Needle Felted Flowers
Heart’s Ease and Daffadowndillies
Heart’s ease, also known as violas or wild pansies, are one of our favorite flowers that pop up here and there, showing their sweet little faces. The daffadowndilly, narcissus or the daffodil, as it is commonly called today, is also a charming bloom and iconic of spring. We thought it would be nice to craft a needle felted appliqué, symbolic of the season. These are easy to make, and you can use them alone or attached to your favorite tote bag, decorative pillow, or anything you want to have a creative spring-like feeling.
For this project you will need basic hand sewing skills, a sewing needle, a felting block, a felting tool, embroidery floss for details, a pair of scissors, and colored wool for felting.
The colors we’re using are examples of our favorite versions of these flowers. You can use whatever you’d like.
(If you've never needle felted, don't worry, the process is very simple: the needles in the felting tool have notches which, when shoved repeatedly into the wool, compress and interlock the barbed fibers. It basically forms a tangled mat, which can then be used as a solid piece of fabric.)
For this particular style, we used a mixture of a light purple and a mauveine color for the two upper petals and some accent pieces.
As you can see, we mixed the two colors on the ends, and the new color result is in the middle.
To start forming the petals, take a section of wool that is about 1½ inches in width, and the same in length. The bulk in thickness should not be excessive. A thinner piece of felt, in this instance, lends a more refined feeling. Place the wool on the felting block, and start felting by repeatedly poking it with the felting tool.
The result should be a teardrop shape; approximately 1¼ inches in width, and 1½ inches in length. The edges and surface will look fuzzy, so trim around the edge for a sharp and crisp look. Trimming the surface is also necessary to clean it up a little. Also, if you have inconsistency in the thickness, you can even it out when you trim the surface.
Repeat this process for the other top petal. If you want a little more detail, felt on a small heart shaped piece to the petal, in a lighter contrasting color; in this case a pale purple.
For this style, we blended white with a touch of purple and blue, to achieve a faint periwinkle.
These petals will be slightly smaller than the top two. Take a piece of wool that is 1¼ in. x 1¼ in. Felt these petals as before, and trim. For these petals you can use a sewing needle, split embroidery floss (3 ply, or less) and a simple back stitch or chain stitch to make small random lines throughout the petal. To keep the embroidery clean: start from a central point, and when you’ve reached the end of a line, weave the floss on the back through the stitches to the starting point again. Knot the embroidery floss on the back, weave it through the stitches a bit, and cut it.
Using the same color as the side petals, felt a bottom petal from a 1½ in. x 1½ in. piece of wool. Trim. You can add embroidered lines to this petal as well. Put a small piece of the top petal color on the bottom of the petal, as a triangular accent. Pop a tiny piece of yellow in the center, and secure by felting, if you wish.
Now you can assemble the five petals into your first flower! Be sure to felt the overlapping edges of the petals together. To train the center of the flower to be concaved, felt particularly in the center, and then press your index finger into the center as you go. Add some yellow embroidery to the interior, around the sides and top of the middle point; you can use satin stitch for this. The embroidery will help make the piece sturdier as a whole. There you have it!
Note how in the photo above, single needles are being used without the tool, for finer details.
You can use other variations in color pattern, and size.
We mixed yellow with a small amount of orange for the petals. We used orange for the trumpet shaped corona.
Take a piece of wool that is about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. It shouldn’t be very thick. Felt the wool into a sort of diamond shape, with smooth sides instead of sharp ones. The top and bottom however, should have a point at each end. Trim around the edge, and the surfaces, as mentioned in the heart's ease instructions. You will need a total of six petals to complete the flower.