Friday, November 16, 2012


My visit with the members of the Cotton Patch Quilters in Athens, GA was such a pleasure.  It's a talented friendly group.....and I hated to go home.....

The subject of my workshop was embellishing wool wall quilts.  It may be unnerving to students to sign up for a class where there is no actual pattern is provided for them to follow! Rather they create their own 'original' design....okay....sure I help guide them....but still, there is apprehension.  However....that only leads to great satisfaction when they realize they CAN do it!!

We worked up to the last minute and unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough during the class to take photos of everyone's masterpieces in please enjoy those that I do have.
 Simple abstract designs can be elusive to style.....but this one is going to be a winner.
 I bring tons of real samples to inspire the students.  I'm always delighted when someone likes one of them enough to recreate it in part or in total.  This view shows only the leaves and stems being stitched down....they will be 'planted' into a button basket, and small bright colored flowers will highlight the foliage.  It is about 1/4 the size of one of my pieces featured in "Embellishing With Felted Wool".
 Another piece inspired by one of my designs will be similar but not exactly like a pattern in my book.  Rather than placing a teddy bear sitting on the moon, the background will be filled with felted stars....embellished with beads.

Here's a trick I share with students.....after drawing a pattern that will be filled with buttons, I audition buttons on that pattern to make sure I have enough of the correct size to recreate the motif.  BUT.....then...after they are so perfectly's difficult to keep them in place as they are stitched to the quilt.  So....I place clear adhesive tape over the arrangement......then it's only a matter of removing a button at a time and attaching them to the shape that has been outline basted onto the wool... Click on this photo to get a better view.
 Frances came to class with a small piece of nuno felted wool that she had created.....what a perfect backdrop for further embellishing!  Also, note that when working with a tiny's easier to handle if the stabilizer is cut larger than the wool.
 Another trick I suggest to students to get their creativity in gear is to select a theme or subject.  Something that's special to you or someone you know. In  this case.....the idea of using a snail, which is something collected by a family member was perfect.  The shell will be made of buttons, while the body will be felted wool.  I can't wait to see a photo of this when it's complete.
 Holiday's are another really good subject manner because many of the colors and motifs are already chosen for you...such as a Christmas tree above and below.....  These motifs are the perfect backdrops for further embellishing.  Yes, you get the idea.....there can be presents with bows, beaded snowflakes, a Christmas mouse, lights, bulbs, or garland made of beads on the tree!!
I was so proud of all the students......each and everyone departed with a designed project well underway.  I do believe I turned them all onto the ease and fun of working with felted wool....not to mention embellishing with beads!


Anita Heady Fiber Arts, LLC said...

It was great to see you Mary! I know the ladies enjoyed your class.

Robbie said...

Students are only as good as the teacher! Looks like you were all great!!! That's a wonderful compliment to you, Mary!