I have done a few projects with felt including a 3d needle felting workshop with The Makerss at the Knitting & Stitching show making a robin and I have also done a few kits by Atelier Oog van de Naald and Huis Vol Kleur which used sheets of wool felt to create pictures or 3d scenes. However, I had never tried 2d needle felting until this weekend.Aileen Clarke Crafts for a while on Social Media as I love her Scottish designs as it brings back lovely memories from the time I lived in Scotland. Last week she posted a picture of a new kit she had developed. It is a picture of a Scottish Thistle and I loved the look of it and I ordered one from her Etsy Shop.
It was already waiting for me on the doormat when I arrived back home from my RSN certificate classes at Hampton Court Palace on Wednesday and I thought it would be a lovely quick project and a relaxing change from my silk-shaded anemone I am working on.
With the lovely spring sunshine beaming through the window I started the kit on Saturday afternoon and finished it this morning. The kit includes everything you need to get started: wool fibres, embroidery thread, beads, base fabric, needles and instructions. I purchased the kit without a foam pad as I already had one. However, Aileen also sells the kit with a foam pad should you need one.
Instead of the felting needles included in the kit I used my Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool as it is a bit more confortable to hold compared to the separate needles. In the pen style tool you can use 3 needles at a time or remove 2 and work with a single needle as I did for this project.
Even though the instructions are very detailed I did find it a little bit difficult at first to figure out how many fibres I need to use at a time to create the right effect. It was a little trial and error, but the good thing is that you can remove (carefully!) the fibres if you have used too much or if it doesn’t look right.
I learned quickly that a few fibres go a long way and it is quite quick to build up the design. With the included picture of the finished design, I just went with what I thought looked right. It was also a really good exercise for shading, something I do find difficult in embroidery so it was very educational to try it in a different medium. It really is surprising how much depth a tiny bit of a darker fibre can create.
Because I used less and less fibre I still have plenty left to make a second (and maybe even third) design. The only thing I ran out of before finishing is the dark green embroidery thread you use to backstitch the stem and leaves. I justed ended up matching the included thread to the nearest DMC colour in my stash and you can’t really notice the difference. I ended up needing 3 times the amount of thread included! [Aileen already replied to my FB post and said that she would include more embroidery thread in new kits she sends out!]
I love the way in which beads and embroidery are included in this needle felting kit. It really creates texture and a 3d effect.
I am quite happy with how my first attempt at needle felting turned out. It looks like thistles and I have managed to make them look 3d by using the shading. It was also really fun to have a go at a quick project rather than one of my recent embroidery ones which are taken forever to complete. I really would like to use my finished project on something such as pouch or bag or maybe even a pincushion. The jury is still out on what I will make so any suggestions are welcome!