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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Adding More Strips

Now add another strip - notice that there is a space between them - this is where I want the wool to peak through when we add it. It is also okay to overlap slightly in places.

Important Note: If you are are worried about your needles breaking in the thicker/heavier areas, don't use the foot pedal until you "test" that area by turning the wheel by hand in that area; in these heavier areas, pierce by hand turning before using the foot pedal in the same place, repeat where necessary.

A little puckering of the water soluble fabric is okay but if it puckers too much then pull up your embellished strip and re-embellish that part again.

In my third strip, notice that I let the edge of this silk gauze ruffle as it is the selvedge and it won't fray; this works best with the finer fabrics. Also notice in this strip that because it is so thin, that I manipulated it as I went along before needle felting in place.

Time for some red (of course, it does have a little green to pull it all together - much the same way as selecting colors for a quilt).

Once again, there are gaps left on purpose here and there.

Keep adding pieces, sometimes strips, sometimes not. Pay attention to to this pleated piece - this is the "rolling pin shibori" referred to in "Making More Needle Felting Magic" - if you don't have any, make some today -- it will be ready to use by tomorrow! It will lose the pleats when wet felted but will add a lovely heavier puckered texture to that piece. By using all weights of silk, we'll have a variety of textures when we are finished and that is our goal here.

Notice that I only embellish the edges of the pleated fabric before adding another and doing the same thing.

Here is my piece ready for stitching. Inspect your piece to make sure that any gaps you have are not too wide; if they are, add a small piece to "bridge" the pieces. I did this between the red and green at the top left.
If you do not wish to wet felt at the end, you can add the wool and/or silk fiber to fill in the gaps at this point before stitching.

Stitched and ready to rinse. Free- motion stitch over your entire piece (I do larger swirls) leaving the ruffled edge in the center loose and only around the outside edges of the pleated shibori. For this step, I like using Sulky clear poly thread; however, you can use thread of your choice - glitter (although sometimes it breaks when I go too fast) or embroidery thread too. It all depends on the effect that you are trying to achieve; if you use colored thread, then you will focus more on the stitches - I like to focus more on the texture :-) A note about what thread to use in the bobbin here - I have to confess that I'm pretty lazy when it comes to that, I use whatever bobbin thread is already there or what needs to be used up unless I'm doing some stitching where I want the bobbin thread to come to the top and in that case, I'll use the "proper" color.

At the sink, place your piece in some warm water to dissolve the backing. Using a little liquid soap between your wet hands, gently rub your piece to remove all of the stabilizer and rinse well, adding a little hair conditioner to the last rinse (don't be too concerned with this as we'll be using soap when we get to the wet felting stage). Lay flat on a towel to dry. Take a good look at my piece and remember, even if I used the exact same materials for another piece, it would probably look quite different. Do not expect that yours will look exactly the same even if you used the same colors - yours will be your own "baby" and will turn out beautiful!
Next, we'll focus on adding the wool and wet felting!


  1. What a fabulous gift you are giving us!! i LOVE SEEING STEPPED OUT PHOTOS fo projects it makes the whole process eem so much more do-able!!! I will be following along at every step!!!\
    Big Hugs!

  2. Hugs back to you Elizabeth!

  3. Hey Margo this step by step is a great idea and im loving what im seeing....stunning.

  4. YOUR WORK IS GORGEOUS! I just found you on the Yahoo Group. I am proud new owner of a machine felter...I have only done hand felting and wet felting.....I am so excited to learn more advanced techniques and you are such an inspiration! Come visit me