Circular Cobweb Scarves tutor Sara Quail 4 May 2019

Circular Cobweb Scarves, tutor Sara Quail- report by Renita Mroz

Apologies for very late reporting on Sara Quail’s wonderful one-day workshop on Circular Cobweb Scarves.

These lightweight scarves, made using a resist and one-directional wool layout, are both beautiful and versatile. 

Sara was, as ever, super organised and prepared and brought along a wide range of samples to be studied, admired and tried on. 

During the workshop, Sara demonstrated three techniques for layout of the fibres:

Spreading: Using a continuous length of wool/silk roving
Drawing:  Drawing out wool roving and overlaying it with decorative silk/plant fibres as desired.
Shingling:  A single layer of fine shingles (laid in one direction only), overlaid with decorative silk/plant fibres.  This method is great for producing a gossamer-fine scarf and/or to use up small scraps of leftover wool.

Rubbing with hands or felting tools began the felting process while protecting the delicate fibres from moving about.  Only once the fibres were stable could rolling begin.  With no cross fibres, it was a surprisingly lengthy process!

The end results, however, were lovely.  Thanks, Sara, for a great workshop.

Toss N Tell June 2019 Report


Martien van Zuilen instructed us today on the principles of using inclusions to create interesting raised surfaces. She also demonstrated making a multi-layered ‘bowl’ utilising multiple resists.

Martien van Zuilen

Inclusions placed between layers of wool create a raised surface and can be left in or cut into to reveal the underlying wool colours.

Examples of inclusions include felt balls or other shapes, pre-felted cord, cotton wadding, rubber pieces, resist pieces (eg thin circles of hollow pool noodle or water pipe insulation foam).

Lay out 2 perpendicular layers of wool tops.

Place inclusions on top then cover with a piece of 2-layer pre-felt.

Wet down and rub gently until fully felted, then cut into if desired .

Martien van Zuilen

Multiple or stacking resists can be used to create a joined stack of ‘bowls’.

Lay out a square of pre-felt and wet down the central area.

Place a circular piece of foam resist over the wet area, cover the resist and just beyond with wool tops and wet down.

Place a second smaller piece of resist on top and continue the process making several layers of resists and wool tops.

Finally, place a square of pre-felt (same size as bottom piece) on top, wet down, rub gently until holding together well, then cover with grip mat and roll around a dowel or noodle, checking regularly to flatten out any ridges.

Once the piece is reasonably well felted, pick up the top layer above the centre of the resist, pinch and cut a small cross.

Use hands to further firm the top layer.

Remove the resist and continue felting until hardening up and gaining the required shape. Repeat for the other layers.

Thanks Martien for demonstrating a technique that we will all want to explore!

News and Update

Welcome to everyone, including new members.

The Muresk Retreat was a great success thanks to Katrina Virgona for her wonderful workshop and presentation and for being so generous with her time. Sue Harrington was thanked for organising the event.

Workshops coming up are Eva Camacho-Sanchez’ Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces from 17-19 July (1 place left) and her artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House, $5 entry. Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey is from 2 to 4 August (full contact Renita to be put on Wait List) and her artist’s talk is on 1 August, details to be advised. Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels is from 30 August to 1 September ( 1 place left) and there will be an artist’s talk open to all.

FeltWEST will have a stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall which will focus on promoting felting through education and demos, while attracting new members. Volunteers are needed for morning and afternoon shifts, with free entry provided to volunteers. Please see the website for contact details for Jill and Jan. Members are asked to provide felted items for display, but not for sale.

We are looking forward to participating at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October) with a large stand in the WA Pavilion. Martien van Zuilen, Peta Korb, Marion Finneran, Jean McKenzie and Margaret Bryan are on the sub-committee. The stall will be an exhibition with all work for sale, and a promotion for felting and FeltWEST. All members are encouraged to submit well-felted items which must be predominantly made of felt. A flat fee of $25 is payable and a commission of 20% (15% to Royal Show and 5% to FeltWest) will be charged. Those submitting work are required to work two 6-hour shifts and will receive free entry. Information and forms are available on the website. Works can be handed in on 17 August at TnT, Tuesday group on 3 September, 21 September TnT or by delivering items to members of the sub-committee and must be labelled, priced and accompanied by completed forms. Please get busy and starting felting for the Show!

