June Toss n Tell by Judith Shaw

Soosie passed on her well researched information on how to felt to a predetermined size.  Many aspects of how the shrink rate is influenced, covered estimates of  minimum and maximum shrinkage rates with good general advice to “make a sample”  using the same materials which will be used in the final piece.  Satisfactory shrink rates for well finished felt range from a minimum of 1.7 to 2+.


Toss ‘N Tell began with colourful collars from Virginia Campbell, Karen Woods and Teresa O’Malley. Inspiration from Karen’s creations came at the recent Retreat weekend.  Swirls of silk flowers merged with wool to magic effect. When Virginia needed help to have her collar lay smoothly, she was glad to have the useful hint of making a tuck in the curved edge.

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Alison Gomes fine layout technique inspired the red scarf from  Fily Geschichten who also showed a  reworked and resized piece in Alpaca. Soosie Jobson showed two of the pieces from her forthcoming book “Structural and Complete 3D” these works involved multiple resists and the use of negative space.  Her workshop is in October.

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Vianne Sleypen produced necklets using wool, silk and cotton, each piece unique.   Marie Marshall also made a collar with silk and wool in blue tones and showed her post-retreat pieces of scarves, red toned, lattice style in purple and blues and a large wrap from a selection of silks and colours. Marie brought along welcome visitors Lynn and Margie. Patricia Kendall showed a two piece machine knit she had created in silver grey with frontispiece and a cardigan covered in matching lace. Always good to see creative artists work. Gudrun made an amazing tunic in warm reds, fine wool embellishments on silk. The layout size required four trestle tables for this one piece garment. When Gudrun told us she was thinking of cutting off the excess fabric at the bottom, the comment was unanimous, leave this perfect piece as it is.

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Alison Gomes showed her amazing long scarf made from many pieces of cut silk, butted together and joined with fine wool. Beautiful colours and effects for special occasion wear.  Both Alison and Mary-Ann Dawson used  time at the Retreat to try the resist technique which creates a geometric design by cutting into the top layer of felt, up to the resist, to expose  part of the contrasting colour in a middle layer. Alison used 12 fine layers of wool. She suggests that the top and bottom layers should be equal in thickness.

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Vera spoke about teaching craft from stories and visits to inspiring  places such as Underwater World produced work based on contributions from 2 to 3 year olds . Children enjoyed the water play and throwing involved. The1 by 2 metre wool and silk based artwork featured  colourful sea life . Potentially, toddlers work can aid creativity of the teachers. It was noted that the final felting had been stopped to retain the full effect of the silk  features and the backing of fine black silk enhanced the effect.  Next work using felt, perhaps masks.  Sue Harrington showed her hand woven/knitted and dyed textile purchases from her recent trip to Peru. Beautiful colours showed how skillful they are at their craft.


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In showing her sari silk collar of red and orange roses, Teresa passed on the advice that this type of work requires slow felting. Jill Jodrill made an elegant backpack in a mix of blues, lined and with leather trim.   Mary–Ann Dawson  produced a range  of works, experimenting with a variety of pieces. Pebbles of rock from the ground outside the Retreat venue were trapped under muslin on white felt. ‘Cracked Earth’ earth was the title for the white over a core of blue/brown, using a resist to achieve the cracked earth effect.  Her ‘circle of rocks’ was cut into to expose the underlining lumps of  coloured felt.

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July Toss n Tell by Kim Gordon

Vera has made some stunning jackets and vests, inspiration coming from Phyllis Hoffman’s book Felted Vests. Vera first drafts the simple pattern from the book, she also has used a simple commercial pattern for some of her jackets. Next a large piece of fabric is made from a length of silk fabric covered in wool. If you are trying this remember to make a sample of fabric for the shrinkage rate. Vera thinks about whether she would like a collar or sleeves on her garment and makes the fabric large enough to accommodate these, and incorporates any design she may want to have on the bottom edge of the jacket or sleeve. Next Vera cuts the pattern out of the fabric and sews the shoulder seams together. The garment may need to be adjusted slightly on the shoulders before you sew together. For strength Vera uses ribbon or similar under the stitching. Trim one side of the seam and fold the other over the stitching and stitch down to hide the seam. On some pieces Vera has left excess fabric around the neck and folded it over to make a collar, on others she has cut a straight piece from the fabric and added it to the garment. Another idea Vera has used is to finish around the edges with a row or two of crochet using interesting wool.

