The Brilliant Felted Landscapes of Tracey McCracken Palmer

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Grazing the High Pasture

Take a moment to scroll through these gorgeous felted “paintings” by Tracey McCracken Palmer. They have such wonderful depth, color and interest — giving the viewer a feeling of a real place with a real story. You might find it hard to believe, but at the time of this article, Tracey has been felting less than 2 years.

We really enjoyed our time meeting with Tracey and getting to know her better. She is as sweet and humble as she is talented, and her distinct South Eastern accent is just delightful to listen to as she tells her story. Tracey says she has painted and drawn her entire life, and while she discovered felting after taking a needle felting class several years ago, she did not begin exploring the medium right away.

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Fly Me to The Moon

“I planned to invest in some wool and try it at home, but I was mainly painting in acrylic then and just never got around to it. Then in June of 2013, I saw Moy MacKay’s work on Facebook, and was completely blown away by her felted landscapes. She had just published her first book so I got it and learned her method of layering wool and wet felting landscapes.

Since then, while I’ve used her method of felting, I’ve also developed my own techniques to create my own style. She uses machine stitching and embroidery floss for much of her detail work and since I don’t sew, I needle felt all my details in with wool. Also her work is a bit more abstract, while I’m a detail freak and try to make it look as close to the real thing as possible. I wouldn’t want to copy her style anyway, but I am so thankful to have found her work, and the medium that I’ve been looking for my whole life – I just never knew what it was until now!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Tracey McCracken Palmer gives demo on felting landscapes at Leaves and Twigs gallery


“My process begins by layering different colors of dyed wool over a double layer of un-dyed wool to create a scene. Next, I wet the piece with hot soapy water and work it, pressing with my hands, turning and rolling it repeatedly in a bamboo or bubblewrap mat for over two hours until the friction of the rolling process binds the fibers together, creating felt. I then rinse the soap out of the felt and mat, and roll it again several times before letting it air dry.

After it is completely dry, I use needle felting to add more details to the landscape, using special needles which have notches along the shaft. The notches on the needles grab the layer of wool fibers which I have added, and tangle them with the inner layers as the needle enters the felt. Since the notches face down toward the tip of the needle, they do not pull the fibers back out as the needle exits the wool.

Each felted landscape is totally unique and made entirely by hand, using pure wool from Merino and Corriedale sheep, with silk and other natural fibers sometimes added as well.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Borve Beach

“…my favorite thing from LF [Living Felt] is your merino cross batts, and by golly those batts are where it’s at!!!  Truly they are my most valued wools, because they make such great textures in leaves, and even rocks, and grasses, I can even card them a bit to make other color variations if I need to.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with


Painting on canvas is quite a different medium, but Tracey really enjoys everything about the felting process of creating felted landscapes. “I love smelling and feeling the textures of different types of wool, and even picking out wee bits of burrs from some of the batts. I also love seeing the changes that occur each time I wet felt a piece, and I learn something from each one about how to best layer the colors and even the different types of wools to achieve what I’m wanting. But I think I enjoy adding the details with needle felting best, because I love the way one tiny wee bit of wool, either added or taken away can make such a huge difference!  Living Felt’s cross batts are so wonderful with bits of different colors, and I use them for all my trees, whether summer or autumn leaves.”

“I’m just so thrilled to have finally found the medium that truly fuels my creativity!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Tanglewood Magic

For Tracey’s felted landscapes, she says inspiration is everywhere around her.
“The texture of the wool makes my landscapes almost 3-D, and I’m inspired by everything it seems! As I drive to work and back I see so many beautiful skies and farmland in the mountains here in western NC, and I keep my camera handy to capture it if I can, so I can add it to the list of scenes I want to felt. Skies, trees, water and misty mountains are my biggest inspirations.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Tracey McCracken Palmer and Grazing the High Pasture Felt Painting

Tracey was kind of enough to share specifics of the fibers used in her work, and says the greatest majority of her fibers come from Living Felt. See below for colors in her felting palette

Tracey also creates in other mediums including graphite wash, acrylic,watercolor, and pastels. “I’ve dabbled with art my whole life, but let everyday life get in the way of really being serious about it until I found felting. I am now the driven artist I’ve always wanted to be, and I love my palette of wool!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

Roaring Fork Falls

Her Most Challenging Project to Date?

