Flower Bud by Laura Wasilowski
Many years ago I purchased stacks of wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. I love working with it but my collection of colorful felt and the cut-aways seems to be growing, not diminishing.
So it’s time for another felt give-away!
You ask, why do you like working with this blend of wool/rayon felt? Here’s why:
- It doesn’t fray,
- It is easy to hand stitch,
- You don’t have to worry about cutting it on the straight of grain and,
- It has deep rich colors.
Last time I gave away 2 sets of these cut-aways. This time, it’s 3. (I really can not use this all up on my lifetime.) Please take mercy and leave a comment below. You may be a lucky winner!
It was my good fortune to happen across the Cluny Museum in Paris last month and discover an amazing exhibit called The Art of Embroidery in the Middle Ages. It was inspiring to see beautiful handwork from their European collection covering the 12th to 16th centuries. The exhibition, housed in the ancient Roman Frigidarium, is sadly now closed.
Too have seen the detail of this extraordinary stitching close was so inspiring. It gives me the chills! Viewing embroidery first hand rather than through books or on the web really brings it to life for me.
And for my fellow stitch appreciators who left comments on my recent blog post, thank you. The name suggestions for my thread dyeing mistake above were a wonder. As in, I wonder why there were so many suggestions related to wine?
I’m not adverse to a good Bordeaux as a wine or as a thread title. Both Annette R and Jeri P suggested Bordeaux as the thread name and each win a size 8 skein of the new Bordeaux colorway. I also promised to give away a skein to a random winner. Congratulations Lea Ann F. you are my lucky winner!
If you have a pinking blade or pinking shears, you may want to trim your felt fabrics before attaching them to a background fabric. Here you see the light green felt with a pinked edge embellished with festive embroidery. Isn’t that fun! The sequence for stitching these long leaves follows. (See individual stitch directions here.)
- Stitch Blanket Stitches down the straight edge of each leaf securing it to the background fabric.
- Stitch Fly Stitches following the pinked edges of the leaves securing the outside edges.
- Stitch French Knots in the center of each opening between the Fly Stitches.
The sun in my Felt Like Gardening #3 embroidery is a simple round felt shape embroidered with these stitch combinations:
- Fly Stitches (facing in) around the edge of the sun shape to secure it to the background fabric. French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
- Straight Stitches inside each “V” of the Fly Stitch.
- Chain Stitches around the sun stitched on the background fabric.
- Fly Stitches (facing out) around the edge of the sun stitched on the background fabric..
- French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
Felt Like Gardening #3 by Laura Wasilowski
I hope you enjoyed seeing how this small embroidery was made. The felt fabric made it easy to stitch and the time doing the embroidery really did give me a feeling of serenity and joy. May you enjoy your stitching to!
This detail of my Natural Gardening project shows a favorite way of making artwork. It is a combination of using a pre-cut felt shape with free-form hand embroidery. There is a little bit of structure (using pre-cut shapes on a background fabric) and a whole lot of making-it-up-as-you-go-along stitchery. Improvisational stitchery means making all sorts of arty decisions. Yum!
I recently read an article on NPR which included this quote by Girija Kaimal, professor at Drexel University and researcher in art therapy: “Anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you.”
Thank heavens art making is good for you cause that diet isn’t working for me.
What’s engaging my creative mind as I stitch? First, what basic stitch is needed to fasten the shape to the background felt? Then, what’s the best size and color of thread to use. And finally, what stitches will enhance the fabric shape and create a wonderful design?
Here’s the solution to my creative puzzle and the order of stitching the pink flower above to a dark green background:
Felt Like Gardening #3 by Laura Wasilowski
I love stitching with felt fabrics like these from Commonwealth Felt. The colorful, perky fabrics that make up Felt Like Gardening #3 are easy to stitch and never fray.
To begin a design, I suggest placing the felt shapes on a background fabric and stitch tacking them in place. After the embroidery is added, the tacking stitches are removed.
The first step in the hand embroidery for Felt Like Gardening #3 is stitching the ground to the background fabric. It is attached with alternating vertical rows of stitch combinations (visit this Tutorial page to find out how to make the stitches). Here’s the order for stitching the ground.
- Stem Stitches with a Lazy Daisy on top that is filled in with a French Knot.
- Fern Stitches with a Lazy Daisy on top filled with a French Knot and French Knots alternating between the spikes of the Fern Stitch.
- Straight Stitches angling up to the left of each Stem Stitch line.
Thank you to all who participated in the felt shapes give-away. I’m happy to announce the winners: Deborah U. and Veronica. There is more felt to be given away in the near future. Please stay tuned!
Felt Like Gardening #5 by Laura Wasilowski
Thanks to the students in my Felt Like Gardening class in Houston last year, I have diminished my piles. Piles of felt cut-aways that is.
Felt Like Gardening #1
You see, many years ago I purchased stacks of colorful wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. The rich colors and ease of stitching the felt by hand seduced me. But alas, I work small with few of my felt creations exceeding 12″ x 12″. Soon I realized I’d never use all the felt I had in my stash.
So I taught a class with the felt and gave away stacks of felt cut-aways, the parts left over from cutting shapes for the class. But there are more cut-aways to be rid of! That’s why I’m giving away a set of felt cut-aways to 2 lucky winners. Just leave a comment and we will randomly pick the lucky recipients. And thank you for helping me with my piles.