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Toss and Tell Lynn Blasgund  kindly showed us how to neaten a raw silk edge with just a simple zig zag stitch.  It is best to do this before you felt but can be used as a fixer afterwards.  Use a sharp and fine needle for edging silk and practise on a scrap of same fabric first.  Set the stitch wide, and short in length, for example width at 5 and length at 1. Using your zig zag foot, drive the fabric along the centre of the foot so the stitching will be half on and half off the fabric. This causes the stitch to pull in and roll the fabric. Sew straight along the edge and off at the end, don’t turn corners, just trim the excess afterwards. This will leave you with a beautiful edge.



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June TnT by Kim Gordon

First a reminder to renew your membership this month so you can vote at the AGM and have access to the Feltwest members site.

Keep an eye out for information on the October Craft Fair at UWA.

It was a delight to see all the clever and colourful pieces made at the retreat by those who brought them along. Here is what some group members had made over the weekend.

Sue Eslick experimented with bags, felting around a basketball and ending up with a unique bag felted in one piece, very neat. Sue also showed off her red hat with long and curly spirals coming from the centre. Liz Odd made a collar from silk hankies and had with her some shibori scarves which had been felted resulting in some interesting textures. Vianne showed off her stunning silk hankie apron dress made on the retreat and also brought in some very loose knit sleeves, each having an end which pops over your head to create a jumper – fabulous. Kim made a purple silk lap short scarf and a small red and gold bag. Mary Ann finished her gorgeous silk paper black and silver wrap. Mary Ann also had made a felted ball for her grandchildren. To do this she cut foam to a rough ball shape and lay wool directly over the foam, wet it and put it into a plastic shopping bag to keep it all together and felted it like that. It turned out perfectly well. Alison Gomes made an amazing set of Pouffe’s at the retreat, such rich colours, they will look stunning when finished. Gudrun made a baby blanket in white, in three layers the first of silk fibres and silk hankies, the second, two light layers of  wool and third of tissue silk, all in white, it looked beuutiful. Marie Marshall who always makes colourful pieces decided to do something new this year and created some muted toned scarves. Well done Marie for being so brave. Judi Barkla made a funky wrist band and quite a few scarves, showing us a beautiful one of reds, orange, purple and pinks. Jill Jodrell showed us a colourful sleeveless coat. Katrina spent the retreat working on her felted piece for the Neural Knitworks Exhibition. Great thanks were bestowed upon Jill for showing Katrina how to decrease in crocheting. Judith Shaw made a very warm looking shoulder wrap and a rug made from all her scraps of wool. Judith had sewn over the rug making floral shapes on it, the edge being machine stitched for strength and finished off by hand.

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Those not at the retreat had some fantastic pieces to show also. Sherron has been knitting an edge band for a felted jacket, she will attach the felting to the knitted band to get a combined look, can’t wait to see it finished. AiLin brought in an Indigo dyed piece and also a gorgeous shibori dyed silk piece that she had rolled up over rope, pushed up from both ends and tied tightly before dying, this gave it a shimmering snake skin appearance. Ant created an interesting design for a cushion cover, placing painters tape in a grid pattern between two layers of prefelt and then cutting it away once felted, a stunning outcome. Sue Espie has needle felted a sheep very cute and loads of character. Judy showed us what she made while we were at the retreat, a Polly Stirling style sleeveless coat and some very smart flowers for her hair and bag. Teresa also has made some beautiful soft flowers. Dawn has been having fun making samples and trying out which bits and pieces would felt in and which wouldn’t incorporating some needle felting too.

That’s all for this month.

May 2014 by Mary Ann Dawson

The Mother and Daughter team of Trudy and Helena Pollard gave a moving account of their work in Cambodia. What started out with simply showing them how to use sewing machines which were donated to the orphanage, became an ongoing effort to to keep families together and children out of the orphanage. Through resurrecting old cultural textile knowledge, that had been all but been destroyed by the PolPot regime, they are able to support the outlet for their work called “Silk Studio”. By selling and promoting their hand made silk fabrics and wares, they are helping to allow families to stay together as well as creating “new families”. A worthy pursuit in a country that is still suffering the effects of the Pol Pot regime.

