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Friday, October 5, 2012

Nuno Felting Patterns are Coming Soon!

I am developing a line of patterns for making nuno garments. My first pattern will be done soon, I am working on the instructions. Exciting! Here is a link to my pinterest page where you can find examples of the pieces that have been made with the pattern so far

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nuno Shawls using Silk Habotai

I taught a workshop this weekend -- we made nuno shawls on silk habotai. We started by laying out the silk, then added some texture on top of the silk but under the wool -- makes an interesting finish on the silk side. We then added wool, decorated the wool and sanded. The pieces all came out beautifully. Some of the prettiest textures and colors I have seen! My hat is off to you guys, great work!!! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How to Nuno Felt

I know there are lots of you out there that are trying to figure out how to nuno felt. It is similar to regular wet felting with a few important exceptions. There are many ways to nuno felt, but I have figured out some pretty easy ways to do it and have taught many people. There are free instructions on my website which is my name, -- go to the instructions tab. These instructions will teach you how to add fabrics in a collage style to prefelts. (you could also lay out your wool and add the fabrics). I also provide instructions for nuno felting a scarf for free with any purchase. I will answer any questions that you may have by email or phone. I now have a teaching video that you can wach -- see the process unfole. It is $9.95 and you can download instantly. Here is the link  Or, you can just read through this blog and get lots of insights!!!! The most common problem I hear about with people trying to learn whose projects did not work is that they were using the wrong materials.

Cheers and happy felting and please leave comments here! I just checked my blog count and over 40,000 people have visited my blog. Speak up you guys!!! Thanks for all of your support over the years. Running a small business is not easy!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Inspired by Chihuly

I am so excited about what is new in my life. I took an online class and learned to make 3d felts. We made a little pod or star wars type character, but the techniques can be used to make all sorts of 3d shapes. I also had the pleasure of teaching at the Dallas Arboretum on the day the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit opened. I taught a nuno scarf class and decided to make some silk in the bright colors that Chihuly uses in his work. The scarves were playful and fun!!! But the real inspiration that I got from looking at Chihuly's work and learning to do the 3d felting is -- I want to make felted pieces inspired by his work. I am so excited by this prospect! Life is so interesting sometimes! Here are photos of the scarves and Chihuly's work and my first Chihuly inspired pod. Fun!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shibori, Indigo and Friends

Wanted to share some photos of what is coming next for me. I am learning to dye with indigo and will offer indigo dyed silk and cheesecloth. These are some of my first pieces. The day was even more special because I was learning with friends! Special thanks to Connie Akers for leading the day! The last photo is one of her pieces tied, dyed and unfolded. She is a master of shibori!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nuno Felting Classes

Wow, it has been a busy month! I taught some wonderful classes and wanted to share some photos of the work.

This was a really fun class at the Creative Arts Center -- we made scarves using  habotai silk and sanded them instead of rolling. (The fabric colors from the left are tide pools, golden rust, patina, firey red, canyon, tide pools and firey red). What a talented group! I will also be teaching a shawl class on habotai using the sander in May. Here are some additional pics of the pieces in process. The students were very proud of their work (and so was I!)

I also taught mosaic style felting at the Texas Federation of Fiber Arts Conference in Kerrville. Loved this group!!! They were so much fun!!!

I also taught the felted flowers class at the Dallas Arboretum. Ooops, I gotta go retrieve those pics! It was a great group as well. Thanks to all of you!!! If you are looking for classes, check out the upcoming classes page on my website. I am hoping to have online classes soon. Email me and let me know what you are looking for!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nuno Felting with Silk Habotai

I have been nuno felting with various fabrics for a pretty good while now, and I still learn things all the time. I thought I would share some of the things I have learned about nuno felting with silk habotai. It is so beautiful, but you just need to know how to use it.

Silk Habotai is a denser or more tightly woven fabric than chiffon, so it makes it a little harder to get the wool to go through, but when you are done, you get the most beautiful texture in your piece.

The first thing to know is the finer rovings (18.5 micron and smaller sometimes called 100's) really do make a difference in how easily the wool goes through the habotai silk. I also see that there is 15 micron roving starting to be available -- that would go through the silk even faster. Getting the roving to go through the habotai takes a little longer, and at the beginning I was afraid it would never go through, so I quickly learned to use the sander. I found that using 18.5 micron roving and 5 mm silk and the sander made for foolproof results and I still use that method today. When I sand, I skip the rolling entirely. There is a little bit of difference in the texture of the piece when you roll vs when you sand, but it is pretty hard to see -- and I think the ease of felting with the sander far outweighs the difference in texture.I now have a video in which I show you how to use a finishing sander. Find that video here: It also helps to rub the habotai pieces on a glass washboard or shelf liner with tiny ridges after sanding or rolling (shelf liner is made by Contact and is available at most Home Depots and Bed, Bath and Beyonds). It really helps push the wool through.

