Several years ago I made this piece, using a kunin felt substitute called efco polyester felt, which I believe is a German product. I still have some left – in black and white – and have attempted to look it up and see as to its availability. I have found some pre-cut shapes and some coloured sheets, but nothing that seems to compare with the thickness and weight of the product I was sold five years ago, but I have included a shot of the label below in case anyone would like to follow up on this idea.
I took a large piece of the felt, in white, and placed it under the stencil I made of my recent mosaic design. In the picture, the acetate stencil can be clearly seen as the paint previously used on it makes it stand out against the white felt background. I have anchored it in place with some masking tape.
Through the stencil I have added a good layer of Xpandaprint, using a plastic glue spreader to apply it. This is a large piece so I used the entire jar. You can also see where I joined two pieces of felt together to make a base big enough for the whole stencil – I just butted the edges up together and joined them with fabric glue.
When the Xpandaprint was dry I ironed over it (using parchment paper) to make it puff up. I think you can use a heat gun on Xpandaprint when it is still wet, but I didn’t want to use it at this stage as I didn’t want to start melting the felt.
On the top photograph you can see that I stamped seaweed images on to the felt backing. At that time I then chose to machine around each seaweed frond in white cotton before I melted back the felt. With the mosaic piece I decided the puffed pieces were far too intricate and I’m not even sure the stitching added to the resist qualities of the shapes. When finally used the heat gun I just got some gentle erosion in between all the pieces of Xpandaprint stones.
So this mosaic piece has no stitching, apart from me applying the felt background to some pelmet vilene by stitching all the way around the outside edge. I then used a soldering iron to cut the excess felt away. Below you can see the cut away edge, with the pelmet vilene underneath stuck to an old canvas picture that happened to be the right size.
The only thing to do after this was paint the whole thing – puffed up design, vilene and the edges of the canvas picture. I used acrylic paints, trying to used faded colours to resemble stone, whilst picking out the design. Below is the whole piece and then a close up detail. I’m not entirely happy with the colours but I can still continue to add more paint until I get the desired effect.