Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Her Majesty Margo

For the past few years, I have visited the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on the first weekend in May.

And for the past few years, I have entered the Competition building and admired the winning designs of Margo Duke. The vest on the right won First Place last year...


I loved how she used all types of fibers, threads, ribbons, embroidery and beads to create new textures and textiles. They were amazing.

When I looked into it, it turns out she lives right here in Maryland, has a blog, a website, an Etsy shop...AND, she was offering a class in Alexandria, VA at Artistic Artifacts: Gown Fragments of Downton Abbey.

So I traveled the one hour to Alexandria last Saturday and now I'm in big trouble!

It was way too much fun and I have just scratched the surface of what is possible with this technique.

We built our fragments on water soluble fabric and felted all the fibers using the embellisher.


Being the neophyte felter that I am, I had never used an embellisher machine...I even asked where you thread it.

Thank goodness I was sitting next to my friend Elizabeth Woodford who is a pro and a teacher herself. I needed it! But oh BOY, that machine could get very addictive!

It was a bit like crazy quilting to me in that you can use all types of materials.

Margo brought dozens and dozens of examples to inspire like the ones below...





The trunk show alone was worth the price of admission, setting my brain on fire with all the possibilities! Smokin'!

I can't say enough about how wonderful my opportunity was to study with Margo...the only problem was that I could have spent a whole week working with her. I feel like I had barely gotten started before it was time to leave...

Here's my pile of silk cones, wool threads, roving and fabrics...and what I did with them during class. I was trying to make a gown fragment but I may have been getting too literal because I actually made a full gown...albeit miniature.


But...OH the colors!

Here is Elizabeth with her fragment ready to be wet-felted. Isn't it beautiful?


I can't wait to take another class...Margo is going to be teaching a fascinator class like the one she's wearing in this picture at the Midwest Felting Symposium in July...


I can't wait to take that one! You can see more on her blog here.

Plus...she is modeling one of her newest creations, a butterfly shrug...Here's the back...


She's just a walking bundle of inspiration, let me tell you.

Overall, I learned enough to know that I wanted to explore more.

Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to investigate Artistic Artifacts, the amazing store that was hosting the class...chock full of EVERYTHING a fiber artist could ever desire. And host to an Altered Minds textile group that meets once a month.

They also offer lots more classes...including ones by Elizabeth herself who will start a crazy quilt class in the next week or so and is planning to teach her beaded cuff in the future. Go here to check the teaching calendar if you live in the area.

Now, I'm off to finish up that January block...

Have a day full of joy and inspiration!

15 comments:

Rachel said...

A truly inspired and inspiring teacher!

Catherine said...

Beautiful work and photos and oh, the colors!

Laurel's Quill said...

OMG! I love her work...and as talented as you are, you will soon be the queen of another fabric art form! That's the trouble with blogging friends, they always live close to someplace WE want to go... Dang...east coast! Hugs! Laurel

Lorraine@creativedaily said...

Welcome to the world of needle felting. I can speak from experience, it is addictive! BUT, a healthy addiction..... I've wanted to take a class with Margo for some time so hopefully she comes out to the west coast!! As always, your beautiful photos, especially the close-ups are exquisite.

Vicky aka Stichr said...

isn't the embellish-er just a stabby thing?? looks like you had lots of fun! but you always do, don't you???

Sheila said...

Ooooh. Is that a rabbit hole I spy? Looks like a blast and a half! I'd bet dollars to doughnuts we'll see those techniques showing up on one of your blocks! :)

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness! This post is full of inspiration. I have a felting needle attachment for my Bernina that I have never used! This makes me want to do so! Thank you for sharing this post with us.

Suztats said...

Wow! Gorgeous stuff!
Sounds like you had a marvelous time. Looks like fun.

Createology said...

Oh my! I can only imagine the new world of creative fiberwork that has opened to you. I have seen something similiar in person and it is entrancing to see the felted fabric that comes from such pieces and tidbits. The pieces you have shown here in your photos are stunning. Learning is always mind expanding. Blissful Inspirations...

Donna said...

Yowsa! That looks like so much fun! We had Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts come and give a presentation at an EGA meeting and I remember being stupified. Can't wait to see where all this takes you.

Saturday Sequins said...

Wow, I'd never heard of a felting machine before! What a time-saver.

I'm glad you had such a great time in your class, Susan! Margo is insanely talented, and I love that shrug. I'm perpetually amazed by people who work magic with fabric!

Allison Aller said...

Very fun! Great to see Elizabeth's smiling face, too... ;-)

MosaicMagpie said...

Did you buy a needlefelting machine yet? What beautiful examples, thank you for sharing the link to her blog. What an inspiration!
Deb

vicki said...

Susan-- oh my goodness- I lost you- somehow you dropped off my blog list - but now I've put you back on again :)

I've missed you SO much!

Oh yes- I went to the Maryland show last year ( planning to go this year too!). I remember that beautiful vest!

What a fascinating class- right up your creative alley! Of course you can do this- is there anything you CAN'T do?

I'm so happy to have found you again- I'm doing the happy dance!!
Love
Vicki

Elizabeth said...

It was so much fun to take that class together!! I am so glad that you were there!!! Can you send me a jpg of that picture that you took of me? Did you go at my face with a craving knife?? I have n't looked so good in years you are magic with a camera girl!!!! Maybe it is because I was in my happy place with all of my friends!! Hugs!!! :)

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