Saturday, June 20, 2009


Look-ee what came to live in my house today!
Thank you for all your advice. As you can see I went for the 12 needle Babylock in the end. I had a look to see if there were any local stockists and found that there was a large sewing machine store I had never heard of in Eccles. That's about 30 mins from me and, by co-incidence only 1.5 miles off the route I was taking to work on Friday.
So I went and had a go on the Janome and the Babylock. I went for the latter because of all the brands it has the fastest motor, most needles, a yarn guide that when I tested I at once realised was a good thing and it also has easily removable needles. It is easy to clean too. However, whilst I do agree with supporting local shops - especially those who let you play on their machines, I actually bought from Sewings Machines Direct as they were a full £100 cheaper than the shop! I ordered on line at 1pm and it arrived at my door at 9.30 this morning with a free carry case. That was too big a differential to ignore.
So today I got to play. Samples first then a bag I am very proud of! My Best Quilting Buddy and I have a 'thing' for Aboriginal art at the moment and she set me off with ideas when she commented that the dots commonly used in such art could be done on the embellisher:

The piece is made of boiled wool scraps, french knots from knitting ribbon and stitched with Perle thread then mounted on an A4 sheet of felt.After playing a while I chose to use the 'fuzzy side' as the right side. That is the side that was underneath when I felted the scraps down. I discovered that if you make the French knots on the right side but embellish them a little they go slightly fuzzy but you still get the raised texture which is a nice contrast to the flat fuzzy scraps.
This sample is (bottom layer up) boiled wool, a piece of silk separately embellished to felt and then attached to the bottom layer, a strip of boiled wool later stitched with King Tut, and on top a piece of crinkled dress making fabric already embellished to felt.

It is very rough and ready but for some reason I want to call it 'Egoli' -the name for Johannesburg meaning City of Gold. In real life it is lustrous and would be worth working up into more than a sample.
This one is just lots of yarn on felt then mounted on a larger felt piece. The photo is not good but it kind of looks like tree bark.

Then I started a sample which grew like topsy into this bag. Again it is all boiled wool scraps stitched with Perle thread in running stitch and french knots ( not embellished this time) and with Aboriginal Art as inspiration.

I sized it so that it operates as a light pouch slung across my chest to hold my pens, brushes etc in easy reach when I am sketching in a museum because I am sick of juggling them or sticking them behind my ears! The flap just folds backwards to give me a kind of tool belt. The strap is just machine wrapped yarn. All the greens in these samples are much brighter - photographing late evening under house lights does them no favour!

Now, I am off to mail order felting wool and a book to tell me how to do this properly.


Anonymous said...

Golly - you were quick off the mark and look how much you have done already! Two book suggestions of the many that are now available: Embellish and stitch by Maggie Grey and Valerie C-H,and Embellish, Stitch and Felt by Shiela Smith. I reckon they are the best of the ones I have. Have fun with it! Sue McB

Karen said...

These are great, i"ll have to get mine back out and start something.

Rayna said...

Didn't take you long to get busy, did it? These are really nice - and look to me as if you are doing them properly. But what do I know about using these machines??? Have fun!