Thursday, October 30, 2008

Remember the what-if pre-felt?

Do you remember the what-if pre-felt on linen I started last week? Well, today I proceeded punching small scraps onto it, then filling in on the gaps with a funny, multicoloured yarn I discovered on my trip to Vienna this weekend. Finally, I made some stitches with a red velvet ribbon I found in my stash.

Free Motion Faces

Today I just had to proceed experimenting with free motion machine embroidery - this time I "skitched" two faces. The background is embellished, wool, yarn, ribbons, lace on white fabric - and then machine embroidered (except for the freckles: they are french knots :-).

If you wonder about the hair of the two girls: it's a chopped-up scarf!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yggdrasil and a red miniquilt

This is a detail on quite a large project, which I am working on right now. It's called "Yggdrasil", which is the tree of the world in the Nordic mythology. At the moment it's as long as 230 x 35 cm, but I expect it to shrink a bit during the final wet felting procedure. It can be used as a wallhanging or as a tablerunner for a long table (like mine!). It consists of six pre-felted segments on which I've punched the dark leaves and which I'm now embellishing with threads of hand-dyed wool.

Below you can see the red miniquilt, which I'm also working on - this piece is somewhat easier to take along, as it only measures about 28x28cm ... I found it among my fabrics, just half-way finished - had forgotten about it - and decided to go on with it now. The technique even fits in a bit on the Whatiffing- and quilting-by-going theme - and the different shades of red remind me of Christmas, especially combined with the green squares at the corners!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stone hanging - one of my big projects

Today I had too much to do with my kids, household and other mundane matters - I'll be off for Vienna for the weekend as well - but instead I'll show you one of my finished big projects, decorating my kitchen/livingroom. It's an embellished wall hanging, almost 120 x 60 cm, punched grey wool in different shades and qualities, rough sackcloth, brown lace, some raw and fine silk fibers, natural linen fibers, woolen handspun yarn.

Going back to my Swedish roots, I enjoy working with wool and felt in a kind of Viking manner, combining the archaic natural wool with the image of stone, often using old Nordic mythological symbols, signs, runes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Embellishing, recycling and whatiffing

Today I was quite busy, finishing this "medieval" book which I have punched with grey wool on woolen cloth, decorated with metal net, other metal details and some glass beads. It's lined with natural linen and holding a sketchbook made out of thick, handmade paper.

I also embellished a small picture for a friend's wedding book (the text says: "May love make you free") - I'm an untalented photographer, the colours and texture look a lot better "in real" ...

Furthermore, I sew a cover for my kitchen bench using a piece of blue felted cloth I had in my stash and recycling an old woolen bed-inlay I got from a neighbor. No big deal, but as this is my favourite working place to sit in the evenings, I'm both happy to have a cosy warm bottom as well as to have recycled something quite spacetaking from my stash!

And then I had to try out a little "skatching", inspired by Jude. But I'm afraid I wasn't as consequent as she is with piecing each little space extra - I cheated here and then and let the fabric slip under the next piece where I found this to be convenient ... OK, I will have another try the other day!

Later on, I wondered: "what if" I would punch small pieces of pre-felt to a sketch on linen ...? I will see where that leads tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Whatiffing 24-32, Hearts

It looks as if this Whatiffing's really got me hooked ... Yes, I do work on some other main projects as well, but they are larger and take more time to complete! And these small pieces are quite fun to do, I enjoy playing with this kind of small series ...

The hearts are punched with different shades of red wool on embroidery canvas for background and further embellished with (starting upper left corner going row-wise)

24. silk fibers, glass beads
25. free machine embroidery
26. felted knitting, hand embroidery
27. wool, metal net, hand embroidery
28. ceramic heart, hand embroidery
29. wool, hand embroidery
30. wool and cotton fabric, hand embroidery
31. yarn, metal wire, scoobidoo plastic
32. yarn, hand embroidery, beads

So, now I think I've made all my pieces required for one month! What about you, girls? I'm curious to see your Whatiffings, too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Whatiffing 20-23, rainbow colours

These pieces are a little oversized for the project, but I just couldn't cut the ends off ...

Anyway, I punched different kinds of multicoloured roving onto very thin, worn-out muslin - I punched it from both sides, until the muslin almost collapsed.

So these pieces are very delicate, letting the light shine through ...

Another experiment:

Here you see some strands of multicoloured roving on the thinnest layer of white wool that I could possibly produce with the embellisher.

Maybe I'll wrap it around a cylindric glass and wet-felt it to get a colourful vase ...

A very inspiring book!

This week I bought a very inspiring embroidery book: it' s "Painting With Stitches - Creating Freestyle Embroidery by Hand" by Sue Dove. I think it's an amazing book; bold, free, colourful - reminding me a lot of Marc Chagall - and I instantly fell in love with this unconventional approach to embroidered pictures!

Normally, I would not copy, but - I just had to have something cheerful like this for my own ... So I picked a detail of Sue Dove's drawings and coloured it my own way. I'm going to wear it as a broche to lighten up the dark days to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flowery freestyle embroidery

This time I tried some new combinations with embellished grey wool on linen, some small pieces of fabric, wool, pre-felt, yarn and even paper - and finally I "drew" the outlines with freestyle machine embroidery. Try it - it really makes fun!

Whatiffing 11-19, this time it's glittering stuff!

