Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Decorations - its not too late!

Dee Kelly can always be relied upon to come up with seasonal and alternative uses for felting wool:

Fine felting wool, wrapped around a balloon and pasted in place. Leave to dry then burst the balloon. Thread battery operated fairy lights through holes. 

Happy Christmas from everyone at Naas Felt and Fibre.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Opening Night at Las Rada

We had a wonderful opening night for our new exhibition in Las Rada Wine and Tapas Bar on Tuesday last.  We were delighted to have Lucina Russell, Arts Officer with Kildare County Council, to officially launch the exhibition. It turns out that Lucina studied Art and Design (textiles) in GMIT so she really understood our work. As a small token of our gratitude, Catherine Domican made a pair of black, hand felted fingerless gloves that she presented to Lucina on the night.  Just in time for the cold weather too!

Joanne and Jules provided a scrumptious selection of finger food and some really nice prosecco for our guests.   We are very grateful to them for inviting us to exhibit in their gallery and restaurant space.  We presented Joanne with a framed felted work by Catherine Dowling to thank her for their support.

We continued to imbibe prosecco and eat delicious food long after our guests were gone. Another successful launch!   

We hope you get a chance to drop in over the next few weeks to see our exhibition during opening hours in the tapas bar.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Workshop at the Knit and Stitch Show

Dee Kelly attended a workshop at the Knit and Stitch Show 2014 in the RDS – Layered Landscapes by Catherine Lawes.   Catherine is from New Zealand and now based in the UK.
Dee, and everyone attending the workshop, did a landscape piece by layering cut pieces of fabric, hand stitching them onto a piece of cotton, leaving some raw frayed edges for texture. Chiffon was then overlaid on some fabric pieces to soften the colour.  The tree is made from embroidery thread couched into place.    The result looks good!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mad Hatter's Tea Party?

I attended a three day workshop with Pam McGregor last month and made a felt teapot. I have been asked by the group to share the experience.

                                                                                                    Felt Teapot, Kay McKenna

Pam supplied a variety of patterns and I choose one which would need a separate handle, attached from a loop on the spout and on the handle extension piece. Finnish wool was used as it gives a good structure. It comes in natural white, grey, black and browns. I decided not to dye the wool in advance as I was afraid it might begin to felt. I found working with the natural colours for the first layers very difficult as the whole structure looked so dull. The layers were done with great precision, making sure to keep them even. The spout and extension for the handle got fewer layers.

Finally to colour - I decided to leave the base in the natural shade. I put a band of multi coloured roving around the centre to give a focal point. My original idea was to use earth browns and rusts but the greens turned out to be a better choice.  The purple at the top seemed to lift the whole design.  At this stage it was hard to visualise the exact shape and dimensions of the handle and spout and how the placing of colours would suit.

Much rubbing and rolling followed. A balloon was blown up inside for shaping and we used a variety of tools to add friction.  I still had made no decision about a handle but using cane or wood didn’t really appeal. So I made a long roll and attached it to the handle piece, thinking I would attach it to the loop on the spout.  But the final design evolved and the needle felted stopper is now at the end of the handle.

Pam taught us how to make fitted stoppers so I did make one for the learning experience. It now awaits its own teapot! 
Kay McKenna

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Naas Felt and Fibre @ Las Rada

'Las Rada' Wine and Tapas Bar has moved to new premises on Newbridge Road, Naas (across the road from their old location).  

We are delighted that Joanne and Jules have asked us to display our work in their lovely new premises. They have created a gallery area on the stairs and landing where some of our pieces now reside.

We also have pieces displayed in the main bar area.  The newly renovated building is very atmospheric - beautiful Moroccan tiles on the floor, subdued lighting and rough stone walls, painted white.

Of course, the food is always good so drop in and have a look and a bite to eat.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More snapshots from our Autumn Exhibition

Here are a few more images of work from our current exhibition in McAuley Place, Naas which runs until the 19th November

'The Deep Blue Sea' by Kathrina Hughes has been machine embroidered using metallic threads on to hand dyed and printed cotton.

'Autumn Gold' by Dee Kelly was inspired by the glowing colours of autumn. It was created by layering fabric, paper, bondaweb, chiffon and hand stitch.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snapshots from 'Natural Phenomena' Exhibition

Hi Felting and Stitching fans,

We are half way through our autumn exhibition at McAuley Place, Naas and we are very pleased with the interest in our work.  There are 15 pieces on display and in the catalogue and a few more made their entrance after the catalogue had gone to print!