Ideas are coming together for a fundraising project to be undertaken later in the year, with details to follow.

Special events at the 17 August monthly meeting will include the AGM and Trash and Treasure stalls, so please make sure you come along.

Memberships are due to be renewed on 1 July. Please pay promptly via the website.

Toss and Tell

Renita showed her gorgeous sea-coloured top made at May Hvistendahl’s workshop, as well as fine rounded bowls decorated with feathers/beading and with seaweed. A more substantial ‘bowl’ become a hat with a beautifully felted tassel.

Virginia had made 3 scarves at the Retreat in blues and greens. For one, she had used a wool and silk ‘slushie’ (available from Thread Studio) to create lovely soft scarves with good drape. Another used 50g wool tops and sari silk and a third scarf in softer blues was wool and silk fibres.

Marion displayed a vessel made using a combination of skills learnt from Martien’s rubber-tubing and Sarah’s flower demonstrations, with wool nib decorations. She also showed two lariats, one with bright viscose thread stitching.

Sherron delighted us with her charming mouse slippers with cute faces. She asked about methods for adding non-slip bases.

Julie showed off her beautifully designed and made koi wall-hanging made at the Retreat for her daughter. She had also been busy making a green square box with leaf decoration, a polyester nuno scarf with a wool grid mesh, a blue cracked earth vessel, an earthy hued scarf inspired by the Australian bush and some lovely felted flowers which she claimed were quick to make!

Cathy displayed a brown nuno scarf with silk square patchwork and a partly-finished lariat both made at the Retreat, also several small wall-hangings made with a variety of techniques including a semi-transparent window of cotton gauze.

Kat had made three circular scarves in a variety of colours. She also showed a white scarf with a central ocean-coloured panel representing the ocean between her two home countries.

Maureen had been busy making needle felted animals, some wearing top hats and all very cute. She had also felted a maple leaf while on a trip in Canada and some tiny bags for children to hold Christmas gift cards.

Liz explained the many decorations on her colourful lariat, still to be finished. She is also in the process of making a name tag which has a lot of shrinking to do! A gift of sari silk had been incorporated into a delicate pink scarf.

Pat showed her completed lariat from the Retreat and a blue scarf with a very fine lay-out.

Martien exhibited a brown bangle with blue spikes and a foam core. The next Felt magazine features the technique for making the bangle.

Sue modelled her partly-made lariat which needs further work as the cord has softened. She had also made two different but complementary sides of a cushion cover featuring nuno and embroidery.

Katrina showed some fluffy pre-felt flowers purchased on-line by Alison. Not up to our felting standard! She passed around examples of felted seed-pod forms as examples for an upcoming workshop she will offer at Mundaring Art Centre. See Billboard.

Thank you to Sue for the report, Alison and Renita for photo’s. Great work guys.

I (Liz) am still working on the layout with this new editor program.

How do you like the slide shows?

Toss ‘n’ Tell Report Saturday May 18 2019

Mini Workshop – CRACKed EARTH

At today’s tutorial, Liz Odd instructed members on the principles of felting items to achieve a ‘cracked earth’ appearance. The technique utilises some form of strips of resist, for example masking tape, bicycle inner tubes, synthetic cords or cut-out designs in light-weight foam sheeting. The method can be used for 2D and 3D pieces. Liz’s inspiration comes from nature or from photos in magazines etc.

To make a 3-layer piece, start with 3 dry-rolled pre-felt batts of the same thickness and dimensions, each made with 2 (or an even number of) layers of wool tops. Apply a criss-cross pattern of tape to the bottom layer, making sure to leave the ends of the tape extending beyond the edge of the batt to facilitate locating the tape after felting. Then place the middle and top layers over the tape design. Liz used a dark brown base layer, a bright multi-coloured middle layer and a paler beige top layer.

