I don’t know about you, but I find it very hard to choose books at the library. I like to try new authors but it’s so difficult to decide which book to pick. One year I decided that I’d work my way through the alphabet; I stalled on A when I had to read every Kate Atkinson book, did the same with B (Raffaella Barker) and when I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read in C, I abandoned the whole thing. In similar vein, for the Stitched Journal Project, I decided to pick a book from the needlecrafts section of the library and learn a new skill. In a fairly random and hasty selection, I brought home a book about nuno felting, which apparently “combines wool fibres with woven fabrics like chiffon and muslin to produce a material that’s lightweight and flexible”.
Inspiration was easy as the farm and garden are filled with blossom and flowers. Yellows, greens and mauves are everywhere.The bright yellow flowers of oilseed rape stand out against an azure sky (some days), the colours so strong they almost hurt your eyes while lime green coloured shoots on the Christmas tree branches contrast with the dark green growth from last year. In the garden, there are more flowers on the bay tree than I’ve seen before and the forget-me-nots cut a swathe of blue beneath the apple trees. The decision was made to use nuno felting to recreate the spring colours for my April Stitched Journal Project.
After ages spent rubbing carded wool with soap, wrapping it around a plastic tube and then rolling in bubble wrap, adding contrasting wool and then silk, I ended up with a scrap of almost combined wool and silk. As directed, I set my sewing machine to the free embroidery stitch (after searching half hour for the sewing machine instruction book and the bag of attachments) and sewed aimlessly around to make a pattern.
The silk was duly snipped off in places to reveal the felted wool below and left in other places to create interest. The result was … a mess. I can’t really see the point of it, even when it works properly and I rather lost enthusiasm for the whole thing half way through. Suffice to say, the book has gone back to the library and I shall not be venturing further along that shelf in May.
On the plus side, for the first time, I used the darning plate on my sewing machine. Who knows, next month I could be sewing portraits like Harriet Riddell. Or not.
Linking with Lola Nova for The Stitched Journal Project where all sorts of people make all sorts of things.