February 2017 Toss ‘n Tell

February 2017 Toss ‘n Tell

Various  ingenious ways of making good quality cords were demonstrated by Sue Eslick.


  1. showed her reclining mermaid in which she used various techniques viz. woodblock surface design , embellishments of stitching and beading.


  1. A school of fish all made in 1 piece using numerous resists. The beading embellishment enhanced the piece and gave it an extra dimension.









showed off her very warm hat that she had made for herself . It is the first hat that she has made and was a great success.

Marie  had made a sample using black merino wool and silk lap.

Sue Eslick  her Rabbit Teapot that she made at Pam Mc Gregor’s workshop using Gotland wool. For the rabbit and carrot stopper she used merino.

Judith  showed off her beautiful blue hat / beanie

Sara  displayed her lovely delicate Uzbek silk and wool wrap. She also attended Pam Mc Gregor’s workshop and made a Fish Teapot using Finnish wool.


Vera showed us photos of various  lamps that she has made recently.

Alison Gomes   Showed us her latest wall hanging in wool and silk that is a work-in-progress. It is now at the pre-felt stage , having shrunk approx. 15%.  

Katrina showed us the brochure of the current exhibition being held at the Mundaring Art Centre which ends on 19 March 2013. She will be doing a demo for WAFTA on 15th May ( Mothers Day) on making of wire armatures

Review of Susan Swain’s Wearable Art Wraps workshop by Sara Quail

A dedicated group of 9 ladies braved an incredibly hot day to share Susan’s passion for felted wraps that drape well on the body, are simple, lots of fun and quick to make.

She provided inspiration for at least 7 distinct styles with diagrams and modelled many samples. All the wraps could be made with 2 metres of silk and 100gm or less of fine merino wool. Presented with such varied options, choosing a style was the most challenging part for some participants. There was plenty of advice and assistance to help them make their decision. A wrap needs to ‘drape’ onto your body, so patterns were based on curves and asymmetrical design.

Once decisions were made, patterns were laid out using 2 tables. There was no bubble wrap involved.  Susan shared tips on working on large projects which included an efficient way of laying out the plastic film on which the silk was placed.

Depending on the design chosen, there was some optional cutting of the silk for shaping and armholes. Nothing was wasted and any offcuts were re-attached to enhance the design. She showed us how to neaten cut edges and reinforce armholes with roving.


Then laying out the body of the garment commenced using her suggestions of:

  • Using a lesser amount of wool to make the finished garment more flexible; even a small amount of wool will always keep you warm
  • Keeping the laying out of the roving random – leaving spaces so the fabric can move to conform to the body shape
  • Not trying to be perfect – let the felting process help you learn what it can do all by itself  e. – have fun let it happen!

All the wrap layouts were very individual which was accentuated by the different fabrics, amount of wool laid out and colours used.

With some tips on which nets to use and how to use them effectively, we wetted out the work before commencing the initial rolling. One of her great tips was the use of tee-shirt strips to tie the bundle for rolling.

After removing the net, correcting anything that had shifted and applying another layer of plastic film on top, the hard slog of rolling commenced – at least 800 rolls. There was discussion on fulling options including the use of a microwave or tumble drier.

Unfortunately, the extreme heat precluded most of us from finishing completely – but Susan looks forward to a fashion parade at the next Toss ‘n Tell.

Christmas Lunch & Nov Toss ‘n Tell 2016

Christmas Lunch & November Toss ‘n Tell 2016.

It was hard to believe it was already Christmas time again! A lovely group gathered for our annual lunch feast. Luckily this year the sea breeze gently kept the flies away and it wasn’t too hot.  We were incredibly fortunate Soosie volunteered to supply the Christmas Tree, having just made one for an on-line tutorial she is teaching.

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We had and incredible feast, since we are all such good cooks!

Our new president Virginia Campbell introduced our new program for 2017. Lots of workshops and demonstrations are being planned as well as our annual retreat, two international tutors, and a group project to be announced early next year.  Keep your eyes on the home page of the websiteand our eNews bulletins. img_1779

We had our annual gift exchange and raffle which Sue Eslick won.img_1822

At our Toss ‘n Tell, Sue Harrington showed some very intersting sample pieces she made in Alison Gomes workshop, What lies Benneath, learning how to add resists to your work to add surface design.img_1758. sue harringtion img_1756-resize. detail sue harrington

Alison Gomes show an incredibly luscious new wall hanging she has been working on, with some wonderful hand stitching for embellishment.img_1770-resize. alison gomes img_1775-resize.close up alison gomes

Katrina Virgona showed off her talent for creating evocative jewelry using a limited palette of red and black, and a splash of yellow.

