Monday, March 26, 2012

Wooly Pincushions

When I ran by the store yesterday to pick up a few things, I made my usual pit stop in the magazine section and was thrilled to see the new Spring issue of Simple Quilts & Sewing on the newstand! This edition includes my Wooly Lamb & Chick Pincushions, they are quick and easy to make out of Woolfelt and can be enhanced with some simple decorative pins. There are so many cute buttons on the market these days! I especially love these little black-faced sheep as shown on the decorative pin on my Lamb in the photo above. To make the pins, I use 3" doll needles and simply sew a pretty button over the eye end of the needle. (If I'm using a regular round button, I might use 2 buttons with the needle sandwiched in between.) Then use a drop of glue to secure the buttons; I like Aleene's Glass & Bead Adhesive, but tacky glue works too. Let the glue dry, and voila! A one-of-a-kind decorative pin. You can also use longer 5" needles and fancy beads to make your own decorative hatpins with the same technique, fun and they make nice little gifts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Classes

The girls came by for a visit in my booth!
Double-layer Flower Class
Shannon felted a great bunny 'n carrot piece!
Fun underwater scene!
Beautifulo blues 'n purples
...pretty in pink..
These gals made some awesome name-tag holders!
Show 'n tell was a blast this year as usual!

I love sharing my passion for fibers 'n felting, and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach 2 felting classes at the recent Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA. I had fantastic students! The first class I taught was a double-layer flower using a resist method, and the gals really made some gorgeous works of art (see the photo at top.) I know they'll all enjoy wearing their new brooches this spring for Easter or Mother's Day!

The second class I taught was the felted name-tag holder, again using a resist method of wet-felting. We had such a nice variety of finished projects in this class, from a pretty pink flower garden, to an underwater scene complete with "Nemo", a gorgeous piece in greens, an eye-catching symphony of purples, an art piece featuring carrots and a beautiful bunny, and a hot concoction complete with a felted sheep! We all had a blast, and I know the gals are enjoying their little bags as name tag holders and mini-purses.

Needle-felt Sweater Purse

I have a wonderful and extremely creative friend Suzanne Morgan ( in Dallas, Texas, who is a fellow felter and also a very talented dyer in addition to being a great person and fun to be with! She and I share a love of felting, and then we have our different "gifts"; I am a fairly decent designer/patternmaker, while Suzanne is a natural at dyeing silk & fibers. Suzanne recently picked up a few of my patterns to see what kind of spin she could put on them, and made up some special kits for embellishing. Here is a photo of a purse made from my #152 "Needle-felt Sweater Purse" pattern, Suzanne's friend Connie made this using one of Suzanne's gorgeous embellishing kits, all I can say is, Wow! She did a fantastic job, just beautiful, and you can read about Connie's special thoughts on her design on her blog Very sweet memories of her mom, thank you so much for sharing, Connie and Suzanne!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival 2012

Best Embellishment, Full Ensemble
Best of Show by Rami Kim

Roberta Morgan's beautiful ensemble

"Jack", my favorite!
This beauty won Viewer's Choice

Carolyn hard at work, lookin good and always pleasant.
Carolyn all dressed up in her hat and silk jacket, ready for the runway!
Mid-Atlantic Quilt festival in Hampton, VA is always an incredible, inspiring, busy show, and this year was no exception! This was my busiest year ever, between vending, teaching 2 felting classes, and entering a quilt and also a wearable art ensemble which unbelievably took a blue ribbon for Best Embellishment, wow! But I have to admit I enjoyed myself maybe even more this year, I had such a great helper; Carolyn was like a breath of fresh air to be around, never complaining about my late night hours of working, and I never worried about the booth when I was teaching etc. Here are a few photos from the show, I was so busy I didn't get to photograph too many quilts, but here are a few of my faves, the best one being "Jack" of course, well to me at least. Also some pics of the wearable art very fierce competition, Rami Kim of course won Best of Show...again! Go Rami! Enjoy...more pics from my classes to come later...

