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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
- 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
- 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.