Somehow I escaped wool felting, both wet and needle, in the years I’ve been intimate with fabric. I have done it accidentally by washing wool sweaters, but never deliberately. Recently I remedied that gap in a wool felting flower workshop I attended.
We used wool roving, but I gather other forms of wool and silk will work. After we admired the luscious colors of the roving, we got to work gently tearing off bits of the hanks and laying them down on a bubble wrap mat (this is called shingling).
After we covered the desired size and shape for our flower with wool, we put mesh over it, gave it a good drench with warm, soapy water, and began rubbing circles on the mesh to get the wool fibers to interlock. Once the fibers get cozy with each other (and that seems to take a while) the fun begins – molding your flower. There’s other steps involving water, twisting your flower to shape it, and throwing it down to full it.
Ever since I stumbled across Quilt Canada on a trip to Nova Scotia I try to visit the annual juried show sponsored by the Canadian Quilters’ Association. Actually I only travel to the shows held in eastern Canada every other year as they are more accessible from Ohio.
Aside from the chance to enjoy sightseeing, why this show? In the past I’ve found the entries to be of high quality, with lots of other exhibits in addition to the juried show. I applaud the separate category for quilts from patterns and books. This year I was disappointed to see some entries that, frankly, looked like they belonged more in a local quilt show in terms of design and workmanship. Of course I did find plenty to admire, as the slide show demonstrates.
Since my photos show the limits of my phone’s camera and the odd angles I had to cope with, please click here for the complete album of accepted entries. I tried to capture details in my photos, and some are of other exhibits and are not part of the juried show. You can see the award winners here. As usual, the judges and I differ in our opinions.
I caught the recent Nick Cave exhibit (Nick Cave: Feat.) at the Akron Art Museum on its next to last day. Much to my surprise, I was won over by his sparkly, glittery, tawdry junk shop filled pieces. It’s too bad I missed the community performances held as part of the exhibit.
The work on display seemed to fall into three categories: stationary 3D wall and floor pieces, sound suits which Cave wears for performances, and whole room installations. The work was created from 2010 to 2019. A video made for the exhibit showed Cave shopping for tchotkes at thrift stores, the construction of some pieces by a small army of workers, and clips of performances.
Here’s what Cave said about his work:
This work speaks to craft but exceeds the notion of craft. The materials allow people to connect personally, because we can all identify with objects that have surrounded us in our homes at some point. In that way, the work can be nostalgic, and there’s that moment when you realize you’re in a shared language with the people around you. The found objects bring out all kinds of personal history. They also raise the question of how we honor domestic crafts like crochet and needlepoint, which are becoming less and less a part of our day-to-day lives. I like celebrating these practices and things that have traditionally brought beauty into our lives.
To my surprise I’ve completed the top for “It’s Not All Black and White.” Design and construction were relatively pain-free, and I still had two feet of black bias tape left. I started with 20 yards. I see more bias tape projects in my future.
Of course I have to develop a quilting plan, but I do have the backing fabric, thanks to thrift store shopping.
While I’m bragging on my thrift store finds, here are a few others – 3 yards of wool for $4 and two men’s shirts for $4 each. The striped shirt is a silk/rayon blend.
Recently I had my first experience with Bluprint, the new Craftsy, after succumbing to a special three month subscription offer. My rationale was I could take the bias applique tape class by Latifah Saafir I had my eye on and I could get a coupon for one “forever” class.
I took the class and decided I liked it enough to own it “forever.” My troubles began when I tried to redeem my coupon, which expires at the end of June. I followed the instructions given but couldn’t find the class I wanted listed. So I emailed Bluprint and was told that they’d look into it.
Here’s the final response:
Anne (Bluprint) May 28, 8:13 AM MDT Thanks for your patience! That class is exclusive to your subscription and not available as an own forever class. We do have lots of really wonderful quilting classes available to own forever here – Quilt Own Forever Classes
I’ll be sure to let our team know that you’d love to see that class available in the future!
What the….? What does “exclusive to your subscription” mean? Nowhere did I see mentioned that only some classes were eligible as “own forever.” I scrutinized the perks of a Bluprint subscription, and came up only with ” Own-Forever Class Credits to add your favorite class(es) to your Library to access forever, even if you cancel your subscription in the future.” My response to Anne was “I think BluPrint needs to be clearer about what classes are NOT eligible as “own forever.” I certainly took all the verbiage I read to mean they all were. Nowhere did I find mention that some were not.” Anne responded that she’d pass my feedback “along to the management team.”
I recall reading about new arrangements with instructors, and can understand if an instructor elects not to have his/her class eligible for forever status. However, I think that information should be noted with the class material. Didn’t happen with my class.
Instead the Bluprint user gets lots of touchy-feely guff about how much you’ll love Bluprint, promotional emails, and nags to rate interactions with the help personnel. Initial responses begin, “Hi, my name is (fill in first name) and I’m here to help.” Totally fake, in my opinion. I know, it’s all scripted.
I intend to cancel my subscription as nothing’s been added that appeals to me. What I’ve watched aside from Saafir’s class seemed fluff. While I addressed the kerfluffle over emails to Bluprint teachers before, here’s Cheryl Arkison’s opinion on the matter. She was a Craftsy teacher.