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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wool Roving - An Experiment

Did you ever get a bee in your bonnet about trying something and it just bugs you until you do it?  And then, if it doesn't turn out the way you expected, that bee starts buzzing louder until you try again, and again, until you get it right?

That was the case with my latest creative endeavor.  Out of blue, it occurred to me that wool shrinks when heated.  I have tons of wool roving for needle felting but I thought to myself, I could do some layering with it and then shrink it for a really cool textured background to stitch on.  Yes, it's all about new things to stitch on!

I started with a layer of pink tulle.  On top of that, I added some wool roving in a variety of different pastel colors.  Then I added some sparkly Angelina fiber and then another layer of pink tulle.  I took it over to my beloved Singer Treadle Machine and top stitched it.

Now for the fun part.  I wet it and then took the heat gun to it!  Guess what happened?  NOTHING!!!  It didn't really shrink.  Oh, it melted the tulle and gave me a few burned areas which looked pretty cool but I did not accomplish my goal of shrinking the wool.

My philosophy is "Waste Not, Want Not" so I of course, worked with what I had and stitched on it anyway.  Here's the progress:
There's no doubt that what I came up IS very pretty!  Since I still had my heat gun out, I added a little bit of gold embossing powder and heat set that.

I choose an image of a little Cherub and sewed that on.  Then, I had some some recycled silk that I bought at a yarn store last Fall so I couched some of that on around the image:

Couching that silk on was quite a challenge!  It's so fine and gets caught on everything!  But I got it couched on because as you all know, I need pink!

Once I got that done, I added a variety of fancy yarns for more texture.  Then came some Silk Ribbon Embroidery, some vintage and new flowers and a tiny bird's nest.  Yes, the little Cherub is guarding the nest full of eggs!  I can't help it, all I can think of now is Spring!

This is where I'm at with it at the moment:
All that's left to do on it is to add some beads and sequins for sparkle.  Then I'll attach it to a little branch and call it an Art Quilt!  I'll post another update photo when it's completed.

So what about the buzzing bee in my bonnet?  Oh, I'll be trying this again!  We'll see what boiling water does to wool!!!


Beedeebabee said...

OMG Pam, you're so inventive! This is sooo GORGEOUS!!! xo Paulette

Sandie's Patch said...

What a happy 'mistake!
I love it! It is VERY Spring!
You should be proud of it! The down side for me is's got me itching to have a go and I have to go back to work tomorrow! So many projects, so little time!

Thanks for sharing!

Sandie xx

Scarf It Up! said...

Great idea! It's lovely, Pam!

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

That is gorgeous Pam. You do such neat things. I love the way it it looking now. I started a new pillow yesterday, I'll do some more on it tonight. Hope you have a great day!!!
Hugs, Pat

Michelle said...

I love your project. All the flowers are beautiful together and the cherub is adorable. Can't wait to see the finished project. I'm a new follower of yours. I found your blog over at MBC.


StamperBee said...

That is looking so pretty. Thats a great story about how it began. I love all the flowers :) I cant wait for spring either. Hugs, Kim

mary said...

very neat

Lynne said...

Pam, you need 3 things to felt wool: heat, moisture, and friction. Try tossing your blanks into a pillowcase (or other sealable finely woven container), knotting the top, and tossing it into the washer on warm or hot. I'd suggest warm, because trying to untie that knot when it's wet with hot water is hard on the fingers, and you'll be doing it every five minutes to check the blanks. Why the pillowcase? You will not believe the amount of fuzz this process generates!

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