Generally speaking the heavier the mm of the silk, the more difficult it will be to felt. (the mm refers to how many threads there are per inch in the fabric, so the smaller the mm number the fewer threads per inch and therefore the fabric will be more open and easier to felt -- so 5mm is easier to felt than 8mm) I have never used 8mm habotai but I have seen it used in pieces before. It does not felt as tightly -- it makes a looser texture if that makes sense. I am guessing it also takes longer to roll but would be easy enough to sand. I use 4.5 or 5 mm habotai because it is readily available and I like the texture. I understand there is also a lighter habotai which is 3.5 mm and sometimes called paj. That fabric would felt easily but might produce less ruching -- I am not entirely sure.

I love to cut up the silk and felt it into commercial prefelts. The habotai will attach to the prefelts with just rubbing or rolling, but I find I get the best results when I needle felt the habotai into the prefelt first which greatly shortens the felting time. Also having some extra roving on top of the commercial prefelt and some roving on top of the fabric really helps. I did a tutorial about how I do this -- it is called "Hand Needle Felting, Wet Felting Tutorial" and it is in the sidebar. I also have free instructions on my website here:

Being a bit of an adventurer, I keep trying new things. My latest seamless felted jacket was a big leap for me. I used habotai and had to lap fabric edges to get the design the way I wanted. I was so afraid all these layers would never felt together, but they did!!! I used 18 micron roving and we rolled about 15 minutes in each of the 4 directions (so I rolled for about 1 hour total -- no sanding on that one) and it felted beautifully!!

I've also been trying the latest thing which is felting using the clothes dryer. I find that getting fabrics to attach when felting in the dryer requires that you do some work to get things attached before throwing in the dryer. I made the little red Valentine's pouch with prefelt and some silk habotai.   I needle felted everything together first and then wet it out and wrapped it up in plastic and put it in the dryer and it felted beautifully. I tried another piece when I was in a hurry and didn't needle felt it or work it by hand first and the habotai did not felt in very well at all. Lessons learned!

Here are some photos of a scarf I made recently -- I just love the texture -- you can see the haze of blue wool on the silk side of the scarf. So don't be afraid to try the habotai, just know it takes a little longer if you are rolling, but it does work!!! Patience is a virtue with this beautiful fabric.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Silk and Velvet Play Pacs

Nothing like a deadline to get me to focus! I am about to do a show so I need to get some things finished! I've finished the jacket I made in class (yea, still needs one more pass at fulling for fitting, but it is wearable!) I am going to teach an easy garment class in Asheville NC this July. Watch my website for details!

I am working on the colors for the play packs I mentioned a while back. So fun to work on colors! If anyone has a request, please let me know. One of the play packs will be the rust, rusted, black and turquoise I used to make my jacket. Still working on that one! The play pac shown has some of my Autumn Gold and some Canyon fabric in it. I am adding fun things like silk and bamboo roving and a selvage from a piece of my fabric. Fun to have some different textures to use. I will have wools and prefelts to match these kits so you can make mosaic style pieces. My deadline is soon! I also have some trial versions of these packs in my Etsy shop. If anyone has suggestions, now is the time!

Ahh, and then to get some videos done to show people how to make some of these things. Any good movie makers out there?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seamless Nuno Jacket

Wow, just writing that title makes me have respect for what 6 students and one intrepid teacher accomplished in class last week. Linda Veilleux, an extremely talented seamstress and felter from Vermont taught a week long class at the John Campbell Folk school in North Carolina that I was lucky enough to attend. Linda has developed her own style for teaching this class and let us all design a garment that we wanted to make. No two were alike! (Not to get ahead of myself, but every one of the garments fit and we were all pleased at the end of class.)

So to shorten this and get to the crux of the "how to", we all created a design on paper, made some samples, got measured, had our measurements interpreted by Linda's computer program, then made a giant resist out of bubble wrap to make our garment. We felted around the giant resist, then removed the resist and fulled the garment down really tightly. (Some fulled for a whole day, oh my!)

Here are some photos of the process and the beautiful results: