With only 2 sleeps to go to the Art Exhibition at Beerwah Community Hall, my dining area and kitchen look as if there’s been an invasion of the Arty Crafty Brigade!
Not sure that I had enough to display at the exhibition, and spotting a couple of 30x30cm deep canvases locally, then finding some lovely mottled dark grey/black quilting material, I had an idea to make a couple of poppy felt art works. I have been inspired by stunning poppies on felt dresses by Oprisan Alina who makes beautiful vibrant and incredible works. Rather than copy what she was doing, which I do not like to do, I took my love of the vibrancy and delicateness of poppies and translated them into my own design.
As you know if you’ve been following my blog, when I do a felt painting, I usually make the whole thing out of wool. However, as I had found the background already, I decided to make the poppies as separate items and stick them to the covered canvases. Thankfully my handyman neighbour had an industrial staple gun so helped me with the covering.
I won’t even go into my drama on Saturday when I spent five hours felting one of the poppies with some ‘merino wool’ from Spotlight (bought on the spur of the moment in case I didn’t have enough red wool) that is apparently good for needle and wet felting. After turning the kitchen blue with my swearing and trying all the felting tricks in the book I eventually gave in to the fact that what I was trying to felt may have looked like and felt like red wool rovings must actually be synthetic.
It was originally going to be four petals, two behind separated by a resist. However, after the felting farce, I got my big sharp scissors and cut the back two off. These were made solely out of the Spotlight ‘wool’, whereas the top two petals had a large quantity of my other real wool rovings that had been hand dyed in different shades of red, so they had pretty much felted how I wanted them.
Non-felting ‘merino’ wool from back two petals with finished 2-petal poppy using my wool
Leaves and petals all contain high amounts of silk tops and hankies and I liked how they turned out. The second lot of poppies had one flat and one side on flower that opened to see inside. I sewed in some nice black beads for detail and worked on the layout.
For the buds I used a thicker felt and then fluffed out the felt with a needle to give the fuzzy effect that real buds have. Actually it was only after researching a good poppy photo, that I discovered how many different varieties of poppy there are, all with different stamen arrangements.
I have finished sticking it all down with good quality fabric glue and have just taken some pics. Here they are. Now I’ve got to find some wire and get them ready to hang.
Diptyche of poppies. Wet felted with beading.
Detail of beading inside the smaller poppy.