Starting the drapery for the Two Princesses

First Trial Layout

First Trial Layout

I’m going to build up the panel in layers, so I began by playing with bits of felt. I’ve cut small squares and triangles from other pieces of felt I have to hand, and begun to make some attempts to build up patterns with them.

The darker red shown here is actually one of the pre-felts painstaking split horizontally and then cut into bits. The idea was to produce something that gave the impression of folds in the drapery. I’ve come to the conclusion that that doesn’t work, and what’s more, I don’t think it ever will, partly because needlefelt applique turns out not to be a terribly exact science..

Second Trial Layout

Second Trial Layout

This seemed better. You’ll notice that it’s a bit haphazard, and that it runs over the whole piece, even though we know I will be covering quite a bit of it with the princesses themselves. I learnt a long time ago (with the Camberwell Panel, in fact) that when layering like this it is a false economy of time and effort to attempt to minimise the details on intermediate layers. This way I have more freedom for the exact placement, and can move the pieces around until I am happy with them.

Sandwiched In Net

Sandwiched In Net

Once I had layouts I was happy with, for both the drapery at the back and the patterned bench or divan covering the girls are sitting on, I created sandwiches of netting with my layouts- lightly hand-needlefelted – in the middle, and two layers of net back and front.

Time to get my embellisher out of its box!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Ooo – so pretty!

  2. Catherine says:

    Fascinating! I’m loving reading about how you are approaching this piece, and how you are problem solving various sections. I struggle with felt as it ‘moves’ so much. Once in place it’s fine, but cutting I find quite difficult.
    Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  3. Dima says:

    That is a very cool effect.

  4. Terrie says:

    I’d like to see the outcome. I am curious about your mention needle felt which I seldom do.

  5. It’s looking good! It’s ages since I did any needle felting or embellishing – things like housework keep getting in the way!

  6. Carolyn Foley says:

    I had one attempt at needle felting, what a mess. Yours looks far more interesting.

  7. Karen says:

    love the precision of your layout….

  8. Lin says:

    Looking interesting – enjoying following your processes. xx

  9. Sue Jones says:

    It will be very interesting to see how the mosaic-like patterns come out when embellished and how the pieces all fit together.

  10. Alex Hall says:

    Really looking forward to seeing the different sections of this coming together – it’s a charming little fragment and you’re really bringing it to life.

  11. I like your second trial too. With a net over the whole surface you get a very subtle look. You are doing such great work and I am following this project with interest.

  12. Susan Nixon says:

    Oh, yes! I really like that second one and can hardly wait to see what you see in your mind already!