A Stitch in Time

At the beginning of the year, I resolved to make a journal quilt each month, and to make a postcard sized companion piece to send to my good friend, Gay, in North Carolina. My January journal quilt was made from selvedge scraps and expressed my sentiments about my stash and how big it had grown – it also featured a dear little miniature Olfa rotary cutting pin. I only had one of those, so had to decide what to use on the companion piece for Gay.

Well I had a little treasure I wanted to use. I bought this little needle case on Ebay. It opens up to reveal a row of needles – very sweet.

Trouble is it just didn’t fit with the rather modern looking journal quilt. After considerable dithering, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make a more old fashioned looking piece to reflect the vintage of the little treasure – so I turned to crazy patchwork and a suitable, more classic phrase. I had planned on tucking the little case into a pocket just below the piece with the text on, but that didn’t work, as it stuck out too far and obscured the text. I dithered endlessley, and eventually decided to start again – but I just didn’t want to leave the piece, as I liked it, so decided to push ahead – I just needed to figure out how to get it to hold the needlecase.

So, I decided to put it on the back. But then I had to figure out how to attach it. I decided on a little envelope – it was a toss up between lutradur and sheer heaven – but I went for the latter. It looked a bit raw in its natural state, so I gave it a spritz with Moonshadow Mist, then attached it by making holes with my trusty Japanese screw punch (which I bought, before they doubled in price!) and stitched it with some perle cotton.
I was going to wait until Gay got this in the mail to post, but a) I suspect she is beginning to think I was never going to get to finish it, and b) she complains I don’t post to my blog often enough – well I have to have something to post don’t I? So here it is!! Miss you – wish you were closer so we could have our play days together.


Nuno (sort of) Felt

For no particular reason I decided to have a play with some bits and pieces and do my own version of nuno felt – or at least what I think that is, which is wool felted over fine silk so that the wool grabs the silk and pulls it up, sort of like ruching?
Well I didn’t have any fine silk, but I did have some hand dyed cheesecloth, so laid that down then arranged strips of torn silk, some merino wool tops, and some other bits and pieces – what are those shiny curly bits called? – oh, and some of the silk ribbon I dyed last week, chopped up – oh well, easy come, easy go! The first picture is all that laid out.

Then I covered it with some nylon curtain stuff I got from the felters group – they told me that is what you put over the top before you wet it down and start massaging it all, which I did. When I had done enough so that it wouldn’t all move about I rolled it up inside a bamboo placemat with a wooden rolling pin inside and rolled it back and forth. That didn’t last long, as I have problems with my back and neck and it has been particularly tetchy this week, so after half a dozen rolls I thought, forget it.
I rinsed and dried it (outside – its a stinker here today, so took no time at all to dry), then went to my trust embellisher and needled it all over from the front then some from the back. Then I took it back and gave it another wet felting (coz I just can’t stand those needle holes showing!) – I kind of massaged it rather than rolled it a lot. It was shrinking up pretty well, but I decided it needed more, so I got out my trusty washboard and rubbed it on that – well, that did the trick – it shrank up before my very eyes!
Here is what the finished piece looks like from the front

and this is the back. I quite like the back – the colours are nicely muted and I like the ruched texture.