Modern StitchOff Adventure – 2

Second Layer Of Circle, with net in place

Second Layer Of Circle, with net in place

Hexagonal net laid over the fibres helps to keep them from around the “foot” for want of a better word, of the embellisher. I’ve pinned it down, inside and outside the ring, and spent a lot of time struggling with a piece of blanket which seems to get larger every time I go back to it.

The challenge with an embellisher is to move the fabric when the needle unit is up, because if the needle unit is down when the fabric moves, needles get broken.

And I can assure you, they break. Eight, I think, by the end of my first serious day of using my embellisher.

The blanket got heavier and more unwieldy, but by the end of the day I was beginning to feel I might be getting the hang of it.

Early Stage Outer Circle

Early Stage Outer Circle

This might be in part because my sewing table was gradually accreting some props. I covered it with plastic tablecloth, to help the material slide, and stretched the plastic tablecloth over a clothes horse.

That in turn helped to raise the main weight of the blanket – the bit I wasn’t working on – so that it was no longer dragging down on the section I was working on.

I even piled up some of the blanket on the windowsill, and I do rather wonder what anyone passing by might have thought of the net curtains swishing tempestuously with no person in sight!

Shredded Net

Shredded Net

What was definitely not feeling better by the end of the day was that hardworking and hapless net. It doesn’t get felted in – that’s why it’s such a useful addition to the armoury of the user of an embellisher – but it does get pretty thoroughly shredded. This may be in part because I’m not yet experienced enough to know when I can dispense with it, or it may be because I’m working on small parts of the piece at once because it is so big and heavy.

Fortunately I bought a couple of yards of it, for precisely this purpose!


  1. Mam says:

    Those swishing curtains sound good!

  2. Dima says:

    It looks like a very interesting project. By the way, what is an embellisher?

  3. Penny Baugh says:

    You are a brave woman indeed!!!

  4. Lots of useful tips there – thank you. Your set-up does sound very Heath-Robinson! 🙂

  5. Kim McCool says:

    WOW-EE! This looks complicated – but I know you will come up with a grand and beautiful result.

  6. I’ve been so busy with the move and getting unpacked that I had to read back through your posts to see how this project came about. I’m really looking forward to watching it progress! Like Dima, I’m curious as to what an embellisher is.

    And thanks so much for linking up Eve in the Garden of Eden to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Such fine stitching on that one!

  7. Wendy says:

    It’s looking good! I’ve never used an embellisher so this is really interesting

  8. Lady Fi says:

    I really like that shredded blue!

  9. Susan says:

    Wow, that really does shred! But the piece is really looking wonderful, and you sound like you are learning so much. You set yourself quite a goal, but you are getting there, and learning so much! I have never used one, or even seen one used, so I’m fascinated by this.

  10. jenclair says:

    They do, indeed, break! The embellisher needles, I mean. What an interesting project, Rachel. 🙂

  11. Carolyn says:

    I think I would get angry at all the broken needles. But your project looks very interesting.

  12. karen says:

    I love the shredded net….so many possibilities there for embellishing with hand stitch….around holes, laying fine cloth over holes

  13. Terrie says:

    Interesting to see your felted work.