Playing with Embellishments

Yippee! My camera is back and fixed. What an annoyance it has been to be without it. I wasn’t able to take any photos of the second workshop I attended with Sandra Marshall so I’ll have to make do with sharing the project I have under way.


I haven’t touched it since, so this is what I accomplished in the two days of the course. What a genius idea she has created….a colour wheel sampler of  many many ways a hooker can embellish her/his work. DSCN0165

In the red section she taught us how to create bias shirring (mine leaves quite a bit to be desired…you can see that it does not all pucker successfully). Then we created needle felted balls which could be sewn on (seen below the shirring) or needle felted directly onto the hooking (top right corner) This was my first time doing needle felting, and I was surprised at how easy and effective it is. The background is hooked in with a variety of wools in the red family, and eventually each section will be completed the same way.DSCN0166In the orange segment she taught beading (alternating strips …shown down the right hand side),  couching (second row up from the bottom)…and as you move up…., hooking with yarn (leaving high loops so it will blossom)….ruching….with a wide strip sewn down the centre in such a way that it ‘wiggles’ when drawn up…then in the centre  fabric bundled shearing made from different sized circles of wool.


In the yellow section she taught scrunched applique with felted”sushi” on top (the two coloured larger yellow ‘circle’) once again, mine is not very good and will undergo some ‘renovations’ so it is a little more ‘scrunched’. My colours are also a little too close, so the 3 ‘sushi’ layers don’t show to advantage. (mine looks more like a 3 day old dried up egg yolk). There is a small wool circle with felted ball on top, and then (one of my favourites) weaving.….where a strip of wool is woven through hooked loops.


The green section features a trapunto leaf. It is stuffed giving a 3d effect and the edging is couched to the leaf before it is attached to the backing. It still requires some embroidery detail on the top.  At the top is a spider web rosette. Mine is not completed and will be coming out. I want the colours to be more distinctly green, but you can see what a beautiful embellishment this makes. I can think of countless ways to use it. More shirring is still to be added to the section. This time done with narrower strips.DSCN0170

The blue section has a fabric bundle with a felted ball (a  Jennifer Manuel method) and a two colour chain stitch, as well as a yarn bundle using strips of interesting yarn to create the ‘flower’. (mine will likely get an additional haircut).


The purple section features standing wool circles (quillies). Apparently it isn’t technically a quilly unless it is done with paper. One of the Sunshine members used this technique last year when making a bag to hold her hooking tools, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Around the quilly is a ring of caterpillar shirring sewn in place to create an elegant edge.


The centre has been felted with black fiber, and eventually I’ll add a felted ball of each of the colours of the colour wheel.

Wow! What a learning experience. Sandra packed an amazing amount of information into two days while at the same time giving us time to try it all with her expert assistance close at hand. There were a lot of smiling faces at the end of the two days .

The first workshop was of course on needle punching, and my camera died before I could post my efforts… here it is just underway..DSCN0141

….then a little further along…..DSCN0142

….this time from the back (the side you work from)

DSCN0163….and here it is at present (showing the front)…almost done. It has certainly been fun…and punching is much faster….but it would take a lot of adjustment for me to get used to not seeing the front of my work as I progress. Since I also love the beautiful evenness  of the cut wool strips, I don’t think I’ll be making a switch from hooking to punching any time soon. It does however provide another option (you can teach an old dog new tricks, but she may not like to give up the old ones).

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. Here in my neck of the woods, winter has arrived with the first significant snowfall of the season.



8 thoughts on “Playing with Embellishments

  1. Brilliant as always Elizabeth, you are such an excellent teacher yourself . Wow all those things we could try. You feel the same way as I do re punch hooking, I also enjoyed doing it, but so want and need the variety we get with using hooks, yarns, wool etc for variation.

    • Yes Brigitte, I’m sure I’ll use many of these embellishments in the future. What’s that saying….you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the teaching out of the teacher . I guess I’m a born “explainer”. LOL

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