Quilting Done.. My Machine Felted Work Of Art


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I like how this turned out.

My first machine felted work of art. I kind of felt like I was a painter. Beginning with a solid piece of dark wine wool felt. And adding roving, yarn, ribbon wherever I wanted to place it. The felt leaves were added afterwards. They kind of flop. But that is the look I wanted. It is kind of messy looking on the right, but hey, it’s my first. 🙂

I quilted it with 3-D in mind. Going around and around the petals and centers of the petals. And outlined around the flowers. Then I stippled the borders.

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I was undecided on what fabric to use for the binding. Then remembered this fabric with trees that I just bought. I was saving it for something else but guess I can buy more if I need too.

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This is how the back looks. I used the blue linen, same as the borders. You can see the quilting better from the back. It measures 26″ by 28″. Perfect as a wall hanging.

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I have tons of ideas swirling around in my head. One, I want to start on right away. But need to make a trip to the fabric store. I need ivory or cream wool felt for the background. Probably will go tomorrow. And then I need to go to the Janome place. I broke two of the felting needles. 😦

I hope I get better at it as I go. Practice, practice.


Linking to…

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/06/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-ive-got-my-work.html

Machine Felting: Petals And Leaves At Play…


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Introducing my Janome Xpression Felting Machine. Oh, you have seen it before. Several times. But this time you get a bonus. You get to see what I MADE with it!!

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It has been so long that I don’t even remember when I bought it. I am thinking about five years ago. Worth every penny I paid.

I finally cracked open the manual. Read the few pages of instruction. Mostly the manual told me about the tools that came with the Felting Machine. I didn’t see them the two times I took the machine out of the box to photograph it. Ah. Inside the removable arm thingy. 5 needle cartridge, a single needle cartridge, 3 extra needles, two screwdrivers and a cleaning brush. Plus a one hole felting plate. All there. Thank goodness!!

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Even a DVD came with it. I watched it twice and got started.

Machine felting is so easy. A baby could do it. Within less than a minute I was going at top speed. It is all done by pushing whatever I pile on top down into the fabric on the bottom. Preferably wool felt, denim, something sturdy as the base fabric.

I made this first.

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This is the back. Even pretty and usable from this side. I think I will make it into a necklace.

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It was too easy. So I decided I had enough practice. And started on a larger piece. No clue where I was going with it. I was thinking, clean slate, just start laying pieces.

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I had plenty to chose from. Felt from my macrame projects.

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Yarn from my stash.

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These came from Salvation Army’s Thrift Store. 25 cents each. What a deal steal!!

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And roving. Which I bought a couple years ago.

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Immediately after starting and taking the first photograph, I knew I should have selected a different base color. Oh well. I tried to brighten it up by adding white and bright colors.

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I just kept adding stuff.

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See my leaves. They are just halfway pushed into the felt. I gave them a tug to see if they would pull out. Nope. They are in there tight.

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For border #1 I used avocado wool felt. For border #2, I used this linen/linen look fabric I got from Salvation Army’s Thrift shop.

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Now I have to decide how to finish off the back.

I am sorry it took me so long to try machine felting. My lost. Just think what I could have accomplished by now. Clean up is a breeze. Open the trap door. Remove the lint collected.

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I have loads of ideas. Embellished fronts for handbags. More wall hangings. Baskets. And somehow I will incorporate felting into my quilting.

I guess I won’t be needing this.

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LOL!! No since mailing this off now. Janome has since switched out this model for something else. It is a good thing, too, that it works just as it is supposed to. 😀


Guess what? Another project comes off the MAY To-Do list. (I will keep plugging along until they are all finished.)


Linking to…

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/06/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-ive-got-my-work.html

“MAY” Round Up… The Big Eye


Updated 7-18-12.

When I was little and piled more food on my plate than I could possibly eat, my mom would say I had the “big eye.”

When AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts posted her May Small Projects Sew-a-long, I signed on thinking what a perfect time to work on recent unfinished projects plus a few back burners. http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/05/small-projects-sew-along.html

So, I made up my list. Will Do and Want To Do’s.

WILL DO

  • Download embroidery designs from my PC to sewing machine
  • Embroider one design, maybe two
  • Faux Chenille quilt finished
  • One handbag with grommets finished 6-9-12
  • Machine Felting, start one project finished two projects
  • Work on Umbrella quilt finished quilt top -6 blocks 7-18-12
  • Make more zippered bags four finished

WANT TO DO

  • Finish 4th of July Picnic Blanket/Table Runner/D9P Finished 6-25-12
  • Make pincushion inspired by coffee mug Made two 6-18-12
  • Work on Game Boards for Family Reunion
  • Work on black/white/red Postage Stamp Quilt Panel #2 made, 6-5-12.
  • Finish Attic Window Bird Cage pillow

But guess what happened? Yep. You guessed it.

I HAD THE BIG EYE.

I was only able to cross off TWO items. How embarrassing!! But it certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying. (I will tell you more about that in a minute.)

One thing not on my two lists received the most attention. My charity pillowcase project I recently started. Throughout May I sewed and sewed and ended up finishing 41 pillowcases. I timed making one pillowcase and if piecing wasn’t necessary and I could just cut and sew, it took me exactly one hour. Piecing added an extra 30 minutes or longer. So roughly I would say I devoted about 50 hours making pillowcases. That included fabric selection, ironing and preparation time. But seeing them finished, folded and ready to ship brought me so much joy. Many smiles. I was delighted to donate the time and materials.

