I bought a small pack of felting needles recently, along with a foam block and some samples of wool roving. I've been wanting to experiment with needle felting by hand for some time, and it's easy to see why so many people get addicted to it. If you want to give it a try, it's not that expensive to get started. I bought the Felting Needle Starter Kit from Joann.com. You could also just buy the needles and a foam block if you prefer. Since I'd only done it once before and didn't have much wool roving on hand, I decided that it was worth buying the kit to get the sample bundles and the instructions along with the needles, foam block, and felt.
The first step for the project was to paint the background fabric that I wanted to use. You don't have to do the needle felting directly onto a piece of craft felt, I discovered. You can use any piece of fabric that isn't too tightly woven. I chose to use muslin that was already partially painted.
Painting the background fabric:
1. Choose a fabric to start with. It doesn't have to be plain muslin; I decided to use some fabric from a snow painting experiment that I thought needed more life.
2. On a piece of glass, acrylic, or even freezer paper, smear around some thinned acrylic paints. Mist them with a spray bottle to help them mix and blend. Be careful about adding complementary colors: if you mix too much, you'll end up with brown, so add them last.
3. Make a monoprint by carefully laying your fabric on top of the pool of paint. Pat down gently and lift straight up off the glass. Let fabric dry.
4. Add more touches of color where needed with a brush or sponge.
5. Heat set all the colors with an iron. Use parchment paper to save your iron surface and ironing board from the acrylic paint's plastic residue.
In the next tutorial, I'll show you how to take the painted fabric to the next level by adding some needle felting!
Added August 9:
Here are all the posts on the process of making this little quilt:
This post contains affiliate links
Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.