Where has the yellow gone ?

At this time of the year there are a huge numbers of flowers and leaves that can be harvested and used for dyeing.  Unfurtunately I did not plan ahead and have not got a collection of felt waiting to be dyed.  Shame .  Never mind I shall research this year and plan ahead better next year.

I did have this sweet little vase , waiting to be dyed . 

 I thought it would look lovely dyed yellow.  So out of the multitude of options, I chose hawthorn flowers.  Well in truth I didn’t so much chose them , but came across them while looking around the local woods with my trusty ‘Wild Color’ by Jenny Dean, my scissors and my gardening gloves in my rucksack.  
Always make samples they say!  So I did , here they are good shades of yellow , especially on the silk.  

Well having made my samples I left my dye mix to cool down over night , whilst soaking my little vase.
I thought the dye mix looked a little darker in the pan the next morning but didn’t really think about it too much. It a black second hand pan so you can’t see much.   In I plunged the vase and gave it the occasional stir whilst it warmed up again.   Strange I thought it looks very pink.  Somehow instead  of the vase becoming yellow it was becoming pink.   Quite a pleasant shade of pink but not yellow.   

I don’t know for sure why this has happened, but I think it’s either madder still attached to the pan , or the spoon, and slowly dissolving into the water.  A bit of a lesson here.  Make sure my pans are really clean and use clean spoons.  The problem now is , I am not sure there is any more hawthorn blossom left on the trees as it has been quite windy and rainy.  I will have to go out and have a look. 

Textile festival Leiden

Last week I visited the Textile festival in Leiden with two friends. The festival was in de Peiterskerk , and large spectacular church , in the centre of the town.  There were more than 30 other textile exhibitions in the centre of Leiden , amazing ,and  as it turned out far more than could be visited in one day.

The theme of the festival was Water-land, and this was beautifully interpreted in all forms of textile art.  I photographed a few of my favorites. 

Weaving with a whole new perspective for me.

The beautiful woven book /scroll really captured the peace of the seashore for me.

   I found this piece with its razor shells , very evocative of the shore. 
A more traditional style of embroidery.

A felted piece by  Annemie Koenan , called Genesis – then there was land.            

In addition to individual pieces there were large scale collaborative textile decorations in the church , very hard for me to photograph but I tried.  Here’s one that was called the red carpet and consisted of many many decorated legs.

There was also music and here is one of the the musicians, adding to the fantastic atmosphere. 


There was so much to see in the church , it left very little time for the rest , but we did visit the Japanese museum and saw the truly fantastic kimonos of Itchiku Kubota, who dedicated his life to making them.

This one is from his ocean series.

Overall a fantastic day , with so much to see and a little time for coffee drinking and catching up with old friends. 

From Photo to Felt

My husband is a keen and talented photographer.  He partakes in Blip photo taking a photograph every day and takes beautiful landscapes often getting up before dawn to catch the light. Occasionally he uses software on his iPad to make composite photographs.  I love the vibrancy, surrealism and the unexpectedness of these pictures and some just cry out to me to be made into felt.

Here is an example.


I have been experimenting with turning these kind of photos into felt pictures for a while and like to first make a pastel sketch to work from , as it helps me think about the order of the composition.



I make prefelt  and use fabrics in order to get the strong colours and straight lines required .



I always plan to add lots of machine stitching to add texture and details after felting.  Here I am threads at the ready , photo to hand  about to start stitching on my sewing machine.



In thinking about what this piece should be called , I decided to call it Night in the City , reflecting both the piece and a the sentiments of a favorite song of mine by Joni Mitchell.