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


My little shadow dweller started out to be an actual shadow of the blue dragonfly. The dark background fabric didn’t allow for the effect I desired, so he took on a new life as a lurker.

The method I used to create him is a little different from the colorful dragonfly in part one. For this fiber play, you will need a black stabilizer, a cut piece of your background fabric, and some black polyester organza.

Hoop the black stabilizer and place your background fabric on top. This time keep the most pronounced side of the fabric face up.

Using your Babylock Embellisher or needle punch machine/attachment, slowly tack down the fabric to the stabilizer. Next, needle punch the entire surface of the fabric. A light felting will be sufficient.

Place the black organza on top of the felted fabric and secure its outer edges with your fingers. Beginning in the center, tack the organza down using a cross motion and then an “X” motion. The organza will have a tendency to fold and bunch up. Keep it as taut as possible as you work across the surface.

Felted Organza

When the organza has been evenly felted, remove the design from the hoop and cut away the excess stabilizer. Unlike the first dragonfly that we made, this one will have the organza side of the piece as his front.

Sandwich the piece between parchment paper or a nonstick ironing sheet. With your iron set at “cotton,” press for about 6-8 seconds. Some stabilizers will begin to melt during this process, so do this in a well ventilated area.

After your felted piece cools, cut out your design shape. I simply put my previously made dragonfly on top of the felted piece and cut around it.

Shadow Dragonfly

Your dark dragonfly should have a hint of the background fabric showing through. This gives the appearance of translucence to his body. These shapes can be easily attached to another surface by stitching through your base fabric and catching part of their under bodies with the needle. There is no need to bring the needle and thread to the surface of the design (unless you want to, of course).

I hope you enjoy this technique and find creative ways to use and expand it in your own work.


I received a question yesterday from one of my wonderful readers in Austria that I would like to spend a few minutes answering.

The question concerned batiks and more specifically the batiks I’ve been using in my latest tutorials. Fabric designers usually present their new lines seasonally. Batiks are a little different because many of them are imported. However, designs change rapidly and once a season or two passes it can be difficult finding a particular fabric from an earlier collection. We’ve even had people write us at Dawntreader Designs because they saw a fabric used in one of our products that they desperately wanted and couldn’t find in fabric stores or online.

The fabric I use in my tutorials comes from a large inventory that has been collected over time from many different sources. I often go on buying trips to other cities to find new and interesting fabrics, fibers, and notions for the business studio. That’s my day job, so to speak. With that said, let me add that little of what I procure is exclusive to business owners or some select group. I shop just as other people shop, only I probably purchase larger quantities at any given time.

I’m sorry to say that the dragonfly batik and the green leaf batik were purchased several years ago from parts unknown, and I haven’t seen them in stores for a long, long time. I believe the leaf design could be achieved with hand dyed or hand painted fabric. Similarly, the dragonfly could be hand painted as well. Also, another batik with a busy design could be used for the dragonfly and then cut out in the desired shape.

I try to write my tutorials in such a way that the technique transcends the specific colors or fabrics that I use. It can be frustrating when a tutorial or magazine article offers a long list of esoteric supplies that are not readily available to the general reader. This isn’t always possible to avoid, but I do try to suggest alternatives for those who can’t find a specific item that I incorporated into the work.

Thanks for the question. I’m just sorry I can’t point you to a source for the batiks. Keep your eyes open, though, because beautiful new batiks come to market regularly and you may just find something you like even better.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured