I’m feeling pretty pleased this evening following a surprisingly successful bout with my sewing machine!

I’ve had a reprieve from manning the stand at Mount Juliet today, instead, thanks to Leiko and Emma, I’ve spent the whole day finishing 5 abstract landscapes and creating a vest from a wrap! Basically, I got my super duper straight stitching sewing machine out of cold storage, wound the bobbin and just got to work adding some free machine embroidery to my latest flat felt pictures. Those of you who know me well understand how stressful I find sewing, however, I would like to say that in this case the correct equipment does make a difference, no broken threads, perfect tension and at the end of the day new framed work to bring to Borris market in the morning and Borris House Christmas Fair over the weekend. I was starting to wonder had I been crazy investing in my Janome 1600P last year, fear not though, I’ll definitely get myself organised and continue to do some more stitching in the new year, possibly at Duckett’s Grove considering it’s too cold to felt there at the moment. Pop over to Clasheen on Facebook page to see some photos of the finished work, all these landscapes with the exception of one were felted using a selection of the naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on recently. The odd one out is a piece of needle punch felt which I also naturally printed/dyed, it was then felted onto a backing of undyed needle punch prior to stitching, I’m quite pleased with it and must try some more of this style after Christmas.

Armed with a successful start to the sewing day, I finally was brave enough to cut armholes into a short wrap that I felted last year. This wrap was made in white with a border of black, I dyed it using acid dyes when felted and although loads of people commented on how much they liked it at Duckett’s Grove it never sold.

Armholes underway

Armholes underway

Anyway, after cutting the armholes I pinned the raw edges, tacked them (basted) and having changed the foot on the sewing machine back to a regular one stitched twice around the edges. I’m thrilled with how this turned out, a lovely vest which I hope to take pictures of tomorrow.

Where is Clasheen???

For anyone wanting to visit me here at Clasheen to attend a felting workshop I am about 1 minute drive from Ballymurphy, Co. Carlow ( extremely rural village with 1 shop, a big church, 2 pubs one of which is also the post office and about 10 houses!), 5 minutes drive from Borris, Co. Carlow (very small country town), 8 minutes from Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny (another small town) and 10 minutes from Kiltealy, Co. Wexford (another very small rural village with exactly the same services as Ballymurphy!). 
I am just up the small road from Kyle Cross on this map Unfortunately none of the above mentioned are on a direct bus or a train line and unless one had a car it would be very difficult to get here by public transport.  There is a small ‘Ring-a-link’ bus service to Ballymurphy periodically but I think it is pretty much a ring on demand kind of thing so unfortunately if anyone wants to attend a workshop here they would need to get to one of the above mentioned villages/towns (Borris or Kiltealy would be the easiest) and at a pinch I would be happy to collect them from there.  I only have a pick up truck so this offer is for one person at a time!

Off now to start my rug ……….

Hi Everybody!

Hi Everybody, Please bear with me, this is my very first blog!
Inspired by nature and the surrounding rural landscape I create simple bowls, wallhangings and wearable items using a variety of felting techniques. Materials used include fibres from sheep, goats, rabbits, plants and found objects. Items may also include silk, muslin, jute or skrim and be decorated with manmade recycled and found items such as buttons.

On Sunday 20th April I returned from a fantastic residential weekend at Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow with Feltmakers Ireland! This was a wonderful opportunity to interact and learn from experienced textile artists in a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere. Altogether nine members attended and created an amazing variety of finished pieces and samples using the most ancient and up to date techniques, wet and dry felting, embroidery, embellishing and working with water soluble fabrics.