Sunday, July 26th, 2015
Weave thread to add depth and interest to running stitches
It’s been a while since I posted some of my felt circles. I love sewing these because they are small enough that you finish them pretty quickly and you can assemble them into other things like needle books and use them to embellish small pouches.
This one is layers of brown and blue felt and brown and blue threads. I always use wool felt or a blend that has a high proportion of wool and DMC Pearl Cotton thread because of its great handle and its lustre.
Here I stitched a simple blanket stitch on the inside, chain stitch in pale blue thread and then multiple rows of woven running stitch. So here’s the low down on weaving stitches – if you do it as I have and thread through each stitch the same direction it doesn’t matter whether you have an even or odd number of stitches to thread through. If you do a full loop type of stitch in a full circle then you have to have an even number of stitches which means you need to count – for me that is so NOT happening!
So, to get this awesome result, plan to thread your second thread the same way through each stitch, such as come down from the top and you get a lovely even weave and it works the same on even and odd numbers of stitches.
This is the woven stitch I use – it doesn’t need any special stitch count:
This form of woven running stitch requires an even number of stitches for it to be used around a shape:
Labels: blanket stitch, chain stitch, circle embroidery, felt, running stitch, stitch count., weave, whipped running stitch, wool felt, woven running stitch, woven stitch
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Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Multi Layer Felt Cloud with Beaded Accents
This is the second cloud embroidery piece I have done lately. In this one, I layered four felt clouds one on top of the other and sewed them with embroidery stitches. The smallest felt cloud is cream, then it was dusty blue, crimson red and grey. I used running stitch on the smallest three clouds and blanket stitch on the outer one. If you’re not sure how to do blanket stitch I’ve included a small “how to” below that will show you how it is done.
I added a series of seed beads in similar colors as the ‘rain’. The beads are threaded onto very light wire and, at the end of each is a small teardrop shape bead.
The embroidery is on grey linen and uses DMC Pearl Cotton and I used wool blend felt. I like working in natural materials like linen and wool felt – wool felt in particular because it is stronger than the plastic stuff and it doesn’t disintegrate when cut in small pieces. Pearl Cotton has a wonderful luster which adds just the right amount of shine to the embroidery. The piece is small – just 4″ in size.
If you want to make this yourself, here is a free pattern. You just need to print it at the desired size and then cut out the felt fabric pieces.
And, here is how to do blanket stitch. It can be done with the thread on the outside or the inside, this is the outside version.
Labels: beads, blanket stitch, cloud shapes, cute embroidery, dmc pearl cotton, felt, free download pattern, free template, grey linen, mini embroidery, pattern, running stitch, wool felt
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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
felt cloud, embroidery stitches and beads
Felt cloud with embroidery stitches and beads
I’ve been playing around with some different embroidery projects lately and combining felt with embroidery. It’s a great idea because it lets you get a lot of color without having to do a lot of sewing. Here I’ve used rows of colored stitches including a row of chain stitch, and 3 rows of back stitch. When you mix the colors over felt you get lots of wonderful dimension.
For the rain drops I’ve used a series of wired beads. You can make these yourself using a very light wire and glass beads. I used pieces from an ornament I pulled apart. I am always on the lookout for things I can pull apart when I shop post Christmas at the craft stores and at Cost Plus. I prefer Cost Plus because it is a great source of things when you look past the item itself and look to what you can get when you break it into little pieces. These beads came in longer strings, all I needed to do is to open up the wired loops using pliers and pull them apart into ‘right size’ lengths. Then I sewed them in under the edge of the cloud.
The embroidery is done on linen fabric which I find at Joann’s. I love sewing on linen and this one is a great dark grey color with a narrow cream stripe. It gives projects just the right amount of sophistication. I also prefer to use DMC Pearl Cotton – it is a thickish embroidery thread and it is nice and soft to work with. Since it is a single thread and not designed to be pulled apart, it has a great luster which makes your project look awesome.
