This project has been written by Shropshire-based textile artist Maxine Smith who creates striking and unusual pieces of artwork and wearable art using felting, free machine embroidery and hand embroidery.
Visit www.tillyteadance.co.uk to see more of Maxine’s work.
This felted brooch project is a great way to get started with needle felting on a small scale project.
You will need…
Needle felting sponge or brush
Felting needle (ideally a single needle for accuracy)
Fine needle suitable for beading
Piece of green wool felt approximately 1.5-2 inches square
Piece of green felt approximately 1.5-2 inches square (this needn’t be wool felt)
Piece of craft felt approx. 1.25-1.5 inches square
Wool roving in purple, lilac and yellow
Scraps of wool yarn in shades of green
Black/dark seed beads
Black embroidery thread
Purple embroidery thread
Green cotton thread
A kit containing the wool, threads, beads and brooch back you need to create the pansy brooch is available from Maxine’s online shop.
You can buy the needle felting tools including the needle and mat from The Cotton Patch.
1. Place the piece of green wool felt onto the felting sponge. Arrange the pieces of green yarn and fibres on the wool felt and needle felt them down. The felting needle has minute barbs or hooks along its shaft which felt the fibres together when the needle is poked through the layers.
2. Take a small section of the deep purple wool roving and roll it into a puff or teardrop shape.
3. Needle felt the teardrop shape onto the wool felt background (as shown) to create the first petal of the pansy.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with a second piece of purple wool roving and needle felt this down to the background piece next to the first petal shape.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 with two pieces of lilac wool roving. Position these slightly lower than the purple petals so that each petal shape can be seen.
6. Take a slightly larger section of yellow wool roving and roll it into teardrop shape. Leave any tufty ends poking upwards and needle felt this to the background felt (as shown) so that it covers any of the raw ends left by the previous purple and lilac pieces.
7. Trim any raw ends from the yellow petal, fan them out across the lilac petals and felt the ends down so that it gives the appearance of colour bleeding across the petal.
8. Take two strands of black embroidery thread and stitch seven straight stitches from a central point into the petals.
9. Stitch one or more small seed beads into the centre of the flower. You can use cotton thread or clear beading thread if you have this.
10. Stitch the brooch back onto the piece of green backing felt with the green cotton thread.
11. Place the piece of craft foam in between the brooch front piece and the backing piece to give some stiffness to the brooch. If you don’t have craft foam, a piece of card would also work.
12. With your brooch pieces held together like a sandwich, blanket stitch around the edge to attach the brooch front piece to the backing piece. If you’re not confident with blanket stitch, a running stitch or back stitch a few mm in from the edge would also work.
Your needle-felted pansy brooch is now complete!