Posts Tagged ‘wool felt’

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Felt Embroidered PaperMache Ornament

embroidered ornament Felt Embroidered PaperMache Ornament

Turn a Paper Mache Ornament into a Felt Embroidery

One of my recent embroidery projects started out simple and certainly didn’t end that way! I had a cute papermache Christmas ornament blank that was curved on the top and squarish on the base. I planned to cover it with felt embroidery so I made patterns for the base and top – four pieces in each and cut them from wool felt – I cut two pink tops and bottoms and the same in blue so they could be alternated. I then cut out some small paisley shapes in the same pink and blue and some dark blue felt – there were two sizes of paisleys so they stack.

So, with pieces in hand I embroidered the paisleys and stitched them to each piece. I also added some small glass beads with silver lining which I had recovered from a sweater I bought from St Vincent de Paul.

Then I sewed up the bottoms using more beads on the edges and I did the same for the tops. I put them over the basic shape, added some fiberfill padding between the paper mache and the felt and sewed the two halves together over the papermache shape.

It ended up being a huge project – something simple just took off and grew and grew and grew! Then it got more glittery and more over the top with the beads. The thread I used for some of the embroidery was variegated color so that made it look more colorful too.

It was a fun project and the result is pretty cute, if well over the top.

If you find paper mache shapes in the shops before Christmas – check them out – as a base for embroidery they are a great idea. Make them simple or go for broke, just have fun!




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Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Woven / Whipped Running Stitch Embroidery

woven stitch embroidery Woven / Whipped Running Stitch Embroidery


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:

how to do a woven stitch Woven / Whipped Running Stitch Embroidery

This form of woven running stitch requires an even number of stitches for it to be used around a shape:

woven stitch v2 Woven / Whipped Running Stitch Embroidery


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Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Mini Cloud Embroidery with Beads

felt clouds 2 Mini Cloud Embroidery with Beads

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.


cloud embroidery felt Mini Cloud Embroidery with Beads

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.

free multi layer felt cloud template Mini Cloud Embroidery with Beads

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.

zoom 2 Mini Cloud Embroidery with Beads

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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Cloud Embroidery with Beads

embroidery 11 Cloud Embroidery with Beads

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.

embroidery 12 Cloud Embroidery with Beads




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Friday, December 12th, 2014

Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery

felt christmas holly embroidery applique felted Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery

Make this seasonal embroidery in just minutes

There is something to be said for personal gifts and I love to make things to give at Christmas. But when time is short it’s tempting to go out and buy something just because it is quick and easy. That’s why I love this project – it is simple and quick to make. In fact, once the holly is done, I can do the rest in a few minutes while watching a good movie after dinner!

To make this you will need a small embroidery frame – I get mine online – generally from Etsy and these are a tiny 3.5-4 inches tall and they are flexible so no screws. Inside them I use white or off white burlap – it’s inexpensive and much nicer that traditional embroidery fabric as it has a neat texture. Cut out the holly leaves  from green felt – if you use good wool felt the edges will stay nice and the whole thing is easier to sew. Make the holly berries using  a small amount of crimson felting wool and felt the wool into 3 balls. Mine look really plump in the photo but in reality they are flatter as that uses less wool and they sit better on the final piece. Using matching thread, sew the leaves to the burlap then attach the red berries. I finish off the back of my pieces with red felt cut to just smaller than the back of the embroidery. Trim the burlap to 3/4 inch all round, tuck it in and tack the felt over the top. It takes just minutes and it really makes the piece look much more professional.

So, there you have it – a simple holiday felt embroidery project.

felt christmas holly embroidery applique felted finishing technique Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery


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Friday, December 13th, 2013

Mini embroidery – sail boat

embroidered boat 1 1 Mini embroidery   sail boat

Simple shapes and mini embroidery hoops add up to a quick and fun project

I am a big fan of small embroidery hoops – they are inexpensive, cute, fun to use and they let you make a project in a short time. Don’t get me wrong – I love longer projects – it’s just sometimes I only have a short time. In fact I made this project in about an hour, while chatting on Skype with a friend in New York.

The embroidery hoop is an interesting one. It has a hook at the top but it is so small it doesn’t have a screw to hold it together – instead the outer rim is a bit elastic so it stretches over the inner ring. This might sound like it is insecure but I’ve found the fabric gets held tighter with this hoop than many of the screw to tighten ones. I got these faux wood ones and some colored plastic ones from an Etsy shop.

The base fabric is from another Etsy shop. I bought a few stacks of 3 inch square fabric pieces for using for small projects and this fabric was one of the pieces in that stash. Since the embroidery hoop is a tiny 2.5 inches – the fabric fits perfectly.

The sail boat is felt – I buy wool felt when I can. It’s more robust and it is natural – it’s made from sheep wool! This too is from Etsy – can you see that I love Etsy? The shop owners there catch onto trends more quickly that many bricks and mortar stores and, when you support them, you’re supporting small business not big business and I like that.

To make the boat, place the backing piece for the embroidery into the hoop so it is held securely. Cut the pieces from felt for the boat – here I used a complementary color scheme – colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. They provide a vibrance which works well for such a tiny project – if it is going to be noticed the shapes need to be simple and the colors need to attract your eye.

Here is a template you can use to trace and cut your felt pieces for the sail boat:

sailboat template e1384787637561 Mini embroidery   sail boat

Sew the shapes onto the backing fabric using a simple running stitch and a matching color thread.

Then, when you are done, flip it over and cut another piece of felt slightly smaller than the inside of the hoop – I used a spare hoop as a template to cut the circle but you could make a template and cut the backing felt before you begin.

