I made another needle felted flower, and took some pictures along the way. (Here's my first one.) I tried to keep the scale the same in each of them so you can see the shrinkage. The grid in the background is 1 inch squares. The pictures were taken every commercial break for ~45 minutes, just to give you an impression of the time scale involved.
Wad of roving. I got this at a neat toystore that had a bunch of Waldorf/Montessori-type toys. You'll also need a barbed needle made for felting.
Pull the roving apart into little wisps and wad it up into a flattened oval. Put it on a pillow or a piece of foam and have at it with the needle. Push the barbed part of the tip all the way through the fiber and into the pillow. It's the barbs that do the work. It'll start to felt onto the pillow if you jab too much, so flip it over every few jabs. If the edges seem irregular, just push them into shape and jab a few times to secure.
The oval should start to reduce in size and start to hold together. Keep jabbing all over, flipping, and jabbing more, paying attention to the edges, until it starts to feel like felt. I find this step the hardest because it doesn't seem like it's working at first.
Now you can start forming the petals. Jab into the edge of the disk in a line where you want the petal divisions to be. It should only take ~10 jabs to get an indentation. If it takes much more than that, go back to jabbing all over and make the felt a little denser. For now, just make a little indentation for each one.
Finish the petals by jabbing all around the petals and further felting the indentations. I also jabbed in a line along the top to further define them. The felt should really be firming up now. You should feel some resistance when you put the needle through.
Once you're happy with the flower, you can embellish it however you want. I used some felt beads I got in my Sampler from Lili la Malice. She was kind enough to post a tutorial, too, if you'd like to make some yourself. Just place the beads on the flower and jab until they're secure.
It all makes a lot more sense when you have the needle and roving in hand, I promise.
I'd like to thank the felted flower makers of the web for giving me inspiration to learn this great craft: anatomy of a skirt, leslieduckie, Lili la Malice, Supermaggie, and dabblersupreme. I hope they don't mind my ripoff too much.