FeltWEST Toss ‘n’ Tell July

Demonstration July 21st

Needle felting by June from Bilby Yarns

June from Bilby Yarns in Myaree gave a really interesting & informative demonstration that got everyone paying attention & involved.

Corriedale wool is the most appropriate type for needle felting, or dry felting as it is also called. It is a strong fibre, so it gives good structure. It is also possible to needle felt merino, merino silk, or alpaca which behaves like ultra-fine merino. The finer the fibre, the more you will use, as it will compact more. What you use will depend on what effect you are trying to achieve.

Needles comes in different sizes, or gauges, and they are barbed to cause friction. They are very sharp – keep your fingers well out of the way!! The difference between different gauges is quite small, but it does have a different effect on the work. Different sizes are used for different jobs. Around size 40 would be considered fine gauge, 36 would be medium, and 32 would be coarse. A fine needle would be used for fine shaping, or for fine features such as eyes. Some needles have a spiralled shaft, this causes greater friction on the fibre. Some needles are triangular (or X star). The X star needles fit between the other sizes. It can be useful for jobs like attaching hair, where you don’t want to make a hole, but just attach. You can also buy a “punch” which contains multiple needles, so it works faster. A ‘reverse barbed’ needle can also be purchased. This is used to fluff things up. Needles manufactured in China have a tendency to rust and break, so best avoided. Needles can be stored in tubes or containers like a Berocca tube, put some foam or wool in the bottom to protect the tips.

A leather thimble may be purchased for finger protection, or you could buy leather garden gloves at the hardware store and cut the fingers off to make your own thimbles.

The action used should be vertical (perpendicular to the fibre) so as not to break the needle tip. It should be a short, sharp, quick movement. If you are pulling out bits of foam from the foam block, you’re doing it too hard! The needle should only be angled for particular tasks such as joining heads to bodies. Left handers will need to employ a slightly different action.

Needle felting is adaptable – for example if you make a hole by overdoing the action, you can put more fibre on top and needle felt that to cover the hole. If you wish to make a felted ball you can use anything in the middle and wrap other fibres around the outside. You can add more wool to prefelts and build up layers to make 3 dimensional forms. Alternatively you could also use pipe cleaners or wire to make a frame, wrap it with core wool, and felt into this.  You can also needle felt more wool onto already felted items.





Meeting 21/7/2018

chaired by Marion Finneran (President Karen Woods away)

Marion extended a welcome to new members spoke about a number of upcoming events in which Feltwest is involved.

WA Craft Fair 3,4 & 5 August at Claremont Showgrounds, with setting up on Thursday 2nd

Jan Stroud & Jill Jodrell are organising this event. Feltwest is having a Guild Stall to promote felting and Feltwest and recruit new members. This will involve talking to the public and doing demonstrations. If you have a favourite felting tool bring it along and use it in your demonstration. No goods will be sold at this event. A roster of members has been drawn up to work on the stall, with shifts from 9.30-12.30, and 1-4.30 each day. If volunteers enter by the Exhibitors Gate at the showground they will be able to park at no charge. Free entry passes will also be available for rostered volunteers on their shift day.

Please contact Jan or Jill on Add numbers/emails here …….if you would like to add your name to the roster.

Perth Royal Show 22-29 September at Claremont Showgrounds.

Martien van Zuilen and a subcommittee are organising our stand for this 8 day extravaganza.  We have a 6x6m corner stand, thanks to Peta Korb. This stand is to promote felting and Feltwest, by way of publicity, demonstration and sale of members work. All goods displayed must be for sale. An email will be sent out to members which will include an entry form. The entry fee is $25, regardless of the number of items entered for sale. A 15% commission is charged by the show on goods sold. The $25 charged by Feltwest goes towards advertising, display stands and other costs involved. Goods for sale must be submitted by the 15th September meeting. If members are unable to deliver items to Craft House on the 15th, they may contact the Royal Show Sub-committee to make mutually acceptable arrangements. All items for sale will be tagged with an official Feltwest tag. Members submitting work for sale will be obliged to work 2 x 6 hour shifts at the Royal Show.