They had some beautiful handmade silks on sale that have been produced by the Silk Studio in Cambodia.

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Virginia opened the TnT.

Richard Woldendorp’s new book “Out of the blue” was ready to be picked up by those that had ordered one.

Linda Riccio has donated a book by Narla Searles to our library.

Lindy has won the Melville Art Award for the Textile section. Well done Lindy! Her entry was a hand felted nuno dress using 6m of silk fabric with hand stitching. It is reversible with feather stitching around the hip and armholes and was dyed with natural dyes.

We have a beginners class next month if anyone knows someone that’s interested.


Virginia asked, on behalf of the committee, if there was anyone who would like to do the reporting of the Toss and Tell on an ongoing basis as their contribution to FeltWest. Feltwest is also looking for someone who would be willing to do the buying of the tea, coffee and biscuits.

The Craft Fair is coming up and any pieces being offered for display must be handed in today.

Virginia asked for expressions of interest in Marjolene Darlinga’s workshop as it will fall just before, during or after Easter next year. We need a commitment of approximately 10 people before negotiating details with her. There appeared to be enough interest so this will be followed up.

On to the TnT itself:

Soosie showed us some examples of her work for her exhibition at Blinco Cafe in Fremantle. The subject is reef creatures and she showed us two beautiful fish that will be part of her exhibit. She also showed us a wall hanging she had made a while ago of the Bungle Bungle’s with an Ariel view of Kununurra on the reverse side.

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Judith Shaw showed us an interesting sample she had done using just scraps of colour laid down without any planning. Maybe a good use for all those leftover bits! She also showed us a necklace of beads she had made from the seeds of the Tuart tree. She has plenty if anyone would like some.

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Antoinette showed us her lovely piece of knitted merino wool that she had dyed at Lindy’s dying workshop. She plans to make it into a dress. Interestingly it is different on both sides.

Vera has created some needle felted landscapes. One was of her dreams of a relaxing holiday which involves the sky and sea. She has been playing with colour for this piece. Her second piece shows a longing for her homeland of Russia. Depicting a winter scene of snow, a bird on a branch with red berries. Both beautifully done.

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Juliette presented her “labour of love” for the past month. An exquisite white baby blanket with a story behind it. Juliette’s niece married last November and diagnosed with Non-Hodgkinsons Lymphoma. She had treatment and then found out she was pregnant. 2weeks ago the baby was born and this blanket is for this new bundle of joy. The blanket has tissue silk on the back with merino wool on the front and is inlaid with lace that had been made by Juliette on her computerized machine. It is edged with satin blanket ribbon. She also made a beautiful pair of white booties.

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Donna talked about her upcoming workshop on sculptural felt. She brought some examples of her work and will be exploring ways to apply these sculptural techniques using prefelts. If you are doing the workshop let her know if you would like it to go in a certain direction as she is flexible and if someone wants to explore a specific side of sculptural felt she will try to take it on board.

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Judy Hebiton showed us her unique water bottle carry cover she had made.


Nancy has just finished the piece she had started at the last retreat. It started life as a top but during the process has morphed into a skirt and finally, after some cutting and sewing became a dress!

She also showed us her collar come scarf. The group has instantly renamed it as a “Scollar”! It uses some hankies, a little wool in the middle and some fabric scraps.

It has some stitching embellishment and is reversable.


Jude Newman did the dying workshop but will bring her samples for the next Toss and Tell.  Shana created a vessel in blue around cardboard but she is still working on it so it will be different when next seen.

Vianne showed us the Palm pod cover that she has inlaid with strips of wool and will use as a fruit bowl. It is an interesting application for wool. She has used this technique on many surfaces in her home. It was pointed out that the orange seeds of the Cocos Palm when fermented make a beautiful brandy orange colour. Vianne also made a flower that started out as something else but after working on it further she now sees it as a rose and as a tribute to her late Mother.

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The raffle was won by Tracey Thompson.

