Pin Cushions by me!
I've been out and about during the last week because Warwick Arts Trail is on and there's lots to see. I was chatting to a lady who did needle felting and she had some lovely work on show and was selling kits to get you started, so of course I bought one to have a go!
The tools you need are simple: Wool - which you can buy in lots of lovely colours prepared and in a handy sized skein. I paid £6.50 a pack for mine at Hobbycraft (no affiliation) I also bought some needle felting needles and a multi-needle (below).
The needles come in different sizes and shapes, but for me as a beginner I just bought a multi pack of 3 - large, medium, and fine. Those funny looking beige things at the front are leather finger and thumb protectors which came in my kit. A jolly good idea to wear them at the start of things because those needles are long and very very sharp - ouch! I think you can buy them on line.
The white square and the blue square are the foam bases for the needle felting. You can also buy something that looks like a brush but does the same job.
The process is simple but time consuming. Push the needle through the wool which you've chosen and rolled into a ball, (for animals) and into the foam a few times, and you'll see that the wool begins to felt. You need a bit of patience as it takes a while to build the felt into a firm surface.
Most people seem to make animals - there's lots of how-to's on YouTube if you want to have a go. Basically you roll a lot of wool into a tight ball and stab away at it until it's felted and smooth. - maybe as much as 30 minutes depending on your speed. Plasters are good to keep at hand. You then attach other shapes such as heads and legs that you've felted in the same way, and you have a creature of sorts. My mouse was simple white wool with pale pink and a spot of black for an eye.
I was making pin cushions for a charitable event which has been cancelled, so have opened a tiny shop to sell them should anyone be interested. The small ones are £6.50 and the larger ones £10. Click here if you want to know more.
- Small things to buy online
- Quilts - The Life Story quilts, gallery
- Art textiles, experiments and tips. Beginners dressmaking
- Gelli printing, monoprinting, lino, collagraph
- Paintings and mixed media
- Looking at the work of other artists
- Baking - recipes that mostly work
- Sketchbooks, drawing, collage, ideas
I bought the above pin cushion some year's ago, and it has featured in one of my quilts. You can guess by that, that I love it quite a bit! So I thought I'd have a go at making one for a friend.
You need a pretty vintage tea cup and saucer, but I guess you could do similar with an egg cup etc.
I chose a piece of cloth to go with the china, and used the saucer to cut out a round from the fabric.
I then did a smallish running stitch around the circle and pulled it slightly into a round. I filled this with scraps of polyester wadding before pulling the thread tightish and finishing it off. I then glued the wadded circle into the cup using a general purpose glue. Put the glue on the cup not on the fabric, it's easier.
Options: The beads shown on the cup above, were a small bracelet which is made to the size of the cup and simply rested on the top at the edge. The middle was filled with glass headed pins.