The Frolicking Calf Fresco Fragment

Materials For Calf
Materials For Calf

In among my image sources, I found a really joyful image of a calf bounding through vegetation, kicking up its heels. I decided it would be fun to do another felted piece. Like the Two Princesses, there will be stitchery, too, but it’s a change of pace and scale compared to Akhenaten, and I try to have more than one project on the go so that I can think about tricky bits of one while doing easy bits of another…

Hexagonal Net
Hexagonal Net

When I first bought my embellisher, the lady demonstrating them told me about using hexagonal net to control pieces of felt and wool while running them under the embellisher. So I bought several yards of cheap hexagonal net, and I’ve found it very useful indeed. It doesn’t get felted in, or at least, not to the extent it can’t be picked out with tweezers, and you can see through it to what you’re working on. So I begin by laying out the pieces I want, hand-needlefelt it roughly in place, and then lay the net over the top and run the embellisher in little moving circles to attach the layers properly.

Midway Stage
Midway Stage

Once the initial felting has been done, I can start adding stitchery. In this case, I’ve stitched a dark line down one side of each of the stems, and twisted chain down the edges of the lilac flower. I wanted a slightly ruffled effect to the mouth of the flower, so I’ve hand-needlefelted some detwisted yarn into place. I’m not quite sure that I’m pleased with it as it stands. Still, more to do!

The pink flower is still entirely un-detailled. I don’t want to use the same stitches and processes for those, so there’s more thinking to come…


  1. karen says:

    fabulous shapes here Rachel especially the calf. I look forward to watching this evolve

  2. Sue Jones says:

    I agree with Karen, the calf is already a delight even as just a felt shape and some blobs of fibre. I still don’t like the flattened look of needlefelted fabric. But you have clearly found your groove with the additional stitching, and the results keep getting more and more effective. You might even convert me into a fan of it one day!

  3. Lady Fi says:

    Very nice!

  4. Jen says:

    The calf will certainly give a lighthearted effect!

  5. Meredithe says:

    The embroidery really enhances the lilac flower.

  6. What beautiful colours you have picked! Using a net must be very useful to keep everything in place while working. Enjoy the process.

  7. Terrie says:

    Felt and stitch is a nice combination.

  8. Lin Tarrant says:

    Your frolicking calf looks great. xx

  9. Carolyn Foley says:

    I have a soft spot for calfs. He (or she) is going to fit in just fine.