Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Creating an Heirloom with my Destash

A few months ago I made a commitment not to buy/ collect/ bring into the house/ studio any more acid dyed fibers for my work. 
Mainly because I create so much plant dyed fiber using locally grown fibers now and want to continue getting better at my craft with just these materials. 
However, this left me wondering what on earth do I do with the lovely goodness I've collected over the years? 

Materials for Nuno felting is one of three groups of fibers I'm joining all together into a large rainbow project which is two fold: 1- to destash 2- for the baby.
The other two- my yarns, fabric scraps which I'll share about another time. 

This will be a wall hanging in the nursery and/ or quilt. 

Made with merino acid dyed fibers and massaged into layers of vintage silk hankies with hot and cold water and soap. 
I collected a bunch of bamboo placemats that work really well as my roller. I used to use bubble wrap but I found it to be a pain, too messy, and too slippery.

I've tried and taught nuno felting quite a few times before but never with much purpose. Or even passion. The day I pulled my large tote box out of my closet with all I've collected AND after I took a nuno felting workshop from my friend Laura Glandenning at Portfiber, I finally felt like I could focus on a project. 

I made these three rectangles in about four hours. 
I would have kept going but I wanted to get dinner started (I was being very ambitious and cooking my first beef and onion pie which we didn't eat until nine. But it was worth the wait.) and my shoulders where killing me. 

I love how the red turned out. Thick and bumpy. The yellow is lighter but fluffy. In the end, I'm going to cut them into strips a few inches wide and attempt a log cabin style quilt. I intend to use up all my colored merino and silks that are thread bare. You know the kind, scarves that tear if wind blows threw it. Perfect for incorporating into a felt because then the silk is locked in forever. 

Something that gives me so much joy with this project is knowing I'm making fabric and it's how this type of fabric has been made for thousands of years in Asian countries. All it is is an animal fiber and friction. Put the two together somehow and you've got a felted fabric. 

Also, I don't feel the need to make these pieces of fabric perfect. 
Instead, I'm paying more attention to my focus in following through with one piece at a time, letting the design take shape and going with my intuition. 
And as I work, all I can really think about is creating this soft, bumpy fabric for my child to be cradled in from birth to kid to teenager to adulthood. 
And maybe they can pass it on to their child. 

With these thoughts in mind, my work has taken on this new focus that hasn't existed before and I'm really thankful. 


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