Dry-roll the 3 layers together and then wet down and felt until moderately well felted. At this point use sharp scissors to cut through the middle and top layers, following the middle of each piece of tape as a guide. The degree of felting will determine whether the cut edges will be well-defined or furry.

Proceed to felt the cut edges, the cracks and the flat surfaces with your hands and soapy water until a firm texture is achieved. Having the hands inside plastic bags or food-grade disposable plastic gloves can make for smoother manipulating. Gently toss the piece to shrink and harden as desired.

Thank you, Liz for an informative demonstration and for inspiring us with your beautiful finished pieces.

News and Update

President Marion welcomed everyone, including new members, those attending the Introductory Workshop and visitor, Dianne, from South Australia.

The recent workshop conducted by May Hvistendahl from Norway on making Nuno-Felt Tops was amazing, as was her evening presentation.

Sara Quail’s Circular Scarf workshop was hugely successful, and participants were thrilled with the light, soft results of using minimal materials.

Coming workshops include Katrina Virgona’s Lariats, Brooches and Rings, being held at the Muresk Retreat on 31 May. Late registrations are still possible until 21 May by contacting Sue Harrington directly.

Eva Camacho-Sanchez will be teaching Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces from 17-19 July and there are still some places available. She will be giving an artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House. Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey and Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels are being offered in August.

Problems are being experience with the FeltWest website and members are asked to bear with the committee until an upgrade is undertaken. Please contact committee members if you need assistance.

FeltWest events coming up are our stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall but volunteers will be needed to assist. Contact Marion Finneran if you can help.

Thanks to Peta’s efforts, again this year,we are thrilled to have been offered a 6 x 6m stand at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October). Commercial rates for such a stall would normally be $5,000 and we are also provided with a large number of free entry tickets for those on the roster so it is a generous offer. This is a great opportunity to sell felted items (last year items displayed were hugely variable and priced from $10 to $400) and to promote felting to a wide audience from all walks of life. Martien and Peta have agreed to be on the sub-committee and need a few additional members. All members submitting work for sale will be required to be on the roster. More details including guidelines and forms will be available at the June TnT meeting.

And finally, Stacey and Liz Owens are putting together ideas for a fundraising project to benefit cystic fibrosis sufferers. Watch out for more details.

Toss and Tell

Marion, Karen, Jean and Virginia showed off their colourful, fine and soft circular scarves made at Sara’s recent workshop. They all commented on how the scarves are warm and comfortable to wear.

Karen also wore an interesting blue brooch made from an old piece of felt thrown in the washing machine – voila!

Peta and Stacey displayed their sleeveless dresses made at May Hvistendahl’s workshop. They are soft, reversible dresses with silk flouncy bottoms. They commented that they had learnt how to lay wool to get a shape that fits like a glove. Judy Barkla was admired for her similarly well-fitting strip-felt garment made years ago at a Polly Stirling workshop.

Alison Higgins exhibited a blue-green necklace with ceramic and felt beads and a terminal flower, finally completed several months after starting it at Katrina’s workshop. Sue Espie talked about her 4–piece necklace made using Katrina’s method, which can be worn in various combinations.

Sue Espie with results from an earlier K Virgona w/s

She had also made two stunning flowers and a sculptural form of angled fins made with merino pre-felts at Kristy Kun’s workshop in Ballarat – she commented on the punishing process of achieving the impressive results!

results from Kristy Kun’s w/s

Margaret Bryan showed a pink necklace made with felt balls and surface beading. She found some beads were rock hard and difficult to thread. Other members recommended using a drill to make holes for threading.

Marion talked about her two green vessels made from a gift of someone else’s felt. She had reshaped and embroidered one into a sculptural vessel.

For the second piece she had taken Fiona Duthie’s website challenge to make a triple-layered vessel with a feature ‘window’.

Pictures by Alison Higgins

Report Sue Harrington

Thank you.

p.s. I have a new editor to learn, hopefully the layout will get better as we go along. kind regards Liz.

