A little background, so you can see where I’m coming from: felt is used to pad goldwork. That is, it’s cut into the shape of whatever area is being filled with goldwork threads, sewn onto the ground fabric, and then the goldwork threads are worked on top of it. Using felt accomplishes a few things: 1. it lifts the goldwork a little bit; 2. it “fills” the background behind the goldwork with yellow, so that the ground fabric doesn’t peek through; 3. it gives the goldwork some shape and a cushion.
My favorite felt for padding goldwork is wool felt, but it’s not always easily available in gold or yellow. If I want it, I usually have to special order it online. So I often use craft felt that comes off a bolt, and it suffices. Bolted felt (the stuff you buy by the yard at the fabric store) is much firmer than the craft felt squares that you can buy for a few cents.
When padding goldwork with felt, you have to transfer your design onto your ground fabric and also onto the felt, because you want to be able to cut the exact same shapes from the felt. There are several ways to transfer a design onto felt in order to cut it for goldwork use, and one of them is prick and pounce.
Would you believe me if I told you that you do this the same exact way that you prick and pounce any embroidery design for any kind of fabric? Well – it’s true. You do. If you’d like to see how to use the price and pounce method for design transfer, you can check out my photo tutorial.
But this is The Thing: for cutting out goldwork shapes, after you pounce the design onto your felt, you don’t actually have to draw over it again before cutting out your shapes. You can just carefully cut.
If you don’t jiggle your fabric around too much or smear your little fingers all over it, the pounce dots will stick to the felt long enough for you to carefully cut out all the little pieces you want to use.
It works a charm!
This is not my favorite technique for cutting out felt shapes for goldwork, but since I was in a hurry, and since I didn’t want to run back inside to use my printer, I thought I’d try it. I already had the pattern pricked, after all. It worked fine, and it took me a total of about 4 minutes to pounce the design and cut out all the pieces.
Incidentally, this is my large Tudor-style rose, not to be mistaken for the small Tudor-style rose. I’ll be working this rose in goldwork & silk like the small one, only using different goldwork techniques and different silk threads.
Well. That was fun, wasn’t it? Next time you want to transfer a pattern easily to felt for cutting out pieces, consider pricking your design and pouncing the pattern on!