely do.  After making my poppy cushion I decided to be daring and make one with even more petals.  I wanted to have a go at making a rose for my nans birthday.. nan has a beautiful rose bush that my grandad brought her many years ago and I decided to try and make the rose- cushion in those colours.

As you can tell from the title of this post (& the photos)  my cushion had a mind of its own and did not want to be a rose..  its more like a marigold or a helenium - and as heleniums are one of my favourite flowers thats what I'm calling it  :)

My first step was to card batts blending the colours that I wanted.. gold, bronze & pink, and turn them into roving.  (I LOVE carding batts and blending pretty colours - its so satisfying)  They actually look a little dull on the picture, in real life the pink against the gold and bronze was delicious!

Then I cut the resists; one big circle of foam underlay for the centre + 4 layers of thin plastic for the petals

The first layer of fibre was layed as rays extending out past the edge of the circular resist.. (all the fibres for this outer frill were layed going in the same direction so when they felted there was plenty of give to allow you to shape them into ruffles).

Then the centre of the circle was filled with perpendicular layers

Next came a layer of plastic with a hole in the centre where the petal layer felts into the main part of the cushion.

This was repeated 4 times..  each layer of petals I made just a little bit smaller than the last.

Flipped over and layed the back out

The next stage took AGES.  Cool wetting and rubbing till it was ALL holding together well.. and finally rolling it - again there were a fair few hours spent doing this.

When it got to this stage it was strong enough for heat and more vigorous fulling.  Making sure to stretch the petals out sideways as they shrunk so they were nice and flouncy..

(can you see all the silk? I used LOADS)
Till it looked like this.. 

 I cut button holes and healed the edges, for a button close back

It really doesnt look much like a rose to me unfortunately..  nan likes heleniums too though so I'm hopeful that she will still like it :)   I made this in early summer.. nans birthday is in November - talk about being prepared!



Ruth said...

How could she not love it? It looks wonderful.

krex said...

What a lot of work but really lovely results, thanks for sharing .

Heather Woollove said...

Oooooh....more photos of the beautiful finished cushion, please!! It's hard to tell the size and I would love to see it buttoned-up in back, too!
I adore the way the petals turned out...
'rose, schmose'...helenium it is!! XXO-

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you girls :D

Heather, its 15" across & with the cushion in is a fluffy puffy 7" deep :)


Senna said...

Very interesting workshop and the color combination is really fine. Best regards Senna

Unknown said...

Wow Deborah its looks Amazing, such a lot of work but i'm sure your nan will love it, Gorgeous colors to, your very cleva :)

Unknown said...

This is gorgeous! I love Felt magazine too. I did not see this issue, I am going to see if I can find it because this project is right up my alley! :)

FeltersJourney said...

Hi Senna, Karen & Kelly, great to hear from you all.. thank you for your lovely comments :)

Kelly, I think this issue is available in back issues on the publishers website - it was a very interesting read, I enjoyed it.


Unknown said...

Deborah, I actually have this copy in my pile! I forgot about the magazine! Thanks to you I found it!

FeltersJourney said...

Yaaaay.. even better. Happy reading xx

Tracy Markey said...

what a lucky nan to have such a great gift (and gifted grand-daughter!).

the colours are amazing, even on-screen so i'm sure they must be stunning in real life.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Tracey :) I dont have much longer to wait.. her birthday is this Tuesday

Anonymous said...

A gorgeous pillow! When I tried it was not sure how you felted the front to the back. Perhaps you wrapped the 'flounce' of layer #1 around to the back of the resist?

I left the flounce floating freely; then flipped the piece over and applied more fiber around the edge where back meets front.

Could you please elaborate your method?

FeltersJourney said...

Hi Anonymous :) Thanks for the compliment.

The rays around the outside of the biggest resist are not wrapped over, but the biggest resist is completely enclosed as the layers placed on both sides of it overlap the outer rays which become a frilly 'border'. Sounds like you did the same thing.

I didn't intend to write this as a tutorial, as I was following someone elses' tutorial from a purchased source.. The tutorial mentioned in the post is very thorough and I would recommend it, the rest of the magazine is quite nice too.

Thanks for your comment :)