Labels: back stitch, chain stitch, cloud, cute, dmc pearl cotton, embroidery, felt, linen, ornaments, running stitch, wool felt
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Monday, June 8th, 2015
Learn to cut & sew felt oranges, lemons and limes
Citrus shapes are shapes you see around a lot. I think it is the color – the combination of yummy orange, yellow or green with the white of the fruit’s pith is a great contrast. The colors and shapes of a sliced piece of fruit lends itself to be rendered in felt. These projects are quick and simple enough for the beginner to sew which is great because you get a lot of dash for a minimal expenditure of time and learning. They also don’t take up a lot of product so you get quite a bit of sewing from just a couple of sheets of felt.
Now I like to use wool felt or at least felt with a high proportion of wool in it when I sew. It’s important that you use good quality felt for this project because the pieces are so small and you really need to be able to cut them neatly and to ensure when you sew them that the felt doesn’t pull away from the stitches. Cheap felt tends to fall apart when it is cut into small pieces and when you have to sew close to the edges. Good quality felt will stand up to being cut into small pieces and being sewn using small stitches.
Start by making a pattern by drawing a set of concentric circles. I find it easiest to draw the pattern on paper and then use the pattern as a template for cutting the felt. I start by drawing and cutting the outer piece, then I cut it a bit smaller each time until I arrive at the middle piece. I call this a lossy pattern because the pattern gets destroyed in the process but it’s easy to do. I’ve given you a template here that you can use if you need to do so – just copy it at the size you want it to be.
When cutting the smallest pieces – gently round the edges so they aren’t pointy – they look better rounded and they are easier to sew this way.
I like to glue the felt pieces together using a fabric glue stick – it helps stabilize everything while I sew and saves having to use a lot of pins. I hate using pins because they always seem to stick into me so I end up feeling like a human pincushion.
Then start sewing – I use white thread on the white pieces and a matching thread on the color pieces – sometimes the color thread I use is a bit lighter or darker – I find that a difference in shade matters less than getting the wrong color. Get the wrong orange or the wrong green and it looks bad. Get a lighter or darker version of the same color and it all looks just fine.
Here I’ve sewn split stitch around the lemon pieces and around the edges in the orange. In the orange segments I stitched a very simple seed stitch with the stitches all going in pretty much the same direction.
Here the felt pieces have been sewn to a backing fabric and embroidered with blanket stitch, running stitch, seed stitch and split stitch.
And then the finished piece is assembled into a flexi hoop – I love these cute hoops which I get from an Etsy seller – these hoops are faux wood (although they also come in red, pink and white). You just put the embroidery over the backing ring and then push the flexible outer ring on top. Everything gets held in place nice and securely.
I finished this one off with a piece of matt board cut into a small circle – it was small enough to fit inside the inner part of the hoop but large enough to fit securely so it stays in place. It’s a very simple finishing technique – I don’t usually do this but it certainly worked well for this piece.
Another option is to cut the inverse out and design the citrus from there. Then fill the inner bits with your embroidery.
Labels: blanket stitch, cute embroidery, embroidery, embroidery pattern, faux wood hoop, felt, flexi hoop, free, lemon, lime, mini embroidery, orange, running stitch, seed stitch, stem stitch, template
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Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Learn to make a cute reverse applique embroidery
Reverse applique is simple to do and lots of fun. Instead of stitching your shape on top of the fabric you will place it below and cut out a hole to view it through. Here’s how to do it:
Draw your design – I used a simple hand drawn cloud and rain drops design. Make sure it will fit comfortably inside the embroidery frame.
Cut out your pattern and tack it to the front of your main piece of fabric. Place your second (applique) piece of fabric behind the first – if there is a right and wrong side of your fabric, make sure both right sides are facing the same way! I used felt so this wasn’t an issue. Stitch around the shape leaving about 1/4 inch between the pattern edge and your stitch lines. These stitches will show on the final piece so do them neatly. Stitch through your main and applique fabric. I used couching stitches to run a thicker thread around the shape but you could use back stitch or even stem stitch.