Nuno Felt Tops Workshop – tutor May J Hvistendahl

May J. Hvistendahl is an internationally renowned felt artist from Norway. Since 1985 she has operated her full time felting studio Ullhuset (Woolhouse). Her specialty is nuno-felted clothing; designing and creating well-fitted, lightweight and durable garments using innovative techniques she has developed over 25 years. May teaches throughout Norway and internationally, including Japan, USA, Australia (2000 & 2005), and throughout Europe. She has written two books on felting (both in Norwegian) and her work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions.  She is the founder of the Norwegian Feltmaker Association (1995) and was its inaugural president for three years.  May lives and works on a small island near Kragerø on the Norwegian south coast and runs annual workshops from her studio there.

Bente, Stacey, Peta, Kerry and Ren

May Jacobsen Hvistendahl tutored the Nuno Felt Tops workshop at FeltWEST in Perth in April 2019. The workshop the participants learnt to make an elegant and unique nuno-felted garment made of silk fabrics and fine merino wool. It is all about personal design, and the wonders of fibre direction.

May taught how to customize a pattern for individual size and design. Demonstrated design techniques so the garment would be light and elegant, well felted and full of drape. The choices were a sleeveless top, a blouse with short sleeves, or an open vest. Or make it a little longer and call it a mini dress.

As you can see from the results the variety was wonderful and as individual as the designer.

Lenore, Sara, Renita, Judith, Di & Sue

May talked about fibre direction and the effect this has on the garment, and how to use this to your advantage when designing.

It is important to do a sample to ensure your shrinkage rate is correct for you, thus ensuring the garment will fit.

May was very generous with her knowledge and time and all participants completed a garment in the 2 days. An excellent workshop and we all came away with many more ideas for the next garment.

Thank you very much May, and we all wished we lived in Norway near May’s Island, where the water ensures a great felt with a lot fewer rolls.

  • Report and photo’s by Liz Owens

Toss ‘n’ Tell Report 16 March 2019 Saturday

Toss ‘n’ Tell Report 16 March 2019 Saturday

Mini – demo Playing with Silk Hankies


Nancy Ballesteros gave a very informative talk on “silk hankies” and demonstrated her method of incorporating  them in her felting.


What is purchased as “silk hankies” are actually cocoons of  silkworms, (Bombax Mori)  that feed on mulberry leaves. Each cocoon consists of 1 continuous silk thread. The cocoons are first boiled, then pierced to remove the worm, and then spread out into a square form. These are stacked on on top of each other and form a “hankie”.




In order to prepare the hankies for use  they need to be separated into layers that will be thin enough for the wool to penetrate in the felting process. . All thick areas must be broken up. It is especially important to fan out the edges of each layer.






The hankie is very strong and can be stretched into many shapes  or can even be cut up for smaller shapes.






In order to make it more manageable to work on a design Nancy’s method is to wet down the  hankie with soapy water and then shape the required design on a surface of thin plastic.






Finally lay out wool on top of the hankies and finish with silk fabric over the whole area.







Lots of tips were passed on to the members about design and colour choices in order to achieve the best results. Thank you Nancy.









Toss n Tell


Renita  attended Sue Eslick’s workshop showed us her square box . It was first tested out with paper folding before being made with complex resists.






Cynda also did Sue’s workshop and her box is a work in progress, satchel to be.






Sue Eslick made delightful small baskets from home made cord which she had made from scraps of sari silk, various yarns and oddments. These were then stitched together in a coil to form baskets.









Martien showed us a very fine prefelt of paj silk and wool. She plans to do stitching on it before fulling it to make a scarf.





Jacqueline displayed 2 her intricately detailed vessels and explained how she made them.






Vimol is making a bag ( with lots of inside pockets) to match her garment that she made recently.







Julie has recently started felting and showed her alpaca and silk scarf that she made whilst was experimenting .









Marion displayed her tunic that she made using silk and fine merino in Fiona Duthie’s workshop.








Pictures from the Toss ‘n’ Tell Table

Jean’s Bag from Sue’s Tote-lly Squared workshop





Lyn’s rectangle





Stacey’s Top





Owner not declared





Mystery object, I recon phone cover, pretty good.





Report by Marion, photo’s Renita.

