Class: Felted Dragonfly Block


This is the finished Dragonflies in Wool quilt.  All of the designs were felted but only the dragonflies and bees were appliques. Detail of the the red dragonfly with beads on his body and hand embroidery on the wings.    
This shows the quilt as it was being made. Detail of the blue dragonfly.  The eyes are olive colored fresh water pearls. The embroidery threads are hand dyed by me.  The changing colors are more interesting than solid colors.    

Class: Felted Applique Dragonfly with Debora Konchinsky

I love working with hand dyed wool fibers and fabrics and pearl cotton threads. I will be discussing how I came to hand dyeing and will share with you my techniques and sources. It is not hard but it takes some experimentation to get the results you want.

In the class, you will learn to make one felted applique dragonfly complete with Angelina (a sparkly fiber) enhanced wings with embroidery threads. The technique is called needle felting (pushing wool fibers into wool applique and a wool background with a needle felting tool). To further embellish this block, the wings will be hand stitched where the veins are and the bodies will be lightly beaded and flowers will be felted using wool yarn for stems and fibers for petals. We will be creating the beginnings of a quilt as shown in the photo, or this block could become a pocket on a bag,

The great advantage to this new felting technique is its portability, as no machine is required. It is easy to learn how to do it.


Class Supply List:

Supplies Participants Should Bring:

  • Scissors, small to cut out a wool applique

  • Felting tool...bring what you have or purchase Clover #8901 (the pink one with three needles) $14.50 available at Critter Pattern Works booth before class or in class.

  • A piece of upholstery foam (available at CPW booth for $4.00) to felting into.

  • Replacement needles optional (5 for $7.50) available in class.

  • Embroidery threads, pearl cotton size #8 or floss in neutral colors.

  • Pins

  • Needles for embroidery, size 5 is good, and pins to pin the applique drawing to the wool fabric to cut it out accurately. 

  • A tube of small beads in assorted shapes in your favorite mixed color (shades of green or blue etc.) for the body of the dragonfly. Needle and thread for these beads. Bring a small bowl or lid to keep loose beads under control.

  $25.00 Kit includes:

  1. One baggie of roving with several colors and different values and textures.  Your choice...they are all different.

  2. A small baggie of Angelina

  3. One 10” square of hand dyed wool fabric for the background. Your choice from many pieces.

  4. One hand dyed wool fabric for border. Each one will be different because they are hand made

  5. One piece of wool for the applique.
  6. Pattern complete with photo and instructions

Background on this class and technique development:

I've been doing machine applique since forever.  My passion for realism in my appliques has grown since I made my first pattern for sale in 1989.

In 2007 or so, I started a quilt in menswear wool fabrics, just to see what sheep looked like in pinstripes.  Then I discovered needle felting and it was love at first sight.  My animal appliques were becoming little bas-reliefs and they had texture.  My first quilt, Crazy Sheep,  took two years to make because I was inventing my technique for felted applique.  At that time, people were felting with a single needle, making mini animals in 3-D, but nobody was doing applique with fibers.  

Since I am a pattern designer, I needed to figure out how to teach people who couldn't draw, to make a sheep or a sheep portrait.  A light bulb went off in my head when I stumbled on how to transfer the details of my applique drawings to wool because a lightbox won't work.  Do not feel that because you haven't done any of my techniques that you can't do them.  I have spent countless hours successfully teaching those who thought they had no talent for learning this new technique.

My second wool quilt, Sheep Wannabees, has all felted animals. There are 48 animals (not all sheep) in the center of the quilt.  It only took ten months to design and make and it is twice the size of the Crazy Sheep.  Both of these quilts have won blue ribbons at national quilt shows and now each of them has a viewers choice ribbon too, and the Wannabees got a Judge's Choice in Paducah.

With this new class I am expanding on my quest for more realism in the scenes I am creating and in my interest in showing students how they can become more creative.  Creativity starts with "What if...?"



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