Category: Felting

Hand Dyed Wool Giveaway + Wool Applique Tutorial

hand dyed wool for applique and quilting

Today, I bring you another fabulous giveaway, along with a wool applique tutorial.  About a week ago, I received a beautiful bundle of hand dyed wool in the mail from Quilting Acres Shop.  Along with that, Erinn sent me a piece of gray hand dyed wool to use on one of my wool applique projects.  And can I just say, the hand dyed wool that she sent me was the prettiest wool I have ever seen.  The colors are magnificent, and the wool is super soft and easy to work with.  This wool is of the highest quality!  In fact, I really don’t want to give it away.  Do you mind if I leave a comment, “heart” Erinn’s shop, and subscribe to my own newsletter, so that I too can have a chance to win?

Here’s a little bit of information about Erinn’s shop, “Welcome to Quilting Acres Shop. Here you will find hand dyed wool that is exceptionally soft to work with. I start with finding beautiful wools that I can then over-dye, felt, and create something wonderful with.  I dye my wool in stainless steel pots (mostly at nap time) and wash each piece in an earth friendly, fragrance free soap.  These wools are perfect for rug hooking, quilting, needle arts, wool applique, and many other craft projects.”

Wool Applique Tutorial:

Erinn is exactly right, these wools are perfect for wool applique!  Before I get to the tutorial part of this post, first let me show you a few examples of projects I’ve made in the past using wool applique:

wool applique tutorial or felt applique tutorial

So you might be wondering how wool applique is done.  Really it’s quite simple.  First you need to draw out the shape of what it is you want to create using the wool.  I’m going to create a couch in this tutorial.  Cut it out, and use this as your template:

wool applique tutorial

Next, you need to iron on a piece of heat bond, a little bit bigger than your template from the previous step.  Iron it onto the back of your felt, trace your template shape as a mirror image (otherwise the image will be reversed), and then cut it out.  Position the wool piece, glue side down, and iron it onto a fabric surface using the directions on the heat bond package:

wool applique tutorial

wool applique tutorial

Next, using a washable fabric pencil, draw in certain details that you want to show using machine embroidery:

wool applique tutorial

wool applique tutorial

Lastly, sew these lines using either hand or machine embroidery techniques:

wool applique tutorial

This pieces that I’m working on, still needs a little work, so you’ll have to wait to see the final product.  But in the mean time, I think you know this is the start of something magneficant.  Why don’t you get yourself some hand dyed wool, and give this wool applique tutorial a try.

Giveaway Details:  15 Pieces of Hand Dyed Wool

hand dyed wool giveaway

To enter, visit Quilting Acres Shop and leave a comment below telling me what you like best in Erinn’s shop.

For extra, extra, extra entries, you can “like” me on facebook, sign-up for my newsletter, “heart” our Etsy shops and/or publicize this event on twitter, facebbok, and/or your own blog. Tell me about it below, each as an individual comment, to improve your chances of winning.

The lucky winner will be announced on Thursday, February 24th.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter our other giveaway here.


Blog Giveaway WInnerAnd our winner is…

Congratulations Marcia!

I’ll email you with the details.

Scrappy Projects

I’m a firm believer in saving and using scraps, even though it can sometimes become overwhelming.  I put up with the chaos it creates because I believe in being resourceful and “green”.  Lately, all my scrap-saving has really come in handy –I’ve been busting through my scrappy piles as I prepare for The Beehive Bazaar.  Do you want to see?

machine applique felt flower

A machine applique flower made from old sweaters.

applique flower made from an old skirt

A flower made from an old skirt, scraps of tulle, and an old sweater.

leftover batting

A throw pillow insert made with leftover quilt batting and poly-fill.

pot holders made from scraps

Potholders made with leftover fabric and binding scraps.

The potholder idea was inspired by Camille Roskelley, after taking her Retro Kitchen class at The Creative Connections Conference.  Below are my piles of coordinated scrap fabrics and scrap binding.

Are you working on any “scrappy” projects?