Thanks guys.


Tote-lly Squared Workshop Report – tutor Sue Elsick

Tote-lly Squared Workshop 2 -3 March 2019


We had a great couple days at the Tote-lly Squared workshop presented by Sue Eslick, at Alexander Craft House, Menora.

On display were inspirations to help us imagine and design the item we wanted to create.

Tote-lly squared was about creating a square or rectangle pieces of felt on a resist, this could be a bag, box or vessel.



Sue showed the group 6 ways to make a 3D box.  Why 6, there must be method in the madness.


After Sue’s detailed description of how and why we use which box pattern the group set about to create all 6 in paper.

Sue enlighten us on the best use of each box design in what circumstance, then it all made sense, yes it did.

Once the decision was made as to what we individually were to make, we applied our new knowledge to the making of the resist and associated templates. Remember to make allowance for the flap.


Making a mock in paper was very revealing for our design and measurements.  Must remember that next time.  Also should have written down more numbers, yes, but it all worked out in the end.

So many decisions, and the maths, remember there is a shrinkage rate or two.

Now lets get to work.

(sorry picture seems to rotate, not sure how to fix)









Is this going to plan? Of course.







We definitely have a plan.








Sue gave us many tips along the way to assist us on our quest.

Some were

  • laying techniques for squares and corners.
  • use of dry prefelts.
  • use of colour to aid keeping our squares square and our rectangles rectangular.
  • dividing out the wool to enable equal balance of each side.
  • Resist making tips for easier putting together, less bulk at edged.
  • tips on fulling and finishing.
  • polishing and steaming.
  • design ideas.
  • Stiffening.

Still more to learn, blocking.  The gloves?? Can you pick the problem.

Drying and shaping techniques.






Time to embellish, or maybe you planned ahead.

We had wonderful results.

Small boxes and bags



All sorts, we are individuals, and proud of it.

And if you need to leave on time, thanks for sending a picture.

We would like to thank Sue Eslick for a great workshop, full of fun and ideas, skills to learn and develop.

Report and photography mostly by Liz Owens




Toss N Tell Report Saturday 16 Feb 2019

FeltWEST February 2019 meeting

Mini-workshop – Fibre Finesse for Felt

Today Sara Quail kindly demonstrated the use of plant fibres for embellishing felt to create texture, subtle bling, sheen and colour variation. Adding non-wool fibre also reduces pilling and increases the structural integrity, allowing for extremely thin layouts.

Silk waste, silk spaghetti, soy silk, mulberry silk, tussah silk, viscose and ramie are some examples. Viscose is much finer and ramie (made from plants of the nettle family) is coarse. Fibres that are coarser than your wool will sit on the surface, whereas fibres of the same or finer thickness will combine with the wool.

Today we concentrated on viscose as it is one of the cheaper fibres but the same process works with other plant fibres. To make fibre paper, lay out fibres in both directions over a piece of plastic. Place netting over the fibre, wet down and rub soap bar (don’t use liquid soap) all over to create a good amount of foam. Gently peel off the netting and put the fibre on the plastic in the sun to dry. You may need to use small weights to prevent it blowing around. Once dry, the fibre paper is rigid enough to cut into pieces for decoration or can be folded and shaped.


Colour variations can be achieved by chopping up the length of fibre into chunks and dropping onto the plastic. The fibre tops can also be pulled into fluffy clouds or different coloured fibres can be blended.


Fibre paper pieces or fibre (as lengths or clouds) can be placed onto laid out wool tops or wool prefelt and they will attach during the normal felting process. Fibre/wool prefelt can be cut into shapes and placed onto wool tops, Margilan silk or cotton gauze before continuing felting.







Another method is to lay out a tangle of wool pre-yarn, then place plant fibre on top, ensuring that all the plant fibre is in contact with wool. Pre-yarn can be added to the other side if desired. Very light, soft fabric with a cob-web effect can be achieved by laying out a very thin layer of wool, then covering with plant fibre.

















Thank you Sara for an inspiring introduction to plant fibres and their many decorative possibilities!