March 2014 TnT by Sue Harrington

President Virginia welcomed a small group this month of only 20 members. Our recent submission of an article to Felt magazine required us to provide high quality photographs so those showing work at TnT were asked to take their pieces outside to Alison for photographing after TnT.

Nancy Ballesteros has agreed to be our Billboard Manager and Virginia thanked her for her contributions to the latest eNews. Members were asked to forward information of interest to Nancy. Members also commented on Feltwest’s excellent Facebook page and complemented Lindy on her work.

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The next TnT on 19 April has been cancelled, as it is Easter Saturday and members present today did not indicate that they would attend. The following TnT, on 17 May, will feature guest speaker Trudi Pollard talking about Cambodian silk weavers. She will also have silks for sale as a fundraiser for the project.

The Craft and Quilt Fair will be held at the Perth Convention Centre from 21 to 25 May. There will be a Feltwest stall and members were asked to volunteer to be on the stall for a morning or afternoon. Volunteering entitles you to free entry to the Perth Craft and Quilts Fair for that day. There will be demonstrations of felting techniques and examples of members’ work on display. We hope to attract new members.

Feltwest’s annual Retreat is being held from 29 May to 1 June at Muresk. Judi Barkla has kindly agreed to organise it again this year. The cost will be similar to last year, with the price and details to be finalised and advertised soon. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to register online and pay by PayPal or bank transfer. Those wanting to pay by cheque will need to deposit the cheque at the bank themselves, as Treasurer Donna will be away. Occasionally members want to pay in several instalments and this can be arranged by contacting Soosie Jobson.

The Craft House AGM is at 8pm on Tuesday 18 May, with guest speaker Kerri Argent at 7pm. See the February TnT report for further details.

Also of interest, the Common Threads, Wearable Art Showcase will be parading a selection of garments and body art at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on 4 May.

Proceeding to the TnT, Sue Eslick had made an attractive fitted red belt with a felt toggle and loop. She had used the yolk of a skirt pattern for the design and had determined the shrinkage rate from a sample, weighed the wool and the final piece was precisely her intended dimensions. She also showed an ochre and blue belt in progress, a stunning hat and a scarf using silk hankies – all very colourful and beautifully made.


Sue Harrington brought along a piece of ‘nature’s felt’ – matted fibre from seagrass picked up on a beach near Esperance.

Alison Gomes showed a pretty pink and mustard scarf of silk chiffon with a swirled design of pencil rovings at both ends and finely laid tops over the body of the scarf.

Lyn Blasgund charmed us with two pairs of petite booties made for her niece’s new baby. Tiny and perfect booties for tiny and perfect feet!

Nancy Ballesteros had just returned from the Grampians Texture Workshop. She had attended Catherine O’Leary’s workshop where they printed on to silk using stencils and other methods. They then felted the fabric onto felbi batts and used the results to create complex imagery. She also attended a workshop with Jean Gauger where she made a beautiful, light and fully reversible jacket with 175g wool and two layers of paj silk. Additionally, she showed a range of light and colourful scarves made with silk hankies sandwiched with wool.

Nancy mentioned another textile retreat with several felting tutors that may interest members. This is being held at Busselton in May 2014 and details can be found at www.westarttext.com.au

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Beth Klokeid had done Soosie Jobson’s Studio Detritus workshop and showed her creative necklace that resembles the face of a doll. She also shared her interesting fridge magnets, incorporating plastic pieces melted in the oven, and some printed buttons.

Pat Kendall passed around an exquisite beaded purple flower. She also showed a smart red scarf with a striking angular silk decoration.

Judi Barkla had made a wrist wrap in tones of pink and maroon, embellished with layering of textiles and tonal embroidery.

A delighted Mary Ann Dawson was the lucky winner of this month’s raffle.

