This is not so much a tutorial but more just showing you the progress my tweets go through as I make them. Frequently, I try to explain to people what needle felting is and they just don't get it. Hope this helps a little!
Yesterday's posting showed you how to make these wire bird legs.
I like to make the base of my critters with polyester fiber fill. Some felting purists like to use felt the whole way through. On smaller pieces I do, but when you start working larger the price of wool adds up. This fiber fill needle felts just fine and is just a fraction of the price of wool.
I start by roughly shaping the body in a cylinder and needle felting it just enough to get it to stay together before I wrap it around the frame and start needle felting it in place. When doing larger areas, I like to hold 2 needles in my hand to make it go faster. I have tried to use the tools that hold multiple needles and I don't like it as much. Then I poke and poke and poke gently using just the end 3/4" or so of the needles all over, hundreds upon hundreds of times to make it all stay together.
Here it is looking like a little snowball with legs. Not even close yet.
After I have been felting it a while I stop to do a squeeze test.
As you can see, it is still pretty squishy. I like to felt it until it starts to get firm.
Here I am pretty happy with the body shape. To make the tail end pointy, I squished it together while felting until it gradually held that shape.
Then I added a head. This fiber fill part took about a half an hour.
Next I had to pick my colors out. I love looking at and playing with wool roving.
Finally I settled on 2 blues for the body and then black and lime green for the detailing.
Sorry I didn't get any photos of the colored part of the felting. I was watching a movie while doing it and totally forgot!
From start to finish, from making wire legs to finished bird, took about 2 hours. But I was watching a movie and I stop felting when I look up (those needles are unbelievably sharp!) so I probably could have made it a bit faster.
I love felting!