Felted and Embellished Brooches
By Pat Winter 2010
My first experience with felting was through the amazing queen of felting, Her Majesty Margo, Margo Duke several years ago. Immediately I fell in love with mixing fabrics and wool roving creating rich textures much like crazy quilting but without a threaded sewing machine.
Recently I dusted off my felting machine and hand felting tool, gathered silk fabrics and hankies, velvet, bits of vintage lace, dyed cheesecloth scraps, yarns, threads & fibers and wool roving and played with some printed images. Anyone can felt and all you need is a felting needle. Keep in mind the wool roving or silk hankies, which is a silk by product acts as the “glue”.
To make these felted brooches you will need the above supplies and a piece of craft felt for the base. You can also cut up a cast off wool blanket for the base as well.
Before starting, take a close look at the felting needle. It has small barbs facing upward which would really hurt if your finger happens to be in the way. Take caution, trust me. Your felting machine should have a guard to prevent such accidents.
Place the craft felt or wool base on a piece of dense foam or a felting brush (from Clover). Place your chosen image on the base and add a piece of fabric such as silk Dupioni, Silk Velvet, Chiffon, Organza, etc along one edge overlaying just a bit. Cottons or heavy fabrics are more difficult to felt these small brooches. Fluff a bit of wool roving and place along that seam then begin poking the wool into the fabrics. Poke gently and quickly trying not to let the needle touch the base of brush or table under foam to prevent breakage. Continue adding fabrics and roving until you are satisfied with the size and shape of brooch. Now the fun begins, layer metallic threads, yarns, lace bits, cheesecloth, Angelina fibers, etc, randomly over your brooch area. If you want to embellish further do a few silk ribbon embroidered flowers, add sequins, beads, and charms to get the look you want. To finish off just add a piece of craft felt and pin back by sewing or gluing. Enjoy for yourself or make several for gifts
Needle felting Machines
Tips on felting.
SlideShow of more of Pat's Embellished Felted Brooches