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After TnT Nancy took members through the process of producing quality felt. This demonstration has been reported on before (see Newsletter Volume 1 2013). However, some particular points of interest from today were:

  • The less wool you use, the more the shrinkage. Examples were shown that use as little as 2.5g of wool tops laid out over a 25cm x 25cm square. The fully felted result was fine and soft. Make a sample and use this as your shrinkage rate for larger items.
  • Felt that seems firm on completion will loosen up over time and may pill. Let your piece dry and rest for at least a day and re-felt for a stronger, firmer result.
  • Olive oil soap works well, but you may also like to try Earth Choice dishwashing liquid. It makes the felt slippery so it glides well over a washboard. Some dish liquids have a pH that is too high and can harden the felt. Never use laundry detergents or wool wash soap – some contain anti-felting ingredients!
  • Tossing or fulling should be done when the felt piece is wet and weighty. Keep the felt quite soapy, but too much soap can result in the wool fibres swimming apart. Tricky!
  • Rolling the felt on itself can achieve very fast shrinkage if this is what you are after.

Thank you Nancy!

February TnT by Antoinette Boyd

Welcome to the first Toss and Tell report for 2014. After a break of a couple of months it was great to see so many members attend showing off projects finished off over the break and see the excitement for new projects and ideas brimming.

Soosie Jobson gave the demonstration this month on how to use the FeltWest website which generated some lively discussion and proved very helpful to members.

Our President Virginia Campbell then kept us up-to-date all the news that had happened over the break. We wish Sue Swain a speedy recovery after her accident. Unfortunately Irit Dulman is unable to hold her much anticipated workshop in May but fortunately we are very lucky to have our own very talented natural dyer, Lindy Frayne who will be running a workshop May 3-4. More details to be advised closer to the date.

All members are invited to attend the Craft House AGM which will be held in conjunction with the WAFTA meeting. Kerrie Argent will be the guest speaker and it is to be held on March 18. Those who come at 7pm to hear Kerrie’s talk will be asked to pay WAFTA’s normal door charge of $5 for WAFTA members and $8 for non-members. This includes a ticket in the door prize draw and a light supper. If you just want to attend the AGM please come between 7.45 and 8pm and entry will be free. Kerrie Argent is a well-known Lake Grace artist.

Time to start Toss and Tell and first up was Janette Humphries who made a lovely blue skirt and cape. She had blended the colours beautifully and the results were stunning.


Next was Louise Nidorf who had been busy felting stones while on holiday. The colours were vibrant and inspiring. She also showed us her cute owl which she had made at Soosie’s Studio Detritus workshop.

Beth Klokeid and Nancy Ballesteros displayed the neck pieces made at Katrina Virgona’s workshop.


AiLin had finally finished a three year project of a gorgeous shawl which was inspired by Charlotte Buch. The dramatic tail and unusual design made a stunning garment.

Deb Damascio produced a large very fine white wrap which was made from two layers of mohair. It was very soft and Deb intends to put in armholes.

Welcome back to Joan Romick who has returned to felting after a break. She had made a lovely green bag with two inside pockets and was also finishing off a bowl.

Queen of beautiful scarfs, Alison Gomes, made a stunning scarf from a silk lap.

Sue Harrington shared with us some dye books she had found recently that had belonged to her mother and grandmother while clearing her father’s house.

Virginia Campbell displayed her stunning scarf she had started at Alison Gomes’ nuno felting workshop. Remember Alison has another workshop coming up in April!


Jill Jodrell’s necklace was also started at Katrina’s workshop and finished at 3am in the morning. It looks as if everyone who did Katrina’s workshop came away with some stunning pieces.

Judith Shaw had made a mask by placing wool over a wooden hand carved mask from Lombok. She explained that almost anything can be used as a mould and it can be finished off with diluted PVA glue. As usual she had wonderful advice for using up bits and pieces of your stash.

Soosie Jobson gave us a quick rundown on her workshop, Studio Detritus, which is to be held on March 1 and showed us what can be made from bits and pieces you have collected. The best thing about Soosie’s workshops is that you don’t have to buy anything – just use what you already have.


Multi-tasking as the FeltWest librarian Chris Gray also managed to make a necklace under the tuition of Sue Eslick at the meeting which was proudly worn and shown off.

That’s all for this month. Remember to keep checking the website for updates on upcoming workshops.

