Felted Finery – Natural Blooms (Part One)

Felted Flowers

Felting machines and machine attachments provide wonderful opportunities to explore new dimensions in needlework. Some felting projects are freeform, some are planned but still partly intuitive, and some are structured. This project falls more or less into the third category. White on white patterns, whether china or embroidery, hold a certain ineffable grace that continually attracts me to them. I had my “pattern” in mind and proceeded as follows.

I began by digitizing a fast little flower outline that would serve as my size template as well as my cutout line. Next, I hooped a light stabilizer, Soft ‘n Sheer Cut-Away by Sulky, into a small embroidery hoop. These hoops are great for small projects that require tension on the base fabric. Also, I love the way they enable me to use one hand during the felting process.

After hooping the Soft ‘n Sheer, I set the hoop over my flower template to get a basic idea of how much territory needed to be felted. I then gathered a small amout of natural roving and two finger “pulls” of Angelina (Blaze Crystalina). Before I began felting, I flipped my little pile over so that the Angelina would be closest to the stabilizer.

Hoop

For cutout projects such as this one, I work in a circular motion. Starting dead center, I slowly moved my hoop around and around, doing a light tack down rather than any serious felting. Little by little I added small wisps of roving, layering the wool and filling in bare spots. When the circle appeared complete, I did a more thorough felting, continuing in a circular motion. The final felting step was to go over the edges using a wavy motion (think rick rack). To make sure the surface was completely covered, I held the hoop up to a window, allowing light to reveal any areas that needed further work.

I repeated this process three more times for a total of four felted circles. The final product should make you think of hurricane season because that’s exactly what the pieces look like at the completion of this first stage.

Roving Circles

In part two, I’ll share with you how I embroidered the flower outline, precision cut the flowers, and embellished them with a special edge treatment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

N. Rene West
Time Treasured

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6 Comments

  1. Ann said,

    February 15, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I have been thinking about getting one of those felting machines or embellishers. Are they expensive?? what kind do you have?? I fell upon your blog and fell in love!! Your work is fabulous and I can’t tell you how awesome it is that you share your techniques!!

  2. fembellish said,

    February 15, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. You’ve posed great questions regarding felting machines and embellishers that require more space to answer than this comment box provides. I’ve been planning an ongoing category on “tools” that will include basic information on how they’re used, where they can be purchased, related links, etc. Since felting by machine has become a hot topic of late, I will plan on making the first tool post specific to that topic.

    So stay tuned in and check back in the next few days. I’ll do my best to get it posted promptly.
    – N. Rene

  3. Lori said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I really enjoy the descriptions and pictures of the process you follow. It really helps me to understand new techniques and approaches. Thanks!

  4. fembellish said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    You are so welcome. It’s a great feeling knowing that something I share is helpful to others. My desire is that my visitors take away a little inspiration each visit and then try something new. Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments.

  5. February 16, 2007 at 11:51 am

    I’ve been wondering about these machines. I’ll stop by for the next lesson. Thanks.

  6. fembellish said,

    February 16, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    So glad you stopped by, Debra. I will also be posting an entry (probably on Saturday) with more information on felting machines and attachments.


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