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.
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.
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!).
But the main focus in the book is the wee folk – be these elves or playful people or storybook characters.
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.
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.
To dress the wee folk, felt pieces are cut out and embellished with embroidery stitches.
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!
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.
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.
There’s also a section on making felt pillows, which can be stuffed with balsam and other aromatics.
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…)
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!
Update, 2016: You can find the most recent Wee Felt Folk book (New Adventures) available through the following book affiliates:
In the US, it’s available here through Amazon.