Finish the back by sewing around the felt backing to cover up the uneven edges of the fabric and the stitches and make it all look neat. A mini project like this really calls out to be finished neatly. It might be small but it’s not like we should be cutting corners with it.

embroidered boat 1 2 Mini embroidery   sail boat

Helen Bradley

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Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament9 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Learn to cut and sew a 3D 5 pointed star

This is a fun and easy project to make and with the Holiday season just around the corner is it a great time to make some of these stars. The stars are great made in wool felt as they have some substance and they will show as being nicely dimensional. You could also make them with fabric but I would starch and iron it or perhaps use something like Beacon’s Stiffen Stuff to make it nice and crisp.

You will need: paper, pencil, ruler, protractor or set square to make 60 degree angle, compass or large circular object, scissors, felt, needle and thread.

You can buy a protractor or set square at a stationary store or raid your kid’s math kit and borrow theirs. I bought an inexpensive kit on Amazon that has everything in it including a compass for drawing circles, a protractor for measuring angles and two set squares. It all packs into a small case and I use it a lot.

To begin draw a large circle. The outside of this is just a bit bigger than the finished star so, if you want a star about 3 inches across make your circle a little bit bigger – say 3.25 inches.

Draw a line across the circle exactly through the middle of the circle – this is the diameter. Now use the protractor or the set square to measure a 60 degree angle from the diameter on either side and draw two more lines across the circle so you divide it into six pieces.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament1 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Join up each of the points to the point that is 2 to its left and 2 to its right using a ruler. Then join up the lines inside the middle of the shape to end up with a drawn shape that looks like this:

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament2 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Cut out the six pointed star shape out of one piece of felt – yep! I know, we’re making a 5 pointed star but you need to cut 6 points to make it dimensional – trust me!

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament3 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star


Before you remove the paper, crease the paper along the lines shown below and make one additional cut from between two points through to the middle of the star:


make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament4 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Remove the paper and let’s work with it for now:

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament5 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Fold it so that the two pieces either side of the cut are positioned on top of each other. As you do this, push the middle of the star outwards so it looks dimensional. You will see it now looks like a 5 pointed star – tape or glue the paper into this shape. You can do the same with the felt piece only you will just pin the felt.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament6 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Place the paper star on top of a second sheet of plain paper and draw around it to make a pattern for the 5 pointed star.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament7 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Cut out the 5 pointed star shape from a second piece of felt. This will be the backing for the star and it will hold the shape firmly in place.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament8 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Pin the two star shapes together – the dimensional one and the flat one. I attached them together with blanket stitch but you can use whatever stitch you like. From here you can continue and decorate your star as you like.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament9 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star
This overall concept of turning a 6 pointed flat star into a 5 pointed dimensional star can be used for other star shapes – you can turn a 5 pointed star into a dimensional 4 pointed star, or a 7 pointed star into a 6 pointed dimensional star. Enjoy!
Helen Bradley

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Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops3 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

See how to make a quick and easy rain cloud wall hanging from wool felt

I love clouds and this wall hanging celebrates the beauty of clouds – especially the fluffy rounded variety.

Even though this is all about rainy days, it’s a cheerful wall hanging thanks to the fluffy felt and yummy colors. Looking at makes me think of being warm and rugged up safe inside and listening to the rain dropping on the roof.

This is a simple project and will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. You will need:

wool felt in white (or off white) and blue
DMC Pearl Cotton #5 thread in blue and white
Needle, scissors
pencil and paper

Start by drawing your design or download my pattern from here: rain and cloud wall hanging pattern.

cloud and rain drops pattern Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Cut two pieces of white felt for the cloud and then 14-20 rain drops. I cut both sheets of white felt at once so they are identical. I fold the blue felt in half and pin and cut the rain drops both halves at the one time – again so they match. I also cut a few slightly different size and shapes of raindrops – they are only a little varied but they are a bit. I leave the paired pieces pinned together until they are sewn so they don’t part company from each other.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops1. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Start with the cloud. To add some variety I used blue thread on the white felt and white thread on the blue felt – I like being able to see the stitches. Sew almost all around the edge of the cloud pieces with a straight stitch about 1/4 inch in from the edge. Fill lightly with fiberfill – you just want it a bit puffy not a ball! and then finish sewing it up.

Now attack the raindrops. I start half way down one side and sew around the pointy bit back to the same place on the other side of the rain drop. This leaves you the rounded bit to stuff very lightly with a small bit of fiberfill. Push it into the pointy bit on the raindrop and then finish sewing around the edge. Hide the knots inside the piece. Repeat for all the rain drops.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops4 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

To assemble, I used 1mm clear nylon beading elastic but you could use a .5mm size if you like or snaffle some fishing line. Thread the filament onto a large needle and then loop it through the cloud and through a rain drop. I knotted the filament at the bottom of the cloud and passed it through the rain drop from top to bottom only knotting it for the final rain drop – the filament is a bit ‘sticky’ so the drops won’t move easily. It will help you make sure the design looks good if you lay everything out on a table so you can see it all looks balanced and attractive before sewing it.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops2. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

When you are done it’s ready for hanging – I added a small loop of white ribbon for this.

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Monday, March 4th, 2013

Make it yourself – felt bunting

bunting Make it yourself   felt bunting

Bunting made from felt and bakers twine is easy and fun to make.

I recently wrote a post showing how to make it over at the Craftsnthings blog and you can find it here.

I used it to decorate a showcase at a recent show. I had a very tall space to fill and I was concerned that there would be insufficient product to show. So, I made about 10 yards of bunting from felt to hang around – it filled the space and was easy to make. Wind it up carefully when you’re done and it will survive quite a bit of handling so you can use it over and over again.



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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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