Thrift Store Shopping

OK, I just can’t help myself, I just have to go hunting to find just the perfect old sweater to use in my challenge.  In case you missed it, here is the link to my challenge:

I will be looking for a variety of items, but my main goal is to find sweaters to felt, and sweaters to unravel.  I will report back and let you know how I did and whether my hunt was successful.

To change topics, I met with my local quilt store (LQS) yesterday and scheduled 5 classes I will be teaching in Feb-April, 2010.  3 are project classes and 2 are design theory classes.  If you live in Northern California, check out my classes at High Sierra Quilters.  They should be up on their website soon.  If you visit their site, notice the quilt on the main page.  That is a quilt I quilted about 5 years ago, and was auctioned off for $5,000.00.  It is now hanging in a private installation.

While I was there I purchased some lovely batik fabric to strip and make into a LARGE crochet bag for myself.  Most of my fabric crochet creations have been medium sized to small.  This one will be larger, so wish me luck on figuring out the pattern as I wing it.  Oh yes, I do have a free fabric crochet tutorial for you to see.

Now I’m off to create something, anything.

Recycle/Reuse Sweater Challenge #1

I have decided to hold my first Feathered Fibers Recycle/Reuse  Challenge for all you creative souls out there.    Anyone creative may participate.  All you have to do is create something artsy/crafty out of an old sweater or thrift store find; something you would actually wear or display in your home or studio that uses the philosophy of recycle/reuse.

You will need to post your  creation on your blog, and link back to this post.  Feel free to use the artwork above in your blog posting. (Save it to your computer as “Right Click, Save as” for PC users, and “Control, click, save as” for Mac Users).   If you do not have a blog, but still want to participate,  once you have your project ready to share, just drop me a comment and I will post it for you.

To help get those creative juices flowing,  here are just a few ideas:

-Deconstruct the sweater and reuse the yarn.

-Felt the sweater and then cut it apart and reuse it.  Here is a tutorial for how to spot wool and felt it.

-Add to the sweater and improve on it.  Here is a tutorial

-Only use part of the sweater.

-Chop the sweater up and create a fiber fabric out of it using this tutorial.

-Make a stuffed plushie.

-Create a winter hat or slippers.

Here a tutorial from Betz White for a pomander project using recycled sweaters.  See her other free tutorials, too.

Google “recycled sweater,” “recycled sweater project” or a similar term to locate fun ideas.

Any questions?   I hope you will join in the fun.

Regards, Carla

Free Buttons!!

It must be my lucky day!! Look what I got for free from my local quilt store owner, Linda:

Some of the items reminded me of my childhood… remember Zody’s??

Just when it couldn’t possibly get better… she also mentions that they were going to throw away a huge bag of wool!! OMG… I pounced before she could even finish her sentence!! Here it is after I brought it home and felted it:

It appears that the person who brought it to the quilt store to give away had purchased most of these wool pieces from Ireland, most likely from a factory. That bottom piece alone is about 6 yards!! Hmmm… now i need to actually use them in a project.

Some days are just luckier than most!!

Hugs, Carla

Sweet Treat!

I was blog surfing the other day and I came across Betz White‘s latest offering of cupcake pincushions made out of recycled sweaters. Too cute! So, of course, I had to buy one… Doesn’t this look yummy and edible?


And, best yet, my cupcake has friends to buy, too, on her etsy shop found here.


I almost bought this one, which is shaped like a cuppa joe. You all know I love joe, right?


Betz’s work is fabulous! She has appeared on Martha Stewart (see the tutorial on Martha’s site), written her first book- and is currently writing her next one. Besides being crafty and talented, she is cute, has cute kids, and has fabulous taste. Betz, keep the goodness coming!

Off to do some creative goodness of my own… Hugs, Carla

Felted Bag

A few days ago, I posted a picture of my felted bag-in-progress here.  I had just started crocheting the base or body of the bag.  Here is the finished project:

carlas-felted-bag.jpg        feltedbag2.jpg

I finished crocheting the bag, then I whip-stitched the sides together.  next I crocheted the handle and whip-stitched the edges to get a round cord-like length of crochet cording and attached them to the bag.

The felting process was next.  I also had crocheted a piece of the purple and green yarn so I could make a felted flower for the embellishment.  Size-wise, I need to make the felted flower just a tad smaller for the proportion to  work.

