Cutting Felt and a Give-Away

feltlikegardening

Felt Like Gardening by Laura Wasilowski

Have you worked with felt? Felt has a cozy, folk-art look you associate with the flat, non-reflective texture of penny rugs. Felt is a non-woven fabric made from fibers pressed together. Hand felted wool is lovely to work but not readily available. So I use commercial felt. The best felt for stitching is made with a high percentage of wool combined with some synthetic fibers.

folkartgarden

 

Felt is so easy to stitch.Thread glides through it like butter. Use a Size 8, 5 or 3 pearl cotton thread.

And it doesn’t fray. Cut felt with scissors, decorative rotary cutter blades, or even a die cutter.

In the Folk Art Garden Project from Joyful Stitching, I used a pinking blade in the rotary cutter to trim the edges of the pink felt. This decorative edge is then embellished with a Fly Stitch.

 

pinkingblade

And now the the Give-Away part. Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of a 45mm pinking blade used to make the Folk Art Garden project. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

 

Give-Away: What’s that Needle For?

needlesandbookWhile writing my new book, Joyful Stitching, I came across this big pile of hand needles in a long forgotten drawer where I like to put long forgotten things. Without their original containers, I had no idea what kind they were. And I was clueless as to their sizes. Sadly, my needles had lost their identity.

needleguidecover

So I came up with this handy dandy chart. It’s produced by C&T Publishing and helps you identify the size and type of hand needle you have in your stash. It shows you the right needle for the job.

And I’m giving one away today.

There are full-size photos of hand needles in the the guide. Needles like sharps, quilting, embroidery, beading, applique, darners, milliners, plus others are shown.

Did you know that there are Twin-Pointed Stab Stitch needles? They are shown in the guide too.

You’ll find a few tips on needle care and how to match the needle size to the thread size when stitching. And the fold out guide also has images of specialty needles like bullion, packing, doll making, upholstery, and sail making. Any sail makers out there?

needleonchart

 

Here’s how the needle guide works. Just lay a needle on the chart and it identifies it for you. It tells you what kind of needle it is and what size it is.

It’s a miracle!

Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of a Sewing Needle Pocket Guide. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the Sewing Needle Pocket Guide for Hand Stitching here on the C&T Blog.

Hoopless,Totally Hoopless

embroideryhandsLike many of you, I learned how to embroider as a youngster using a hoop to hold the fabric. But those days are long gone and I’ve been hoopless, totally hoopless for years. In fact, all the projects in my new book, Joyful Stitching, are made hooplessly.

bird3hThere are several reasons I don’t use a hoop for hand embroidery. First, clamping a hoop on my fused art quilts while stitching will fray the raw edges of the fabric. The quilt top is fused to batting for stability and is easy to grip.

Second reason? It’s easier on my stiff old hands. By gripping the fabric rather than a hoop I can twist and turn it while stitching.

embroideredpeardetail3Third reason, I like the “folk art” imprecise look of hand stitching. If things are too perfect, the embroidery looks machine made to me. Handmade tells me you spent a lot of time loving what you do. So call me hoopless! I don’t care.