Stripe Library Challenge

My Challenge: I here by declare that for the next 30 days I am setting myself the goal of designing a 50cm x 50cm felted stripe sampler. My aim is to create a Library of stripe designs which explores the language of how stripes and colour interact in felt (plus I would love the bliss of being creative everyday!) If anyone would like to join me, you are most welcome! Nancy Ballesteros (Nov 2017)

  • Day 27 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Today I thought about doing a basic colour study looking at Simultaneous Contrast (which refers to the way in which two different colors affect each). Also looking at the way colour effects how we read line & movement. Here are several different orientations to challenge your visual perception. Can you spot the differences??? (one sample is sampler than the other for no particular reason).

    Materials : Hand dye superfine Merino tops in Wasabi and Peri Peri. Silk Mesh in Red Earth (I only used a strip of the dark green area for the sample)

  • Day 26 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Feeling organic and earthy today. Stringy bark? (yes trees again!)…. or rock strata at Karijini National Park, Western Australia?….Stripey enough to be in this library collection? The surface is nearly all Silk Hankies.

    Maybe this way around?

    Materials: SIlk Hankies – Tarnish, Tumeric, Red Dog, Kalamatta, Linen. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops – LInen, Tumeric, Henna, Red Dog, Riverstone, new Coral


  • Day 25 – My Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Layering fabrics to create blocks of colour, plus working on a different type of stripe structure. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to balance all the aspects of this sample without being too structured. Wondering if I achieved it?

    Back of sample:

    Materials: Tissue Silk Fabric in Blue Jean, Silk Mesh Fabric in Blue Jean. Colour Nuance superfine Merino wool tops in Royal Indigo, Blue Jay, Celery, Sea Spray, Moss. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops in Tarnish, Stormy Blue.


  • Day 24 – My Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I’m trying to keep my energies going, so working with brights today! I think I might have to admit to being a closet quilter… playing with colour and structure, yum yum! I do like the serendipity that felting brings to the quilting structure. However, my technique still needs refining. I could have easily made this sample with an all wool background with the fabric on top of the wool, but I wanted something more light and flowing, therefore some of the stripes are just in Paj Silk fabric and some are in wool.

    Back of sample:

    Materials: Paj Silk Fabric: Frankie, Lantana, Spice Market. Hand dyed superfine Merino Colour Harmonies: Troppo!, Lantana. Hand dyed superfine Merino: Peri Peri, Merlot, Midnight Blue, Slate.


  • Day 23 – My Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I am forever designing trees and fences, not sure which one this is…. Playing with simple bold designs hoping the structure of the lines make it work. Maybe these cross-over into “lines” not “stripes” – what do you think? Back is interesting, the Silk Mesh gives it lots of lustre, definition and great drape.

    Back of sample:

    Detail of sample:

    Materials: Silk Mesh fabric in Rhythm ‘n Blues. Colour Nuance superfine Merino wool tops in Royal Indigo. Hand-dyed in Ruby Red Dress.



  • Day 22 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Day 22! My Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge! 30 days is seeming like a crazy long time to be doing this, what was I thinking??? Took Saturday off. Then I had a lovely time designing this sample on Sunday. More development of the gathering idea. The tassels off the edge of the fabric can be used as fringe or they can cut off at the edge. I like the idea of stitching lines with felt, will do more of this!


    Detail of gathering abilities

    Materials: Paj Silk Fabric Tamarillo. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops: Tamarillo, Nomad, Black Current, Smoky Amethyst, Tumeric, new soft Coral colour not named yet.

  • Day 21 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Back to the ‘Classic’ stripe idea. I so enjoyed creating this sample! I think the essence of stripe creation is combining good spacial sequences with good colour sequences. Those of you who know me, know how much I love spending hours playing with COLOUR! So I was in heaven with this sample. By the way, these are some of the trending colour for 2018 (not that it matters, but it was fun working with some new colours Treetops is dyeing right now). I also played with the idea of gathering – I can’t wait to make this into something wearable!!!

    Materials: Tissue Silk Fabric: Mule. Nuance superfine Merino top: Cumin. Hand Dyed superfine Merino tops: Red Dog, Slate, Nudie, Toast, Straw. New hand dyed wools (not on website yet): Coral, Cinnamon, Sage.


  • Day 20 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I wanted to explore combining more traditional stripes with blocks and lines of colour in Silk Hankies. I achieved a subtle Ikat-like effect, which I really like and will explore more in the future… so many ideas spring to mind, it’s very exciting! Unfortunately, my Silver Princess Colour Harmony (subtle Eucalyptus greyed-off blue-greens) is very hard to photograph well, I just didn’t do it justice and didn’t have time to photograph the materials. Which are: Silver Princess Silk Mesh, hand-dyed superfine Merino tops in Silver Princess, and five hand-dyed solid colours in Silk Hankies.


  • Day 19 – Stripe Library 30 Day Challenge

    I wanted to explore the idea of a 2-D stripe. I also played with a more organic stripe but didn’t like my execution of this very well, technical issues need to be resolved. It was kind of a fun idea that could be explored more.


