Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Felt, Embroidery, Stumpwork and More


It sounds like the beginning of a dumb joke, doesn’t it: “What do you get when you combine wool felt, embroidery, stumpwork, sculpture, painting, nature, and embellishments all in one project?” Well, I’ll tell you what you get. You get Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects, by Sally Mavor.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

I don’t have a lot of experience making dimensional or sculpted pieces of textile art, and in fact, exploring this book was one of my first forays into anything related to little doll-making. But the book fits the title, for it really is enchanting. It’s full of projects for adults and children, and projects that both adults and children can appreciate. It was the teacher’s imagination in me that really got revved up on this one, though, and I’ll tell you why in a wee bit.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

First, let’s talk about what the book is. Felt Wee Folk (I keep wanting to call it Wee Felt Folk!) is an instructional and project book for making felt projects that incorporate embellished dolls, animals, and scenery made primarily out of felt. In addition to the folk part of the book, there are also other less dimensional felt projects that are also embellished. All the projects in the book are colorful, cheery projects (even the Haunted House Halloween Scene!).

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

But the main focus in the book is the wee folk – be these elves or playful people or storybook characters.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

Besides showcasing already completed projects that just make you want to smile, there is good instruction throughout the book. In the section on children’s projects, the author begins with the simplest projects and advances to more complex projects.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

The instructions for the various types of dolls and projects are clearly illustrated and explained. Many of the techniques used for creating the bodies of the wee folk can be translated easily into stumpwork projects, too.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

To dress the wee folk, felt pieces are cut out and embellished with embroidery stitches.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

Once your felt folk are made, they can be incorporated into various scenes. And this is where the teacher side of me kicked in. If you’re familiar with felt story boards, this would be a whole new and fun spin on the topic! I could see illustrating a variety of folk and fairy tales with these little embellished folk! In fact, I think a book illustrated with them would be darling!

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

Besides the felt folk, there’s a whole section on making little felt applique pouches and cases – simple little projects for kids, but also for adults.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

There are also several pages of instructions for making decorative felt pins. When I saw these, though, I immediately thought of Christmas ornaments! I didn’t realize they were pins until I started reading. But who says they have to be pins? They’d make darling little Christmas ornaments for gifts and swaps when the holiday season arrives.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

There’s also a section on making felt pillows, which can be stuffed with balsam and other aromatics.

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

And the final project section focuses on fabric relief projects that can be used … well, anyway you want, really. They’d look great on the wall in a kid’s room! (And again, the felt story board idea comes to mind…)

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor

All the patterns for the various projects are included in the book – from the little felt purses to the pins to the felt folk themselves.

It’s a neat book! And it does get the imagination going! If you enjoy felt sculpting, doll making, or fun fabric embellishment, check out Felt Wee Folk! I think you’ll find it enchanting, too!

Hedgehog Handworks


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(19) Comments

  1. You can take the teacher out of school, but you can’t take the school out of a teacher 🙂

    So says the daughter of a primary school teacher!

    But the book looks adorable. What kind of felt does she recommend?

  2. Just when I say I do not need one more book until I finish some WIPs you recommend something that looks wonderful! As a teacher of fours and fives though I will say it is for school. They love flannel boards and these will make amazing three dimensional characters. Thanks for more inspiration. (My pocket book and DH will sulk.)

  3. Dear Marymentor:

    Again you keep coming across for me !! I’ve been struggling with how to create “people” in fabric to put into my pastoral scene which, yes, is now, cross-stitch, stumpwork, beadwork, painting with fabric (made a green grassy hill from towel fabric..works great !!), colonial whimsical embroidery around the frame, a lot of couching, and will even cheat and add a few non-textile little doodads at the end. I’m even at this point getting brave enough to take a photo of the “work-in-progress” and send it to you. (??) Thank God for the term “primitive” which will definitely describe this pastoral to be finished as a Xmas gift. But it’s such fun to get my creative juices flowing and you always motivate me to keep trying new things. Thanks again so much Mar….Judy in Pittsburgh

  4. I checked this book out of the library a while back and was over whelmed with the creativity of the author. I made me want to stop everything else and live in the land of the wee folk. It is on my list of books to add to my library.

  5. This book is truly a gem – I’ve made several wee folk and love their tiny details. If you look, you may be able to find the books that Salley Mavor has illustrated with her wee folk. There is a set of small board books – nursery rhymes and several other children’s books – Mary Had a Little Lamb and the Hollyhock Wall. The pictures are captivating and very much fun to share with toddlers, young readers and stitchers. I keep the books, even though my real wee folk are all grown up!

  6. I’ve seen this book in the bookstore and passed it by not dreaming that it would be so much fun. Now I’m off to check the library web site to see if they would happen to have a copy…if not, my wish list will be growing (again!!)

  7. Delightful! And I ordered the book before I finished reading the post. I also ordered “Pocketful of Posies,” which is not yet released.


  8. Oh, I recognized her work right away…she has ‘illustrated’ children’s books. The ones I’ve seen have been nursery rhymes and such. I snatched them up at the library because I would enjoy reading them to my son twice as much with all that eye candy to feast on! Thanks for this reference.

  9. I think it would be a wonderful new craft that all of my granddaughters (I have 4) and I could do together, despite their experience levels (5 yrs – 10 yrs). It would be so much fun!

    1. Hi, Alejandra – NeedleArts is a magazine put out by the Embroiderers Guild of America. If you look them up and contact them, someone there should be able to tell you if it is available and how much it costs. -MC

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