Making one of my felted flowers starts with the felt. Which involves bowls of water, a little soap, and lots and lots and lots of rubbing and rolling.
First I lay out the roving and blend the colors for the basic petals of the flower. Sometimes the felt will be thicker, sometimes it will be thinner. It all depends on the effect I am going for.
Then I wet it, sandwich it in crinkly plastic and bubble wrap and rub, rub, rub. You get very prune-like fingers doing this stuff. You then wet it and rub some more.
When the fibers start to come together, I will then start to roll the mat of fibers. I will roll it roll it roll it and roll it. Are we starting to see a theme? After rolling for a good long while (enough time to get some serious NPR listening in) I test it to see if it is felted. If I can pull up some fibers then it needs more rolling. After I am happy with the felting, it has to be fulled, which will really lock the fibers in place. This involves more rolling. Rolling. Rolling. And soapy water.
Finally, after a good hour or more of rubbing, rolling, wetting, checking, cursing, rolling, and rolling a bit more, I get a peice of fabric that won't fall apart, that I can then cut into pieces to sculpt into a flower.
This felt will be a flower inspired by a coverlet of my great-grandmother's that I inherited. It was full of these strange grey/blue/lavender rose-peony hybrids that existed no-where but on Grans' featherbed.