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I've probably said this before but I have a rather large crateful of felty scraps in my house - leftover snippets from various projects, some of which have worked and some of which haven't - and I don't like to see anything go to waste, so I decided to stitch some mini patchworks.

The idea of woolly postcards came from Christa Rolf's book "Stitched Postcards: Beautiful Textile Designs in Miniature Using Quilting and Mixed Media Techniques". I needle felted the felt scraps together (spent a lot of time fiddling around with compositions!) to make a patchwork mosaic just a few mm larger than an A6 postcard, then zig zag stitched them together onto some vilene underlay. And then I free machined lots of wiggly, squiggly patterns and doodles on top to cement everything together and level off the surface (because some of the scraps were denser than others). You then take a blank A6 postcard, attach the patchwork using double sided tape and zig zag stitch around the edges using a stitch width wide enough to trap the outer edges of the felt along with the edge of the postcard. Zig zag stitch around the perimeter about three times, shortening the length of the stitch each time around so that you end up with a really dense yet decorative border.

For that extra special touch Christa Rolf recommends adding some fancy stamps , so I went to my local Oxfam bookshop in Shaftesbury and invested in some classic collector's stamps.  

Now, obviously you can't just pop these felt postcards straight into the postbox - I know, it seems a shame to put them in an envelope like a greeting card but at least you can be sure they will arrive safely!

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Let's be honest - the main reason why us felters like to felt, is because of the feelings we feel while/when/after we're felting - those soft handfuls of silky merino fibres, all that rubbing and rolling, AND we LOVE stroking the felt that we create.

The sense of touch is incredibly powerful - we see something we like the look of and our automatic reaction as homan beings is to touch it - clothes, flowers, furniture...

and we use the word 'feel' in our conversations all the out of curiosity I decided to google sayings and phrases which included the words 'felt' or 'feel' (all the happy ones anyway!) and believe me, there were an awful lot of them...

"I FEEL....(an emotion, i.e happy, excited, thrilled, excellent, etc)"; "I FEEL like..." i.e "I've said this before"; "I've never FELT better"; and (particularly relevant for felters) "I FEEL woolly!!"

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Needle felted fibres from the Dorset Horn sheep
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Everyone loves merino wool for its bright colours, right? Felting pictures which look just like paintings, using colour and tone to form shapes and define boundaries? Well I still love all of that, but just of late I’ve been experimenting with a new kind of felt picture (of the illustrated kind!) I’ve come to the conclusion that felt is a wonderful canvas to draw on. And using a free machining foot on my sewing machine I can do just that.

And because it’s a local scene I’ve used local wool – fibres from the Dorset Horn sheep. The wool is needle felted, i.e is still soft and spongy enough to show off lots of texture, but supported from behind with a small piece of Vilene. I drew the design onto some Vilene Soluvlies 321 Solufleece (water soluble fabric stabiliser!!) and spent a concentrated 20 mins or so free machining all those lines, dipped the felt in some hot water and voila. Gosh, I hadn’t used dissolvable fabric since I left college – I’d forgotten how effective and magic it is, the fabric just vanished in seconds!!

I was going to make my Gold Hill felt sketch into a greeting card, but it took quite a while to do, and I doubt I’d be able to sell an A6 greeting card for £10… so I’m going to find a nice little frame for it instead….

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