Thursday, January 31st, 2013
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.
Labels: cross stitch, dmc, embroider, embroidery, french knots, running stitch, stitch, straight stitch, wool felt
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Monday, January 21st, 2013
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?
Labels: Detached cross stitch, dmc, embroider, embroidery, felt, fern stitch, french knots, herringbone stitch, long and short blanket stitch, long stitch, stitches, stitching, wool
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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
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:
It looks good in multiple colors and in a single color.
Labels: chain stitch, embroider, embroidery, embroidery 101, felt, how to, sewing, stitches, tutorial, wool felt
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Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I put the wire in the ‘basket’ and stuffed it with more fiberfill.
Then sew another small circle of felt on top.
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.
Free downloadable pdf pattern for the balloon gores (panels)
Labels: balloon, basket, download, embroidery, felt, fiber fill, fiberfill, fibre fill, free pattern, gores, hot air balloon, make a ball, make a sphere, mathematics of a sphere, panels, sphere, wool felt
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