August meeting including AGM will be held on 18 August.

Notices will be sent out to members this week regarding the AGM. Please consider nominating for a position on the Committee, you don’t need to be an expert felter to be a useful committee member.

There will not be a demonstration or mini workshop at the August meeting. Instead there will be a “Trash’n’Treasure” day, so bring along your goodies to sell & make more room at home for felting materials!

Upcoming Workshops

Beginners’ Workshops – Saturday September 15th & October 13th. Hoping to fill these by attracting new members at the Craft Show and the Royal Show.

Beginners’ Extension Workshops – Next one is Tuesday August 7th – “Spikes can be fun”, followed by October 13th – to be announced – keep an eye on the website www.feltwest.org.au

General workshops Please see the website for details & add your name to a waiting list, as all workshops are now fully booked. 😊

Workshop bookings have opened earlier this year than in previous years. The response from members has been very pleasing, as all are fully booked.

The Committee will hold its planning meeting for next year’s workshops in October or November this year (firm date yet to be decided). Please write your ideas for workshops in the suggestion book or speak to a committee member about this. The Committee values the input of members.

Other events and exhibitions

Fibreswest is holding its biennial retreat from July 7-13, 2019 next year, at Muresk. The program includes 10 workshops run by West Australian, Australian and international tutors. 8 of these are already fully booked, but there are waitlists available. For further information see www.fibreswest.com.au

Glass + is showing now at the Zigzag Gallery, Railway Road, Kalamunda until 29th July.

Gallery @ Houghtons is calling for expressions of interest for an exhibition featuring teapots in any medium. I have a feeling that there are some felted teapots lurking about…..

Toss’n’Tell July 21, 2018.

Liz Odd – showed us a square vessel that she had made at Martien’s Treasure Nests Workshop using a round resist.  Liz also added different kinds of surface embellishments. She said the workshop was wonderful.






Renita Mroz showed a framed piece a ‘felt painting’ featuring trees and natural forms. She has been exploring layering and using partly felted pieces to great effect.










Liz Owens showed us a vessel she had made at the Treasure Nests Workshop, where she incorporated all the techniques that Martien taught including holes, tunnels, spikes, and various surface embellishments including stitching.


She said the workshop was great and was inspired to make another vessel at home.

The second one incorporated silk hankies and throwsters waste.




Joanne Peate showed us a piece that she made in today’s needle felting session (demonstration by June from Bilby Yarns).

Joanne considers needle felting fun and addictive.  We could not decide if it was an animal or a human.





Nancy Ballesteros showed an infinity scarf featuring abstract Fibonacci stripes of an organic or abstract form. She intends to

lead a workshop about this utilising Fibonacci stripes and colour theory. Nancy has been experimenting with having more control over her designs to get the felt to do what she wants.








Sue Harrington displayed her jigsaw felted table runner. She wanted to use up some ‘odd blue and green bits’. She found the process very fiddly – ‘precision, precision, concentration’!, but is pleased with the result. She ended up turning the piece over, as she liked the back better than the front, as the colour was more diffused, without hard edges.







Jan Stroud showed some felt toys that she had purchased some years ago in Kyrgistan. She told us about the women making them as a co-operative process.


Jill Jodrell also attended the Treasure Nests Workshop and showed her vessel ‘Kimberley Memories’. She learnt a lot at the workshop – spikes, carding, inclusions, and said that it has reminded her about good felting techniques.





Marion Finneran showed us a chair that she had upholstered in a jigsaw felt technique, as inspired by the Jigsaw Felt Workshop that she attended run by Martien. She said that the project taught her about patience and attention to detail. She also advised that it was helpful to make a sample first to help assess shrinkage rates and how the colours work together before doing a project.




We had alot of fun and laughs, see you at the Next TnT.


Thanks Alison for pictures and the reports.