News and Update

With President Marion and Vice-President Karen battling illness, our Secretary Sue Harrington welcomed everyone, including new members and those attending the afternoon’s Introductory felt workshop, to the first monthly meeting of the year.

Our Workshop Coordinator Renita, ably assisted by Martien has been busy putting together an exciting year of felting activities with 1, 2 or 3 day workshops most months, some taught by our local talented felters and also some excellent tutors from elsewhere in Australia and overseas. There is a brief list on the website and details will be included as arrangements are finalised, so keep checking the website and the monthly e-News so you can book in advance and secure your place.

On 2 and 3 March Sue Eslick is teaching the new Tote-lly Square workshop and there are still a couple of places left. At just $100 it is a great chance to learn how to form felted corners and create a square tote bag or box, more details on our website.

On 5 and 6 April May Hvistendahl from Norway is presenting a Nuno-Felt Tops workshop. May specialises in nuno-felt clothing that is unique, well fitted and durable. Registrations are now open.  There will also be an artist’s talk on the evening of 4 April.  Still a couple of places left.

Other workshops scheduled for the year include

  • Sara Quail’s Circular Scarves,
  • Eva Camacho-Sanchez teaching Beyond Felting – creating textured surfaces,
  • Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey,
  • Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels,
  • Soosie Jobson’s The Art of Adornment and
  • Martien van Zuilen’s Expanding the Surface. All up,

an unbelievable list of tempting offerings!

We also have mini-workshops planned for our monthly meetings and this is an opportunity to learn particular felting techniques and to give them a go on the day. Please let your committee know if there are any techniques you would like covered at a mini-workshop or fill out the ideas book at the front desk.

On the Thursday evening 30 May to Sunday afternoon 2 June, there is our annual Retreat on the June long weekend.  We will be holding the annual Retreat at beautiful Muresk agricultural campus, near Northam, one hour from Midland.  It is an opportunity to felt all day and into the night if you wish in the large hall and to make big items, while listening to music and sampling cakes and other delicious offerings.  There will be some special activities, probably including a workshop and an evening presentation. Take a break and have a relaxing massage. Accommodation is in individual bedrooms and lunches and dinners are included. Come along for the full 3 days, although attending for one or two days is also possible. We hope to see you there!

Finally, we are hoping that our members would like to undertake a fundraising project this year to support a charity. Please let committee members know your ideas for a project and a worthy charity.

Toss and Tell

Kerry Grove, Kerry Bertucci, Nancy, Sara, Vimol and Stacey modelled the absolutely stunning jackets they had made at Fiona Duthie’s recent workshop, each with a slightly different lay-out, colour palette and ink brushwork.

Jacket from Fiona Duthie Workshop

Kerry & Kerry

Nancy, Stacey & Sara – outcome from Fiona Duthie workshop

Peta with extinct needle felted creatures

Peta’s extinct needle felted creatures


Peta Korb had used needle-felting over a wire armature to create models of animals of endangered and now extinct Australian small mammal species, to be used in a student animation film production. Fifteen felters from across Australia have contributed to the film “Dance of the Dead”. Banded Hair Wallaby, Lesser Bilby and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, endangered or extinct animals.






Martien’s Tea Cosies

Martien’s Tea Cosy as well

Martien’s Tea Cosy too.



Martien showed 3 tea cosies and a coffee plunger cover which she made at the Albany Summer School. Each had colourful and quirky decorations.  (only one teapot came out well on slide show)








Maureen Humphreys displayed a decorated black handbag made from alpaca. (sorry no picture)

Sue Clay visiting from Yorkshire

Sue Clay



Sue Clay, visiting from Yorkshire, talked about the community wall hanging commissions she had been undertaking and also showed several colourful shawls with felted edges.










Marie Jacquier showed an eco-dyed piece with overstitching onto paper, an approach which she is taking to illustrating a children’s book she has written. Felted Dyed and Stitched.  Study for Textile Art Book illustration.  Layering – like painting and like storytelling.







