Monday, February 20, 2012

Felted Lampshade completed

I have 3 lamps in the house from IKEA that I love. They can be moved around in different directions where you need the light. I don't like the fact that the lampshade is plastic. The most often used lamp had the plastic shade cracking. So I took it off and designed a lampshade out of felt.

I used a prefelt from my enormous stash of wool, and used my niece Bethany's design from her book, laying out some silk roving, then covered with prefelt on the top.

This is the felted piece.

And this is the felted piece hanging in front of the window illuminated by the ambient light.

Since the plastic shade was held up by three screwy things that attached to three wires jutting out from the light base, I had to create a lampshade. I had to use two different sized bamboo embroidery hoops, one on the bottom and one on the top and the uprights were chopsticks from a downtown Philadelphia Korean Restaurant called Giwa. I am lucky to have picked up a bundle of embroidery hoops at a local thrift shop awhile ago, so did not feel bad about breaking up two pairs.  I drilled three holes in the bottom piece and made sure they fit properly with the wire/screw thingie.  I sewed the lampshade by hand and on the inside sewed 4 felt strips to hold the upright chopstick supports to give the lamp the vertical support it needed. Here is the lampshade lit up with the design showing through. 

It makes the lamp much less contemporary and it actually fits the living room better than it did before. I like it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Felting with Heather

Yesterday I had a wonderful day felting with my friend Heather. I drove over to her house in the snow, which I did not mind.  We had muffins and coffee and began felting.  My niece Bethany has written and drawn a book on machine quilting designs and Heather and I made some felt using the designs from her book. "Modern Quilting Designs: 90+ Free  Motion Inspirations"

Heather decided to go with the fern, and I learned a technique from her. First she drew the design onto the resist. Then she wet the pencil roving with an olive oil soap solution and put it down on the resist. She of course is making a purse as Heather loves making purses. You will have to watch Heather's blog to see what she made.

The first thing I wanted to try was a prefelt with silk roving sandwiched between and to be made into a lampshade.  This is one of Bethany's easier designs. When its not being lit up the design is not really that visible but with lighting it pops.

Then I liked the fern design also, but not sure what I wanted to make with it I placed the traced design under bubble wrap then using Heathers technique used a combination of olive oil damped wool pencil roving and silk roving to set my design. Then placed a piece of prefelt on top and felted it in. Added a twirl of pencil roving at the bottom.  I am not sure what I will make from this one, but I have some ideas.

Its wonderful having a friend who felts close enough to where I live to spend a day felting and still be able to drive home fairly easily.  Heather is a wonderful person to spend time with.  I cannot wait until we spend another felting day together. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Last night I went to a local chapter of the PA Guild of Craftsmen for a monthly meeting. They had a woman who came to show us a presentation on textiles that she has collected mostly from India, Laos, and Indonesia.
She discussed the different types of silkworms and how the worm farmers take care of them and process the silk. My favorite part was the actual textiles. They are able to make perhaps one or two textiles a year at some of the places she visited.

There is one technique that I find amazing. They pinch tiny pieces of fabric and wrap threads around it tightly, many done in rows to make a design. When the fabric is dyed and the thread removed it leaves a white spot and the fabric has a unique stretch from the pucker. It is called Bandhani.
These photos do not do it justice.