If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I have a bit of a butterfly tendency. One minute it’s felt, next it’s indigo, then it’s on to embroidery or natural dyes.
I’m sure I could achieve more by concentrating in depth on one thing for a particular period – but there are so many exciting ideas to explore! 🙂 And I do revisit themes and ideas, often from a new angle, having learnt something else in my wide-ranging explorations.
Anyway, when I was putting my stuff away after returning from the workshop with Maria Friese, I came across a piece of felt smocking that I’d stitched on commercial prefelt but not felted. (The holes you can see are – ahem! – moth holes.)
This was from a while ago, when I was pondering the connection between smocking and origami tessellations. It led to some very interesting email exchanges with Jane Araújo, who designs amazingly complex lacy knitting patterns and came up with some very helpful suggestions about how I could pursue this further.
Needless to say, I got distracted by something else, but I was reminded of it when I was talking to Maria about origami and felt. I think I’d left it unfelted because the prefelt was very fine and I was worried that the lovely pattern and texture would just disappear and I would end up with an uneven lumpy bit of felt.
But of course it didn’t – it retained the structure very well after felting.
And it looks even better with the light coming through – perfect for a lampshade or backlit panel.
With the felt I also came across a couple of linen table mats I’d stitched, ready for dyeing. And as the weather has been a bit hot for felting I charged up the indigo vat.
This was also the opportunity to try another technique that I read about on the excellent Momiji Studio blog. I’ve never tried tesuji shibori because I couldn’t visualise how to bind the fabric onto a rope, but blogger Jessica gave a great explanation.
I used a rather pedestrian open-weave cotton scarf in a large grid of different colours – and it certainly made a difference.
The discharge effect on the central orange section was interesting.
And the mats came out OK too, though I think the stitching on the second one could have been a bit tighter.
But given how long they’ve been sitting around, I should be grateful that the moths didn’t much through the thread! 😉