A trio of starfish

One of my latest themes is starfish – I’ve been experimenting with the shape in various forms, as you can see from the picture above. They could be used as pincushions, or just as decorative objects in their own right. More details on each below.

I made this felt one by wrapping merino wool around a bubble wrap resist. When it was felted and started to shrink, I cut a small hole in the back to remove the resist and put my finger in each of the legs in turn to rub and full completely. In the centre are a few grey silk threads, though they don’t show up very well against the orange.

When it was dry, I hand embroidered the pattern, stuffed it and patched up the hole with a small piece of felt.


This was made in the same way as the other one, except that I added some leftover scraps of embroidery thread along the legs at the felting stage. After removing the resist and fulling, I created the little spikes in the centre by threading a large-eye needle with a wisp of merino, pushing it in from the outside and bringing it back out about a quarter of an inch away. Then I trimmed both ends to about half an inch and rolled them together between wet and soapy thumb and finger until they felted.

I really like the concept of felt spikes/protrusions – I think I shall be experimenting a bit more with these.


This came out of an experiment from using the heat press in class. I cut out a starfish shape from white polyester fleece and dyed it yellow in the heat press, using dye transfer paper. Then I put some grains of pearl barley on top and dyed it again with red transfer paper. The fleece seemed to melt slightly against the bits of barley, making them stick, but when I was sewing it together a few of them came loose, so I had to add a couple of stitches on top of each grain to make sure they didn’t fall off.