“…creating waterfalls, but the tussah silk I use from Living Felt makes wonderful water. I push the limits of felting with my landscapes all the time, to make them as realistic as I can, and learn a bit more from every one.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with


We asked Tracey about her “next big challenge” … or the project she is dreaming to do:
“Oh, I want to do so many things, and just wish I had more time to felt !!  I plan to do a close up of an owl, and a sheep, and other creatures, and I hope to create even more detailed landscapes and dramatic skies. I just keep adding things to my list of ‘Must Try To Felt That’ !!!”

a. Tracey McCracken Palmer talks about Felting Landscapes on

Misty Highland Glen

Just by following her passion, Tracey is helping to bring felt and fiber art to the fine arts & crafts scene.
In 2014 Tracey was invited to hang a solo exhibit of her work in one of the branches of her local Public Library , which ran from January through March.

In June 2014 she was featured as the “Artist of the Month”  at Twigs & Leaves Gallery, where she sells her work. She has given several demonstrations of her felting technique over the past year at the gallery, and also at a “Quick Draw” event in Haywood County where she lives. Tracey was on the Haywood Art Studio Tour.

At time of our interview Tracey was hoping to  pass the second jury to become a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild; and we are so happy to announce that she has been accepted! As a member, Tracey hopes to show her work and demonstrate at some of their galleries also.  And she exclaims, “I’m just getting started!!”


Tracey McCracken Palmer demonstrates felting a landscape on

Quick Draw demo

We asked Tracey what she might offer to those just getting into felting.
“I would encourage beginning felters to just go for it and give it a try. The best part of wet felting is that you can fix things that don’t come out just as you thought they would by adding a bit of needle felting after it dries. And, you can always pull the wool back off after you’ve needled it in, if it doesn’t suit you. It’s a very user friendly medium, and there are so many things one can make with felt.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with

A Warm Welcome Awaits

We sincerely wish Tracey all the best, and don’t be surprised if you see a book of her own coming out one day…just remember, you heard it here first, oh, and buy it! :)

Tracey… You Are Brilliant! and Thank you for Felting With Us!

You can follow Tracey on Facebook:

More work from Tracey on the Living Felt Blog

Needle Felted Picture Forest by Tracey Palmer featured on

Tracey uses a combination of Living Felt MC-1 Felting Batts, Merino Top, Merino Silk Blends, New Zealand Corriedale and other fibers. For the paintings in this post:

Living Felt MC-1 Merino Cross Batts: bamboo, bluegrass, buttercup, true olive, spruce, honeysuckle, foliage, meadow green, shire, birch, vintage brown, winter grey.

Merino Top: yellow, apricot, plum, chocolate, white, black, fir, bottle green, garden ivy, lima bean, olive, mint.

New Zealand Corriedale: cherub, lima, cocoa, candy, apricot, butterscotch, natural white, ice, sky, lagoon, royal, natural light.

Merino silk blends in Woodland for the sky in Moondance, and the water in Borve Beach.

For the tree in Misty Highland Glen, I used your Premium Mohair Locks in Emerald Forest, and of course tussah silk in both waterfalls and Moondance.

Beautiiful Felted Painting!

Felted Picture: Spring Along the Creek

Spring Along the Creek

Felted Picture: Spring Along the Creek

Leedra Scott of New Jersey often needle felts onto purses that she has knitted and then fulled, the imagery is detailed and life-like. This felted painting shows her gift for felting nature!

Leedra has a large selection of MC-1 Batts and NZ Corriedale. Some of the colors used include

Living Felt MC-1 Batts:
Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Brown BlueGrass, Spruce, Olive, Sage, Dusty Blue, Orange Cream, Strawberry, Tulip

Living Felt New Zealand Corriedale: Candy, Fir, Moss, Cocoa

– Leedra Scott, Tennessee

Mini Felted Lanscape Brooches…Stunning Detail!

Miniature Felted Landscapes by Lisa Jordan of Lil Fish Studios on

For our FELTED LANDSCAPES week, Lisa Jordan of Lil’ Fish Studios shared her miniature felted landscape brooches on our facebook page. They got lots of love and attention!!

Lisa writes, “I make mini needle-felted landscapes – the scenes are just over an inch wide – which I then fit into a handmade wood brooch base. I consider them like little postcards of places I’ve gone and would like to go.”