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Blogger’s Quilt Festival

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Have you heard of the Fall Blogger’s Quilt Festival, an event run by Amy of Amy’s Creative Side?  It’s an online festival where people submit images, along with the story, behind a quilt they have made.  You must check it out. The most beautiful quilts are on display.  I’ve decided to enter my butterfly migration quilt.

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

What does migration mean to you?  Yes, I know the literal term means the moving of an animal or a species from one location to another.  I’m talking on a more symbolic level though.

Have you ever seen a flock of migrating geese or a swarm of migrating butterflies?  In that moment, besides feeling a sense of awe and amazement, what did you feel?  Really, think back.

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists housebutterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Well, for me, migration symbolizes change, a new stage in life, moving ahead, towards a goal, or a specific destination.

When I came up with the idea for this butterfly migration quilt, my life was in the middle of a pretty big “migration” itself.  I was contemplating quitting my job, and instead following something my heart was saying.  As my hands created this quilt, really it was just creating something my heart and my head was feeling.

Instead of migrating away from home though, I feel like I found my place.

I found something I didn’t know I was missing, until it was literally in my hands.

More Applique Quilt Patterns to Come

Here are the latest photos of one of my most recent machine applique quilt patterns. Both machine applique and felt applique techniques were used to make this handmade quilt full of applique embroidery design.
My daughter, husband, and I were out on a picnic one day, sitting on a handmade quilt given to us from Josh’s Grandma. It got me thinking, and in the sunshine, with fine food and family, an idea came to me. What if I made a literal picnic quilt. From there I designed and created this fun little masterpiece, full of Americana colors and sweet images.
machine applique quilt on bike
machine applique quilt folded on chair
machine applique picnic quilt ants food
machine applique picnic quilt ant strawbertty picnic basket
Josh made these matching ceramic dishes and I made matching cherry print napkins to go along with this handmade quilt.  You can buy the whole set, along with a vintage picnic basket at The Artists’ House Etsy Shop.  If you rather not purchase the entire set, the quilt is also for sale on it’s own.
I’m currently working on the pattern for this handmade quilt.  Soon it will be available in my Etsy shop.
Yummy, don’t you think?

And Today I’m Going to Sew – More Felting Inspirations

Remember a while back, I wrote about felting?  And then I made that super cute dress for my little girl, from an old, loved sweater of mine?  Well the Mommy side of my life got crazy right after that.  Since then, my baby girl Monet has cut multiple teeth, and has been sick twice.  You can read about our sleepless nights here if you want.  The good news is that Monet is feeling better and with that comes mornings filled with energy and ambition, before I even pour myself a cup of coffee.

This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and said to my husband, “I’m going to sew today”.  Now in all reality, I don’t know if this will be possible.  The list of things I need to do is long.  I have to drop Monet off at the sitters, go to work, go get Monet from the sitters, run by Piper’s Quilt Shop to drop off the Charley Harper Quilt and get my quilt pattern approved (I know, how exciting, it will be available soon), and then I need to get home and put Monet down for her nap.  And this is where the fate of my sewing ambition is decided.  Will Monet take a nap in her crib?  Or will I need to take her out in the stroller because she refuses to nap inside.  Well, lets just say that I’m feeling lucky today, and my sewing list is an ambitions one…

Project #1:  I want to make a pillow out of some cashmere I felted.  See that little moth hole, I plan to cover it up with a beautiful applique something or other. 
Project #2:  This sweater felted up so beautifully.  Before washing it, I cut off the neck and sleeves.  I’ll need to figure out a way to clean those areas up.  Again, I hope to do some applique on this beauty, and then it will be ready for wearing.  I can just picture it on a little girl with dark hair and eyes.  I could maybe even cut down the middle and make a cardigan.  Hmm, that could be interesting.  
Project #3:  These are some sleeves I cut off a sweater.  I thought I could make gloves or babylegs out of them.  What do you think?  
Project #4:  I’m very excited about this project, and a little scared at the same time.  I want to use some of the felt that felted up pretty thick and make a coin purse out of it.  I’ve never done this before and I’m not even sure I know how.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Project #5: Try Betz White’s Shibori Felting tutorial. You just must check this out. The above image is from artist Jeung-Hwa Park. You can buy her work at Contemporary Craft.  Isn’t it beautiful!