Last, I added a stamped, colored and beaded shink plastic pin.   This is a great way to personalize the bag.

I learned quite a bit from this project.  My next one will be larger and in a different shape.  What I found interesting was how the wool yarn felted up- it was much different from the yarn used in the project- as shown in the photo.

Regards, Carla

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been busy this week.  Currently, I have two work-in-progress (WIP) for the week.  First up is a rag bag pattern, which I found in AZ while on vacation.  Whenever I see a pattern or product my LQS needs to order, I pick one up.  Here it is, though mine will be done in flannel sock monkey fabric:


Next is a crocheted-then felted- purse.  I just happened to see some cool yarn, and as soon as I saw it I knew it needed to be a felted bag.  The first step to felting is to crochet or knit the yarn, which I am doing here:


Keep watching and I will do a tutorial for this project.

Last up to show you is a book I ordered from and I love:


Yes, it is a wonderful book about sea glass!  Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE sea glass?  In my perfect life, I would live next to the shore and take long walks every day to collect shells and sea glass!  If any of my readers live near the shore, do you also collect?  Hmmm… anyone interested in bartering?  LOL!

Enjoy your Wednesday!  Hugs, Carla

Fiber Food Round Robin exchange

One night, at the 2006 ArtFiberFest workshop retreat, a group of fiber artists were sitting around late at night, just talking and working. One person suggested we do a fiber food exchange amongst ourselves, we all thought that would be fun, and next thing you know, we are creating our food and having fun!

Basically, each person created a plate or tray and a theme. You send this to the next person, who then added food according to the theme of the piece. The results were fantastic. We were featured in a fiber art Portals “zine” (thanks to Suzanne, who sent me he (zine copy so I could view it), and each plate will be on display in the AFF gallery.

**Please note that the following food items were made out of fiber.

My choice for this project was a retro TV dinner tray. I made the tray and received back the filled tray:


Here are some other pictures I took while each plate was in my possession:

Elegant appetizers (I made lemongrass caviar)


Breakfast Plate:

breakfast-plate.jpg The egg was my addition: carla-egg.jpg

Next is the Salad Bar plate:

salad-plate-2.jpg My addition to this plate was: saladplate.jpg lorissalad.jpg

For the Dessert Tray, I made a cross between a ding-dong and a cupcake… chocolate, of course!:

dessert.jpg dessert-tray.jpg

Last, but not least, is the Bento Box:

bentobox.jpg I was inspired, so I added: potstickers.jpg and sushi.jpg

I added the potstickers, sushi, and some rice:


It will be a treat to see each finished plate on display. I will have to take photos to share. I also want to share about each artist in this project and their respective plate. We are talking about another exchange, but this one will be hard to top.

Take care! Hugs, Carla

Wool Reclaimation Project- a tutorial

Yesterday, I spent a great portion of my day building my new wool stash by reclaiming old wool discovered at local thrift stores. Here’s how you reclaim wool for re-use in penny rug quilts or to strip and reuse for rug hooking or other fiber art project:

First, you visit all your local thrift stores and look for items of clothing that are 100% wool or items that carry one of these symbols:

I’m sure you can use wool that has a high percentage of wool- say 90%. This is one of those areas where you can experiment.

Look for wool skirts- hopefully in the largest size possible with gathering at the waist. Wool slacks are next. Last are wool blazers. Usually for the value, wool blazers only give you a little bit of usable wool, I’ve found. They are a pain to deconstruct, too.

I prepare my items, by cutting off the waistlines, cutting off zippers and buttons. I open up hemlines and sleeves. Remove the lining.

Place the wool items into your washer on regular temp along with some towels to help felt them. I was told by my rughooking teacher to not use any soap product at this point- but I’ve done it both ways and it works just fine. Next you throw the washed, felted items into your dryer (on warm) with several softener sheets. Check you dryer vent every 5 minutes and clean out. Pull out items when dry and the felted wool is now ready to use.

The application for knowing this for quilters is in penny rug quilts. For rug hookers, it’s building your stash. Felting is certainly “In” right now. You can crochet or knit a bag, then felt it the same way I describe above.

If anyone tries this, please let me know. It is simple and easy.