Felting Lesson: Mother Winter

step by step tutorial

Materials List

Felting needles

Sturdy foam or wool pad

Wool fabric panel cut to size

Core wool or natural roving

Light blue wool for the full background

Fleshtone colorway

Wet Felted Wool for the dress

Curly locks/fibers for hair


Each of the image galleries in the Felting Lesson: Mother Winter includes pictures that walk you through various stages of needle felting a large female figure with a detailed face and curly hair, accentuated with motion lines of wind blowing across the sky and storm clouds releasing snow to the World below. The illustration I am working on in this lesson was submitted to a juried exhibit. The prompt for the show was “Winter Stories” and the project sparked an idea for another book.  More to come on that. Unfortunately, this piece was not selected for inclusion in the exhibit, but I am grateful for the prompt sparking an idea for a children’s book about the mothers in our world. The title of this piece is Mother Winter. Some of the lighting in this lesson jumps around a bit. I took this piece on the road for our annual Thanksgiving visit with family in my hometown of Kingfield, Maine. This lesson was created in November 2023.

Base Layer & Wool Armature

Before we dive too deep into the felting lesson: Mother Winter, development of the base layer, and placement of the armature come first!

Dressing Mother Winter in a Wet Felted Dress

Felting Curly Hair

The lighting in these pictures varies a lot because I was felting on my lap as we drove to Kingfield to celebrate Thanksgiving. I begin with dark curly locks to create shadows and depth and then layer in small sections of curly locks in a variety of colors.

Felting Hands

I find faces and hands to be the trickiest of all. Her first hand came together easily and quickly, one day after work as Adam and I sat and watched the news. The second hand was done over the holiday weekend and I had to work at it quite a bit to get the size more aligned with the other hand and have the fingers come together in the correct positions. I still need to adjust the bends in her joints, but I’ll do that closer to the tail end.

Correcting & Finishing the Second Eye

Fluffy Snow Clouds

For the fluffy, silky storm clouds I built the shape with core wool and then covered them with beautiful white wool tops.

felting a correction of a color gap
First I color match the blue wool.
Then I lay it in place to fill the gap.

Felting Wind Lines, Adding Movement

Keep Felting!

I hope these images have been a source of inspiration and that you’ve also picked up a couple of new technique ideas for your next felting project! Have fun, fellow fiber artist!

Hillary Dow Felting Master Class Instructor fiber artist

Meet Your Instructor

Hi, my name is Hillary Dow. A few of my many hats include mother, author, artist, booker (leave the vacation booking to me, I’ve got this), family chef, marketing manager, felting artist in Maine, and oh so many more. I write children’s books illustrated with my wool creations. It is such a thrill to be a part of helping someone develop their skills and CREATE artwork. Thank you for joining me!

Thank YOU for being part of our community. Enjoy the lesson? Please write a review on Google!

*For optimal viewing, click on the first image in each gallery to open the full view and then scroll through. If you view the images in the preview galleries only your view will be a cropped version of each image and you will miss out on the descriptive captions I have added to each picture. Enjoy!

Join Hillary's Felting Community

Be sure to check out new felting lessons delivered directly to your inbox! Each session includes a lesson that is subject matter specific, or simply work on your current project while picking up new techniques and tips! In my felting lessons, I am always working on illustrations that will be in upcoming books, or developing characters for book ideas. As you watch and learn, you are also sharing the experience of creating children’s picture books!

Sign Up Today

Want even more?
Take your felting to a whole new level! Access Hillary’s complete archive of felting lessons, including hours or video tutorials and dozens of photo galleries, for a one-time fee of $200.
Purchase the Felting Master Class today! 

Lesson: Needle Felted Standing Child
Needle felting leaves on trees, instructor Hillary Dow
Needle Felted portrait of the Sun Fairy by Hillary Dow
needle felting elves illustration
Learn how to needle felt a fairy village complete with fairy mushroom houses and window boxes!
The Sun Fairy Cover Illustration Thumbnail Hillary Dow
The Sun Fairy cover Illustration, Needle Felting a Picture
Felting Master Class illustration detail composition