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Sue Eslick had been busy re-purposing and old tea cozy into a gorgeous Meditation Bead necklace. She also found a leather worker to add leather strap onto oimg_1805-resizene of her fabulous bags.img_1762.sue eslick


Marie Marshall had been busy making scarves for family and overseas friends for Christmas. She did a wonderful job of folding her scarves in so there were no raw edges.

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Marie Jacquier made a large wrap adding on a special piece of fabric to each end to add the ‘wow’ factor.

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Review – Nancy’s Shifting Shapes workshop

REVIEW of Nancy Ballesteros’s SHIFTING SHAPES Workshop by Sue Eslick – Twelve keen participants gathered for a three day workshop on felting with silk hankies to create fabulous new fabrics.  People attended from all over WA, and one person came from Queensland!  It was good to meet with some new Feltwest members who had joined up specifically in order to attend and we hope to see more of them in the future.

This 3 day workshop  was full on and not for the fainthearted!   Nancy expertly guided participants through the detailed and complex process of making beautiful felted silk garments and wraps.


Nancy brought along a wide variety of sample garments for people to try-on and find the shape and colour palette that best suited them.  Everyone appreciated the availability of extra wool, fabric and other materials from Treetops, which allowed people to change their plans on the day.

Patterns were traced and adjusted to the individual. day-3-fiona-layout


Everyone had a different approach to design. Whilst many people had a firm idea that they worked too, others laid out silk hankies in a random riot of colour. Nancy advised on how colours interact in the felting process and coached participants through the decisions on design, colour and layout of the silk hankies and wool.  A few people decided to practice using silk hankies by making a wrap or length of fabric rather than a garment.day-2-leaday-1-kathy


Nancy explained that in order to make a finished garment that fitted, everyone needed to use the recommended wool in the stated quantities.  Too much wool and it might end up too big, too little wool and it might be too small. Everyone heeded Nancy’s advice and weighed their wool, making sure to use the same amount on the front and back.  There were also loads of helpful tips and advice on nuno felting and handling large projects with relative ease.


People were very pleased to hear that they could take their pieces home to felt in the dryer instead of rolling them.  On Sunday morning it was magic to see how the pieces had transformed after their time in the dryer the previous evening. day-2-vivday-3-viv-jea






Participants were shown how to fit the garment to their body shape, and how to full the felt to make quality fabric that fitted in all the right places.day-3-maeve










On Sunday afternoon, Nancy spent some time teaching different options for closures, fasteners and hemming the garments to create a neat and professional finish. day-3-stitching-lesson





At the end of the three days, everyone went away very happy with a spectacular piece of felted fabric, and if they hadn’t already finished, they left with the skills and knowledge to finish the rest of the garment at home.  Nancy was very generous with her sharing and help making it a fun and productive workshop.  She also offered to provide further help to people if they drop in at Treetops.  Thank you Nancy for a wonderful workshop.    day-3-kathy day-3-jill


September Toss and Tell by Marion Finneran

SEPT. TOSS N TELL/AGM 2016 by Marion Finneran – After the AGM, we gathered round to watch the video which Soosie has made of the exhibition. Thanks Soosie, it looks wonderful.  Congratulations to Katrina for winning the raffle prize. She has never won one before so she was thrilled!

Toss and Tell this month showed some beautiful felting made by our members

Christine showed us her beautiful wrap of wool and silk that she made using shades of reds and cerise that combined interesting patterns and textures.

Sue Eslick  told us about her vessels using a variety of  fibres from Merino to Bergschaf. She also explained her method of first making  a bag which was dyed afterwards.

Kerry attended a fun and functional vessel workshop with Pauline Franklyn where she made  a “vessel” that she converted into a handbag.

When she attended Martien van Zuilen’s mandala workshop she made a beautiful floormat/wallrug in shades of green. She described the many layers, much rolling and stitching, cords, tones and texture, making it a very unique item.

Soosie showed her scarf that she made for the exhibition “Myths and Legends” on the theme of the Mexican festival: Day of the Dead. She also displayed a very innovative fishy fantasy hat made years ago that transforms into a mask by folding down the front.




