Needles, Wool, Mistakes, Advice and the One Tip - Gillian Runting (Reviva Designs)

1. How did you discover needle felting, what inspired you to have a go, and what was the first thing you made?

I bought a book called Sweet Needle Felted by Jenn Docherty and made several projects from it. I returned to needle felting a couple of years ago as part of developing my art dolls. It is the feel of the wool and varied ways it can be sculpted that I am drawn to.

2. Do you have a favourite needle felting artist whose work you follow?

Jenny Barnett  Fiona Gill (Marmalade Rose Art) and Stacy Vajta 

3. Which projects do you find the trickiest and what has been the hardest thing to learn?

Moving into using wire armatures for dolls and learning not to break needles on them when I forget they are there!

4. What are your favourite needles to use?

My Heidi Feathers twisted spirals for how beautifully they smooth and compact and reverse needles because I love the effect!

5. What is your favourite type of wool to work with?

The Felt Box Maori and NZ - consistent colours and quality, they felt quickly and smoothly!

6. What is the worst piece of advice you keep hearing for needle felters?

I wince whenever I hear anyone recommending beginners kits that supply wool top. Carded wool gives a much more rewarding finish, especially for a beginner!

7. What is the one thing a beginner could learn today that would make a difference to their work?

Focus on removing air from the very beginning of each shape. A good tight base will compact and hold shape much better.

About the artist:  

Gillian’s mixed media works, including needle felting, are available in her Folksy shop at

Her dolls are also showcased at

She shares her work and inspiration on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as @revivadesigns

Her newsletter sign-up is