In my never ending attempt to exhaust my craft supply, I decided to break out some old wool roving left over from college. I posted a few times about felt as a medium way back in the archives. You can read about them here, here, and here if you're interested in some other methods, but this time I will be focusing on needle felting. Out of all the techniques, needle felting is my personal favorite because you can work with more precision than wet felting. My fiancé won't come within several feet of me while working however, since it requires that I wield a very pointy needle in a very stabby manner. I admit that I did draw blood twice throughout this process, but don't let that deter you! It really is so fun when you're not bleeding... promise. Traditionally, you would felt wool roving together to create a distinct piece of fabric, but I also had some old stretcher bars I was looking to get rid of so I brought the two together to create a felted image on stretched linen instead. Here's how:
The technique is pretty simple as long as you avoid impaling yourself in the process. Just place your backing fabric on top of your felting pad, place your roving in the design you like, and poke it repeatedly until the fibers become matted together. Blending different colored roving together before adding them to your design will create a subtle transition of color and give your image a more realistic appearance. Felting needles are particularly heinous because they are covered with backward facing spikes that draw the fibers up and through on the way back out of the fabric. This unique design is what creates a strong bond between the fibers. So to review: place, stab, and repeat until you have your desired image.
Once your image is to your liking, stretch it around a wooden frame. Start in the middle on one side, stretch and staple, then move to the opposite side and repeat one staple at a time moving outwards until you reach the corners.
To create a nice clean corner fold fabric diagonally from the corner, staple, and wrap the excess parallel to the edge and staple again. This is a skill I learned years ago in a college painting class, my apologies to my professor for not doing a better job... I'm out of practice.
To add a more three dimensional element, use a crochet hook to push aside the fibers of the backing fabric and thread a piece of twine through it on either side of the bouquet. Tie the twine in a bow and you're done! This piece is getting shipped off as a gift, but it was fun to make so if you like it too keep an eye on the Etsy shop or hit me up for a custom piece!