Friday, 10 June 2016

Felting the Britannia Clock Tower, part 1

Remember I said I'd become fascinated by the changes seen by the Britannia Ironworks Clock Tower? (If not, click here!)

I wanted to make a fabric picture and I had been inspired by the book Applique Art by Abigail Mill. So Crafty 8 Year Old and I painted a sky using fabric paint on calico and some sponges:

A photo posted by Helen Lindop (@helenlindop) on

At that time, Emma of the Crafty Mrs Noah group introduced me to needle felting, which is where you use a barbed needle to make roving (unspun wool) into felt by stabbing it repeatedly. I didn't even know that was possible until that point, but I had a go and thought I could make some very effective trees to add to my applique.

The problem was that the woolly trees were so effective that the applique building looked flat and boring in comparison. What if I felted the building, too?

I needed to transfer the outline of the building onto my backing felt, so I used a transfer pen designed for embroidery on the back of some tracing paper. I didn't know if the pen would work on felt, but it did!

I couldn't quite believe how well it worked, actually:

A photo posted by Helen Lindop (@helenlindop) on

Then it was a question of 'colouring in' the building using wool fibres. I mixed orange and brown felt together to create the sides of the building in the shadows, and fluffy trim to make the decorative parts of the building:

A photo posted by Helen Lindop (@helenlindop) on

I'll tell you about the rest of this project in part 2.

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