Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Needle Felted Book Cover

Needle felting is so much fun and it creates rather ethereal looks  . . .  just what I love!

I have been working on a book cover that will protect a Bible. The person for whom the book cover is a gift was very taken with my felted flower gardens and asked if I could create one for her Bible. We talked about some of the things that would make this particularly special for her and this is the beginning of the piece . . .
Needle felting distorts the shape of the base during the felting process, so there is always extra felt that will be trimmed back from the edges before the piece is finished.  I have chosen a couple of pieces of my hand dyed and hand painted fabric (in the top corner of this photo) that I will use for the lining and the binding.

I first needle felted the wool rovings that I chose for the sky and field to the base fabric and then started adding the background flowers before moving to the foreground and creating larger, more detailed flowers. I also felted some hand dyed cheesecloth into the foreground to give some added texture.

After all the felting was done, I used some free-motion machine stitching to create flowing lines in the sky and to accentuate some of the flower shapes as well as grasses and leaves. This helps strengthen the felted piece as well as adding details.

The final step was to add some hand embroidery stitches ... some bright yellow dandelions, delightful red strawberries, and even a couple of butterflies and one little ant :)  I added a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the felt in order to stabilize it before constructing the cover. Having the fusible interfacing on the back would help keep the embroidery stitches in place if I happened to snip one when I was squaring up the felted piece.

The cover is finished now and you can see in the detail photo above, the way that I bound the edges before hand stitching the cover right onto the Bible. I wanted the cover to fit very tight and this one was just perfect :)

I added some page markers with pretty glass beads in the shape of leaves. My label is sewn into the inside of the binding so it is not visible when the book is opened.


thebutterflyquilter said...

Wow, this is beautiful! Who would love this book cover!

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

Gorgeous, Kathy! I just tried felting for the first time this week. I see more felting in my future.