Book reviewed by Megan Enright: Megan is wife to a tolerant and encouraging husband and mother to four children ranging in age from 18 years down to 5 years. She spends her days keeping company with her 5 year old daughter and her evenings cheering on the sidelines as her older sons deal with homework, sport and other teenage issues. In her quieter moments, she likes to knit, embroider, sew and cook. She’d like to have the time and talent to crochet and quilt….maybe one day. She can be found at Notebook from home blog.
Felted Feathered Friends: Techniques and Projects for Needle-felted Birds
by Laurie Sharp, Creative Publishing International
I must confess needle-felting is not a craft that I was familiar with before this book arrived for me to review. I have attempted a little bit of wet felting with soap and water but using a needle was foreign to me. In her latest book, textile artist Laurie Sharp talks the reader through the process of needle felting and then provides some gorgeous bird projects with which to hone your needle-felting skills.
Needle-felting utilises wool that is combed into longer stretches of “wool hair” called roving. The roving is then moulded into the desired shapes using the felting needle and the crafter’s hands. Although this all seems very straightforward when described in Laurie’s clear instruction section of the book, I feel it could take a reasonable amount of practice to effectively be able to make the gorgeous birds outlined in “Feathered Friends”. However, there are bird designs in this book for all levels of expertise. The first design is for a very sweet bluebird using mainly blue roving shaped into a fairly generic bird shape – a good place for newbie needle-felters to start. Towards the end of the book Laurie outlines the design for a puffin, a fabulous design but one that includes more detail and more defined shape.
Throughout the book all instructions are clearly set out and the photographs (taken by Laurie’s husband, Kevin Sharp) are also very clear and show the colours used for the birds in a beautiful light. All up there are 20 bird patterns in “Felted Feathered Friends”, all sweet birds with vibrant colours. After reading this book I could easily be persuaded to give needle-felting a try if only to produce an arrangement of beautiful birds to put on my window sill.