Helen, a new member, attended the beginners workshop today run by Alison Gomes and Sue Eslick. She showed us the samples she had enjoyed making.



Liz also attended Martien van Zuilen’s mandala workshop where she made her floormat/wallrug with a shield design in her mandala, evocative of the shields used by many African tribes.

Vera showed us her delightful fairy houses that can be used as night lights

Alison displayed her scarves with their beautiful colour combinations, stitching and original designs.

Katrina is presently working on a fetish piece and enquired whether anyone had animal/horse hair or human hair to contribute to her project.

Needle Felting Workshop

I had the pleasure of teaching/working with 12 lovely ladies today.

We looked at different types & gauges of felting needles available & their uses, along with other tools such as multi needle holders, both mine & the students, including a home-made champagne cork version!

We first tried our needles out on making a simple needled doll/fairy/angel/mermaid.

In the course of the day, once sufficiently fuelled by Tim Tam’s many projects were worked on including successful repairs to Kelly’s beautiful textural rug (Used as backdrop in the photos), Kerry Berttucci added needled details to her previously wet felted dog to bring his little face to life. Some made tiny tightly needled creatures, others inspired by Bonte’s charming  Danish troll made a larger more soft/ loosely  felted creature. Several also experimented with adding needled detail to previously flat wet felted pieces. Between us we used a variety of different sheep wools, alpaca & llama.

Thankyou ladies, I hope you all continue to experiment with needle felting, I feel I have learnt something valuable of each of you.

Sue Espie

Hanky Panky with Nancy Ballesteros by Marion

Amazing colours greeted us as the silk shimmered on a table covered with scarves. Every scarf had a label with instructions on what silks were used, what length was required, how much wool was needed and other details how the scarves were felted. This gave felters great guidance for their own scarf making. Each scarf featured different materials from silks to lace and the all important silk hankies.

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After a warm welcome Nancy took us through a mind boggling journey of the many different applications of the silk hankies.  As each scarf was unique and there were countless ways to shape and apply the hankies and other materials. Nancy explained how to felt the scarves with simple easy to understand words and accompanied not only with samples, but demonstrations on how the silk hankies were best felted. All participants sat wrapped in awe, longing to follow in Nancy’s foot steps. Nancy brought what seemed her entire supply of hankies in all imaginable colours and offered to bring whatever wool was needed by the participants for the next day a great additional service.

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Saturday after a short recap all felter’s enthusiastically  went about designing their scarfs I felt that everyone had, by now, a very good understanding on how to apply the silk hankies. Nancy constantly visited each and everyone, gave advise and a helping hand were needed.

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Fabulous designs took shape over the course of the day. Everyone had a great time laying out and felting the scarfs and they were all rolled in the afternoon. To finish off Nancy showed us how to felt the scarfs using a glass washboard.  I felt it was a wonderful workshop which was very well prepared, instructions were easy to understand and follow we all enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot.

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October Toss n Tell by Lyn Blasgund

Sue Espie gave us a wonderful demo on how to make delightful angels out of roving.  Great for gifts or Chrissy tree decorations.


Toss n Tell

  • Thanks Jeanette for covering for the library.
  • Helpers are needed to assist the tutor at each workshop and expressions of interest should be provided to the Workshop Coordinator, Sue Eslick. In return for being at the workshop, the helper will be expected to assist with setting up tables, organise tea/coffee, write a summary of the techniques taught and take photos.
  • The Felting Frenzy is from 30 October to 1 November. We need some volunteers to unlock and lock the hall. Please bring a plate of food to share and come along and felt to your heart’s content.
  • The Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar is on from 4 to 6 Get your felted items together for sale and submit them at the November Toss n Tell to the sub-committee.
  • The November Toss n Tell is the last one for the year and will be the Christmas party. Bring a plate and a hand-made gift for Santa surprise (optional).
  • Soosie talked about ‘Inspiration’ in relation to next year’s Feltwest exhibition at Gallery Central. Have a look at the articles on the website.
  • Artisans open day with Elizabeth Morley and friends at 136 Deeble Rd, Coolup on Sunday 22nd Nov 10-4pm. Entry with a gold coin donation.
  • Louise advised that Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) rent out gallery at a reasonable cost and have occasional exhibitions worth seeing.
  • Sue Eslick mentioned that Barrack Street Jetty Market is having a 6 week trial starting today; stalls include craft stalls.
  • Soosie Jobson showed her macro pollen sculpture.
  • Sara Quail modelled her magnificent shawl and wrap made during the Fiona Duthie workshop at the recent Fibres West.
  • Judy Barkla showed beads made at Nancy’s recent workshop.
  • Katrina Virgona modelled her bangle.
  • Pat Kendall showed us her colourful pieces made to wear at the Feltmakers Convergence held in Auckland.
  • Sue Eslick has completed yet another fabulous bag and explained how she completed the decoration.
  • Kerry Bertucci presented her beautiful hummingbird from the Complex 3D workshop.
  • Nancy Ballesteros gave us an overview of the very successful Bali Retreat.
  • Louise Nidorf showed her encased objects made at Judi Barkla’s workshop. Lovely.
  • Marion Wolter showed us her white and grey sculptured 3D piece.
  • Jeanette Humphries displayed her white wool and muslin top, decorated with colourful wool threads.
  • Alison Gomes modelled her red jacket made at the Fiona Duthie workshop.
  • Sue Harrington presented her sculptured tomato.

