Modern Stitch-Off Adventure – 4

Spare Needles

Spare Needles

I’ve been gradually accumulating the skills needed to wrangle my embellisher successfully. It was worth buying the extension table that fits around the arm of the machine – that began to make the whole thing seem possible.

Using the net to hold down the fibres made a huge difference, and so did piling up props to keep the weight of the blanket from pulling on the needles. The props then worked better again when I covered them, and the table, with a slippery plastic tablecloth to stop them getting caught up.

I’ve also found that on my wooden sewing table, the embellisher “walks” with the vibration of its movement. Two layers of heavy batting on the table seem to have fixed that particular alarming problem, and then I bought some spare needles (20 of them!) and relaxed a little, which made it easier not to jerk at the fabric and break needles.

Fibre And Felt

Fibre And Felt

So what with one thing and another, I’m beginning to feel as though I might be getting to grips with the embellisher!

I’m also beginning to learn which fabrics work. Obviously, the hexagonal net gets shredded and doesn’t get pulled into the fabric. Dense commercial wool felt doesn’t felt in well, in fact it seems to pull itself back out again; but real wool tweed and the lofty “pre-felt” pieces felt in like a dream, and end up looking almost as though they were part of the fabric.



The fibres seem to remain quite lofty and furry, even after being fairly thoroughly felted in, although the merino becomes flatter than some of the other fibres. The more I work with the embellisher, the more I realise that there is rather more to it than meets the eye!

A lot more….

At the moment, the colours aren’t quite working, but my next stage is to start to add details, and tweak the colours a bit. I need to add the teals and greens that are part of the fabric pattern that gave me the colour-scheme, and  also help some of the edges and lines of the pattern to come to life..

Back View

Back View

But I might also choose to use the back… The spotty, “dithered” effect is very like the overall effect of the fabric I’ve mentioned, so I need to consider whether to continue adding to what is at present the “front”, or to start adding tweaks to the “back”.

If it is still the back…!


  1. Emma says:

    Ooh, this embellisher sounds intriguing Rachel…I rather love the mottled results at the back…

  2. Carolyn says:

    Learning a new skill takes time and patience. But oh the satisfaction once you master it. Keep at it.

  3. jenclair says:

    You are making me want to order more needles and get the embellisher back out!

  4. Penny Baugh says:

    You are off and running!!! I love both sides, but think I like the back the best. But the whole thing is turning out beautifully.

  5. Lady Fi says:

    Very nice!

  6. Oh yes! The ‘back’ looks very appealing. Actually I prefer it to the front, but there is a lot more work to do to bring it up to the same state of completion. Such a lot to learn.

  7. It’s so interesting reading about your “adventures” with your embellisher and how you’re solving the various problems that you’ve encountered.

    And thanks so much for linking up your cacti to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!

  8. Perhaps as you work you should sing the little song that quilters use to establish a smooth rhythm …… I am sure you know it …… the wheels on the bus go round and round …….

  9. Cathy Daniel says:

    Gosh, you really are being adventurous, and it all sounds like good, creative fun, if somewhat exasperating at times. My attempts at needle felting were pretty pathetic. But I have seen some beautiful examples, yours included! xCathy

  10. Karen says:

    love that you are ”playing” with your machine, testing it and figuring out what works best for you….