What on earth is a needle felting machine you ask? Well I’d never heard of it either but it’s sooo cool. It looks like a sewing machine but it’s anything but a sewing machine. It doesn’t use thread or normal needles. The needles are like barbs that pull the fibres through the base material, melding the two materials together.
My mum has just purchased one of these machines and when we went to visit on Sunday she had prepared a little “sewing” activity for the boys.
Using a felt base and scraps of felt and wool, the boys worked with Grandma to create pictures to “meld” onto their background. Ethan got the first turn at the new machine.
He helped Grandma gently move the material around under the needle area so that all of the image had been worked through.
He particularly liked the idea of the sewing peddle…boys are hardwired to drive things remember…so he asked for a turn of that. We discovered that doing both at the same time was traumatic on Grandma’s nerves and the new machine so he either moved the material or “drove” the peddle. But never both at the same time…not yet anyway.
While Ethan sewed Brayden cut out his pieces to sew together for his picture. He was very particular about his pictures and didn’t want any help thank you very much.
The red picture is a lion…can’t you tell… and despite any suggestions from myself, he was adament that it needed no further embellishments. Boy did I get into trouble when I held it up and agreed that yes it did look like a lion now that I was looking more closely at it, only to discover that I was holding it upside down!
Brayden did not want to put his fingers anywhere near those stabbing needle barbs despite our coaxing that it was perfectly safe. He much preferred “driving” the peddle and having seen him “drive” the sewing machine I’ve resolved that Liam will be teaching him to drive.
Brayden only had two sewing speeds – full speed ahead or a screeching halt. He was even making car sounds through gritted teethy grins of glee. (At another time I’ll tell you about his sounds. He’s pitch perfect at recreating the sounds of vehicles.)
Using the machine was really easy and I’d say that most children could handle it independently. The only supervision they would need would be for the benefit of the machine and not the child.
Here are the boys final pictures:
This is Ethan’s masterpiece. That’s a stilt house in the picture. The pretty ribbon flower was Grandma’s touch after Ethan gave her instructions to “stick one on” and then left to find something else to do.
This is Brayden’s masterpiece. All creations here are his own. He didn’t even allow suggestions about trimming this or that or moving things up or down just slightly here or there. It was his way or no way and he kept careful watch over Grandma to make sure she carried out his instructions.
I’m thinking we might buy some felt and prepare our next pictures at home ready to take to Grandma’s to be sewed together. I think even I could handle this sort of sewing. I’ll be sure to share my first creation…stay tuned. 🙂