Shawl Class at The Fibre Studio

A great mother-daughter team in the class!
These gals had a very minimalist approach to their art and created gorgeous gossamer works on their silk chiffon.
Suzanne Morgan dyed this beautiful blue silk chiffon for this gorgeous piece!
I loved this layout and how her irises "ran off the page".
This was such a beautiful scarf, she really used her colors well.
Happy student with her "party scarf"!
This young lady chose beautiful warm colors for her artful layout.
After felting, loved the layout and fringe on the ends!
In February I was lucky enough to teach a Nuno-felted Shawl & Scarf class at The Fibre Studio at Yarns to Dye for in Charlotte. I always enjoy our classes there, and especially since Debbie moved her shop near South Park; she has a nice big classroom in the back with lots of room to spread out, plenty of tables, running water and even a stove to heat water up on for fulling and felting! This class was no exception, we had a nice number and a wonderfully eclectic group felting scarves and shawls. We took a break half-way through to rest our busy felting biceps and backs and lunched at Moe's next door, a treat for me as I'm not supposed to be having too many carbs lol. Also a good time to shop Debbie's wondeful array of yarns and goodies while we were on break. Then we returned to finish up the rolling and felting and watch the magic occur, the girls did a wonderful job with their creations! We truly had a variety of styles, from a "party" collage of bursts of color, to a carefully laid out iris garden, a minimalist mother-daughter team in blue who turned out beautifully gossamer designs, to an artful study of warm colors, our designs covered it all! Here are some photos in all their shining glory, well done ladies!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Asheville Winter Retreat

Beautiful blue aquatic colors
Colors of Monet...
This young lady was a true artiste!
Laying out the green
Like a fresh summer garden
Check out their gorgeous flowers!
Tiffany was a joy to have in class!
Melissa pleased with the results, rightly so!
Sam admiring his perfect geode!
Melissa's beautiful wool geode slices
Melissa wearing her awesome Needle-felt Cloak
Wow, I can hardly believe it's been 2 months since our fun Winter Retreat at Biltmore Square Mall in Asheville hosted by the Friends and Fiberworks yarn 'n fiber shop there, seems like just last week I was up there with all my fiber-holic buddies! I guess I better get some photos posted before Summer Retreat sneaks up on me, lol! We had such a great time as always, I feel like I'm getting to know my local felters and it's always fun sharing what we've been doing since we last got together. This time we had some new classes; the first day I taught a Spiral Leaf Bracelet, as always, my students had their own unique ideas on how to personalize their designs; one clever lady was going to use hers to enhance her nuno-felted scarf, and with another student we were actually able to divide her bracelet into 2 sections so she could share one with her sister! We were so busy I didn't get to make pictures from this class, bummer.

Our Nuno-felted Scarf class turned out some gorgeous artsy scarves as always! I brought a variety of photos for inspiration for the girls, and they just took off after that. Each scarf turned out totally different, even with the different colorways, their own take on design was very unique as well. I know they'll enjoy wearing their silk 'n wool scarves for years to come!

I was so blessed to have a great roommate for the retreat, Kathleen Taylor, author of several books on knitting, felting and also mystery novels. She and I had a bit of free time on Saturday, so we zipped over to Biltmore Village for a bite of lunch and bit of shopping. Of course I had to browse Bellagio, a most awesome boutique of wearable art, and the home dec shop next door. We dined at a little restaurant nearby, and the food was to die for: a yummy panini, a little green salad, home-fried sweet potatoes with homemade tomato preserves that were just out of this world! Then of course we had to stick our head in the yarn shop there, I found some pretty fibers I "had to have" and a cute Asian coin purse for my daughter's impending birthday. Scooted back to the mall in time to set up and teach our late afternoon classes, I had the best gals for my Wet-felted Flower class! We had a great time chatting and the girls made beautiful flowers, here they are in all their glory. Next day I only had one class, the wool geode, and we had a great time there too. Sam and Melissa are both natural felters and made perfect geodes, here they are "before", and Melissa's "after", isn't it beautiful? And Melissa was sweet enough to wear her Needle-felted Cloak to show me that she'd made in our Summer Retreat class, didn't she do an amazing job! I love seeing the awesome creations my students make, sure makes me proud of them.