I have naturally dyed a number of large felt pieces but never tried dying jewellery until this week , it has also been my first experience of dyeing with eucalyptus as I was recently given some leaves. I have made lots of jewellery , mostly brooches , and I intend to dye them in matches in different colours.  This time it was the turn of eucalyptus.

Here is all the jewellery being made.

A lot of circles cut out . 

  Various fabrics stitching and resists added. The collection drying in the sunshine . 

A choose three to dye on this occasion , adding some cotton and silk machine stitching before dyeing.

Looking good but without a lot of difference in the colours between the different fibres so I decided to modified the pieces with iron.

The iron really changes the colours. The silk has become a lot more coppery , and the linen and cotton fabrics darker but strangely the cotton thread has hardly changed at all.   

Step by step 

Following my resolution to take things more slowly , I have been gradually developing a piece , felting it and then letting it dry  before felting some more.  This gives more opportunities for adjustments along the way .

My starting point , was a collection of prefelts , all covered in silk organza, one piece of which had been stitched. 

  Here is the back , showing the prefelts pinned together , at the back , so the pins can be removed.

  After the first felting.

  Looking quite good , apart from end of stitching which needs to to threaded to the back and the edges that need a bit of straightening. 

A little more felting and thinking about bottom edge.

  Should it be straight?
To add constrast I now removed some parts of the silk.

  Well I think its felted now , I just have to decide what to do with the spare silk at the top.

  Quite an enjoyable process , taking it slow ! 

Both sides now 

It has been a good week of experimental felting at Skeeby Mill, guided by Jeanette Appleton and organized wonderfully by the IFA’s region 10.  In these circumstances there are lots of opportunities to try lots of ideas in one piece.  I decided to try and make a two-sided piece.

Here it is suspended temporarily in my conservatory.

The both  side-ness works as does the suspension and I am pleased with the effect of the old scarf I have  incorporated.  But I think maybe it’s just all too much .













Some lovely parts .But the whole thing , I am just not sure.   Perhaps it needs some calming stitches.  I am going to look at it over the next few weeks / months and decide.  That in fact was my major learning in the whole workshop . Slow down !!!

Simple straight stitches

I am not a natural hand stitcher , I am more comfortable with a sewing machine.

As I prepared to attend a workshop by Jeanette Appleton on stitching and texture in felt I have been reflecting back at where I think my hand stitching has really worked and I feel happy with it.  I think I was initially put off stitching by hand by the idea that it had to be complex embroidery when it fact sometimes the simpler the stitching the better.

IMG_1692Random straight stitches adding more texture to some felted silk.










Using straight stitches to connect elements of a piece together, and to show the contrast between the felt and the felted silk.



A bit of glitter.  Gold stitching drawing patterns across a piece.


Using again just straight stitching combining different colours with running straight stitches in different directions.

IMG_1699Following the curve but only using straight stitches. !