The level of my illness is clearly reflected in this little project. Two years ago I purchased a Feltscaper and an Embellisher Machine to work with felted wool. I run a club in Atlanta and I asked my club members this past March, what do you do with your "felt making machines"? Out of 20 members, no one produced a project to show me, several still had theirs in boxes, a couple mentioned they watched a class on how to do scenery with them. But no one "felt" that they were truly using their machine and had very little or "absent" experience in using "Roving". Some had no real idea what their machine was used for however they purchased it because they had received such a good deal from their favorite sewing store and couldn't resist a bargain. To add further humor to this "hobby machine", more than half of them had roving in huge quantities and their bags of bargain roving still remained sealed. Taking this as a challenge I have spent the last few months on focusing on the "felting process". We studied the process of felting from "wet" felted fabric creation to "needle felting" where fibers are entangled with the use of the machines we owned but had failed to utilize. From working with ready made wool items and reshaping them into felted purses as seen on my earlier blog postings, to learning to knit to create our own purses which we then felted in our washing machines. With a greater understanding of what felting was about, and the various methods and projects out there, last week I had everyone bring their roving and they created their own "felted wool" fabric and made a small change/makeup bag to throw in their previously made felted bags. As a result of tripping over our felting machines for 24 months or more, my club members are now "knitters", "flower designers", "fabricators", and masters at boiling water, and have extended their in depth study of their washing machines.
I also reminded them of Angelina which is a great product that all of us owned as well but had not taken advantage of. We created a flat sheet of Angelina fabric with our irons and some tissue paper and then embroidered it with a butterfly or two. And as you can see we used it for an embellishment on the accessory bag. The Feltscaper is a tool you can purchase through a Brother dealer which you add to the Brother 1500 Quilting Machine and the Embellisher is a separate standing machine dedicated to felting and is available through Babylock dealers. Other companies offer similar type machines but my personal success with this process has been with the two machines mentioned here.
One last thought on this topic. I view the felting machine process as being therapeutic as it involves smashing fibers together effortlessly and it really helps to release frustration. I believe everyone could benefit psychologically by relieving tension with the smashing process. ~ Cookie