Friday, October 1, 2010

Lesson Learned?

I talked in my blog on Sept. 19th about using fiberboard in a large piece with wool batting.  I've made several of these type pieces in the 18 to 24 inch size, and the batting I used was 100% wool felt from Joann's.  The felt comes in 36 inch width and since I wanted to make a large piece, and accounting for shrinkage, I wasn't sure how to work this.  Then at the Long Beach Quilt show, I ran across batting from Hobbs that was 100% wool and came in King size bedding size.  Perfect.  Or maybe not.  The piece I made started out 56" x 40".  I stitched it with cotton thread covering every inch of the piece.  I painted on the dye, batched it, then threw it in the washer, hot water, then dryer.  Twice.

It shrunk 4 inches on one side, and 2 inches on the other. Now, this might be great if you are making a regular quilt, but I was really counting on a lot more shrinkage and I didn't get it.  The picture above is the post washer/dryer piece, and the picture below is the same, just upside down.

The wool batting is thinner than the felt, and not as dense, neither of which I took into consideration when putting it together.  So now I'm trying to decide if I should just leave it alone, cut it up, or add more processes to it, maybe discharging or paint.  And if I make another one, and I want it large, can I stitch together 2 pieces of felt, and will it hold during the wash and dry cycle?  I guess I'll just have to try it, this time on a much smaller basis.

This is a close up of the finished piece.


Gerrie said...

I am trying to wrap my mind around this, but unfortunately, my sinus clogged brain is not working very well. But, I do love that detail!

Jayne said...

Karen - that is so interesting! I wonder if the batting uses some coating to purposely keep the felting to a minimum? But I do love the effect of the dye and stitching on the batting. Great experiment

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

I love your exploration. If you aren't concerned about putting the work in the washer again, I would suggest putting it back in and add some type of rich soap. The soap should help the wool fibers to slip around and felt more. Please let me know if you try this and if it works.