Pretty Needle Felted and Sewn Mushrooms

needle felting and sewing
Pretty Mushroom and Bunny

My 2012 New Year”s resolution is to do something new with my art, to push the boundaries of needle felting and sewing. I’ve been needle felting exclusively for a few years now because I love this medium, but I miss sewing and the textures and patterns of fabric. I’ll now be experimenting with combining the art of needle felting with the art of sewing because the two mediums can compliment each other to produce stunning results. The pretty mushroom is needle felted, the base mushroom shapes are covered with cotton, silk and velvet and sewn on in a variety of ways.

costumes
Felt Renaissance Neck Ruff and needle felted pig puppet. The precise folding and sewing of the Renaissance neck ruff is an example of a beautifully sewn costume accessory; this one is made from felt.

For me, the costumes that I used to make in my store were the gateway to learning about fancy sewing, French sewing techniques and all the different ways you can manipulate fabric. Assembling the costume pattern pieces like a puzzle never interested me as much as how you can control the fabric and the interesting and beautiful results that can be achieved. My seamstresses and I researched Renaissance costumes and sewing techniques, the fine art of sewing ballet costumes and the secrets of constructing a garment to make it stand up, drape or bounce; this is what really fascinated me.

mushroom polka dots
Fresh water pearl are used as mushroom polka dots

The top of needle felted Pretty Mushroom is adorned with red velvet, quilted on with small stitches all over the mushroom cap and covered with fresh water pearls for the mushroom polka dots.

hand embroidery
Hand embroidered eyelet cotton

I went into my vintage fabric stash and found some hand embroidered, cotton eyelet fabric. For special pieces, I like to use vintage fabric with elaborate hand embroidery, something I don’t have the patience to do myself. I quilted this vintage fabric onto the needle felted mushroom stem.

mushroom gills
Gathered silk mushroom gills

For this pretty mushroom, I gathered silk around the stem to make the gills (underside of the mushroom). I had a little previous experience with this technique last year when I made giant mushrooms  (6 and 7 feet tall) for an Alice and Wonderland themed birthday party, you can see those mushrooms here.

needle felting and sewing
Wool, cotton, silk and pearl mushrooms

In the end, I have beautiful, 100% natural mushrooms from wool, cotton, silk and pearls (Waldorf style, but an adult version) to brighten up my sofa or an empty corner.

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