Workshop Review: 50 SHADES OF GREY (FELT!) – Wendy Bailye

Report by Jean McKenzie

On Friday 2 August this year thirteen very enthusiastic FeltWEST members gathered at Craft House to learn from a very experienced tutor. 

Wendy has over 25 years’ experience as a felter and has been co-editor of “Felt” magazine.  She is currently co-ordinator of the Australasia region for the International Feltmakers’ Association and runs her own business – The Felt Studio, in Brisbane. 

Over the 3 days of the workshop, which Wendy described as an “experimental class” (and boy, was it!), everyone settled down and worked, worked, worked: cutting, slashing, embossing, using different fabrics, yarns, threads, trapping different objects under silk or muslin.  I am sure she showed at least 50 different ideas, particularly on embossing.  I think everyone managed 4 to 10 samples each. 

Wendy was well prepared with comprehensive notes for everyone and a table full of samples to inspire participants.  She also brought along finished scarves to illustrate many of the techniques covered by her at the workshop. 

Wendy’s extensive knowledge and experience showed through in her presentation.  She was generous with her time to all participants; answering all questions and stopping to help where required.  This was reflected in the feedback given by participants at the end of the workshop.  All feedback was positive, as can be seen from these few examples: 

  • This workshop will keep me experimenting for a long time.  So many ideas and options.  Fun to be able to share with many creative individuals. 
  • Your guidance and patience in the class is much appreciated.  I will go away with a wealth of information that will be used for years to come.  Thank you, Wendy. 
  • Finally, someone teaching Sampling – what a great way to extend your own creative direction. 
  • Great inspirational workshop.  Able to adapt techniques shown into felting work, told to try everything, there are endless possibilities; some challenges; and results positive and/or negative are always a learning opportunity. 
  • Brilliant workshop – start of a wild and wonderful journey of exploration. Sampling = learning2 

Thank you, Wendy, for an amazing and informative workshop. 

Retreat Report 2019

The venue was exactly what you want for a retreat, the food was very tasty and made with love, the accommodation worked a treat.

I think we all agreed, we had a great time felting and laughing and enjoying ourselves doing what we love, felting.

Pictures of attendees at various times over the 2019 Retreat

Retreat 2019

Not quite all of us at the retreat were in these photo’s, and if you would like me to add some photo’s you took please send them to and I will add to our slide shows.

Katrina Virgona gave the workshop which enthralled us all.

Some of the work produced at the retreat 2019. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of work too.

Our bird friends visited Am Pm and Lunch time always making a lot of noise.
Magnificent in their presence.

Circular Cobweb Scarves tutor Sara Quail 4 May 2019

Circular Cobweb Scarves, tutor Sara Quail- report by Renita Mroz

Apologies for very late reporting on Sara Quail’s wonderful one-day workshop on Circular Cobweb Scarves.

These lightweight scarves, made using a resist and one-directional wool layout, are both beautiful and versatile. 

Sara was, as ever, super organised and prepared and brought along a wide range of samples to be studied, admired and tried on. 

During the workshop, Sara demonstrated three techniques for layout of the fibres:

Spreading: Using a continuous length of wool/silk roving
Drawing:  Drawing out wool roving and overlaying it with decorative silk/plant fibres as desired.
Shingling:  A single layer of fine shingles (laid in one direction only), overlaid with decorative silk/plant fibres.  This method is great for producing a gossamer-fine scarf and/or to use up small scraps of leftover wool.

Rubbing with hands or felting tools began the felting process while protecting the delicate fibres from moving about.  Only once the fibres were stable could rolling begin.  With no cross fibres, it was a surprisingly lengthy process!

The end results, however, were lovely.  Thanks, Sara, for a great workshop.

Following the Thread, Let the Cloth Speak – a decade of works by Marjorie Coleman



Official Opening 2pm Saturday 27 July

Exhibition dates 22 July through 9 August

Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm

Marjorie Coleman is an original member of the West Australian Quilters’ Association, and a popular workshop tutor over many years. She has also been an active member of the WAQA Contemporary Quilt Group. In the 1970’s she was established as a national ground-breaker in the making of contemporary quilts with a strong Australian identity, featuring designs based on native flora and fauna. This was in the days when there were no books or magazines on quilt making in Australia, or shops specialising in patchwork fabrics! 

Using contemporary stitch as an expressive medium, Marjorie has produced rich evocative pieces over decades. She takes pleasure from working with cloth, drawing on a lifetime of intimate knowledge to stitch for her own enlightenment. Now in her 90s, Marjorie’s recent work exhibits the same ongoing exploration that decades ago gained her national recognition.  This exhibition comprises a selection of 35 works from the last ten years.   

To see more click here

Toss N Tell June 2019 Report


Martien van Zuilen instructed us today on the principles of using inclusions to create interesting raised surfaces. She also demonstrated making a multi-layered ‘bowl’ utilising multiple resists.

Martien van Zuilen

Inclusions placed between layers of wool create a raised surface and can be left in or cut into to reveal the underlying wool colours.

Examples of inclusions include felt balls or other shapes, pre-felted cord, cotton wadding, rubber pieces, resist pieces (eg thin circles of hollow pool noodle or water pipe insulation foam).

Lay out 2 perpendicular layers of wool tops.

Place inclusions on top then cover with a piece of 2-layer pre-felt.