Embroider any other elements – I added some rain drops using detached chain stitch.
Admire your work so far.
Using the paper template as a guide, very carefully cut the template shape out of the top fabric without cutting through the applique fabric. Take your time to cut neatly and carefully.
Make sure your piece will still fit comfortably inside your frame.
Using a suitable thread – I used Clover Silk, stitch around the cut edge sewing the edge to the applique below. Use any appropriate stitch such as a hem stitch or even blanket stitch.
I used Blanket Stitch.
Flip the piece over and trim the applique fabric close to the edge of the design.
Place the finished piece inside your frame.
Trim the front fabric to around 3/4 inch all round.
Run a loose running stitch around the edge and pull firmly on both ends to gather the excess fabric. Knot the thread to hold the gathers in place. Make a template for the back of the frame and cut a piece of felt to size using the template.
Tack the felt to the fabric all around to finish the back of the embroidery neatly.
Labels: applique, blanket stitch, chain stitch, cloud, couching, detached chain stitch, embroidery, embroidery hoop., felt, finishing techniques, reverse applique, running stitch
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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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Friday, December 7th, 2012
This piece in tan, sand, purple and red really was fun to do and I did quite a lot of experimenting with stitches here including a multicolored one.
Row 1: Coral stitch – this is a pretty simple stitch to do and the knots are pretty easy – as with anything in a contrasting color you need to get it spaced right or it is pretty obvious you didn’t!
The bead is held on by a series of long stitches and they are enhanced with a few rounds of weaving around the stitches.
Row 2 – Chevron Stitch – not to be confused with Herringbone Stitch, this one has bars top and bottom and the angled pieces come from these. It is a cute stitch and works pretty well around the circle here.
Row 3 – At the very edge is a row of Pekinese stitch which is basically a row of running stitch with a contrasting color of thread looped through it. Here is it a bit lost because of the colors I used but it is a nice stitch.
Between the rows 2 & 3 are lines of running stitch two of which are laced with a contrasting color thread.
Labels: chevron stitch, Coral stitch, dmc, embroider, embroidery, felt, Pekinese stitch, running stitch, stitches, stitching, wool, woven stitch
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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Perhaps the simplest stitch of all is the running stitch. Stitches are made by taking the needle in and out of the fabric. To make very even stitches, keep the same distance between each in and out of the needle. This will make the stitch and the in between stitch areas nice and even. You can vary this by making shorter or longer stitches and spaces.
Here is the running stitch used on the yellow circle – as simple as it is when you stitch it with contrasting thread it looks great.
Labels: contrasting thread, embroider, embroidery, running stitch, simple felt stitches
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Friday, October 12th, 2012
There is a school in Melbourne – Wesley – which has as its school colors a sort of gold and purple so this is my tribute to those colors. Here I have three shades of purple wool felt and one of gold/sand color – the purples are the smaller areas of color and the gold is the largest – this circle worked out amazingly and along the way you will see I have experimented with some two color stitches.
The bead is sewed on with long stitches in pairs to make a different pattern to usual.
Row 1 – this is a Closed Blanket Stitch worked around the edge of the smallest dark crimson/purple piece. It ends up looking like a triangle stitch but it is from the blanket stitch family.
Row 2 This is part Herringbone Ladder Filling Stitch – the outside edge and the inside edge is a whipped or laced running stitch. Done in two colors the effect is a bit of a steampunk like edging stitch.
Row 3 – ZigZag Couching Stitch – done in two colors you have one thread you just lay in place and another one you use to tie it down. It is cute stitch and pretty easy to do.
Row 4 – On the outside edge is a row of running stitch.
Labels: closed blanket stitch, dmc, embroider, embroidery, felt, herringbone ladder filling stitch, running stitch, stitches, stitching, wool, zigzag couching stitch
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