There is great variety in the techniques used such as mono printing, applique, hand stitch, wet felting, machine embroidery and painting on fabric.

Here are a few snapshots:

A close up of 'Astral Storm' by Colleen Prendiville - applique and hand stitch on mono printed cotton.
A segment of 'Harmony' by Maria Dunne which consists of merino wool and silk fibres, hand dyed and wet felted.

'In Flight' by Elaine Peden is a hand felted necklace consisting of up-cycled fabric, mixed fibres, Japanese seed beads, faceted stones and antique buttons.

'Lightening Strikes' by Helen McLoughlin is ice dyed raw silk embellished with silver-coated copper wire.

More images to come in our next post!  Call into McAuley House to see the exhibition in the flesh - open until 19th November, 9am to 5.30pm, Mon to Sat.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Natural Phenomena

We hope you will drop in to our Exhibition opening next Friday:

Naas Felt and Fibre Exhibition 'Natural Phenomena' at McAuley Place, Naas, Co. Kildare November 2014 feltmaking stitch work

The theme for our work this year was the natural world and the range of exhibits reflects this wonderfully. From beautifully stitched and embellished pieces showing autumn forest scenes to child hood adventures, don't miss it! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Preparing for our Exhibition in November

Here are some snippets of work in progress for our next exhibition :

                                                                                               Catherine Domican

                                                 Catherine Dowling

Monday, October 27, 2014

Alternative uses for wool?

Dee Kelly used some Welsh wool fibre (coarse) for this classic COMB OVER hair style!
Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Useful Books for Felting Techniques

by Catherine Dowling

This post will focus on books on felting techniques that our members have found useful.

Amazon is a great source of books on how to felt and develop your techniques.  Also the Knit and Stitch Show in the RDS every Autumn usually has book vendors with sections on felting and all fibre related material.

A good starter book is “Complete Feltmaking: Easy Techniques and 25 Great Projects”, by Gillian Harris.

Another beginners book is “Quick and Clever Felting” by Ellen Kharade.

For those wishing to develop their portfolio of felt creations the following books might be helpful:

  • “Felt Fashion” by Jenne Giles.  This shows how to make and customise garments.
  • “Felting Fashion” by Lizzie Houghton.  This book is about making simple corsages, hats and scarves to jackets and full-length coats.  Not really a book for beginners.
  • “Felt to Stitch” by Sheila Smith.  This book uses felt and stitch techniques to produce finished articles.  It combines beginner and advanced techniques.  It is beautifully illustrated and a good source of ideas.
  • “500 Felt Objects (Felt as Art)” by Lark Crafts.  This is a great book to inspire you to produce some wonderful creative pieces.  It is not, a how to felt book.  The photographs are beautiful and the inspiration endless.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Felt Flowers

by Catherine Dowling

Hope you are getting into wet felting and finding projects you can make quickly to get you going.

I made these flowers following the instructions on the video below.  If you make the stem a bit longer you can wind it around your wrist as a corsage or you could use it to decorate a simple pony tail. (Note when drying the flower, wind the stem around a cylinder to shape).  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pattern and Print

By Barbara Seery

Isn’t it great to be back in action after the summer break?  Colleen gave a wonderful workshop on Saturday, 13th September for those interested in creating printing blocks and printing onto paper and fabric.

We spent an enjoyable morning drawing a motif and learning to see the positive and negative elements in the image.  We then traced the motif and transferred it onto two small foam board pieces, one for the positive section of the motif and one for the negative.   After some intricate work with a blade, cutting mat and double sided tape we all had two printing blocks with which to play.

By numbering each corner of the printing blocks (1,2,3,4) we could then set about experimenting with the shapes and patterns created by turning the printing block in alternative directions and noting those patterns at the top of each piece of work for future reference.    

Print with negative and positive blocks onto pages of an old cookery book

We created a paint pad by putting a piece of wet felt into a flat plastic food tray and putting acrylic paint onto it.   We spent a very pleasant afternoon printing patterns onto brown paper, old book pages, the back of old envelopes and then progressed to printing onto plain and pre-dyed fabric pieces, bondaweb, muslin and scrim.   

We went home with lots of base pieces with which to layer and work by machine and hand stitch into future works of art! 