October TnT by Mary Ann Dawson

Soosie gave us a short demo on different ways of making pockets using resists. Including how to make pockets on top of pockets. The key to using resists on resists is to do some felting or massaging of the wool between the resist layers otherwise the lower layers won’t felt. Also remember to take the resist out before completing the fulling process otherwise it will wear a hole through the felt trying to get out by itself!  Lindy  reminded us that we need to bring our goods to Novembers Toss n tell for the Fremantle Arts Bazaar and that all the information we need is on Feltwest’s web site, just go to the calendar and click on the event. There will be people at November’s Toss and Tell to advise on pricing.

The next Toss and Tell will also be the last opportunity this year to return borrowed items from the Library, so please ensure that all loans are returned by then. Chris is now our new Librarian so please ensure you return them to her and not just leave them on the table. We have amended the library rules and opening times, as we have a number of books that have not been returned and are concerned about this loss, hence the borrowing rules have been tightened.

The Ebb and Flow Project should be completed and hung for the November Toss and Tell.

Soosie tells us that the Web site has undone a radical change. The demise of the printed newsletter means it is now on Feltwest’s Web site in the Members Only section but you must log in to be able to access it along with all of the various reviews and articles written.

 So our Toss and Tell begins:

Pat shows us a table runner that she did at Liz Odd’s workshop. It is embellished with stitching which took her hours.

Judith showed us her wool and alpaca bath mat. She has made it from salvaged wool that had got wet from a leak in the roof in her shed and is in the process of adding stitches to strengthen it.

Soosie is continuing her “use up what I have theme”, she has made a small bag to hold her glasses when she goes out in the evening, using all scraps.


Dawn has made a scarf using a piece of felt left over from something else and she has decorated it with whatever she had on hand, It is a work in progress.

Chris showed us the many different luggage tags she has made for sale. Beautifully stitched and each one unique.

Sue had Linda model her black and white wrap. Sue wanted to retain the black and white zebra pattern, so after cutting the fabric across the pattern she nuno’d the edges into the white felt wrap.

Juliette has made some iPad cases to sell at the Craft House open day. She has been playing around with mesh fabrics which she says retains the colour better. She has filled them with a layered foam available from the Foam Shop in Myaree.

Denise, Daughter of Helen from Sal’s Wool Den, brought in the beautiful throw she has made using up her Mothers samples. Louise was also wearing a top that her mother had felted at Pam Hoggles workshop in Bunbury, she then sewed it together to make the top. Louise also brought in a lampshade she has made as well.

Beth hasn’t felted in three years but she is now back amongst us and showing us her work today. She made a rug in Liz Odd’s workshop using scraps, some beautiful necklace cords and a scarf using India Flynt’s techniques. The rug’s back was completely different to the front.

Jeanette made a skirt from an evening dress that she cut off under the bust. It is felted in strips and uses machine embroidery on top for a more decorative effect. The shrinkage rate was about a third.

Alison showed us the doll she has made for the Ebb and Flow Project. It has delightful little bows on her shoes and around her neck.

Sarah, a new member, made an iPhone case out of the felt from her beginners class.

Some lovely rugs were made in Liz Odd’s workshop, with advice from Nancy, sue and Liz.   We also saw a version of a care bear made for a friend that had cancer, and has been perfecting it to produce a very cute result. She is investigating the idea that FeltWest as a group might make some hearts to contribute to CWA Associations efforts in giving these hearts to patients in palliative care. Their families can keep them afterwards. She will keep us posted.

Sue has made a wonderful white vessel with black circles which have been stitched around the edge in white for contrast. She only used one layer of black and several of white to prevent the black overpowering the white.

Lindy showed us Donna’s and Nancy’s scarves made in Leiko’s workshop. She has a beautiful scarf she also made using Leiko’s’s technique. All of them are intricate, labour intensive and very beautiful.

Virginia did Leiko’s’s one day workshop and completed a sample using just merino wool. Leiko encouraged them to try a wool silk blend which adds a sheen. She also made a nuno sample in Leiko’s workshop. Virginia recommends using different colours to give a better effect. Another creation was a rug made in Liz’s workshop. It needs to be shaved to bring out the colour better as the colored layers needed to be thicker to reduce the backing colour coming through. She tried using a bright red piece of lawn between the backing and top colours but should have washed it first to reduce its water repellent properties. Always wash your fabrics first!

Boxes are needed for the raffles. We also would like people to return the boxes from previous raffles.