Tuesday, November 08, 2011

For Thread Heaven's Sake - A Pocket of Miracles

Sometimes an artist is just so clever...

I have always loved  Thread Heaven,
that great thread conditioner in the cute little blue box...since I have been using longer needles to stitch up my felted flower pins (see photos below), I was trying to come up with an idea to use a little bit of it without having to take all that miracle stuff out of it's container. I know it can get dirty from your fingers, and the conditioner itself picks up bits of fiber from your project, eventually leading to a clump of gray, fiber-filled gunk (which still does the job wonderfully, by the way).

 So here's what I came up with: I took 2 small pieces of fabric, 1 x 1 1/2 inches in size and scooped out a small quantity of Thread Heaven from the box.  I placed the conditioner in between the pieces of fabric, then stitched all around the edges.  Too boring by itself, I added a flower button and a bead.

It works beautifully!  When I draw my needle and thread through it, I use my thumb and forefinger to press down on the pocket as the thread makes it's way through.  It helps accomplish both tasks - conditions your thread, and removes any excess Thread Heaven on one layer of the fabric.

After creating my 30+ nuno-felted scarves for the Greenwich Art Fair, I had so many smaller pieces of merino pre-felts left.  Playing with some of the pieces one day and wanting to make some brooches,  I started manipulating the felt by twisting, cutting and wrapping it around itself.  Hmmm...these look like flowers, I think!  I put together about 10 of them for my gig at Coldwater Creek a few weeks ago, and they were a hit!

Now I'm out of pre-felts, so I crocheted a skein of roving yarn, felted it, then cut it into pieces and dyed them.  They turned out pretty thick, so these brooches are a little different, but I love the fact that they remind me of fireworks.  The dye didn't reach inside of the felt completely, but that's what makes these brooches unique - that explosion of color from the Fourth of July! You might notice a little sparkle in the green one..that's from a skein of olive green roving yarn that I also crocheted and felted, but I added a thin blue sparkle yarn to it. I have 24 of them in different stages of completion, all to be ready for my next "Art at the Creek" (Coldwater Creek store) event on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

 One more thing before I sign off for today...I just discovered last night at work that we now carry 100% wool felt on a bolt - it is $18.99 per yard, 36" wide, so I just got 1/3 yard to try.  I washed it to determine the shrinkage factor, and the results were what I expected: it shrank 50% in length, and 33% in width.  I blocked it last night, and will have enough for 4 more brooches...


Karoda said...

Coming here just stirred up the long time crush I've had with Nuno felt...love the goods in your etsy shop, btw. and you work at JoAnn's right? I'll check our local store to see if they have the wool felt...thanks

Sherrie Spangler said...

Very clever Thread Heaven idea! I love seeing your new stuff.