Well, I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days. And I've had some other distractions. So just a quick post of the block I have pictures of.....then back to work.
This is a piece laid out and wetted but not felted yet.
And now at the right you can see the ruching starting to form. I didn't finish this piece but let it dry. It was at that point I was starting to feel a bit under the weather.
My friend Debbie had visited and was laying out a vest she is making. The beautiful blue silk she dyed herself. She also took a basic pattern and added a bit to it. We calculated her shrinkage factor should be about 2. That is she needs to make it twice as large as she wants to allow for the nuno to shrink down to her size.
In the evenings I curl up and work on a felted book. It is number three in a series. The first and second book are in my Guild's show "What is Out is In". At first this theme brought no pictures or images to mind. But I rolled it over and over and finally came up with conservation. In our history there has always been little or no concern regarding this small blue planet we inhabit. We dumped everything in our rivers and oceans and gave little consideration to the air or earth. But now it is very *In* to be *Green*.
My books tell the story of beetles. Beetles that are disappearing and are on the Endangered List. The beetle is something most of us eeeeyuuu and step on. But in Victorian times women decorated their clothing with metallic beetle elytra and even had gold chains with live beetles pinned to their gown as living jewels. Yet many species are disappearing and it should be marked that as lowly beetles die the ecosystem is disrupted.
My first book started with Rosalia Alpina. The beautiful blue beetle above. It is disappearing from Hungary and Germany as the Beech forests are felled. The second book is based on The American Burying Beetle. It is found only is four places now and one of these is Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.
The third in the series will be a star book. It is what I'm working on in the evenings. The long piece is about 7inches high and will fold into a star shape. There will be no beginning or end and each page will have different beetles, dragonflys and other small insects that are endangered.
So now I return to work. I'll have pictures tomorrow of the latest blocks for the quilt. I finished Phlox today.
I've always done cartoons. For some reason my life like drawing looks lopsided and is not very satisfying for me. I spent several summers in the Sierra Nevada mountains painting wildflowers trying to do botanical renderings without much success. So I always return to cartoons.
With the bed quilt I first draw in pencil on a piece of paper then trace over with a marker. I cut sections out as patterns for the silk.
This first block has been the most complex piece so far and will take a considerable amount of embroidery, I think, to make it pop. Or as I call it: Sing.
I have finished another block and have the fifth on the table ready to cut out. But, I am getting ahead of myself. The third block was the sunflower. Which really sings without much embroidery. I got the colors right.
The photo to the right is close to actual color...on my screen. I love to embroider and bead on felt. But as I wish to have my quilt washable, no beads. The sunflower would support fabulous bead work I think.
So off for a walk in the woods with the dogs then felting upon my return. The weather is actually thinking about spring and the outside temp is 45 F today. The icicles have melted and the sun is shining.
I live with 2 standard poodles. The pup, Beezer, seems to like felt....that is he has pulled drying felt from the banister and chewed edges. The second "square" for the quilt is/was a dandelion. Beez, as he is affectionately called, decided this one looked tasty. Dandelion leaves are eaten by bunnies....so why not poodles? If you look closely on the right side you can tell where the silk has separated from the wool. That is, Beez decided he like this one better with two leaves rather than the odd numbered 3. He didn't tell me what he did with the third leaf.
I will have to trim the right hand side if I'm to include this block in my quilt. A close up on this one shows the texture of nuno rather well. The backround is a yellow silk on a soft green prefelt but the colors lie on the close up.
Some times when I roll nuno I tell the fibers to move in closer and wrap around the silk. I encourage this 'relationship' by thinking, talking and sometimes even singing of little felt communities becoming closer and closer to one another. Other times I listen to music and dance as I roll then throw the felt.
The snow is starting to melt outside, but only enoough to tease me about warming temperatures. It was 26 F this morning in the garage when I went out to run on the treadmill. I like running in the cold but I'm ready to take the dogs on a real walk/run in the woods. They just lay around on the floor when I'm walking and running on the treadmill. It's a dog's life.
I am currently making a bed quilt. It is for me. I give most of my work away, and will continue to do so, but this year I want to make a few things for me. This project has been rattling around in my brain for quite some time.
A nuno block quilt of flowers. I used a motif/design from a book for the first block. I changed it a bit. As each block is done they will become more of just my designs.
The base of this piece is a square of very fine commercial needled prefelt that I got as a gift. I ordered more of these prefelts after the success of this first piece. They are from Jill Gully's Outbackfibers. I did some small samples first and figured out my shrinkage.
The backround is paj silk, only 4.5mm. Then each of the elements is another piece of paj layered on top. There is no more wool than the prefelt on the bottom. I *very* carefully wetted this down then felted and fulled. It shrank about 33%. It now needs embroidery for outline and details.
The prefelts make for an even wool layer with a lovely drape and fine runching for texture. I'm happy with this.
I have several more designs in my head, on paper and actually 3 more blocks done. The first steps are taken.
A parting shot of the view outside the window....snow on the bird arch.....it should be single digit temps tonight. My quilt won't be done in time for this winter.
I read blogs. Mostly about textiles. I love to look at the pictures. Mostly those that show work or projects but find I'm drawn to pictures of other things, too. Flowers, water, walks in the woods or on a beach. But I recently decided to start my own blog to document my felt and how I feel about simple things I look at every day that make me smile. Or think. Or just pause. I also want to talk about felt. To anyone. If you felt or not. So I hope you'll visit and leave a comment about textiles, color, just about anything that has to do with Art and how you felt.
Because I like to see pictures with posts (I'm very visual) I plan on posting pictures of my work or the weather outside or whatever strikes my fancy. I know I won't post every day but frequently enough to document my travels of what's been called Slow Cloth.
This is a nuno piece called The Egyptian Collar. The center scarab design is a casting from UTEE surrounded by Angelina wings. I seem to be in a nuno phase lately. Perhaps because of the drape and softness. Or maybe because I love to dye silk in a crockpot then mix with wool for a textural feast of color.
The slow process of rolling felt is like a meditation. It gives me pause to think about movement, color, texture and everyday life. It helps me remember the simple pleasures. This blog is to be my visual reminder of how I felt.