Tracey work from Martien’s Mini demo on tunnels and more

Tracey Holland


Tracey Holland had used Martien’s tunnel method to make a salmon coloured piece as well as a blue tray decorated with viscose fibre and stiffened with wire armature. She had also made a dangly ornament with felted balls and discs.









Sue Harrington

Sue Harrington had made a small orange and green piece utilising the cracked earth technique to achieve a field of raised ‘water lilies’, embellished with fine embroidery.









Katrina showed two experimental pieces incorporating horse and other animal fibres which she made while developing her exhibit pieces for the Shire of Mundaring Open Art Acquisition Exhibition which is on at the Mundaring Art Centre until 31 March.

Thanks Sue Harrington for the report and Alison Higgins for the photo’s.

see you soon


Please note: I am still learning about slideshow option, learning more skills all the time, thanks for your patience and I hope you don’t mind me experimenting.

Toss N Tell Slide show

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Big Ink Workshop – Tutor F Duthie Reporter M van Zuilen

Big Ink – Surface Design + Garment Construction

FeltWEST started its 2019 program with a truly creative bang.

Big Ink – Surface Design + Garment Construction (January 31-February 3) was a 4-day workshop hosted by FeltWEST with the amazing felt artist and tutor extraordinaire Fiona Duthie. The workshop filled almost instantly when it opened for enrolments back in October, and we were totally not surprised.

Fiona is a Canadian felt maker recognised globally for her dynamic and narrative surface design. She creates seamless sculpture for the body, art objects and outdoor felt installations, with surfaces built up through fabric manipulation, stratified textiles and imagery exploring biography and individual perspective (

Fiona’s workshop was preceded by her artist talk on January 30, where almost 50(!) attendees were treated to insights into Fiona’s artistic journey; starting in garment construction before venturing into Felt some 23 years ago. It included an all-important shift from creating production-based craft items sold at craft shows to nourishing more fully the possibilities of exploring ‘the art of one’s craft’: meaningful, narrative making, refining skills, and the creation of one-off garments, artworks, outdoor installations and more. It was a most insightful and thoroughly well-presented talk which set the scene for the workshop that followed.

Things were quickly in full creative swing on Day 1, as Fiona introduced her method of sumi-e ink drawing on silk fabrics for depth and line. This was followed by each participant making  several specific pre-felts which would later be used as features in their garments.

The afternoon saw participants fully immersed in designing their pattern for individual and fitted garments. The choice and possibilities seemed endless; one could make either a dress, vest, tunic, skirt or short jacket. The buzz of inspiration was in the air and the day finished with inking pre-felts and a session on Design in the cool shade of a tree adjacent to the hall.


Day 2 was dedicated to finishing patterns & resists, laying out wool, silk fabrics, and additions with all manner of creativity! Fiona expertly covered the creative possibilities; encompassing colour, form and fit, plus resist additions for additional shaping and individual fit. As ideas expanded, the floor fans were twirling!

Day 3 was another excellent and inspiring day – participants added final surface design features, followed by the start of felting their works. Each work took up almost two tables (Stacey even brought in a third) so there was lots of gentle rubbing to do. And then some rolling to get it to the pre-felt stage.


And just when we thought we couldn’t do any more rolling, Justine’s daughter Camille arrived at 7pm with cold cider and chocolates for all who stayed on to keep felting. Yeah!






On the final day, everyone finished felting their garment and with Fiona’s expertise in pattern making and fitting, the final shaping and fulling was applied. While the garments dried, Fiona provided a comprehensive review of the workshop.


Applying the sumi-e ink to the finished garments was another one of the truly ‘sweet spot’ moment of this workshop and the only way to celebrate was with champagne and lots and lots of photos (and much joy) in the adjacent park.








Big Ink – Surface Design + Garment Construction promised to be all about creating bold dramatic surfaces on seamless garments with designs that celebrates life and movement. And it delivered on all of that, and so much more.

The garments created were all so diverse and elegant, and suited each person perfectly.

While a workshop in January can present the risk of hot weather, Craft House once again proved to be a most suitable venue with plentiful tables and space. Homemade refreshments and fruits were plentiful and the evaporative air coolers and floor fans that participants brought along managed to keep the outside hot temperatures at bay throughout.

