Needle-Felted Wool Sculpture
Written and Posted by Sarah on July 14, 2015
This doll is based on Bilbo Baggins as played by Martin Freeman in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" Trilogy. Bilbo weighs 2-3/4 ounces (with his empty backpack), stands 8-5/8" tall and took 65 hours to complete. He is needle-felted out of Merino, Cotswold and assorted wool roving, using .40 and .42 gauge needles.
I've been making Middle Earth themed dolls for a couple of years now. The most recent one was based on Thorin Oakenshield as he appears in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey. Thorin and Bilbo are my favorite characters, so I really wanted to make the pair of dolls. In the meantime, Elizabeth and I decided that it would be a lot of fun to make all the dwarves belonging to Thorin's company. Of course, it seemed only right to make Bilbo as Thorin's first friend.
Bilbo has large Hobbit-sized furry feet. Instead of his original travelling costume with the burgundy coat, I decided to make Bilbo in his final outfit as seen in The Battle of the Five Armies. This is my favorite of Bilbo's costumes, and it allowed us to give him a leather backpack filled with souvenirs from his adventure. Bilbo's pants are made of a gold merino roving. He has an olive-green vest and a single gold button (the only one remaining on Bilbo's vest after his escape from the Goblin Tunnels), but neither of these are actually visible on the finished doll. They are there, though! He has a blue coat of a rough blue wool (I don't know what kind of roving this was!) with tan and cream trim. Each piece of the trim was felted and applied with a felting needle. Around his neck, Bilbo wears a knitted scarf that features a tiny strand of shiny "Mithril" thread. He has small fingerless gloves to keep his hands warm, too.
Bilbo's belt and backpack are absolutely amazing. Elizabeth made these out of leather. The belt is actually adjustable with three different holes and a working buckle (also made by Elizabeth). His backpack is totally handsewn leather and feels absolutely fabulous. It also features a working buckle and a very large inside for carrying all of Bilbo's souvenirs. Miniature souvenirs include Bilbo's paper contract, Thorin's map, a bag of coins from Erebor, a blue-glass bottle from Laketown and Bilbo's red book.