Looking forward to everyone attending the Christmas party. Its always lots of fun (and good food).

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Marion Wolter

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Kerry Bertucci

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Pat Kendal

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Jeanette Humphries

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Sue Eslick & Louise Nidorf

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Sara Quail

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Alison Gomes

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Katrina Virgona & Judy Barkla


Sue Harrington




August TnT & AGM by Lyn Blasgund

Following the AGM  for 2015, the members were eager to show the results of their wonderful felting.

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Soosie Jobson  brought in her amazing cactus garden (in felt of course) to show what can be achieved  with  complex resists. This was also a preview of what participants can produce when they attend her workshop of October 2nd and 3rd.

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The President thanked Liz Odd for her efforts in doing the ‘clean up ‘ of Alexander craft house.
There are still places available for the Bali Retreat.
The york Bazaar and fibre’s west info is included in the E newsletter.
Martine from Fibres West  attended the day and had felting materials for sale  and also displayed her amazing rugs.  Matine will be running a rug making workshop next year, so watch out  for the dates of this workshop as places and limited. Martien Van Zuilen also displayed her nuno felt wraps and scarves, and her learnings were identified as placement and finishing.

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  • July Barkla advised that she will do a write up on her encased objects workshop.
  • The dates published  in the Feltwest retrospective magazine were printed incorrectly,  Soosie’s workshop in Oct 2nd and 3rd and Nancy’s Hanky Panky workshop is Nov 6 and 7.  Antoinette Boyd who does a fabulous job in publishing the Retrospective, will only be doing this for one more year and has asked for anyone who has skills in publishing to volunteer to replace her at the end of the year.
  • The Fremantle stall for Feltwest is on 4-6th December.  Those members who wish to have their items for sale should have them checked by the committee members for quality  and advice if further felting of these items are required.  we want to show the best products to the general public.
  • Soosie announced that FeltWest have secured the Central TAFE’s art gallery for an exhibition in 2016 the Exhibition will run for 3 weeks  and the theme will be along the lines of MARO|micro”. Each meeting of Toss n Tell, the members will discuss the progress of this exciting opportunit

Toss n Tell items.
Sue Eslick   modeled yet another glorious hat (you wear them so well)
Vianne Sleypen showed off her beanie entry  and announced her disappointment of not winning. We all think you are a winner Vianne.

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Pat Kendall showed her scarf which was combining silk and wool, lovely colour combinations!
Judi Barkla showed her cute little felted rocks and showed what happens with micro laying  over tiny rocks when some burst through and others don’t fully felt.  Very tactile and lovely to play with in your hands (Meditation rocks?) and to follow on we saw her felted encased  and beaded milk bottle.

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Liz odd modelled her silk lap wrap. the color was glorious but unfortunately Liz cant wear wool, this does not stop her from producing exquisite products. Liz lso showed the group another wrap of 2 silk laps sandwiched together , Liz hand dyed the garment. a wonderful result.
the result of the retreat work from Beth was a lovely pompom scarf, Beth admitted that she had received lots of compliments  for her scarf.
Marion Finnergan produced a beautiful open lattice scarf and her learnings were laying and even design effect.