I've made some more pieces for the Whatiffing Project: this time I've been punching different kinds of lurex and other sparkling fabrics, some black/white ones, to a neutral woolen cloth, but with white, red or black wool punched inbetween.

And afterwards, I searched my stash for metal beads and small metal embellishments. To challenge myself, I decided to vary the beaded pattern, but to keep the number of beads (or groups of beads) equal within each piece of work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More machine embroidery

Here are some more of the machine embroidered pieces I tried out yesterday, one of them in a kind of mola technique.

Whatiffing with free machine embroidery

Yesterday I started exploring free machine embroidery, a new experience to me - what a tremendous technique!

I tried it out once many years ago and gave it up again instantly, as it didn't work out ... And now, inspired by Sara's Whatiffing, I gave it another try and yes! - my 47-year-old Singer machine could do it!

Ornaments and doodles, free and formal patterns - I'm really eager on experimenting with that as it makes such fun swirling around freehanded. I even got so overwhelmed that I produced a new series of Whatiffing pieces with nine machine embroidered, multicoloured plant doodles on an embellished background (old light-blue sweater with white wool).

Looking at them now, I realize that these are not really nine different kind of Whatiffing motives in the sense Sara described it, but rather nine variations in the same manner. I will therefore regard them as No. 10 a-i, but leave them on my pad nevertheless.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"It's just another patch ..."

Inspired by the book "Plain and Simple - A Woman's Journey to the Amish" by Sue Bender, which I read this weekend, I just had to try out a basic ninepatch in rather old and worn blue fabrics. (Size approx. 7"x7" = 18x18 cm)

I sew it entirely by hand, keeping it, well - plain and simple. It felt a bit like meditating and I enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spiral felt beads - from the leftovers

Meanwhile, I played around with some narrow leftover straps of the chopped-up sweaters; curled them up, pinned them together, made some stitches - and voilá! I had some funny spiral felt beads in my hand!

Recycling and Whatiffing a slipover ...

I'm still struggling around with this slipover, which doesn't behave as I want it to.

I started out with different pieces of knitwear (old sweaters and some UFOs), shrunk them in the washing-machine, cut them up and stitched them together, quite randomly, with bold handstitches and then punched it with the embellisher.

Unfortunately, some material flattened out more than I'd foreseen under the embellisher and I tried to shrink it once more. Some of the seems broke up after this procedure - I guess as a result of me using the thicker, coarser felting needles for this project, as these knitted and felted layers can partially be very thick and I wanted to avoid massive needle breakage. Anyway, these sturdy needles seem to kind of "chew" the thread I used for the seams.

So I'll get back to this project as soon as I've figured out how to solve the mess!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beaded ring

I'm working on a bigger recycling and felting project which cannot be finished in a day - the only thing I managed to complete today was a small beaded ring, no big deal, simply cute.

I was asked to mend a broken (quite ugly) beaded ring somebody had bought in Madeira/Portugal on vacation, and as I did, I got inspired to try it out with other beads, more colours, covering a vintage button instead. Would it pass as a very small "recycling project"?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A little Whatiffing with embroidery

Today I did a bit of my own Whatiffing again: a landscape punched with wool (and some silk) fibers on a woolen cloth - I tried out some free embroidery on it, which I've actually never done in this way before. It's fun to try something new!

The size is about 6,5"x7,5".

Monday, October 6, 2008

"It's only what we learn while we're doing what seems to be basically routine that really counts: how to endure, how to produce, how to make life rich at its most mundane moments."

(Joan Chittister)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sara's Whatiffing Project

As I've decided to participate in Sara's Whatiffing Project (, I started with the first nine pieces of mine today.

In order to get the right size (2"x3") - which is a real challenge to me, as I usually work with larger pieces of work - I cut up some medium weight woolen cloth to the right size, and punched the top layers with white woolen batting in between.

For the top layers I used - counting from upper left to the right -

1. a stretchy, creme-coloured silvery net
2. a very light muslin fabric
3. some heavy vintage lace
4. a delicate vintage lace
5. brownish lace ribbon between strips of sackcloth
6. a very light (real) metal net
7. loose linen and cotton fibers
8. machine embroidered net lace
9. hand-dyed wool roving in green/greyish/brown

I mounted these pieces with some sticky tape on an aquarel paper pad, nine pieces will fill one page.

I would feel comfortable with embellishing this kind of album page, consisting of nine pieces, about three times a month, in one certain colour range or with another common theme.

Meanwhile, I'm also struggling with these wonders of virtual facilities: having my blog properly done, taking digital pictures and uploading them, organizing a flickr account ... anyone who has fought this battle alone, being a "virtual virgin" (like me), will know what it means ... Well, I won't give up on it! Someday, I'll succeed!

Playing with beads and wire

Last week Sara came to visit me. We had a great time together and I think she is absolutely right when saying that "it's so important to have fun while creating, being able to put your heart into your work". Yes, I believe that's what creating is all about ...

Today I played with my stash, this gorgeous fortune of exciting things to become. I made some stars out of vintage pearls (glass, wood, bone) and a bit of wire - and had a wonderful time.

Recycling and reassembling sets my heart on fire and sparks my imagination.

Friday, October 3, 2008

- Bockfilz goes fiber space! -

Weit bin ich noch nicht gekommen, aber demnächst sollte hier mein Blog erscheinen!

I haven't come far yet, but I am working on making this blog!