I hope that your day, and my day, allows us an opportunity to do that one thing we always hope to do and rarely have time for.  Would you please share with me what that “thing” is in your world?  
Happy day! 

Felted Wool Dress

Last week when I was felting sweaters, I accidently threw one into the load that was mostly made of wool, but was also part synthetic. I have had this sweater since high school and while it no longer fit well, I have always hung onto it because of the cute detail on the front. The sweater shrunk up some, but otherwise looked the same. In examining the sweater I decided to cut off the sides of the sweater along with the sleeves in hopes of turning it into a dress for a young girl. After cutting off the sides of the sweater, I tucked the fabric under around the arm holes and then sewed down the sides of the sweater to make the dress. It really was that simple. And the end result were quite charming.

Inspired By Moths – How to Felt Sweaters

One cold morning in November, I arrived to school in a zombie like state, unaware that I had holes all over the sweater I was wearing. At the time, I was the mother of a newborn, and so I had no idea whatsoever that my sweater bore a keen resemblance to swiss cheese. Fortunately my students were pretty forgiving because they had become accustomed to the reality that most mornings I was a tired, sleep-deprived mess. At first I was completely baffled as to how the holes could have gotten there. Yes, I was tired all the time, as we have already established, but holes in my sweater, how did that happen? After a few bewildering moments my morning coffee kicked in. It hit me. I must have moths. The rest of my day was filled with worry and thoughts of powdery wings and nursing home closets. Finally, I was able to get home and check every single one of my favorite sweaters for damage. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my closet is actually trimmed in cedar and so most of the sweaters that hung in there were safe and hole free. It was the sweaters that I stored downstairs, during the spring and summer months, that had been ravaged by the fluttering beasts. I was immensely saddened by what I saw. Some of these sweaters I have had for 10+ years. I just couldn’t throw them away. These sweaters and I had a history. Click. That was the lightbulb going off in my head. If only I knew how to felt.

And so I asked around, took the advice I received, and did a little experimenting of my own. Here’s what I found…
Step 1: Let me see if I can confuse you from the start. Some people recommended cutting out the seams before you start the felting process. I did this for some of my sweaters, but for others, I wanted to see how they would felt up before taking the shears to the sheep (pardon the pun). For now, just know that you can cut the seams out from the start, or wait and do it after they’re felted.
Step 1 and 1/2: Some people also recommend only using 100% animal-fiber materials like wool and cashmere. While this is mostly true, and I too endorse this idea, I also am of the opinion that it doesn’t hurt to try felting on sweaters that are mostly animal-fibers with just a little synthetic thrown in to save money on a few lamb haircuts. In my experience, some of these felted up nicely. I don’t think felting is an exact science, but rather a fun experiment. Scratch that. It’s not a science, but rather an art.
Step 2: Wash all the items with soap in the hot wash, cold rinse cycle. It is advised that you wash these in a mesh bag as the sweaters will throw off lots of fibers that could potentially be harmful to your washing machine.
Step 3: Dry them in the dryer.
Step 4: Evaluate your progress so far and see if you need to repeat the aforementioned processes for any of the sweaters. Again this is not an exact science. Some of my sweaters needed a second round through the washer before they were fully felted. I could tell because they didn’t shrink up enough. To test some of them I did a cut test, meaning I cut into the fabric to see if it held it’s shape without fraying. You can also just look very closely to see if you can still see the pattern of the knitted stitch.
Step 5: Start planning your project based on how the materials felted up. You might want to use some for applique, others for a bag, and yet others for childrens’ clothing.
Step 6: Check in later and see my felt projects. Maybe they will inspire you to do the same.