I never thought the day would arrive ……

Many of you know that any kind of sewing has always brought me out in a dreadful sweat and for donkeys years I have sworn NEVER to stitch for pleasure.  I did however break the habit of a lifetime this summer in order to participate in Lisa Klakulak’s wonderful workshop at ‘Felt in Focus’, it was time to stretch my mind!  I always admired Lisa’s beautifully detailed sculptural pieces and free machine embroidery on thick pieces of hand rolled felt just seemed to attract my attention this year, once I actually got to grips with it I actually found that I quite enjoyed the experience!

Selling 4 of the 5 stitched felt seascapes I had on exhibition during Kilkenny Arts Festival made me realise that there is definitely an appreciation for this type of textile art.  I never thought the day would arrive but I decided this week to invest (heavily as  it turned out!) in a specialist straight stitching machine which has the capabilitiy to stitch through amazingly thick layers of felt effortlessly.  This means that not only can I sew through multiple layers of wool but I can also stitch right up to and around thick sections of felt and in this way emphasise and enhance highly textured surface details.    John from Sewing Machines Ireland in Waterford provided expert assistance in my choice of machine.  He said that he wouldn’t dream of supplying me with a machine unless I subjected it to rigorous testing and see if it would be suitable for the type of work I was thinking of so off I went armed with felt on Wednesday afternoon, the intention was to try out a second hand industrial Pfaff complete with knee lift.

Felt prior to stitching

In the event the Pfaff was great but John suggested a new machine he had in stock might actually be even more specifically suited to what I had in mind, drum roll please for the Janome 1600P QC!!!  It is like sewing with a Rolls Royce, incredible, even I liked using it!!!!!  I’m not going to bore you with all the features which make this machine so special for me but suffice to say I can stitch over CRATERS and MOUNTAINS effortlessly and I suspect it would take a total blundering idiot to break it, it weighs a tonne.  For anyone intending in sewing anything other than a straight stitch this is not the machine for you.  Because I knew that the only other possible use I would put it to would be to stitch up the seams of some simple nuno felt clothing it appears as if it is a match made in Heaven!  Anyway, I bit the bullet and invested in the Janome, I am not regretting my descision and have already finished stitching one piece as per the posted pictures.  I will however have to get my finger out, making a return on such a big investment (big for me!) means a heavy work schedual over the coming months and getting my Big Cartel shop stocked but you might ask what’s new???  I love my work!

Felt with free machine embroidery


12 thoughts on “I never thought the day would arrive ……

  1. A beautiful piece with mouthwatering colours.
    The machine embroidery is divine and really brings the felt to life.

    Had a look at the link for the Janome – it certainly looks like a brute but it’s obviously very fit for the purpose judging by the above piece.

  2. Nicola,
    Congrats on the machine acquisition and for taking a technique that has Lisa K. written all over it and making it your own. well done!!
    (I took her class last week and left inspired and more confident in my felting.)
    Stephanie Jacobs
    (tin thinble class)

  3. Would suggest that everyone interested in some beautiful felt articles by Horst and Lisa K. check out the new Lark book on Amazon – 500 Felted Objects. It’s something to make you drool over…shirley miller

  4. Congratulations on your new purchase. It will totally extend your creative boundries and it will be wonderdul to see what you do with this. I are all excited to see what you do. On my sewing machine I bought a lucite extended table that attaches to the machine to give you more room for laying out the fabric and moving it around. I do not know if it is available for your machine.
    Also I ned your mailing address so I can send you the pound of dyed silk scraps I bought for you. We talked about this during the Tin Thimble workshop this spring.


  5. Just curious where you found those silk scraps…I was looking for some on line and ordered a small packet. Turned out to be mostly junk and not very useful.

    shirley miller

  6. return comment to Shirley……..bought the scraps from a small clothing shop in Washington where the women dye the silk and create one of a kind silk clothing…….I can pick thru the remnants
    and take what I want and pay by the pound


  7. Carole – would you share with me the name of the ladies and perhaps an email address??? You may send directly to me at my email below…thanks for consideration….shirley

  8. Nicole,

    I am so proud of you and your decision and the new machine. I have always had my eyes on the Phaff for various features I utilize. but here quilters are definitely mesmerized with the Janome 1600P QC! YOU ARE IN EXCELLENT company. I am confident that you will have hours and hours of delightful fun with it.

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