    Materials: Natural Tissue SIlk fabric. Coloured Nuance superfine Merino wool tops: Mule, Stone and Sea Spay. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops: Merlot.

  • Day 18 & 18.5 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Well, you have good days and then you have bad days…. Not happy with this one. It had a lot of potential but failed to come together in the end. Will try a few other things tomorrow to see if I can make the concept work better. Don’t think the black wool was the way to go this time around.

    Day 18.5 – This is a continuation of playing with of a few left over pieces from Day 18. I thought I’d try to simplify the design elements, and adjust a few technical issues. Upon reflection, I think I should have put the darker red on the left side and let the other lighter red grade toward the right. Oh well, a few more questions have been resolved, which is always good. Do you like the red better than the black background?? These two stripes are the same as the far left stripes on Day 18.



  • Day 17 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I wanted to use my Colour Harmonies (multi-coloured tops) to make simple stripes and play with colour movement. I have also been holding out to play with silks and stripes. So, here is the first attempt using Silk Hankies. I love the rick-rack effect! I used Silk Mesh on the back and once again, great effects to be had here, and great drape. There is only one-layer in the stripes, hence the Silk Mesh to stabilize its structure. Do you like the stripes running horizontal or vertical???

    Silk Mesh in colourway Regrowth has been used on the backside. Plus detail photo.

    Detail showing highlight stripes using Silk Hankies. Love the rick-rack effect that happens because of the wool shrinkage.

    Materials: Silk Mesh in Regrowth. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops in Colour Harmonies: Heartache, Regrowth, Kimberly Blue, Red Earth, Sea Grass, Southern Seas, Lavish, Tamarillo. Silk Hanies in Heartache, Sea Grass.


  • Day 16 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    So I got side-tracked today when I had an light-bulb inspiration moment to play with the idea of shadows. Everyone had been enjoying the backside of the samples where the nuno felted tissue silk fabric toned the colours. So I set about trying to achieve having that effect on both the front and on the back at the same time. Somehow I got away from stripes – I set off to making shadows of a fence and because of a technical challenge I ended up having to put a line along the spine of the fence line – which I think turned it into a leaf. Plus I got the scale wrong – the perspective was difficult and needs more work, it all needs more work – but hey, its just a sample….


    Backside is almost a complete mirror image of the front side.

    I tried creating the fence-like effect again but used needle-felted prefelts (to give more precise lines) for the frontside and wool tops on the backside (covered with the tissue silk). Detail photo below.

    Materials: Tissue Silk Fabric: Tarnish. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops: Midnight Blue, Merlot (should have a bit more blue in it)



  • Day 15 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I’m not a quilter, but I love some of the visual effects and play on colour that quilters are able to achieve! So I set myself the goal of making a small stripe/quilt sample today. What you can’t see if that in places I only left the tissue silk, so you can see through it in places. I’m more of a Gee’s Bend quilter, if you know what I mean…. Will work more on this idea tomorrow, it needs heaps more work but I like the potential and want to take it further.

    Nuno felted tissue silk on the back creates a very interesting effect.


    Materials: Tissue Silk Fabric: Peri Peri. Superfine Merino tops hand dyed: Straw, Terracotta. Colour Nuance Woo: Urban, Cumin, China Blue, Turkish Red.


  • Day 14 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    What the heck happened to this sample!! Has anyone every had such DRASTIC differential shrinkage?? I laid the wool in an off-set Chevron pattern (dark red ended into bright red – all at 45 degree to each  other), fibres all in a single direction.The back is nuno-felted with tissue silk fabric. No matter what I did, this is the shape it became. Crazy! I’m sure there is a good potential for this effect….


    Below is the image of the pattern that I tried to replicate in my felt stripes.  Because of the differential shrinkage of each stripe I ended up with a very strange shape.

    Materials: Hand dyed superfine merino tops in Ruby Red Dress, Merlot and Lilly Pilly. Tissue Silk Fabric in Heartache.

  • Day13 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Another day for technical challenges… Starting to figure out what it takes to keeps lines where and how you want them, plus how to create backgrounds that shrink without distorting your image. I always resort to landscape when concentrating on other problems….


    Materials: Nudie Tissue Silk Fabric. Hand dyed superfine Merino Coastal Heath. Colour Nuance Wool: Stone.

  • Day 12 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Following on from yesterday’s less than fabulous sample, I wanted to try and correct the issues which presented themselves – too straight of lines, no spaces, lack of design integration. I made some headway with today’s sample! It is quite ‘challenging’ to get the colour challenge, the design challenge and the felt challenge all coming together in the same sample….all in less than 24hours (what was I thinking!!).

    Back has a really gorgeous unity to it because of the Black Tissue Silk Fabric.  Lovely structure to the felt as well.

    Materials: Basic Black Tissue Silk Fabric. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops in Nomad, Emerald, Terracotta. Colour Nuance wools: Cumin, Mud Honey, Urban.

