Mom and I have done a couple of workshops lately focusing on textured and needle-felted free-form mini-quilts. We begin the quilts by needle felting fibers into quilt batting covered with a piece of fabric. Above is a sample that I did during the Wayside Quilters Guild workshop. Someone (sorry can't remember who) asked if I'd ever sewn with the sewing machine onto the needle-felted quilts. I had always hand-sewn the pieces ~ partly just because I have more opportunities to hand sew than to use my sewing machine. I figured that it would be fun to use the sewing machine on the needle felt samples that I'd made recently and one that had been sitting around for a while.
(For some info about needle-felting with funky materials you can check out one of my previous blog posts: http://friendsfabricart.blogspot.com/2007/12/needle-felted-fun.html
and for interesting history of needle-felting and basic getting started info see: http://www.wizpick.com/about_needlefelting.htm )
This is what happened to the piece above when I machine stitched on it. With a piece that started out this textural, the machine stitching created even more volume. There are prominent ridges in this made by the machine stitching. I may still do some more hand stitching on it along the purpley edge areas to flatten those areas more.
silk rod and fluorescent Angelina fiber. It didn't look like much before I got carried away stitching on it.
This is a little needle felted sample that had been sitting around for a while so I decided to machine stitch into it as well. It has some silk throwsters waste fibers in it and some chunky yarns.
This one is still sort of boring even after trimming it into a circle and machine stitching spirals on it so I may do some hand stitching on it, add beads, or add other embellishments. These are pretty tiny samples (about 3 inches across) so I'll probably turn them into wearable art pins. You can see some of my finished needle felted art pins on Facebook in my Art Greeting Cards and Wearable Art Pin Greeting Cards gallery.
Mini Needle Felt Kits:
I have three mini-sample needle-felt kits to give away. If you'd like one, please post in the comments section or send me an e-mail. It has everything you need to make a little felted art pin except for a small piece of insulation material (light pink or blue stuff found in large sheets at hardware stores), felting foam, or felting mat to put behind your needle felt project. The kit also only comes with one felting needle so if you break it right away then you'll have to use the fibers in the kit using another technique like fusible collage or hand spinning the fibers into chunky yarns that you can stitch down.