Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Monochromatic Memories ..

Well, its been a couple of weeks since I got time to post (did someone speed the clocks up?!) but I've got a nice looong post here to make up for it :)  its not that long really, but lots of pictures make it like you're scrolling for ages lol.

A few months ago I felted this wall hanging..

not a good photo really..
Black Shetland with Black Wensleydale fringing, the 'drawing' is a nice alpaca/wool boucle yarn.

Rachael & me
With freemotion machine embroidered detail
This was my impression of so many wonderful family days spent jumping waves when the kids were younger..  the colours changed with the weather, but some elements didn't change; US, the sea, wind and racing skies - always wind, blowing skirts and hair around :)

For a while I thought I may let this go as I couldn't find a spot to hang it, so I put it up in my Etsy shop.  Just as I was planning to take it back down 'cos I really didn't want to sell it, a lovely lady from Texas contacted me asking whether I could felt a larger hanging showing her family as my picture really reminded her of a family holiday when her children were younger.  I was very happy and quite honoured to felt a second monochromatic memory.

This was to be a family of 9 so I had to get my thinking cap on and picture what the children, at their given ages, may be doing..

I started out by sketching..

Spent a very therapeutic couple of hours drawing this :)
My lady liked what I had planned.. so next felting day I set too with fibres and had some fun!

I wanted a nice thick, sturdy felt.. this was going to be about 3 times the size of my original.. I still used black Shetland, but added some dyed black merino blended in for the central layers (5 layers total)

Black Wensleydale sandwiched in between the layers to make the fringe
After wetting out I drew the picture using my alpaca/wool blend
 boucle yarn in 2 light natural shades

Thinking what the sea might be doing in relation to the people..
where the sea foam should be

Part way through felting..  I worked this pretty hard, I wanted it to be a substantial felt
and I find that Shetland likes to stay light (another reason for adding a little merino)

Finishing touches.. giving it a darned good rolling with my
piece of ridged dowel
Brought this dowel from B&Q  years ago.. now I just have this length left over and it's great for hardening felt.  Nicola Brown at Clasheen has a veeery nice looking set of rollers for sale.. I may well indulge myself one of these days, I think the handles would be easier on the hands.

Anyway..  once the felting was finished I freemotion machine embroidered the details.  Several hundred meters of thread and quite a few hours later, I stitched a cotton tube to run the hanging rod through and hand stitched it on the back of the hanging.  

Felted and embroidered.. sitting on my work bench

Oh yes.. I freemotion embroidered the title onto the cotton tube :)

Mom and the girls hair flying like a banner in the wind..


Charlotte said...

I love the process you went through for this. Have never thought of ridged dowelling. I have been eyeing up my pastry roller and friend's router.

Feeling quite inspired now, thank you for sharing your steps to the finish

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Charlotte :)
Your rolling pin may live to see another day :)

Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--It's fantastic!! You really create a sense of motion (in water and wind) in these pieces! XXO

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Heather :)

Terrie said...

Such lovely dancing team ! GREAT creation.