Thanks for visiting my blog! MudBay Musings chronicles creative journeys, with inspiration and humor I find along the way... including my mother's and my artwork, stories, local bird life and garden favorites...
all of which I hope will bring a smile to your heart.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fun with Felt – Again!

Last week’s get-together with the Lunch Ladies was wonderful, as always. This time, we experimented with Kunin felt. I was struck afterward at how my beads matched “sea colors”… clam shell purple, crab shell/coral red, urchin green, sea blue... Hmmmm… perhaps someone missed the summer sun just a tad this past winter!

If you’d like to try this fun technique, here’s a summary of how we made our beads:
Using a sewing machine, stitch rows of decorative patterns with metallic thread onto Kunin felt (use cotton/metallic threads; do not use polyester core metallic threads for this technique - they will melt). Cut the felt apart into strips, depending on how long you want your beads to be.

Cut slightly wider strips of bright, contrasting cotton fabric (we used cotton batiks). Wrap a short length of the cotton fabric several times around a small dowel; the diameter of the dowel will determine the size of the hole in your beads. While holding the wrapped cotton firmly, wrap a piece of the stitched felt strip twice around the dowel (trim length to size as you wrap), layering it on top of the cotton fabric. Use two or more pins (make sure they have metal, not melt-able heads) to secure the felt into place.

Using a heat gun, heat the felt, rotating the dowel to heat evenly. The felt will begin to melt/dissolve, shrinking around the cotton, leaving the metallic stitching behind in a lacey effect. Add rub-on metallic wax to some of the remaining stitching to add a little ‘”pizzazz.” Note: Safety precautions must be taken when heating Kunin felt – this stuff is toxic. Don’t do this indoors and don’t breathe the fumes. Masks are recommended!


Beth Niquette said...

How beautiful! I never thought of making beads that way! Gorgeous!

Lyneen said...

I love my pieces I made so quickly that day... thanks again for your hospitality!