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Needle Felting and other non-machine Creative Tools
Sharing experiences with needle felting
Londa Rohlfing
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Londa Rohlfing
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Date: 8/3/06 8:42 AM

Lately, I've been playing with needle felting! I know it has been around - actually a LONG time - but has come back into the scene with the Babylock/Brother attachment and now Bernina's also. Those are expensive, but I used the Clover Needle Felter tool as suggested in the Indygo Junction patterns, and been having a ball. You use roving - or any loosely of un-twisted yarn, etc. and these barbed needles (spring-loaded on the Clover) mush the fibers together. I've twirled roving all over one of my sweatshirt jackets and drove my family crazy with the sound of it while engaged in taking out my frustrations with these little needles! Will try to borrow my DD's camera and add a pic real soon. Anyway - try it. For what it's worth, also little tools that are peaking my curiosity and I'm playing with in creative sewing are the Clover Embroidery Stitching Tool and the Kantan Couture Bead Embroidery Tool. Anyone else played with them? I saw all these demo'd at a big craft market in Chicago a few weekends ago.

Editing to add pictures - scaned, not photo'd, as no camera at my disposal currently. center front of my 'felted' Creative Sweatshirt Jacket

The solid grey is grey wool jersey I felted in the washing machine, and used as a collar. The wool roving is knotted before felted onto it.

Felted, Flared end to wool roving on Creative Sweatshirt Jacket
See how neat you can 'flare out' and diminish the end of the roving?

I brushed my cat last night and have the weird idea of trying to felt with his fur! It sure worked with Alpaca fur I was sent to try!

I also wash-tested a piece of sweatshirting with the wool roving felted on - along with 'felting' the wool jersey. It remained, but didn't hold up 'good enough' - so I'll say this technique is Hand Wash. I'll use Eucalan.
-- Edited on 8/4/06 12:29 PM --

Georgene
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Georgene
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California USA
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Date: 8/3/06 10:51 AM

What does the Couture Bead Embroidery tool do?? That sounds really interesting! I inherited tons of beads and sequins and haven't done much with them. I find it so fiddly to bead! It would be great to have a gadget that helps.

Londa Rohlfing
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Londa Rohlfing
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Posts: 118
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Date: 8/4/06 12:18 PM

The Beading Embroidery Tool is a hook like thingie that you push up through fabric - it then grabs the thread that beads have been strung on, and pulls it down, and 'crochets' or chain stitches it with the last stitch. The wrong side is chain stitch - which, of course could be the right side. I hope this explains it. Sequins or beads just must be strung first. Maybe this afternoon I can get to play with it.

Muria
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Muria
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Michigan USA
Member since 2/13/05
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Date: 8/4/06 1:25 PM

Is the beading embroidery tool available outside of craft shows? It sounds a lot like a tambour hook which I've tried, without success, to get locally. (I can get one online, but the shipping is more than the item. I don't know why, but it irks me immensely to pay more for shipping than the cost of the item.) I thought Clover was coming out with something like that, but I didn't see it on their website or in stores.

Your felting looks really awesome, by the way.

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Muria

Where did all this fabric come from? I CAN'T have bought THAT much!

GorgeousFabrics
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GorgeousFabrics
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Date: 8/4/06 2:01 PM

It is a tambour hook. I have used it, and it definitely takes a bit of practice to do right. Don't use the thread that the beads are strung on when you buy them - too weak. I used to use silk thread to string my tambour beads. and silk thread on the back as well. It was tremendously strong, and unless I messed up the tying-off at the ends, it outlasted any other beading I have ever done. Start off with very simple designs (wavy lines going down a length of organza. The nice thing is that you can trace your pattern piece outlines and make sure that your embroidery stays within the seamlines. I did tambour for about a year, then I got pregnant with DS1 and never had the time. I sold all my supplies 2 years ago, here on PR.

Ann

Tiner W
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Tiner W
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 8/4/06 3:53 PM

I saw the felting tool featured on the Berroco Knit bits newsletter and am fascinated with it. this may be a dumb question, but is the yarn couched on to the fabric, and then "mushed"? Or is the mushing done first, then applied to the garment? I'm really interested in trying this, as well as the beading tool. I bought a jean jacket from April Cornell with chain stitching all over it, and people always ask me if I made it. I'd love to have a tool to do that.

What does the embroidery tool do?

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Alberta CANADA
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Date: 8/4/06 11:46 PM

Ah! so many crafts, so little time! I've done a bit of dabbling with needle felting, and was astonished at how easy and fast it works up. But, with my time being at a premium, I decided to speed up the process even further by doing it by machine. Being the queen of cheap/vintage/cheap machines, I choked on the price of a Babylock Embellisher, and decided to improvise my own.

I found a 1950's Japanese straight stitch sewing machine at Value Village for $12.99, invested another $12 in new slide/throat plates, and removed the hook, feed dogs, and everything else below the sewing bed I could take apart. I cut off a hand felting needle so it was about the length of a SM needle, and inserted it in the needle clamp. Voila! A single needle felting machine! It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but with some free-motion sewing experience, it's pretty easy. The biggest problem is the fragility of felting needles. I'm currently researching a large-volume-cheap supply.

Jennifer in Calgary

Liana
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Liana
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Nebraska USA
Member since 8/31/03
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In reply to Tiner W


Date: 8/5/06 1:04 AM

The yarn is felted onto the fabric in one step, and it needs no couching. I have a Babylock Embellisher, and don't use it as much as I should, but I love it. Addictive, isn't it Londa?

Here are a couple links to some things I've done.

Embellisher Gallery

A Work in Progress - Skirt I haven't ever gotten back to the jacket I want to do to coordinate with this skirt, but any day now...

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Liana
http://sewintriguing.blogspot.com/
http://artisanssquare.com/sg/
http://www.pbase.com/lianasews

MaryBeth
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MaryBeth
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In reply to Jennifer Hill


Date: 8/5/06 8:45 AM

Whoa, Jennifer, that's a wonderful idea. Thanks for posting it! I love creative use of machinery

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http://www.thestitchery.wordpress.com
http://www.thesewingdivas.wordpress.com

Tiner W
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Tiner W
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Pennsylvania USA
Member since 8/29/02
Posts: 418
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In reply to Liana


Date: 8/5/06 10:41 AM

Thank you for posting that! I remember seeing some of those bags and your Vogue jacket before--now I get it! The skirt is beautiful. It really helps me to see the step by step view. Possibilities are whirling around through my mind!

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