Print with negative and positive blocks onto Bondaweb and ironed onto white cotton

Print block onto Bondaweb and ironed onto cotton

Print with negative and positive blocks and overlaid with bird stencil

Print with negative and positive blocks separately (row 1 & 2) then overlaid on bottom row

Friday, September 19, 2014

Resources for Feltmaking Materials

Welcome back after the summer break.  We had a very successful exhibition in Carlow as part of the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival.  One of the highlights was introducing people to the wonders of felt and stitching. Read the exhibition review here

Now that there is a chill in the air and the evenings are drawing in its time to drag out the wool and find the sewing needles again.  This post will highlight some useful resources for people starting to learn about wet felting.  The following video link is an introduction to wet felting and shows the making of a simple square piece of felt,  video link here 

One of the big questions people new to felting ask is where to get wool and equipment.  Below are some useful shops and websites:

Craftspun Yarns, Crafstpun Yarns Ltd, The Mill, Johnstown, Naas, Co. Kildare  LINK

The Constant Knitter, 88 Francis St., Dublin 8. link here

Wingham Wools in Yorkshire.   LINK

DHG in Italy.   LINK 

Woodies DIY stores are great for getting some of the hardware for felting such as bubble wrap and pipe insulation (grey hollow tubes used for rolling felt).  A pool noodle can also be used.

Your local health food shop will usually have a supply of olive oil soap which is used to mix with hot water to start felting.

You will also need a supply of old towels, old net curtains or synthetic tulle.

A flower mister for spreading water on wool or recycle bottles which have a spray nozzle.

Another useful piece of equipment is a bamboo mat for rolling pieces of felt.  IKEA did have some last year.  Buy a few as wider pieces of felt will need 2 or more.

Feltmakers Ireland ( LINK run many workshops and tutorials on making felt and are a great source of advice on all things felt. 


Many thanks to Catherine Dowling for writing the above post. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Works in progress: September

This months work in progress shows a close up of a work by Dee Kelly. From "Indian summer" felted wool wrap. 
Indian cotton with sequins felted with merino wool fibre.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Designs on Nature: A group Exhibition at Carlow Visual Arts Festival

It's been a long time in the mix but we are incredibly proud and excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at Eigse: Carlow Visual Arts Festival. All the details are in the poster below, the festival runs from this Friday the 6th until Sunday the 15th June. 

We will be having an Opening Night on Saturday the 7th at 5pm, which you are all very welcome to attend and it'll be a great day to see the Festival in full swing with street parades and live music events.  

Hope to see you there. 


Naas Felt and Fibre

Monday, April 14, 2014

Annual Spring Exhibition Now On!

We are delighted to invite you to come and see our Annual Spring Exhibition in McAuley Place, Naas which will be on daily until the 23rd April. There is a fantastic array of work from fine detailed stitch work to beautifully felted scarves and hats. The poster itself (see image below) was created using an image from one of our members work.

And while you're there why not pop into the tea rooms for the best tea and scones in town!

If you have any questions or comments on the exhibition you can email 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Learning how to make beautiful felted lilies with Asta

 At February's monthly Make and Meet one of our members Asta Gauronskyte very kindly showed us how to make the beautiful felt lilies that she creates. If you were at our Christmas Exhibition you would have seen her beautiful botanically inspired couture on display. (image below) 

 Asta started us off with making the stamen 

She then showed us how to make the 'petal' part of the lily. Asta explained how she had taken apart an actual lily to understand the shapes and form of it, when starting to make them.

You lay out your fibres in the shape of a heart

 They are then wrapped around eachother and felted to completion. You can see some of our finished results below 

If you are interested in attending one of our public crafting meet ups, sign up to our Mailing List here

Coming soon, news on our upcoming Easter Exhibition...

- from all at Naas Felt and Fibre

You can find Asta on her facebook page here 
or her Etsy shop here

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monthly drop in session, learn how to make felt flowers

Our first drop in felting session of 2014 will be held on Tuesday the 25th February. This month some of our members will be demonstrating how to make felted flowers. From lilies to poppies; come and learn how to create a pop of Spring in your life!

Materials provided, but feel free to bring your own if you want to make a whole bunch of flowers.

All we ask is a €5 donation to go towards materials and renting of the space. Free tea and treats provided! Bring a towel and a plastic bag to put your finished item into.

Time: 8pm - 9.30pm Tuesday 25th February

Location: McCauley Place, Naas, Co.Kildare

For directions click this link here or see the map below

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