You can follow her on facebook: Lil Fish Studios 

Wet and Needlefelted Wall Hanging Mushroom House

Brenda Milligan's Felted Wall Hangings

Wet and Needle Felted Gnome House

These felted wall hangings by Brenda Milligan are fabulous! The background is wet felted, then she needle felts the picture on to them. The texture in this little gnome home is just exquisite! The colors remind me of Living Felt Merino Cross Scenic Vista pack.

Wet and Needle Felted Vine Wall Hanging


The flowers on this vine were wet felted, then Brenda, who lives in Vermont and has been a long time Living Felt customer, needle felted them to the background. She embroidered the stems and flowers to, “make the path stand out.” Looking at it is such a Blue Delight!


Wet and Needlefelted Wall Hanging Mushroom House


Brenda’s inspiration comes from a love of gnomes and country gardens- you can tell she has a garden of her own based on the lovely detail in this mushroom house! The mushroom, Brenda tells us, is actually knitted first and then she needle felted it to her background. Here she has created a little Fairy Hollow  of her own!

Thank you for sharing your amazing creations with us Brenda! We hope to see more soon! :)



An Expression of the Seasons

Dorie Ellzey Blesoff  created these four panels to correspond to the meaning of the seasons.

Each panel represents one season, and the time of day/night that most closely connects to my feeling of that season.  I created them all in the same location, but a different season, over the course of a year and a half.  Each panel has features that resemble the geographic area in which I created them (woods, lake, paths), yet each one has its own design based on the feeling of that season.

Winter = Reflection
Spring = Reawakening
Summer = Renewing
Fall = Releasing


She explains her process and inspiration. With the exception of winter, she created these pieces outdoors.

1. “As above, so below,” starts in the sky for winter (pearls sewn in) are also seen as sparkles on the water, or the colors of the sunrise in spring are also seen in the colors of the flowers on the ground, etc.  

2. The time of day corresponding to the season, so winter is night, fall is twilight, spring is sunrise and summer is high noon.


Dorie was encouraged to be creative from an early age.  She’s done pottery, carving (on pottery and wood), and she is primarily a musician – singer/song-writer since the age of 12.  Her CD’s are available through her website.

Dorie explains her move towards felting:

I learned to felt as part of a special retreat in Western Ireland in 2008, to help us integrate our experience of each day.  I have experimented a bit since then, and discovered this landscape felting two years ago.  I have had fun buying roving from people who raise their own alpacas and sheep, and finding wonderful colors with which to express the colors of each season.


UnderTheSear - FeaturedImage

Ronda Loyer – To Create is to Live

Ronda Loyer has been a floral designer for 34 years. She had her own shop for 12 years, where she sold not only floral designs but all types of her artwork.

I have won best in show 5 times, and countless best in category. I won second place in a CDHM miniature contest for a fairy house. I work in many mediums in my art work, and always look for something new to try. To create is to live.

Ronda’s felting is diverse and inspiring. She says this about the featured image, “Under the Sea”:

“Under The Sea is a one of a kind needle felted picture done with various kinds of wool. What a coral reef looks like in my minds eye! Weeds and anemone’s sway among the coral. There is a Clown fish hiding in his favorite anemone. He is not attached so he can come out and moved somewhere else if the mood strikes you!”

“Water is shimmery shades of greens into purple to blue. Angelina film adds some sparkle. Framed in my favorite two colors of periwinkle blue backing and a suede purple mat. Measures 14″x18″ It is very 3 dimensional, would look best framed without glass, or in a shadowbox.”

Above, a very colorful hand needle felted picture with a swaying Palm Tree at sun set. The tree extends outside the edge of the mat board it is mounted on. The felt background measures 9″x11″ the mat board measures 11″x14.”

Below, a handmade wool seascape is needle felted on wool background. “Headin In” shows an approaching storm and the need to get back to shore. The sky is done in a very stormy blue, and is reflected in the dark water of the sea. The use of angelina film creates a subtle shimmer, and wool yarn creates breaking waves. There are beach grasses on the sand. It is very dimensional and mounted on a mat board, then framed with another one. Measures 13″x16″ and can be matted to a different size if need be. One of a kind.

Ronda’s felted paintings tell stories as dimensional as the artwork itself, and we like that it is interactive, touchable, and changeable so that the owner of these pieces can make the story his or her own!

See More of Ronda on Etsy:

Enchanted Path

A Hopeless Romantic