Friday, 23 March 2012

Petroglyph inspired #2

Oh my, the weather has been absolutely glorious this week!  Spring really is letting us know that she is here.. the irises, daffodils and crocuses that Rachael planted last year are flowering for the first time (they are lovely and she is thrilled with them :)  And we have a pair of blue-tits seriously considering nesting in the bird house Gary made just before Christmas.. its lovely watching them popping in and out and looking at each other as if to say.. "what do you think...?"  Another week has absolutely FLOWN by.. I hope you will forgive me dribbling out these posts.. I am so behind!  I really could use more hours per day.. or days per week (or a time-turner!)  Ok here goes..

My 2nd and 3rd Petroglyph projects this year were dainty little Ancient Sheep ROUND shoulder bags..

I wanted integral handles on these bags, and my lovely friend Heather at Woollove makes fabulous bags using a peanut shaped resist to make round bags with integral handles.. so I decided to ‘have a go’.  I stuck with the same colour schemes as with my previous petroglyph bags.. for the first I used 6 layers of merino in cherry red and turquoise, with my fave red slubby yarn swirled on the surface and ancient sheep drawn on in bitter chocolate merino .. then felted as HARD as I could get it.

I cut the handles at the same time as I cut the felt to remove the resist, healed all the edges with soapy fingers, stretching the handles out a little as I worked it.

After drying I turned the edges of the handles over and machine stitched them.. then machine stitched along the top opening.


This bag found a new home the day it went into my shop :) and I was absolutely thrilled to bits to hear that another family are planning to hang it on the wall for display when its not being used.. what a compliment!!

The second bag was a little different..  Made over a pear shaped resist again, I decided this one would have a closure flap and single handle.
adding interest to the inner pocket
 - this was laid down first and the fibre went ontop
Then the pocket resist goes down. 
Now the layers go down to cover the whole pear shaped resist... 6 layers of golden pumpkin.. yum
The red spot was to remind me which was the front of the bag (didn't have the inner pocket)
so I cut the flap from the correct side
 I laid down a design using LOADS of hand dyed silk caps in terracotta and brown, slubby red yarn and merino for the sheep.  I put one sheep low down on the front and two sheep low down on the back, so these are on the body of the bag.. but I wanted one on the flap too, so he was laid out on the BACK of the bag and upside down, so he would be the right way up when it flapped over.

Cutting the handle and flap
I healed the cut edges and carried on fulling... and fulling.. and fulling some more, I rolled it, threw it, pummelled it, you name it I did it (well not quite I didn't stamp on it :) .  The only thing I had trouble with was the flap!  I had drawn the sheep too low down on the flap, and I couldn't get it to shrink enough for it to sit in the right place when the bag was closed - it partially covered the sheep on the front.  In the end I cut it off!  Trimmed an inch or so from the straight edge and then machine stitched it back on.. I used several parallel rows of stitching for strength and to make a bit of a feature of the join.
I hand stitched the edges of the handle together with strong thread to form a tube..

I used sew-on magnetic snap fastners for this bag
 I was really chuffed to find the sew-on magnetic snaps.. they are really pretty, they have four 'flower petals' sticking out which you sew into to attach them and they're a lovely antique brass finish.  I don't like the normal magnetic snaps - the ones that have the metal prongs which go though the felt and a metal plate on the back.  I have found that they can damage felt.. the ones I used had too strong a magnet, and continued pulling on the felt to pop the opening caused the metal parts to cut through the felt.. That may of been a one off (and thank goodness it was on my own bag!) but I would not use them again.

The sew-on magnet snaps are nowhere near as magnetic - they are just right.  I stitched mine onto a small felt pad and then stitched the patch into the bag..
Inner pocket detail and the front of the snap
Next time:  Even more Petroglyph inspired work :)  hope you aren't getting bored
Have  a WONDERFUL weekend.. whatever you have planned!

p.s. I am GLAD this post is finished blogger is being a real pain in the a*** - hope it is displayed right..


CRAZY DAZY said...

wow...these bags are amazing, ali

Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--These are both amazing!!!...and you certainly put your finger on why working inside-out can often be challenging! (I think 'worth it', usually...but still...!)
You use so many fun fibers and inclusions, and your 'drawing' is always so terrific. The blue and cherry color combination is not one I would EVER think of using, and yet, your finished pieces are truly beautiful!! Great job, my friend, and thanks for the 'shout out'!!! XXO

RMK said...

Fantastic work & gorgeous colors!

RMK said...

Fantastic work & gorgeous colors!

krex said...

I could never get bored with petroglyphs and your bag turned out great .

Patty Biermans said...

You did a really great job with this bag! I LOVE it!!! hugzz...peebee

Karen said...

Deborah your bags are so gorgeous and your felting is just so perfect, i have a lot of practise ahead lol

Terrie said...

Two bags are gorgeous. They're absolately gallery pieces. If I have them and when not in use, I'll definitely hang it up for a display. The ancient sheep are brilliant. The man you made last just telling a story ! I love the single strip pumkin color bag most.It looks so full ! Perfect!

Deborah said...

That's lovely! The design is great. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to share how you did it. That looks an excellent way to get strong handles. I will try it out myself soon.
From a fellow-felting Deborah!

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my bags :) you have made me smile from ear to ear!

Ruthie Redden said...

Oh Deborah, i looove these two petroglyph inspired pieces, and the colours are gorgeous. The wall hanging looks stunning & a real focus point.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Ruthie :)

monique verhaar said...

As a beginner in felting....I can only drool over your stunning art work!!!!! Thank you for sharing !!!!

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Monique, thats very kind of you :)
Hope you are enjoying your felting journey