Today, I'm happy to welcome Janet from Felt on the Fly as this week's featured sponsor. Janet sells pure merino felt for crafters in gorgeous, gorgeous colors. She recently answered the following questions from me.
Me: First things first, tell us the story of how you discovered the pure merino felt you sell in your shop.
Janet: Way back in 1998, my son began attending a Waldorf school. I joined a handwork group and met some European moms who were stitching adorable tiny little animals from the most beautiful felt I’d ever laid eyes upon. Until that day, I had no idea that ‘wool felt’ existed. The only felt I knew of was inexpensive acrylic felt. The difference between the two is like the difference between day and night – quite dramatic.
I was so curious to know all about wool felt. I started researching the history of wool and found it to be really fascinating. It wasn’t until Asians discovered that sheep could be used for more than food that people were able to become nomadic and travel from place to place. The wool from their sheep was the source of their shelter and their clothing. From there, people discovered how versatile this fiber can be and the rest, as they say, is history! Wool has made an amazing cultural and artistic impact throughout the centuries. I think that’s so cool.
Me: Your felt comes in about a million colors. Can you tell us a bit about how it's made and dyed those gorgeous shades?
Janet: A million colors! Wouldn’t that be awesome?? I love color. I’m probably drawn to color first and foremost so it does make me pretty happy to be surrounded by an abundance of 99 colors.
One of the things I like best about this wool felt is the fact that it is specifically manufactured to be used for handwork and crafting. It’s not a commercial-grade felt that was originally intended for industrial purposes and then labeled ‘craft felt’. This felt was created with intention. It was created with the environment in mind. It was created with safety in mind. It’s processed in a way that makes the most of the natural properties of wool so it requires little energy and no harsh chemicals. The dyes are colorfast and fade resistant and have passed rigorous testing to meet the highest standards of safety for all who come in contact with it. And did I mention that needles slide through this stuff like a warm knife through buttah? Oh yeah… this really is the good stuff!!
Me: What is your favorite project to make with your felt?
Janet: My favorite project…. That’s a tough question! I don’t know if I’ve discovered a ‘favorite’ project just yet…. I do love to stitch by hand, so I’d have to say that any project requiring hand-sewing and embroidery is one that I love.
I taught handwork classes at local quilt shops for a few years in preparation for starting Felt On The Fly. I also designed a series of patterns to hand-stitch small, ‘gift-able’ items. I was drawn to small, portable projects that didn’t require a big commitment of time and that would encourage the art of handwork. The patterns were each designed to allow the stitcher to personalize the project in many different ways. I guess it’s fair to say that anything I can stitch by hand from this wool felt is a real pleasure.
Me: Do you have anything new we can look forward to in the coming months?
Janet: Well, actually there are a few things happening over at Felt On The Fly. I’m in the process of introducing six new colors! It’s always exciting when there are new colors to add. And I’m working on adding some stitching kits. The kits will include wool felt for a specific project along with a little pattern and some floss – all in the spirit of encouraging the art of handwork!
I’m currently offering a pretty sweet deal on a great stash of wool felt. Felt On The Fly is famous for offering five-piece Color Stories. Right now I have limited-edition themed Color Story collections consisting of four Color Stories for the price of three. This is a great time to build your stash of wool felt for holiday projects.
Janet has generously agreed to give My Bit of Earth readers a 25% discount on a color card set. Additionally, she's offering a free pack of wool felt dye cuts to any readers who visit Felt on the Fly and make a purchase. To benefit from either bargain, make sure you mention "My Bit of Earth" at checkout, in an Etsy conversation, or by emailing her at feltonthefly(at)comcast.net. Both deals are good for the entire month of August, so there's plenty of time to stock up!
[And P.S. the winner of the baby goodies from last week is Ameryn. Ameryn, I'll be in touch shortly!]