The second quarter challenge is to use fabric as a surface design instead of a base, so
out came my boxes of fabric! Spring has come to my garden and it’s a welcome sight after the winter, so what better place to find inspiration for my challenge piece – the bird and his breakfast.
First I drew a bird. It’s not accurate, anatomically speaking, but I like its quirkiness.
After a lengthy rummage through my fabric stash – and finding lovely pieces I’d
forgotten all about – I chose two very open weave fabrics for the background and the
bird so that the nuno felt would end up flat rather than ruched…
…then I made two pieces of nuno felt using four fine layers of white merino wool under
each piece of fabric.
The brightly coloured fabric was a triangle, so I cut it in half and placed the two pieces
together to make a square to make the felting easier – you can see the cut in the photo
Both pieces of nuno felt needed a light shave to remove the superfluous white fluff from
the surface to reveal the bright colours. You can see the white fluff obscuring the colours in this angled shot…
…and here’s a close up of pre and post shave – quite a
The bird has 12 distinct shapes within its form, so I used the drawing as a pattern to cut
12 shapes from the brightly coloured felt when it was dry.
Using the side of a dark blue ‘Sharpie’ pen point, I touched along the edges of every
shape to give a little definition. I coloured in the eye, using the same pen, then added
three small white stitches for the eye-glint.
I needle felted the pieces into place – it was a bit like doing a jig-saw! I didn’t go too
close to the edges of the nuno felt shapes because I thought it might disturb the surface
too much. I needle felted gently so that the shapes adhered to the background but didn’t flatten, so the bird is in relief.
The worm is wool yarn needle felted into place. The piece of worm going from the
ground to the beak is thin compared to the bit hanging from the bird’s beak to show how
stretchy worms can be!
Great post, thanks Lyn!