Wednesday, 23 September 2009


As you all know I'm into recycling in a big way, not only with the antiques and recycled fabrics at Rag Rescue but I also subscribe to 'Freecycle'. I'm always on the look out for items for the home and for myself. My latest acquisition was a Rohan sleeveless fleece pullover, which I bought in a charity shop for £1.50. It is in perfect condition, I don't think it has ever been worn. I wanted something to keep me wark whilst at the antique fairs.The trouble was it was a dark grey, not a colour I normally go for, but at that price I couldn't resist it. I got it home and out came my felting wools. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about felting it on the embellisher as I had never felted a made up item before.
Here it is, see what you think, I'm rather pleased with it.

I was a bit short of time as life is rather hectic at the moment but when I have more time I think I will felt the back as well and perhaps do some machine embroidery on it.

Monday, 14 September 2009

My first machine embroidered felt landscape.

My second attempt at machine embroidery on felt.

I've been a little more adventurous this time. I was worried about the small size of the machine stitches but I think it has worked out quite well. I really must get the pedal looked at as it only goes at a fast speed.

The little flowers on the left are cut out from a late 18th century piece of fabric that was very distressed. I puched them into the base felt with the embellisher.

I also worked some hand embroidery onto the flowers to give more texture and added some handmade lace for further effect.

Finally the sky. With the use of net and coloured wools I am rather pleased with the effect. Skies are always a problem for me but this one seems OK.

Friday, 4 September 2009


Just look what popped through my letter box yesterday.

These two wonderful ATC's came all the way from the USA.
was having a 'giveaway' as it was her 4th year anniversary blog.
I won the 2nd prize.
Thank you Micki, they are absolutely divine, I shall treasure them.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Yes I really was working but thought I'd have a little pleasure as well.
This morning I went to view an auction in Cumbria. Not wanting to pay parking charges I parked some distance away in a favourite spot of mine. To get to the village I then can walk along a little path up hill past the most wonderful scenery.
Armed with my camera I snapped as I went along.

Fortunately I had my raincoat with me as the sky looked ominous and I was glad because the heavens opened on my return back to the car.

On a brighter note and once I had dried off I decided to download the photo's and play around on photoshop in the hope that I would get some inspiration for my future felting.
I'm really pleased I did as I think they have turned out pretty well even though I say it myself.

Now all I have to do is achieve some buys at the auction tomorrow and Thursday. Well I can always live in hope. Fingers crossed that the prices don't go too high.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Needle felting on embellisher made felt. One part of a mobile I'm making for my garden, that is when I get it finished.

Embellisher felt onto linen fabric with hand embroidery. I think I'll add some machine embroidery to this one at a later stage.

For years we have been exhibiting at the Arthur Swallow Fairs at Swinderby showground. The owners of the ground have decided to remove the underlying gravel on the site very shortly. For this reason the Swinderby Home and Antique show is moving to the Lincoln showground just up the road.
The IACF owners have decided to jump in and hold a fair on the old Swinderby site at the same time as the Arthur Swallow Lincoln fair.....!!!
Please do not be confused by this and think that it is the same organisation running it.



Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Trying out machine embroidery

I managed to be firm with myself today. I switched off the computer at 9.30 am and spent a day teaching myself machine embroidery. The book I have ordered on the basics hasn't arrived yet so I thought I'd just have a go. I already had some felt made and my intention was to use vintage silks but the machine needles I had didn't have a large enough eye for this so I used ordinary sewing cottons. After a few doodles on a spare piece of felt I felt confident enough to attack the larger piece. I must say I quite like the effect I've created.
Getting no know mum's old machine is rather difficult. It goes much faster than any machine I've worked on and I couldn't get larger stitches because of th, unless I wound the wheel around by hand. I wonder whether the foot pedal has something wrong with it as I'm normally very good with my foot controls.
I think my eaten leaf project will have to go on the back burner for a while until I become more experienced and have read my new book. I can't wait for it to arrive.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Somthing good always comes out of something bad.

