Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pin Felted Wool Upholstery

My daughter living in the UK laughed telling me about a charity shop she went in to recently and the sale sign in the window noted, " Sale! 50% off everything! Except wool". Seems the ladies at Oxfam were not about to let that go cheaply. Wool is a highly prized fiber around here too - personally in my house and wardrobe, professionally in the studio workroom, and in a Scandinavian/German rich heritage state such as Minnesota. Even growing up in Southwest Missouri and Oklahoma, my grandmother and her sisters were always trading clothes and especially the solid wools were kept well after the other more trendy prints and fabrics came and went. With my grandmother's help, I made a tailored skirt from one of my grandpa's old but still fine, serge suits. I think they all knit and crocheted, and while Aunt Estella taught me now to knit, Aunt Dottie was probably the most accomplished, creating complicated pleated skirts and sweaters from the thinnest of 2 ply worsted wool. In upholstery, I love working with wool. A few years ago I became interested in pin felting on wool remnants, making pillow tops or shams from cut up skirts and sweaters. At one point, I actually had a fair amount of Maharam's Kvadrat handy in which to work up some designs. I'm remembering these projects as I view the few pictures I took of them then. The iron stool I've given away, the midcentury bench I sold on ebay, and the grey pillow sold in a holiday craft sale. Since I can't get rid of my woolens any easier than the Charity shop women, or my female relatives, I think I may revisit this craft this year and make some new things.

Haha - I can see the DVD "Super Troopers" on the floor...and the open magazine of "Golden Hands" issue from the early 70's, that had a velvet paisley and solid block quilting as my inspiration. That shag rug is something else too, isn't it? I wanted a 70's house so bad, but my 1908 stucco house could never give itself over to modernization through my decorating whims.

Here's the pillow, on what was a thick grey wrap skirt, so it pieced off nicely for cushion making. It really couldn't be easier if you have a solid foam cushion handy that you don't mind poking holes into (for the felting barbed pin tools) - spread your "canvas" out on it, place strips of roving where you want them and jab away.

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