Archive for January, 2013

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Felt circle embroidery #21 – Oranges in Summer color scheme

felt embroidered circle Felt circle embroidery #21   Oranges in Summer color scheme

This luscious felt embroidered circles project incorporates one of my favourite color schemes – orange, brown and blue – it reminds me of oranges ripening on the trees in the summer sun.

The stitches are probably the easiest to do and practically everyone will have these in their repertoire.

Row 1: Straight stitch in yellow – only trick is that you’re sewing in a circle so you have to make the stitches go out like spokes on a bike.

Row 2: Cross stitch. Always a winner this stitch is simple but it looks great.

Row 3: Plain old running stitch – the trick is to get nice evenly spaced stitches and all the same length (and not end up with a short or long stitch at the end!) – ok not so easy perhaps.

The space in the larger orange area on the circle is filled with french knots of alternating colors. The trick to getting French Knots right is to hold the loops of thread around the needle and over the stitch  as you pull the needle through – provided  you hold the wrapped loops firmly they run off the needle and right into place – if not – disaster!

I now have a  plan for these circles – they are going to be on display at the Winter CHA Show in Anaheim in January, as part of a Crea8time display – the theme of which is making time to craft.



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Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Felt circle embroidery #20 – Tan and Blue

embroidery on felt stitches wool DMC 20 Felt circle embroidery #20   Tan and Blue

My commitment to new color schemes begins – here I have a combination of tans and blues – mainly tan but the blue balances it out. Here too I am trying to use some detached stitches as filling stitches and to work out how to space them around the piece. This wasn’t a very scientific process but it worked out quite well I thought.

Row 1: Running Stitch – the stitches that affix the bead are stitched into this Running Stitch so it all looks way more difficult than it really is.

Row 2: Chain stitch – this is a lovely stitch to make – there is a certain pleasure in loopy stitches like this and the tan thread on the blue looks great.

Row 3: Knotted Button Hole Stitch – this is unpleasantly hard to do – you have to nurse each knot in place – probably won’t bother doing this one again!

Between rows 2 & 3 are some detached Lazy Daisy stitches and some small straight stitches in a pattern used as a filling stitch.



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Monday, January 21st, 2013

Felt circle embroidery #19 – I gotta stop using gray felt

embroidery on felt stitches wool DMC 19 Felt circle embroidery #19   I gotta stop using gray felt

Ok, so the gray wool felt supply is running a bit low so as of now I think I need to find some new colors to use! Today is one I got to celebrate using one of the red beads – they are getting low in my stash but this one looks great if I say so myself.

Row 1: Herringbone Stitch – always looks good in a circle but this circle is so small that you really have to place each stitch carefully to get around it neatly.

The bead is stitched using long stitches finished with French Knots.

Row 2: This row is detached Cross Stitches – they are a cute and pretty easy stitch to do and work well spaced around the edge of the circle.

Outside the edge of row 2 is a row of Long and Short Blanket stitch – I am still struggling a bit to get this really neat – it’s better than my previous effort but still far from what I want it to look like.

There are also some French Knots scattered here to fill the area.

Row 3: A sort of incomplete Fern Stitch – this is a two part stitch one part of which is made inside the border and the other outside it – it makes a small “V” shape – a fern stitch would have 3 pieces to it but I left the middle bit out. I wish I knew the real name for this stitch, I can’t believe it doesn’t have a name?


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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Embroidery 101 – Chain stitch

Embroidery chain stitch step1 Embroidery 101   Chain stitch

Chain stitch is a simple stitch to make and it can be  used to join pieces and as a filling stitch.

To make it, come up through the fabric and then make a stitch that starts  in the same place or very close to where you came up and comes out a short distance forward. Leave the needle in place while you wrap the thread around the needle as shown in the picture. Then pull through and ease the loop so it looks nice.

Continue  to do this until you are done.

Here is a piece that features chain stitch as a filling stitch:

Embroidery chain stitch example Embroidery 101   Chain stitch

It looks good in multiple colors and in a single color.



