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Old 01-03-2012, 04:52 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Felting Machine

I have purchased a felting machine -- the Babylock Embellisher. Very impressive, after several years of doing needle felting by hand. The ability to cover lots of ground quickly and thoroughly is mind boggling. My machine has 12 needles, and includes the ability to feed yarn directly into the needle path, for felting linear patterns.

Here are two quick samples to share:

This is from scrap ends of yarn. I know it looks like a pile of yarn, but it really is a flat, tightly felted piece of fabric now. The 100% wool of course felted into more of a flat mat than the acrylic, but all yarns worked.



And the back side



Note the lines on the front side -- I flipped to the back, ran the felter, giving a change of texture.

This example uses lint from the dryer!



While not as sturdy, it is certainly fabric. This example was then layered with batting and backing fabric, and then machine quilted and embellished. The nature of lint makes it pretty low key, colorwise, and as an individual piece, not as outstanding. Until you know is is merely lint!

For both the yarn scraps and the lint, I used a piece of netting, giving something for the fibers to mesh onto.

Here is a diagram of the machine:



It looks like a sewing machine, just with a cluster of needles, no thread and no bobbin!

Here is a review of several felting machines, that I think is very informative, and as the woman at the store concurred, given her experience with a few felting machines, I bought it without a test.
Review of machines

Machine motor strength and speed, as well as the number of needles and the ease of changing them are the main qualities to look for. I had to special order my machine through a local sewing machine store, as they do not have enough demand to stock them. I could have done the order on line of course, but preferred to give my business to a locally owned shop, and the price was competitive.

The possibilities for fiber art are endless with a machine like this!
Jen
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:26 PM
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flying rainbow flying rainbow is offline
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Re: Felting Machine

Jennifer I think this work is fascinating ! What a great little machine and it is hard to believe that the finished piece is just lint.. It looks amazing. I would love to feel the texture.. the only machines I have seen here have only five needles and I am sure they don't turn out work like that.. could have a lot to do with the skill of the operator of course and it will be interesting to see more work when you have had the machine for a little longer! Fabric art indeed...
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:45 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

Nice machine, Jen. This is really going to be awesome in making your fabric art pieces. Can't wait to see what else you do with it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:40 PM
Irrylath Irrylath is offline
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Re: Felting Machine

Spiffy! Now I want to go do some felting of my own, thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:41 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

Neat work! I had heard of others having this machine but never saw any thing that they did with it. It is going to be great for your pictures that you do.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:39 AM
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BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
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Re: Felting Machine

Wow, impressive! There's no stopping you now, Jen!
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:26 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Felting Machine

Another sample. This time I took a piece of shiny silk-like fabric, and felted right on top. It creates a wonderful pucker texture, that in itself can be done in a pattern. In this case I partly texturized the cloth, then felted wool/silk roving on top. This will be the background for another piece I am working on.



I have also discovered that the machine felting is a great way to "sew" seams of felt together, as in this doll shirt.



And it is also a good way to finish and bind the edge of quilting art pieces.

Amazing machine.

Jen
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:49 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

It is really interesting what all you can do with the felting machine. Look forward to seeing what all you come up with.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:20 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

Hmm...shiny background piece. What is it going to be?

Awesome you can do so many things with your new machine.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:59 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

That background piece is intriguing. I'm excited to see what can be done with such a machine.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:48 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

I am finding many things can be done!

This is also done on the felting machine, and will be part of the foreground of the piece that the swirls will be a part of.



This is single ply yarn machine felted onto the same silk like fabric. The shine in the yarn and fabric gives wonderful texture.

I have also been out on the internet and finding other people doing similar work with a felting machine. One is Linda Hall who is also "painting" with wool -- lovely work in both quilting and felting.

Jen
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

I'm afraid you are about to pull me into a whole new artform! For now I shall sit back and enjoy watching what you are doing. No telling what might happen next time I go past the fiber coop tho! So are these pieces then going to be pieced together quilting style or is there some sort of cool felting join?
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:48 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

Ooh, curiouser and curiouser...
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:42 PM
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Re: Felting Machine

Love your new gadget Jen !!
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:41 AM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Felting Machine

I am new to this list but I love my Babylock Embellisher and I can see so many possibilities for artwork with it. Every time someone posts a picture it is a completely new idea with more and more new ones all the time. I think more and more artists will discover its possibilities for their own artwork.
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