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!