It’s October! Yay! Definitely officially autumn! Although it does not really feel like autumn at the moment as it’s so warm and the leaves are still more green than anything.
I like autumn. Being uncomfortably hot is as bad as being too cold in my opinion. Sunny autumn days, even if you need a jumper (or a coat) are lovely, warm enough to still enjoy being outside but without breaking out in a sweat if you so much as move. Gorgeous colours, woodsmoke, tractors pulling trucks full of potatoes and carrots, not to mention some peace now that most of my boys are back at school.
Autumn lends itself perfectly to seasonal themed crafts, so yesterday while Boy 4 was napping, I decided to wet felt an autumn picture.
I have only tried this once before. I made a picture of the seaside. Unfortunately it has been on the unfinished projects pile for the best part of a year because I decided to hand embroider it and it is taking ages.
Felting is great. It’s very easy, it’s lovely to work with and it’s perfectly possible to get good results even if you got a G in your GCSE Art <hand up>. I chose autumnal colours from the wool tufts I already had.
Here are the instructions for Stage 1 of my autumn felted picture. For Stage 2 I am intending to embroider it using machine embroidery this time, so hopefully I will actually finish it!
To make a felted picture, you need some unspun wool (usually merino but other sorts of wool work too), a bamboo mat or a towel, some bubble wrap, a piece of gauze/ old net curtain/ piece of sheer fabric, some soapy water and a piece of foam tubing or something else tube shaped and squidgy.
Pull or cut short lengths from your wool tufts. I pulled out pieces about 10 cm long. Place the pieces on the bubble wrap horizontally, spreading the fibres out as you go. Cover the piece of bubble wrap.
The fourth layer will be the last layer, so arrange your bits however you want them. Bear in mind that distinctive shapes will probably be lost (but can be redefined with some careful embroidery), and the finished picture will be up to a third smaller due to shrinkage during the felting process.
Using either a cloth or your fingers, gently rub the fibres for a few minutes. Agitating them is what will cause them to felt together. The warm soapy water speeds up the process.
Repeat this a few times. The fibres have felted when they don’t come apart when you rub them. If you get a bit bored with the rolling, as long as the fibres are stuck together you could put it in some hot water.
The felt I have made is probably not very strong but should be fine for embroidery. If I was making something other than a picture, like a bag, I would need it to be stronger and more felted.