Here they are.

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In between making pillowcases, I managed to make one quilted handbag. The plan was to add grommets (and then I could have crossed it off my list) but I ended up using wooden handles instead. 😦

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One thing on the WILL DO list I completed was this little zippered bag. 😀

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It goes with the handbag.

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And even though my Faux Chenille finished quilt/blanket was for a DOLL, I am crossing it off anyway. I went through the entire process. Learned it, sewed it, finished it. And have plans to make a larger one this month.

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So.. those were my two On-The-List finishes.


OK. Now let me tell you about my PROJECT ATTEMPTS.

I spent HOURS trying to figure out how to download embroidery designs to my Janome MC 10001 sewing machine.

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Everyday I would search the net, search Janome’s web site. Nothing I tried worked. The culprit? My operating system. Using my USB cable that came with my sewing machine, I could not automatically find the required drivers. And a manual search didn’t find them either. The program fix I found at Janome didn’t work. Because I have a 64 bit (????) system and the USB connected download only works with 32 bits. So… I am really frustrated right now. After I cool off (don’t want to be mean and cuss at the poor sewing center workers), I plan to take it all in and demand ask for help. Hopefully sometime this month I will be able to embroider one of the digital designs I bought five years ago.

Another item on my list that I can say a bit of progress was made was learning about my Janome Xpression Felting Machine.

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I have had it, I think, about 4-5 years. And never used it. I can proudly say, I am now more familiar with it, the tools and the process. More so than ever. I spent HOURS (about as many as on the embroidery issue) reading my manual, searching the net, watching how-to videos. I am certain I will be able to complete a machine felted project in June. How’s that!! One Machine Felted Item Coming Up!!

Though I only managed to finish two items on my list, I still count May as a success because of what I DID finish. (Photos below if not above)

41 charity pillowcases
2 pillowcases for me
1 doll pillowcase
1 quilted handbag
1 zippered clutch
1 faux chenille doll blanket
1 doll ruffled pillow
1 little girl’s purse

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Well, that does it for me. How about you? Did you complete your May projects?


Linking to:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/06/small-projects-sew-along-finale.html

Felting A Purse: The Process

After reading through my books on how to felt in a washing machine, I decided to just do it. I tell ya, I had lots of pause moments. Lots of what if’s.

What if…..

  • water isn’t hot enough
  • fibers clog up the washing machine
  • purse falls apart
  • purse shrinks too much
  • purse shrinks not enough
  • no shrinkage happens AT ALL!!

Well, guess what? I worried for nothing.

The water was REALLY hot. And stayed hot enough for me to run the purse through three washing cycles. I didn’t trust that I would be at the machine right at the moment BEFORE it went into a spin (spinning is a no-no), so I stayed in the laundry room watching it like a hawk.

Instructions said to “look” at purse during the process. So… I stopped the wash cycle several times to look. The first time, I didn’t see any shrinkage at all. 😦 2nd time. A little. 3rd time. Now we were cooking with gas!! Yes!! Finally. The wool fibers were starting to tighten.

I didn’t need to worry at all about fibers clogging up the hose and drain. Since I put the purse in a zippered pillow case.

Here’s the amount of shrinkage. The outline shows the measurements before felting.

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Still drying. Stuffed with plastic bags, per the instructions.

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I LOVE IT!!!! It can stand up on its own.

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If you plan to felt anything in your washing machine, here’s a few things you need to know. Don’t allow the item to go through the spin cycle. Any folds or creases formed will be permanent. Always put the item inside of something to prevent wool fibers from clogging up your washing machine. Put a few other large items in there to assist with the agitation. I put in two pairs of old jeans and a huge dark towel.

Another suggestion: Try it first with an item you won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t turn out as expected. Not your dream project that you spent months making.

I used Patons Classic Wool that I got at Michaels for half price. Perfect for a 1st felting project.


Here’s the BEFORE picture. Colors are brown, dark navy-almost black, royal blue, turquoise and beige.

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Three Firsts

Nature Shot of a “Red Bird”

I don’t usually take photos of birds. Don’t think I have EVER taken one. But I couldn’t resist seeing as a couple of my friends take beautiful close-ups of animals, birds and flowers.

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Hubby called me to come quickly to look out the bathroom window. A pretty Red Bird was staring back at us. He was enjoying the pink blossoms on a tree in our yard. RED stayed put long enough for me to run for my camera.


Reverse Single Crochet

Learned a new stitch a couple days ago. Reverse Single Crochet (rsc) or crab stitch, as some may call it. I had seen it in patterns before but always skipped right over it for 3 reasons. Didn’t know what it was, didn’t know how to do it and it was always at the end. The last step. Like a border. Figured, what the hay, I was done. But the time had come to just go for it. Learn it. Went to You Tube. Found quite a few on-line demonstrations. Liked this one best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhSbycwfpdo

Here’s what it looks like. Kind of like a rounded spiral. At the top. Finishes it off nicely.

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Felted Purse, The Before Picture

This is how my 1st felted purse looked before the felting process.

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You can see the yarn design better in this next picture. I made the purse a bit larger than the pattern called for.

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I drew an outline of it so I could easily measure the shrinkage.

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Wish me luck. Hope I am pleased with the AFTER picture.