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Thursday, January 10th, 2013

More mini felt house goodness

felt covered jar mini house 21 More mini felt house goodness

Simple to make and generally awesome are these mini felt houses

Building these felt houses is a fun project – they are small enough to look so cute and there is just enough room to enjoy stitching without getting bored by the repetitiveness of it all. Better still they are a great project for recycling small jars such as jam jars or condiments.

This house is built on a really small jar. It was actually funny, I put the paper mâché cone on top of it and it practically disappeared inside it. It was so freaking cute.

Here’s what you need:

Tiny recycled jar with lid

Paper mâché cone

Felt in assorted colors

DMC #5 Pearl Cotton embroidery thread – assorted colors

Fabric glue stick

Scissors, pen, pencil, paper, embroidery needles

Draw a smallish circle (around 2″ diameter) on a piece of paper, cut it out and fold it in two. Hold it against the bottom edge of the cone as a  template for the half circle cut out. Draw the shape on both sides of the cone so you have a front and back door for the house. You need to make sure that you have a good size cutout so you can see the jar but not so big that you will see the jar lid – the lid has to be well inside the cone.

Once you’re sure it will all work, cut out the two half circles – regular scissors work fine – it is just paper mâché!

From here you can do pretty much as for the earlier house. I made a template for the roof in paper, cut it out in felt and sewed the main seam. Then I trimmed the bottom edge of the felt to around 1/4 inch beyond the edge of the cone. I cut small scallops into the edge and hemmed them with a buttonhole stitch.

I cut small circles of white felt and sewed them onto the roof with chain stitch. When the roof was done I used some fabric glue on the cone and glued the roof in place.

In this case the house was a little easier to do as the jar is round. I still make a pattern from paper and work out where everything will go and test it with the roof in place before doing any sewing. I then cut out the felt leaving a small extra seam allowance, then embroider and appliqué it.

I pin the felt to the jar, trim any excess and sew the seam. Then I cut a piece of felt the size of the base of the jar plus 1/8 in and sew it  to the sides.

When I am done, I glue the felt to the jar, glue the lid inside the cone and it’s all done.

I am imagining a small cluster of these houses – and perhaps some trees to go around them… right now … all in the planning stage.

felt covered jar mini house 11 More mini felt house goodness


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Friday, January 4th, 2013

Mini felt house awesomeness

felt covered jar mini house 41 Mini felt house awesomeness

Yummy felt houses – made from jars – useful and cute

These felt houses are made on a jar base and the top of the jar is glued inside the conical top so it is a fully functional jar.

They are made on a paper mache cone base which you can find at a craft store – mine came from Michaels – it is around 6″ tall and it fits over the top of a small jam jar or something similar. I used a jar from Kozlowski farms which is a multi-sided jar – but a round one might be easier to use.

Here’s what you need:

Recycled jar with lid

Paper mâché cone

Felt in assorted colors

DMC #5 Pearl Cotton embroidery thread – assorted colors

Fabric glue stick

Scissors, pen, pencil, paper, embroidery needles

Start by making sure the jar fits in the cone comfortably and that the jar lid isn’t too tight on the jar – you want to be able to get it on and off pretty easily later on.

Lie the cone down and make a paper pattern for it. It’s easiest to wrap it with paper, tape in place, cut to fit securely, remove the paper, cut it to open flat and voila! there is your pattern.

Cut the house lid  from felt leaving a little extra on the long edge – about 1/8 inch for sewing and make sure it overhangs the bottom edge by around 1/4 in.

Sew up the long seam to make a cone shape and place the felt cover on the paper mache  cone. Now cut small scallops around the bottom edge of the felt cone cover. It is easiest to make marks approx 1/2 in apart around the base then cut a small V shape at that point. Round the corners either side of the V and you have a small scallop. Now do a button hole stitch around the entire edge to make the scallop edge.

For the house, make a paper template the size you need plus around 1/4 in. Mark on it where the house ‘bits’ will go. Because my jar was multi-sided I wanted the doors to be on the  flat sides not an edge so I made sure everything would line up.

design in the flat for jar Mini felt house awesomeness

Transfer the pattern to the felt you will use - I just roughed it out with a lead pencil – and then embroider away. I used felt for the windows, doors, cat and the letterbox. I used my new fabric glue stick to put it all in place. I learned about it from Lime Riot’s felt embroidery tutorial – I used to use Fabritac but it stinks and it is really messy when used in small amounts – I am finding a fabric glue stick is so much easier to use and I can place it more accurately.

