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Sheep in Open Fields

secrets revealed
unit 3
Playing with fiber

Incorporating fiber into your bead work or perhaps adding bead work to the fiber, either way they they dance so well together, it's as though they were meant for one another. In this unit we will play with needle felting, I find the rhythm of felting to be very much like beading, a meditation.

Part two we will explore with ribbon, oh the joy of Jacquard ribbon and Silk Trims, they bring such vibrancy into our world.

Unit 3 Part one
Needle felted focal


With a very small amount of wool you can transform your world. We will be using the same pendant trays as we did with the Apoxie Sculpt. That's not to say you need a try, you could very easily sew your felted piece directly to your beading foundation. I find the trays give it a finished feel to the work.

Please see the photos and written content below along with the video to get started on Needle felting a focal.

Assignment for Unit 3 Part One

Needle felt a focal.


Figure out the size and shape of the piece you want to make. The larger the size the more detail you will have. Doing a sketch first will help. Trace the shape onto a felt foundation.

Using your wool roving or batting, felt the shape onto the felt base. Add layers to even out the base, needle felting any stray fibers outside the perimeter.

You can use small amounts of background color to cover the base. Use a fine tip marker to help mark any lines for your design. You can use colored markers that match the wool you are using. It doesn't take much wool to make fine lines.

Even felting a small focal can take a long time. Kinda like beading it is a labor of love. Use the needle to give your focal a tight strong feel and look. Add some beads for extra sparkle.

Bonus video
felting an owl head


Unit 3 Part Two
playing with ribbon


There are so many things you can do with ribbon. The photos above show how you can use it as a background, by wrapping it around cardboard or other stiff components.

We will also explore covering end caps and buttons with fabric to make focal's or small components. Than we will have fun making some glass covered fabric.

So put on your happy face and check out the

photo's and written material along with the video.

Assignment for Unit 3 Part Two

Make a ribbon focal or two.

Making fabric covered end caps and buttons

End caps work great because they are concave on the back so there is a place for the fabric to gather. Use thin fabric and cut it 1/4 inch larger then what you are covering.

Use the bonnet stitch around the edge of the fabric, make sure the stitch isn't to close to the edge or it could  fray the fabric.

Use a very small amount of Tacky Glue on the end cap, enough to hold the fabric in place, carefully pull the thread so that it wraps itself around the cap. Use you needle and thread to stitch the fabric cross wise till it is secure.

You can glue the covered caps into metal setting for a more finished look. Find larger buttons that have a slight concave back, or if your fabric is thin no need to worry.

Making a Ribbon focal


Use the templates provided for the class, or make your own using cabochon in your own stash.


Cut out your pattern on cardboard the thickness you want to make your focal.


Using Super Thick Tacky Glue, glue and fold the ribbon around your cardboard. You may need to use a clothes pin or small clamp to hold it in place. You can also place them under a flat heavy object.

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