I met Heather Grover for the first time at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference a few years ago where she was a fellow teacher at this wonderful event held in Muenster, SK each year. ( Feel free to do a search in the search box on this blog home page for further information about this Conference).
I was SO impressed with Heather’s work + what her students were accomplishing in her classes. I then saw her again this year at a wholesale Trade show in Vancouver in the summer. I asked if she would be happy for me to share some of her work with you. Thankfully she agreed!
PRAIRIE DAY- a machine felted landscape by Heather Grover.
Keep going…..more stunning pic’s below.
Heather creates fiber enriched landscape pictures combining both quilting and felting techniques. Heather uses a Janome Harmony 8080 + a needle felting machine for some of the process of her incredible pieces of artwork. Heather actually owns 3 Janome 725 Needle felting machines!! When not creating her own projects and patterns she teaches others how to use their machines. Having 3 JANOME FM725 machines allows students without machines to try something new with a needle felting machine.
Heather says: For some people getting started can be intimidating . Most people start projects knowing what the end result will be. It doesn’t work that way in felting. The textile project will develop as you work on it. Here are some of Heather’s tips to get started:
1. Use only one needle in the machine. It gives you more control and you are then less likely to over-felt. Multiple needles can be used at the end.
2. Use the plate with large single hole, you will break less needles.
3. Limit your colour choices. It is easy to get carried away and start using every colour under the sun and then it just looks like a mess. Choose your favourite colour: the chances are that you have accumulated a lot of fibers and fabrics in shades and tones of that colour so you will probably have that all ready to go.
4. Start by practicing blending with wool roving going from light to dark. Now add a piece of textured cloth and blend the seams around the edges. Add another textured fabric beside it and blend the edges. Try introducing some yarn into the area where the rovings were blended. Carry the yarn into the textured fabric area. At this point you are building up layers as well as creating different textures. Keep playing. If you don’t like something then pull it off and try something else. Try scrunching, pleating, and folding the fabric. Use wool roving in the folds to hold the fabric in place. It is all about experimenting.
5. Finding materials to use in felting doesn’t have to be an expensive search. Check out thrift shops for used clothing. Spring is a great chance to pick up cheap wool coats. Silky blouses, shear curtains, netting and yarn can also be found.
Heather feels it is hard to decide whether her sewing machine or felting machine is her favourite. Both are so important for the work she does. She says: “The JANOME Harmony 8080 has never failed to sew what I throw at it. As a fiber artist I am always manipulating the surface of the material with paints, dyes and layers of fibers. I have worked with other felting machines but I love the ease in which I can change from 1 needle to 5 and the single hole plate on the JANOME FM725”.
DRYER SHEET LEAVES – a quilted sun print embellished with leaves that were machine stitched on painted dryer sheets. I (Liz) think this is spectacular!
EVOLUTION- is a machine felted abstract landscape. I saw this piece with my own eyes at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference – it is simply stunning!
BOTTLES – is a raw edge applique wall hanging using unknown fibers as well as silk, batting, cotton, tulle. Dye was applied after quilt was finished. Isn’t this just beautiful?
Heather can be contacted for further information or to find out about her classes at:
Heather’s Quilting Palette; L11-361 Main St N, Moose Jaw, SASKATCHEWAN, S6H 0W2
TEL: (306) 693-1393 www.heathersquilting.ca