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Kerry Bertucci was a workshop participant at Judi Barkla’s “encased Objects’ Workshop and  wrote the following “3 encased objects.
More techniques learnt-
Loose layers gentle wrapped and dry felted help solid objects to be felted without wrinkles….
thankyou Judi and all participants it was a pleasure to work with/from you all..
materials used:
Wool-white, Merino wool and mulberry silk, black beads
Time to make: 1 workshop
Please Note: as mentioned in the write up don’t stand still too long or we will encase your, it is very addictive!
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Sue, Beth, Joan, Linda, Soosie, Martine & Chris.


Toss n Tell July by Marie Marshall (photos by Liz Odd)

After Judith Shaw’s generous, hugely entertaining and informative talk on how she has made a few hundred pairs of slippers over many years and telling us she never makes a sample or rarely does the same thing twice, we sat back to enjoy a lovely display of felting from other Feltwest members as we do each month. People arrive from far and wide to show and admire beautiful pieces of true art.


Recently members have been invited to display their felt pieces on a table on arrival and to provide a note on their technique or other relevant interesting comments. It is also lovely to “meet” the people who created them when the President invites each person to show their recent work. So in order of appearance: Judy Barkla not only showed us her beautiful, highly textured, silk dress, but gave a very positive account of our time at the May Retreat at Muresk, Northam encouraging all to attend in future and enjoy the wonderfully inspiring camaraderie that the lucky few have enjoyed.

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Kerry Bertucci attended Sue Eslick’s bag making workshop and learnt many useful techniques including using cufflinks as fasteners! Jean McKenzie showed her bag from same workshop and slippers with bells on toes…so bright, zany and unique of course!  Marion Finneran’s chilli-red bag was a great learning experience but lots of improvisation added to the fabulous finished product’s design.  Karen Wood showed her finished pieces from the Retreat including a black scarf with fabulous texture a la Judy Barkla who in turn was inspired by Vilte originally. Karen also spoke of her experiences with resists for slippers and adding extra padding on heels – lots of tips from experienced feltmakers which continue to help us “newcomers”.

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Vera Sergeev is slowly bringing her felting passion into the workplace but this is quite a feat as she works alongside 2 and 3 yr olds! She is certainly a dedicated teacher of felting to harness such youthful enthusiasm. With her young helpers she created a most impressive colourful rug for a very lucky Teddy in the story she read to the children. They love sprinkling the water, working with bubble wrap and adding squares of prefelts. You can imagine the scene!  Sara Quail attended the bag workshop and created a great grey bag with pockets and commented also on the useful techniques and will do it again if Sue agrees to run another course!

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Lyn Blasgund made some fine baby clothes – a jacket using a resist and hat to match for one very lucky baby. Lynn also showed her grey bag with longer handles and commented on not only the fashion statement of all the bags created at Sue’s workshop but of the lovely cake and recipes shared on the day.

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Juliet Hargreaves advised us not to throw anything away as off-cuts were very useful as embellishments in her magnificent vessels which were joined at the bases and yet could be separated into their 2 colourways to roll and felt. Fascinating and perhaps she can be persuaded to give a workshop showing in more detail just how she achieved such stunning results!

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Sue Eslick’s blue spotty bag from Melbourne workshop with Atsuko Sasaki was the product of many hours work of rubbing and not rolling it seems. Such dedication! Louise Nidorf’s bag is a work in progress but thought we would find the surface stitching of interest which we did!

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Katrina Virgona spoke of Richard Woldendorp’s super special cash offer for his book “Out of the Blue” and told us about the current exhibition at Mundaring Arts Centre. Antoinette Boyd’s black cocktail dress was a stunner.

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Margi Piesse suggested we be more aware of how helpful name tags can be for newcomers in particular and it was suggested we could make our own as some have done. Embellish with beads and embroidery and outdo everyone else. There’s a challenge for you! Maybe we could give a prize for best creation by year’s end?  Judi Barkla’s felt covered rocks were an indication of things to come..as she said, each rock has its own requirements and challenges (or not).

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The throw which Alison Gomes whipped up (only joking, Alison spends many hours meticulously laying wool then rolling so carefully, painstakingly and in fact seems to have become a well known standard of measurement in the felting world especially when we refer to fine layers of wool!), started off the size of three and a half trestle tables, finished at what looked like less than one table length and was truly beautiful with such appealing colours and drape. Fantastic!


And last but definitely not least, was the lovely Judith Shaw excelling in not only slipper production and demos but showing us her thick wool coat made 30 years ago for the snow, with a most appropriate theme of the sea, ice and seaweed.