Stitching for Fun and the Winners

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Frieda’s House (in process) by Laura Wasilowski

Soon I leave my cozy home and start on my teaching travels. There is the worry of packing and trying to remember how to teach the classes after 2 months off. But for now, I’m enjoying stitching for pleasure with my hand-dyed threads on felt.

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Lea Ann’s Embroidery

Others are enjoying embroidery too. A few weeks ago I gave away skeins of a mis-dyed thread now known as Bordeaux. One of the winners, Lea Ann, created this wonderful stitchery using the purple thread. It is embroidered on an interfacing hand painted by Judith Baker Montano, one of the greats of the embroidery world.

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Thank you Lea Ann for sharing your work and thank you to all who left comments for the recent give away of size 3 hand dyed threads. The lucky winners are:  Carol C, Gene B, and another Jean. Congratulations!

Thank You and the Winners

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Frieda’s House by Laura Wasilowski

My friend Frieda (who lives in the above house) likes to remind me that I may have “over-bought” when I placed my order for stacks of colorful Commonwealth Felt years ago. Frequently she asks, “What are you doing with all of that felt?” And for years (yes, years) I have tried to come up with a snappy response. But alas, I have no snap.

So I’ve decided to give my stacks of felt cut-aways away.

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Thank you so much for not mentioning that I may have “over-bought” in your kind comments on the previous blog post. (Frieda, please take note.) And thank you to the lucky winners of the latest bundles who are helping me get rid of my felt cut-aways: Gail W, Rebecca B, and Michelle W.

Felt to Give Away

 

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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!  

flowerbud1aYou 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.

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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!

Stitching on Felt #3

naturalgardening1eIf 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.

naturalgardening1fThe 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.
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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!

Stitching on Felt #2

naturalgardening1dThis 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.

naturalgardening1cWhat’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:

Stitching on Felt #1 and the Winners of the Give Away

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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.

naturalgardening1aTo 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.

naturalgardening1bThe 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!