What’s Easy is First: Felt Improv #2

My small composition (6″ x 6″) made from odd felt shapes is stitch-tacked into place. The running and cross stitches secure elements to the large background felt so I don’t have to use hazardous straight pins. Later, I’ll remove the stitch-tacking as I add the decorative embroidery stitches.

I’m also thinking of trimming the 2 round green shapes. They look peculiar to me.

The first embroidery stitches ideas come quickly. The sky and sides of the house are stitched with Blanket Stitches using a size 12 thread. And the top of the bridge is done using a size 8 thread. For the other shapes, I’ll need time to think up more interesting stitchery. Rome was not stitched in a day!

While I daydream about how to embellish the design, I fill in the bridge shape. Horizontal curving rows of Blanket Stitches are placed right next to each other to make boxes. When combined they resemble the brickwork on a bridge and create a wonderful texture at the same time. At long last, my desire to be a bricklayer is fulfilled!

Improv with Felt #1

Many years ago I purchased stacks of colorful wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. The rich colors and ease of stitching the felt by hand lured me in. But when you work small you end up with a lot of odds and ends that are too wonderful to throw away. So during the month of September, I’m giving away a bag of felt scraps with each order placed in the Artfabrik Store.

As I assemble the gift bags of fabrics I keep thinking, “I wonder how people will use them?” So I gave myself a challenge and set aside one of the bags to improvise a design. (I must admit I chose a bag with colors I liked.)

So far my little bag of scraps has yielded a yellow house on top of a bridge. I used some of the fabric shapes like the 2 green dots and the pointy tree as they were without trimming. Other shapes like the roof and bridge were trimmed from the waste fabrics or remnant fabrics from cutting with a die cutter.

I kind of like this simple design and am excited to move on to my favorite part, hand embroidery!

If you’ve received your little bag of scraps from ordering from Artfabrik, I hope you enjoy improvising a design too. Let me know what you come up with.

On the Edge?


In these interesting times many of us find ourselves on the edge. And by “on the edge” I mean the fear of how to finish the edges of fabric shapes while attaching them to a background fabric at the same time. So I’ve come up with a few suggestions to alleviate your fears. edgestitching1Luckily, there are several ways of attaching fabric shapes to a background fabric. The Blanket Stitch, seen in the first shape, is your basic attachment. It gives a sense of stability along with a jolly little decorative feature. Then there is the Fern Stitch, Running Stitch, and novel Pistil Stitch. All delightful ways to anchor a piece into place.


But wait, there’s more! Place a heavy thread like the Size 3 around the fabric shape and couch or hold it into place with Lazy Daisy, Pistil, or plain old Straight Stitches. The ever popular Fly Stitch gives you a pointy edge and the heavy duty Chain Stitch firmly echoes the circular shape in our last example.

I hope this alleviates some of your fears. Remember, hand embroider is meant to soothe in troubling times. It is a quiet pursuit that gives you something to do with your hands rather than wringing them.  Have fun!