My Felt Making Journey

Me in front of felt tiles
I wrote this for a spotlight on me for the newsletter of the local section of the IFA – but I guess you would like to read it here…

Over the last six years I have returned to a creative textile practice.   I had done nothing creative since school but always loved textiles.  About four years ago this hobby/obsession morphed into a business – Stitching Kitchen – where I share my skills and love of textiles through workshops and social stitch gatherings from my studio in Brackley, Northamptonshire.
I was introduced to felt making by Bev James of Fibre Frenzy, who first taught my children to felt at a local fleece and boxed poultry sale.   When she moved away from the area, I took over the children’s entertainment at the annual event!
Needle felted creatures
a range of needle felted creatures – examples from workshops
Initially my customers requested 3D needlefelting workshops so I taught myself the technique.  I’m now able to encourage and support the creation of animals and birds, along with having created my own kits.  I do prefer wet felting for my own creative practice and although I am a newbie I have found a real fascination with working in 3D with a resist; I have made my own handbag, hat, various vessels.
wet felted hat
My wet felted hat, in merino with some silk
I love the process of felt making and find the hands on nature of the process very soothing.  I love that I can make my own surface to stitch into.

Whales - Denim and freemotion embroidery on felt
Textile Art : Whales, reclaimed Denim and free motion embroidery on hand made felt. 

My textile roots are in embroidery and applique; felt making compliments this.  I have found more recently I want to explore the idea of functional felted pieces – my hat is something I am very proud of and felting is quicker than knitting one!  I would also like to make clothes but haven’t quite got that far yet, perhaps when I start to explore nunofelt?

I signed up for CiFT last spring but have to confess I have not progressed passed the breed samples, now with a bit more felting experience under my belt, I want to re-do them!  I really enjoyed the Region 7 colour blending circle workshop with Judy and Emma recently I completed one version and have another bunch of blended fibres ready for a second go!
Colour Study - felt blending
Results from workshop – colour study, blending dyed merino fibres to match colours in printed image.
I am really keen to grow my skills in general, keep developing my knowledge of the fibres and get more instinctive about felting and fulling so I can get better quality and good functional felt.  I can see my felting practice develop from art on the wall to tactile treasures I can use everyday.  Useful and beautiful, why wouldn’t you want felted items in your life?

Embroidered garden on felt
Felt background with stitched flowers to create a garden.