Wet down and rub gently until fully felted, then cut into if desired .

Martien van Zuilen

Multiple or stacking resists can be used to create a joined stack of ‘bowls’.

Lay out a square of pre-felt and wet down the central area.

Place a circular piece of foam resist over the wet area, cover the resist and just beyond with wool tops and wet down.

Place a second smaller piece of resist on top and continue the process making several layers of resists and wool tops.

Finally, place a square of pre-felt (same size as bottom piece) on top, wet down, rub gently until holding together well, then cover with grip mat and roll around a dowel or noodle, checking regularly to flatten out any ridges.

Once the piece is reasonably well felted, pick up the top layer above the centre of the resist, pinch and cut a small cross.

Use hands to further firm the top layer.

Remove the resist and continue felting until hardening up and gaining the required shape. Repeat for the other layers.

Thanks Martien for demonstrating a technique that we will all want to explore!

News and Update

Welcome to everyone, including new members.

The Muresk Retreat was a great success thanks to Katrina Virgona for her wonderful workshop and presentation and for being so generous with her time. Sue Harrington was thanked for organising the event.

Workshops coming up are Eva Camacho-Sanchez’ Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces from 17-19 July (1 place left) and her artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House, $5 entry. Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey is from 2 to 4 August (full contact Renita to be put on Wait List) and her artist’s talk is on 1 August, details to be advised. Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels is from 30 August to 1 September ( 1 place left) and there will be an artist’s talk open to all.

FeltWEST will have a stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall which will focus on promoting felting through education and demos, while attracting new members. Volunteers are needed for morning and afternoon shifts, with free entry provided to volunteers. Please see the website for contact details for Jill and Jan. Members are asked to provide felted items for display, but not for sale.

We are looking forward to participating at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October) with a large stand in the WA Pavilion. Martien van Zuilen, Peta Korb, Marion Finneran, Jean McKenzie and Margaret Bryan are on the sub-committee. The stall will be an exhibition with all work for sale, and a promotion for felting and FeltWEST. All members are encouraged to submit well-felted items which must be predominantly made of felt. A flat fee of $25 is payable and a commission of 20% (15% to Royal Show and 5% to FeltWest) will be charged. Those submitting work are required to work two 6-hour shifts and will receive free entry. Information and forms are available on the website. Works can be handed in on 17 August at TnT, Tuesday group on 3 September, 21 September TnT or by delivering items to members of the sub-committee and must be labelled, priced and accompanied by completed forms. Please get busy and starting felting for the Show!

Ideas are coming together for a fundraising project to be undertaken later in the year, with details to follow.

Special events at the 17 August monthly meeting will include the AGM and Trash and Treasure stalls, so please make sure you come along.

Memberships are due to be renewed on 1 July. Please pay promptly via the website.

Toss and Tell

Renita showed her gorgeous sea-coloured top made at May Hvistendahl’s workshop, as well as fine rounded bowls decorated with feathers/beading and with seaweed. A more substantial ‘bowl’ become a hat with a beautifully felted tassel.

Virginia had made 3 scarves at the Retreat in blues and greens. For one, she had used a wool and silk ‘slushie’ (available from Thread Studio) to create lovely soft scarves with good drape. Another used 50g wool tops and sari silk and a third scarf in softer blues was wool and silk fibres.

Marion displayed a vessel made using a combination of skills learnt from Martien’s rubber-tubing and Sarah’s flower demonstrations, with wool nib decorations. She also showed two lariats, one with bright viscose thread stitching.

Sherron delighted us with her charming mouse slippers with cute faces. She asked about methods for adding non-slip bases.

Julie showed off her beautifully designed and made koi wall-hanging made at the Retreat for her daughter. She had also been busy making a green square box with leaf decoration, a polyester nuno scarf with a wool grid mesh, a blue cracked earth vessel, an earthy hued scarf inspired by the Australian bush and some lovely felted flowers which she claimed were quick to make!

Cathy displayed a brown nuno scarf with silk square patchwork and a partly-finished lariat both made at the Retreat, also several small wall-hangings made with a variety of techniques including a semi-transparent window of cotton gauze.

Kat had made three circular scarves in a variety of colours. She also showed a white scarf with a central ocean-coloured panel representing the ocean between her two home countries.

Maureen had been busy making needle felted animals, some wearing top hats and all very cute. She had also felted a maple leaf while on a trip in Canada and some tiny bags for children to hold Christmas gift cards.

Liz explained the many decorations on her colourful lariat, still to be finished. She is also in the process of making a name tag which has a lot of shrinking to do! A gift of sari silk had been incorporated into a delicate pink scarf.

Pat showed her completed lariat from the Retreat and a blue scarf with a very fine lay-out.

Martien exhibited a brown bangle with blue spikes and a foam core. The next Felt magazine features the technique for making the bangle.

Sue modelled her partly-made lariat which needs further work as the cord has softened. She had also made two different but complementary sides of a cushion cover featuring nuno and embroidery.

Katrina showed some fluffy pre-felt flowers purchased on-line by Alison. Not up to our felting standard! She passed around examples of felted seed-pod forms as examples for an upcoming workshop she will offer at Mundaring Art Centre. See Billboard.

Thank you to Sue for the report, Alison and Renita for photo’s. Great work guys.

I (Liz) am still working on the layout with this new editor program.

How do you like the slide shows?