Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have a NEW TOY!!!!

For several years now I hae been very interested and curious about the latest New Toy in the Fiber Arts end of mixed media. The Embellishing machine is a mechanical needle felter. It looks just like a sewing machine without any thread. It has a head with seven barbed felting needles attached. I first found out about it through one of my Yahoo art groups. Fortunately there was alot of interest and excitment about the machines so there were several good discussions about the pro's and con's of various models. I managed to resist for quite awhile!!! Several months ago I started asking friends to keep there eyes and ears open for a used machine. The latest models have 12 needles rather than 7 and I knew that there had to be folks out there who had jumped in and purchased and then might not have used the machines much. Well, my rare patience paid off and I have gotten a hold of a very gently used Baby Loc 7 needle machine for a VERY good price!! WHOOO HOOO!!!!
On Thursday I went up to Alexandria to Artistic Artifacts for a play day with my friend Judy Gula.

We pulled out all sorts of silk and wool and dyed fleece and silk velvet and ribbons and had a blast. Judy was there to help me chnage the inevitable broken needle or two and I got the feel of what the machine could do very quickly.
Here are some sampler type pieces that I put together.
I love working with the velvets and strips of satin ribbon as they give any piece such shimmer and dimension if you couch them down in random spots. I think that I will probably be adding some beads to these, as more is MORE and I LOVE add beads to everything!!!
Before leaving Judy's I started on a real project. In a wonderful book by MArgo DUke, I had found a technique for creating a scarf using needle felting, Free Motion Embroidery and wet felting. The pictures were just beautiful and the results were right to my liking in terms of style. You can see book that I am refering to, here.
I cut a 50 inch long by 8 inches wide piece of soft white polyester white lace (new). On top of the lace I put down thinned out pieces of red and pink dyed fleece, some pink wool curls, some orange fleece formed into loose circles, some sprinkles of pink angelina fibers and a long strand of fuzzy green yarn laid down in a vine-like fashion. The loose orange circles with yellow centers were laid down to give the appearance of flowers on the vine. Then I covered the wool with a 50" by 8" piece of Solvey brand water soluble fabric. I pinned this down with long flat headed quilting pins and flipped the whole thing over to expose the blank side of the lace piece. I repeated the covering process with the various bits of fleece. I then coverd that side with another sheet of Solvey. Then I needle felted the piece being careful not to over felt! Then I did Free Motion Stitching all over the piece. Once the needle felting was done I was able to remove the pins.

Here is a picture of the lace, wool, Solvey sandwich after the Free Motion Stitching. The next step was the wet felting. I plunged the piece into a sink full of very warm water to which I had added several drops of shampoo plus conditioner. I was amazed at how quickly the Solvey disappeared! It was almost instantaneous!!. I rubbed the whole piece gently and rinsed it several times in hot water and then spread it on a bath towel and rolled it up and squeezed to remove excess water.

I am thrilled that you can see some of the texture of the lace peaking out from underneath the wool. The picture does not show off the sparkling bits of pink angelina fiber that I added but perhaps when it is all dry and I have done some beadwork on the blossoms, we will be able to see that part better! Yes beads, of course I am going to add some beads!!! I am going to make some more of these with different fabric cores. The next one will probably be more Ocean colors and then I think a purple and green one will be in order!!


Anna said...

You'll be spinning and weaving for your works of art before you know it! The scarf is absolutely beautiful. April will be so jealous of your new toy. I'll show her when I see her working at LT tomorrow.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

What fun! I'm looking forward to the beading!

Anonymous said...

This is really magnificent!! Wow...really super duper cool. :)

ariel freeman said...

Looks like you had fun. New toys are great for inspiring creativity. Sorry I missed you yesterday at LT. I did see your little bird. And thank you so much. I am planning on hanging him at home. See you soon. Warmest!

terracota said...

Hello Elizabeth I am Mariel from the textilechallenge group. I am just visiting your blog. Congratulations it is very beautifull and those lovely colors!!
Mariel, from Argentina

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

How wonderful for you!!! beautiful work!!! You will be addicted!!!
chris p

Robin said...

Stunningly gorgeous!!!!! Oooooh, and what a play day... Eeeegads, I want to be there to mess with all of this color and texture and beauty!

Robin A.

Judy said...

I have been toying with the idea of purchasing an embellisher for quite some time now. You need to tell me more about yours.
Love your scarf.....wish I could see it in person.
You have been busy!!!


Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

I just got an embellisher and am working on some projects from Margo's book, also. Almost finished with the purse, and can't wait to make the scarf. Yours turned out very pretty. Did you have any trouble with needles sticking to the Sulky Solvy?


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