Fiona Duthie is a truly generous, knowledgeable, unflappable, supportive and inspiring tutor, sharing her skills and ideas freely and giving so much of her time to her students while guiding them to expand the creative possibilities in Felt. Thank you and thank you again Fiona for being in our midst and for sharing so generously your skill and passion. FeltWEST could not have asked for a better way to kick off the year.

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-report and pictures by Martien van Zuilen


FeltWEST Toss ‘n’ Tell November

Saturday 17 November Xmas Party

Everyone brought tasty nibbles for our Christmas Party and chatted and laughed the lunch away.  Here are a few pictures of a few attendees, sorry if we didn’t get you in a snap.

Raffle prizes won by Kerri Bertucci and Sara Quail,  enjoy.

Marion Messages

Marion ask the members to suggest a charity, we can base our fundraising project for 2019 on and suggestion what that project may entail.  Please contact a committee member with your ideas or email

The Fiona Duthie talk will be Thursday 30 January 2019 at 7pm, check website for more details in January 2019.

Fiona Duthie workshop 31 January to 3rd, fully booked

Tuesday 5th Feb 2019 first felt day for the new year.

Saturday 16 February first Toss n Tell, also first Beginners workshop as well


Toss ‘n’ Tell

We saw a few stunning jackets from the Catherine O’Leary workshop.




Sara Quail







Peta Korb







Judith Walsh


Judith’s poncho is from Fiona Duthie’s online workshop, apparently still a work in progress, but looking really good.













Karen Wood inspired by Katrina Virgona’s workshop made another necklace, beautiful.


Karen decided to properly felt her work from Olga Finkel’s workshop.  Olga warned the colours may fade but we did not think so based on Karen results.








Leiko also puts scrunched materials onto wool, but a different way to the one Karen showed us in a previous mini workshop.  Karen placed material first and Lieko place the wool down first.









Inspired by Martien’s mini workshop on Tunnels I (Liz Owens) made more, just need to tailor the choice of stick’s, so they don’t fall over so easily.

I also did the Technique Focus workshop – Pocket to Rose, designed by Kerri and Jean.  Great pocket just need more practice at surface design.






Catherine O’Leary Jacket Workshop Report

Catherine O’Leary Sculptural Felted Jacket Workshop Nov 2018


Catherine O’Leary is a textile artist from Melbourne. She has been working with felt since 1990’s. On the first evening Catherine presented a slide show to FeltWEST of her past and present textile work. She works mainly in 3-D, often covering entire surfaces (like desks and telephones) with felt or felting Barbie doll figures into interlaced cube shapes.  She also works extensively with stitching clothing from the Korean Bojagi technique in Silk Organza. The transparent fabric is highlighted with incredible seams. The Bojagi is a traditional Korean wrapping cloth. Catherine also has

been a finalist in the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards three times.

Our Sculptural Felted Jacket workshop was mainly a project about learning how to use needle-felted prefelts, making a length of fabric, then cutting and sewing a jacket.  To embellish our prefelts, we not only brought pieces of fabrics from our ‘stash’ but spent the morning creating

individual designs on fine silk fabric through the application

of drawing, stencilling, mono printing and block printing. These fabrics where useful while creating our designs on top of the needle felted prefelts.

When our design work was finished, we

wet it down, covered it in plastic and rolled it in bubble wrap. Now began the arduous task of rolling! It took virtually one whole day to roll the pieces. The prefelt behaves very differently to laid-out wool. It is much more spongy and stretchy.  It also takes a long time to grab the fabrics.  However, on the upside you don’t have to spend anytime laying-out wool. Once your piece was finished with the rolling stage it was put out to dry.  You could then begin cutting out your jacket pattern pieces.  Much fun had in designing what pattern piece would go where. Nothing was wasted. Even little scraps became pockets, trim, or collars. A few ladies nearly finished completely but many had more cutting, fitting and stitching to go. Most were well on their way

to being able to take home a gorgeous new Sculptural Felted Jacket thanks to Catherine!

by Nancy Ballesteros