I sewed everything on and embroidered everything with size 5 DMC Pearl cotton – I like its luster and I prefer using it to other embroidery threads. The flowers are basically lazy daisy, french knots and some straight stitch. Nothing too complicated here. I cut the cat freehand and stitched it on and sewed the whiskers.

I did all the embroidery on the felt laid flat – it’s just easier to work that way. To finish, pin the felt to fit the jar, trim any excess and sew the side seam. Cut a piece of felt the shape of the base of the jar plus 1/8 inch and sew onto the sides.

To finish, glue the top of the felt to the jar first making sure that the cone roof will fit onto the jar without the felt all bunching up – you could add some ribbon trim at this point if desired or finish the top edge in some other way.

Glue the jar lid inside the roof – I use Ranger Glossy Accents as a glue – it makes a great glue for metal and because it is all hidden any drips won’t matter.

Once it is all dry you have a cute jar which you can use until some quaint small creature of the forest decides to move in and call it home.
felt covered jar mini house 31 Mini felt house awesomeness

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Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Up Up and Away – make a cute Felt Balloon

felt balloon 3d opener Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Balloons and Felt are so in right now so the combination has to be a winner!


I love hot air balloons and I think lots of folks do too. Balloons were a popular theme at the Craft and Hobby Association  Summer show in 2012 with lots of manufacturers having hot air balloon papers, stamps and other scrapbooking elements.

I’ve been making a few felt things lately and the combination of felt and hot air balloons just seemed so obvious to me. The fun was in getting everything to work right and the first thing to do is to cut the panels for the balloon.

Along the way I learned the math for creating the panels to make a circle – once you understand the formulas it is quite easy to make your own panels. However, to help you out I’ll give you the pattern I used as a free download and save the math for another post.


felt balloon 3d 1 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Start by cutting the panels for the balloon – you need 6 sides so a good combination is to use 3 of each color or perhaps 2 of 3 colors – I used two colors only.

balloon pattern e1354661826345 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

As always, use wool or wool blend felt – it just stands up to the process so much better and the stitches won’t tear away from the felt when you stuff it later on. Use embroidery thread – at the time I made this I was still using 6 strand thread but I’ve changed lately and I now use DMC #5 cotton as it is so much nicer and has a cool luster to it. Sew up the side seams – I like to use a simple blanket stitch and to put the stitches on the outside.

felt balloon 3d 2 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Stuff the balloon with fibrefill or your choice of filling – carded wool will work too and is much nicer if you don’t like plastic filling!

felt balloon 3d 3 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Cut a small circle of felt and sew it to the top to cover the seams at the top – the very top is never a pretty site so this just hides the mess!

If you want a wire for hanging the balloon, before you put the top on, twist a short length of wire – around 4″ of it into a loop and pull the ends outwards so it will go inside the top of the balloon as shown – but don’t put it in there yet. First cut a small hole for the wire in the middle of the felt circle  bend the wire ends back together and push through the hole in the felt.

Bend the wire ends back out and insert into the balloon – then sew the top in place. If you forget – it’s pretty easy to add the wire though a small hole in the felt circle after it is sewn.

felt balloon 3d 4 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

To make this basket I took some brown felt and cut into a slightly curved length so it would be smaller at the top than the bottom and sewed it into a round shape and added a base of brown felt.

felt balloon 3d 5 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Then I twisted some wire into a loop and added three sides for the balloon ‘string’. I used fairly substantial copper wire – I suspect around 18-20 gauge.

felt balloon 3d 6 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

I put the wire in the ‘basket’ and stuffed it with more fiberfill.

felt balloon 3d 7 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Then sew another small circle of felt on top.

felt balloon 3d 8 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Finally put the wires into the balloon, add a small circle of felt to the base of the balloon and sew into place making sure to catch the wires as you do so it all holds together.

felt balloon 3d opener Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon
Free downloadable pdf pattern for the balloon gores (panels)


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