  • Day 11 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I had to let go of expectations on this one. It didn’t do what I thought it would as far as movement, design, space…. but it has potential. Re-creating another one for tomorrow to see if I can overcome some of these issues. The back is totally different and has potential as well.

    Because I used Black Tissue Silk fabric on the back, the results look totally different. Quite interesting!

    Materials: Tissue Silk fabric Basic Black. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops in Nomad, Blum Gum, Boysenberry, Midnight Blue, Black Currant. Colour Nuance: Sea Spray. (the colours didn’t photography perfectly true…)

  • Day 10 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Well, the laying-out phase looked soooo much better than the end results! Dratz!! At least I’m learning important lessons in ‘what not do’. Bold design imagery is not great when using a soft palette of colours. I also didn’t leave enough space between stripes, too many merged into one another. The best thing about is the beautiful drape the Silk Mesh. Overall poor results.Mesh

    The back has some potential….

    Materials: Silk Mesh fabric in First Light colourway. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops: Smoky Quartz. Nuance Wool: China Blue.


  • Day 9 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Have I gone too far this time – are these still stripes??? Had a disastrous sample yesterday (which I won’t show you…), but learning heaps about technique! I love the movement I managed in this sample and given a larger area more could be done.

    Materials: Paj Silk Fabric in Kangaroo Paw. Hand dyed Superfine Merino tops in Kangaroo Paw and Heartache. Nunace Wool: Celery.
  • Day 8 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Having fun applying Fibonacci’s principles to designing my stripes and colours.

    I used a needle-felted batt on the back and what I love is the bleed through of colours from the front creating a plaid-like effect on the back. Pretty nice happy accident!

    Materials: Nuance Superfine Merino tops in Turkish Red, Terracotta, Blimey LImey, Black Pearl. Hand dyed Sari Pink. Needle-felted batt in a beige (sorry can’t remember where I got it from).

  • Day 7 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Working with stripe blocks of colour again. I was hoping to have graduation from one colour into the next, so in-between colours could be read as stripes (but this didn’t happen). Think I need to make a sample much longer than 50cm x 50cm to get the effect I was trying to create. I also experimented with using multi-layers of the Silk Mesh to obtain colour movement, and test its possibilities. There are between 2-4 layers of mesh in any one stripe, the fabric created is more a jacket weight cloth.


    Materials: Silk Mesh in Regrowth. Superfine Merino tops Colour Harmony Regrowth

  • Day 6 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Today’s challenge was more of a technical challenge. I want to see if I could translate into felting the stripes from a favorite print from artist Michele Drew. I should have used a darker grey in hind-sight, and I will be working on resolving the construction of the lines, not quite happy yet…

    Materials: Colour Nuance: Cumin. Hand dyed superfine Merino tops in Riverstone and Pebble.

  • Day 5 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Feeling more ‘classical’ today. Thought I would expand on what was happening in the Day 3 sample by spreading the Silk Mesh strips further apart and let the black wool become a stripe as well. A very easy solution.

    Materials: Nuance Black Pearl Superfine Merino wool tops and Silk Mesh fabric strips in Snowy Owl, Silverback and Ironbark

  • Day 4 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    What constitutes a stripe anyway – are these stripes? How does our mind interpret the marks we see? Do you like the front or the back better? Is it more stripe-like vertically?


    Materials: Superfine Merino tops hand-dyed Nomad, Wasabi, Lilly Pilly. Nuance Wool: Royal Indigo, Sea Spray. Paj Silk Colour Marks Fiesta

  • Day 3 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Very easy one. Laid down irregular scrap strips of of Silk Mesh with Black wool. Which do you like better Horizontal stripes or Vertical stripes? Interesting how differently they read. The fabric is light and has wonderful drape and luster

    Materials: Silk Mesh in Jamberry, Heartache, Outback, Adobe, Tamarillo. Nuance Black Superfine Merino tops

  • Day 2 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    Day 2!  Done and dusted, up early… Playing with how blocks of colour work as background. Enjoying this process!! A few correction will be done next time, but that is what sampling is about….

    Colours in hand dyed Superfine Merino tops: (starting at top of photo) Burnished Brown, Stormy Blue, Riverstone, Henna, Red Dog, Straw, Pebble. Tissue Silk: Peri Peri

  • Day 1 – Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    First sample is done! That was fun! Learned a lot. Main aim to see what happens to stripes when they are ‘shadowed’ behind tissue silk and to let the stripes be a bit more organic.


    Colours: Urban and Celery Nuance wool. Eucalyptus and Linger hand dyed wool. Linger TIssue Silk fabric. Forgot to photograph another colour I used called Sage


  • My Stripe Library 30-Day Challenge

    I here by declare that for the next 30 days I am setting myself the goal of designing a 50cm x 50cm felted stripe sampler. My aim is to create a Library of stripe designs which explores the language of how stripes and colour interact in felt (plus I would love the bliss of being creative everyday!) If anyone would like to join me, you are most welcome! I’ll cheat today and post the first stripe piece I ever made. I use to hate stripes….Nancy Ballesteros