At the beginning of August I went away for a week. On my return my new plant in the garden, that I had lovingly nurtured for a couple of months had been attacked. The flowers and seed heads were still perfect but all of the leaves had been eaten. When I had got over my disappointment I decided to get out the camera and play with the images on photoshop. This got me thinking about my next felting project. I love challenges and this certainly was one. Wet felting was out of the question as my frozen shoulder just is too painful for such energetic movements so I set about making the background on the embellisher. After yet another sleepless night of pain I had come up with a method of creating the leaf and the blue seed pods behind it. The first picture is the result of my multi-layered creation. Now all I have to do it start on the machine embroidery. This is something I haven't done before mainly because my old Bernina machine died on me about 2 years ago and the new cheap sewing machine I bought at the same time as my embellisher doesn't have the the drop feed option. However two weeks ago my mother gave me her Bernina machine so now I am able to try this new technique. I've just ordered Pamela Watts book - 'Beginners guide to machine embroidery'. I can't wait for its arrival so that I can move on to the next stage.
Unlike most experienced felters I haven't got any qualifications in this area. I've been on a one day course on wet felting which was superb and many years ago I spent happy evenings on creative embroidery courses at night school. I teach myself as I go along, making manymistakes along the way but I guess that is how you learn.
Any hints would be gratefully received.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


When writing my Rag Rescue blog the other day, I mentioned that I never have time to do some creating of my own. That got me to thinking that I needed a day off from the business to have some me time. Yesterday I managed to get out my felting machine and create. I didn't have anything in mind so just added bits of wool and fabric here and there.
I sat for about half an hour looking at the design to find something interesting in it. I must admit I often work like this and usually they turn out to be my best works.

With my box of wonderful antique and vintage threads by my side, I began to bring the picture to life. Spirits of a by-gone age.

What a wonderful day I had and today I feel so refreshed and ready to tackle all the mountains of work I have to climb this coming week.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

1940's FELT HATS

Just thought you would like to see the 1940's felt hats I rescued at the Antique fairs. Aren't they wonderful?
At the Newark fair I had a green walking jacket on and I wore the green hat for a while. A couple of hours later one of the exhibitor dealers came to me and after talking for a while it turned out that she was learning to felt, and so the chatting about felt making went on and on as it does.

These hats will be for sale in my
Oddities Antiques website
tomorrow (Wednesday 11th february 2009)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Third attempt at making felt slippers

My sons felted slippers. I finally completed them.
I've had a lot of problems making slippers mainly because I used merino wool rather than the Norwegian C3 wool I used here. However these turned out well, very thick and hopefully the correct size this time.
I have learnt a great deal during this process and in a few weeks time I shall put all of my findings down here with some very useful tips for anyone else wanting to make durable felt slippers. Tips that I didn't find on any other tutorial and blog sites which I hope will stop others being as frustrated as I was.
I'm away for a week but will post the tips on my return.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Floating in front of the sun.

My second cushion centre.

I thought I'd use two previously worked pieces to make another cushion centre. The white felt was made on the embellisher and has come out rather domed in shape so I'll put some stuffing behind it before I add it to the base cushion. The rust coloured felt was made by wet felting. It looks like balloons floating in front of the sun. Should go well aside my first felted cushion when I have time to make the cushion.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Success and disaster - Disaster

I forgot to take photographs not intentionally and I wish that I had remembered to as it might have made me feel a little better. Daniel my son had asked for a pair of slippers for Christmas. He has large feet so I asked him to draw around them. Having got the templates I set out to make the slippers adding 1" around the final slipper shape for shrinkage. I made what looked like a nice pair of slippers and even made turn over tops. I finshed them off like Molly's slippers with some soles cut around the original template.
Daniel was working during Christmas as he is a Theatre Recovery nurse, so as we were going to visit him after New Year I knew I could see if they would fit. I must admit I was rather worried as the slippers took ages to felt together but shrank a great deal. However the soles fit OK.
Daniel was delighted with them and immediately put them on. I could immediately see a problem. My worst fears had been realised. His toes stuck over the soles by about 2 inches. His feet had no problem getting into the slipper but his big toe was using the top of the slipper. Within two days a hole appeared.

Guess what I've got to make another pair. I think he must have moved his foot around when marking the pattern, so whilst at his house I drew around one of his trainers and I shall leave a good 2" around that template.
We laughed and joked about it and I even suggested that he cut the top end off, but of course they were supposed to keep his feet warm.

Still 2 out of 3 successes isn't too bad I suppose.

Poor Daniel.

I'd love to know if anyone else has had this problem.

Success and disaster - Success No.2

Slippers for Molly's birthday.

My first pair of slippers. I struggled but got there in the end.

Success I think.

Success and disaster - Success No. 1

The cushion I made for my granddaughter Molly.
I was very pleased with the way it turned out.