If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know that I don’t do a great deal of embellishment. Embellishment to me means ‘adding more to a finished item in the form of beads, lace, trims and bling’ but I can’t remember the last time I did that so I wasn’t filled with enthusiasm at the prospect of spending the day doing just that at an embellishment workshop with Jayne Emerson. I had booked the workshop on the recommendation of a lady in my local Janome Owners’ Club and thought it might be an enjoyable way for big sis and I to spend a day. I needn’t have worried about the beads and bling as it transpired that there was no specific programme for the day, the downside of which is that unless you arrive with a specific idea in mind, it can take a while to get up and running. I didn’t want to spend the day on free motion embroidery so when Jayne suggested that the five of us ‘have a go’ at needle felting, I was happy to try it. Big sis does not much enjoy ‘winging it’, claiming that she’s no good at coming up with ideas of her own (which is rubbish of course, but I can’t convince her otherwise), so she was less keen to work without specific direction and didn’t enjoy the day as much as I did.
Jayne demonstrated how to use both the hand-held felting tool and the embellishing machine (like a sewing machine but with multiple needels and no thread or bobbin), and passed round felted samples. With carte blanche to use anything that we found in the boxes or shelves around the room, we were off on our own. Needle felting is an easy process – layer the fabrics you want to felt over a dense brush and bounce the felting gadget over the area to be felted. The barbs on the needles are what cause the fabrics to blend together.
These are my efforts of the day. The landscape piece is actually larger than the single tree one and yet again, the photo doesn’t do my cornfield justice!
Needle felting isn’t something I’ve ever thought I’d have much use for and I haven’t changed my mind. I had a very enjoyable day out and I’m glad I went to Jayne’s workshop but I think I need to stick with needles of the unbarbed kind for a while longer. And yes, it hurts, a lot, if you stab your finger instead of the fabric.