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About Denise


             

Babylock Embellisher Tips:

Where do I begin?

  • I recently had the opportunity to share my Embellisher with my best friend's 13 year old daughter.  She had a great time making scarves for Christmas presents using polar fleece.  I also think that this is a great beginner's project or a project to share with your kids.  Here are some of the things that we tried.  I regret that I did not take pictures while we were doing the scarves, but I will try to redo some of them and insert photos soon.  In the meantime, here are the ideas:
  • Polar fleece is very easy to work with. You can use roving, yarn, or other fibers and attach them directly to the polar fleece using the Embellisher. I would suggest that you make a practice scarf. (This is how I had Sydney start when I was showing her how to make them.) We took a strip of polar fleece and then we turned the long edge over and used the Embellisher to "stitch" the edges down. This gives the edge of the scarf some body. Next, I showed her how to lay roving on the top of the scarf and embellish it and then lay it on the back of the scarf to embellish it. There is no right and wrong side with the Embellisher, but the look is very different depending on which side you look at.
  • Now that you see the difference, try some of these ideas. 
    1. Cut a shape out of one color fleece and embellish it to another piece of fleece. You could make a polka dot scarf this way.
    2. Lay some yarn in a pattern on the fleece and embellish it to the fleece. Any pattern will do. I like to make plaids that way. It is really cool if you use some fancy novelty yarns. Just be careful not to cut the fiber until it is attached. The Embellisher sometimes causes the fiber to "shrink" as it is embedded in the fleece.
    3. Lay some roving on the fleece. Start with a shape. Then try thin lines. We eventually wrote words with roving on the fleece. We used a hand felting needle to hold the roving in place as we formed the letters. If you don't have a hand felting needle, you might try writing words with yarn instead.
    4. Lay two pieces of fleece together along an edge and slightly overlap. Use the Embellisher to join the two pieces.
  • That should give you a start. Also remember that you can use decorative threads and stitch using a sewing machine and you can also embroider using an embroidery machine. Some combination of these ideas should surely get you started.

 

When Making Felt using Roving

  • I find it is much easier to make felt from roving if you use a stabilizer.  I use Vilene, a non-woven, but substantial, water-soluble stabilizer.  I use a piece of Vilene that is at least 6 inches longer and wider than the piece of felt that I plan to make.  I use this extra Vilene to help me move the felt under the felting needles.
  • Using a technique that is often used when making felt using a wet felting technique, I lay a layer of roving horizontally to cover the area that I am felting.  I then top it with a vertical layer.  I use up to 4 alternating layers when I want to make a piece of flat felt.  When making felt using these layers, I usually make a line vertically down the center of the piece and then another line horizontally.  This secures the layers of roving to the stabilizer so that it is easier to manipulate.  I then work over each quarter until I have felted the entire piece.
  • It is not necessary to see thick areas of roving on the reverse side of your felt.  If you continue to work the same area over and over, your felt will begin to buckle.  This is not a fatal mistake.  Just finish the rest of the piece.  When you wash out the stabilizer, you can flatten the felt and you are unlikely to see the buckle.  It is important, though to recognize when the buckling starts, so you do not produce very lumpy felt (unless that is what you want.)
  • Your felt will have two sides that look different.  The top will be sharper in color separation.  The reverse will be a much softer blending of colors.  As you may have noted, there is no right or wrong side.  Sometimes, you want the sharp separation.  Sometimes, you want the blended colors.  It is really nice to be able to get two choices from the same technique.

Making 3 dimensional felt using the Embellisher

  • When I first received the Embellisher, I was thrilled.  I began making lots of felt that was flat.  But, I had always wanted to make a felted hat.  I knew there had to be a way.  I started, though, by making a bowl.  I found that I could make 3 dimensional projects by making flat felt and then, after washing out the stabilizer.  While the felt was still wet, I formed the felt over a form that was the shape I wanted.  A pattern for making a felt bowl will soon be in our pattern section. 
  • I also wanted to make 3 dimensional flowers and other objects.  These can be made with the Embellisher, as well, if you are willing to use hand felting needles to do a bit a detail work.  A pattern for making felt flowers will soon be in our pattern section.