Felted Finery – Angelina’s Secret Cousin (part one)


There’s definitely a family resemblance, although Angelina is the more flamboyant of the two. And when things heat up, Angelina experiences meltdown way before her cousin. Of course, Angelina by nature is “strung out” whereas her cousin flows with the warp and weft of things. Both like to put on a show and grab attention. For Angelina, it all happens so naturally. For her cousin, it takes a little more work (but it’s worth it).

This enjoyable fiber play requires simply supplies: a light weight stabilizer, some batik motifs, and (did you guess it?) – organza! To begin, hoop your stabilizer and place a cutout motif on top. If your motif has one side that is more pronounced, place that side face down. You could also use a hand painted motif. The important thing is that the fabric is double sided.


Using your Babylock Embellisher or needle punch machine/attachment, tack down the motif and then give it a more thorough felting.

Tack Down

Your motif should be covered with tiny needle holes. It’s easy to over felt some areas, so occasionally check the back side to make sure you are getting even results. At this point, some of the stabilizer should still be visible but the colors of the motif should also be coming through.

Next, cut a piece of polyester organza a little larger (about 1-2 inches) than the motif. When you needle punch organza, it tends to bunch up. I like to hold it in place with my fingers as I tack it down, slowly moving in a cross pattern followed by an “X” pattern.

Do a very thorough felting across the surface of your design. Pay special attention to the edges of the motif, making sure they are felted well since this will be your cutting line. Check the back to see if the organza fibers have felted through evenly. They won’t solidly cover the motif, but they should have an even appearance across the surface. Continue felting any sparse areas.

Thorough Felting of Organza

Peach organza on orange motif

When your motif is completely felted, remove it from the hoop and cut it out with a sharp pair of craft scissors. Next, sandwich it between two layers of parchment paper or a pressing sheet and iron at a “cotton” setting for about 6-7 seconds. Let the motif cool before touching it.

Cutout Dragonfly

Yellow organza on blue motif

You should have a beautiful non-fraying motif that can be used on quilts, pillows, hats, handbags, or whatever items you desire. Additionally, you have two sides from which to choose, both offering unique textures and some sparkle. These motifs can be used as stand-alones or embellished further with beads.

Bead Embellishment

Angelina is often mixed with other fibers (without being melted). The reverse side of these motifs bears a close resemblance to that technique. One thing is certain: the results are always one-of-a-kind and spectacular.

In part two, I will share with you how I made the shadow-dwelling dragonfly.

Shadow Dragonfly


N. Rene West
Time Treasured