Friday, 13 August 2010

Embellishing machine

Another smaller meeting, but I wouldn't say it was quiet! Maz brought along her Janome FM-725 needle felting machine, or embellisher, as they are often called, so we could have a play with it.

Maz brought along a piece of fabric she had been working on, with the intention of making a vest. The fibres of the top fabric have been felted into the lower fabric. It's likely to become a wall-hanging in due course.

Nola and Tricia had a play with the machine, as neither of us had ever used one. Here's our sample:

Both of us worked on the top piece. Here's a close-up of Tricia's solo piece:
And here's Nola's solo sample, Bonfire Night:
OK I made the name upon the spot, but it has possibilities, doesn't it?

We were surprised at how noisy it was, though this was probably because it was being used on a fold-up craft table. We were also surprised at how cheap in price they are, compared to the well-known competition! I can't imagine spending thousands on a machine I'd only use occasionally, but a couple of hundred is a much better option, unless you intend to use it a lot. We are blown away by the work of fellow ATASDA member Felicity Clarke - you can see her work Connecting with the light here on the ATASDA members' blog.

Meanwhile, Helen was working on an unfinished work, which (ta da!) she finished on the day. She loves embroidering on rug canvas.
She thinks it may be a book cover one of these days (probably by next meeting!).

Once we finished playing with the embellisher, Tricia returned to her spinning. She acquired the fibre from the Spinners and Weavers' Association Open Day and it's beautifully soft and lustrous. She finished the first bag at our meeting. Here she is spinning:
 Nola decided to do some stamping on one of her "paint rags", with the aim to make some cards. ATASDA NSW is running a greeting card swap at the quarterly meeting, as a fundraiser for the library. Members bring sets of six cards, and, for a small donation, five are swapped and repackaged and the sixth donated to the library for sale. So far, the library has raised just over eighty dollars from this small fundraiser.
The fabric is quilters' muslin, painted with leftover Setacolor paints in an earlier painting session. The stamp was carved with a soldering iron from a polystyrene tray. (Do this outside, because it does produce toxic fumes!) It's easy to do and gives an effect rather like lino cut or woodcut images. The stamping was with Setacolor paints as well. She was experimenting with printing first with the bubble insert from a chocolate box, but the effect was very faint. You can just see the fine dots at the top.

Maz was doodling in her sketchbook, as she often does. Nola got quite excited by it and drew this onto another paint rag:

Next time, Maz is going to show us some laminating of fabric onto paper.  Stay tuned!


Our second July meeting was devoted to making simple postcards. The WA Group of ATASDA ran a postcard challenge with the theme of Natural Wonders, and we thought we might contribute some cards. The cards were displayed at the WA Quilt Craft and Stitch Show at Claremont from 30 July - 1 August. Not all of us were efficient enough to finish and send out cards at short notice, though!

Helen was already playing with this fabric with cartoon ladies. But you can see her postcard in the centre (sorry, the photographer wasn't having a good photography day!).
Here's a close-up:
Isn't it beautiful? She doesn brilliant work. Nola was playing with some postcards she'd already started, to try to finish one for the challenge. This one was almost done:
 It didn't get finished in time, though!

Maz also finished a postcard but the photographer didn't catch it in time.
Prue wasn't making postcards this time. She was busy on a more important work,doing traditional needlework for the Historic Houses Trust. The Trust recently put out a call for volunteers to help repair and stitch furnishing for the houses they care for. Obviously, this requires skill in hand stitching, working with historically correct materials and methods. Prue was stitching lace to a set of curtains.
The others were busy elsewhere on the day, so it was quite a small meeting. But we are busy all the time...