What Is It You Do In The Shed?

16 Sep

At our first meeting of the new year we had the great pleasure of hearing Pat Johnson speakr. Pat talked about her passion for felting and while this seemed a slight diversion from patchwork and quilting, it clearly comes under the remit of textiles. Pat’s entertaining talk more than engaged the audience, such that they were clamouring for a workshop with her!

Pat started her talk by answering the question of one of her neighbours in Colwinston “What is it you do in the shed?” The answer, Pat says, is that she cossets and tickles beautiful fibres of silk and merino wool in warm soapy water until they happily link up with each other to form the basis for her beautiful felted work.

Pat described the process to us and it scotched the experience of some in the group who had tried felt making before and found it extremely hard on the arms. She always works gently with the fibres to fuse them and made the point that she would happily link arms with her neighbour if she was lying down nice and warm and relaxed, rather than being beaten or pounded into submission! You do see her point!

It was certainly a treat to see the great variety of items Pat makes with her felt in a wonderful mix of vibrant colours. Gorgeous waistcoats and jackets, bags, cushions, scarves, wraps – pretty much anything you can make in fabric. There was even a wall hanging that mimicked a quilt design. And her items can be washed. The highlight was her collection of hats. Pat had brought her earliest prototypes and called them “hats to frighten the neighbours in” and she modelled them to the great amusement of us all. She has certainly improved since those first examples.

Sadly, I do not have any photos to show you, but keep an eye out for Pat’s exhibitions which will be held in the Old Hall and St. Donat’s in the near future.

We send our grateful thanks to Pat for a hugely entertaining and informative talk, delivered in a wonderful warm and humorous way.

Author: Pam Stead

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