Thursday, 25 October 2012

Quilted placemats

A gift to the recent bride and groom

I had planned to post the full instructions for how to make these placemats and had even taken photos along the way.  Change of heart though for a few reasons.  One - I realised after cutting the navy and mustard fabrics that my method certainly wasn't the speediest and I could have saved myself lots of time if I had been smarter, so I'd hate to mislead all the vast number of readers of this blog (ha!).  Two - writing instructions takes effort & I just don't have any effort this morning.  Posting pictures is about all the energy I can muster.

Finished placemats, I decided to use felt in between the fabric layers rather than batting & it worked really well 

Placemats and a few double felt thickness potholder mats

Some of the quilting detail - the flowers are outlined through the top layer only, the straight lines go through all layers & form a pattern on the back of the mat)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Wedding Party Dress

One Little Imp is all partied out.  Her aunt was married this month and with a number of pre and post wedding gatherings to help with the celebrations we were out & about in the evenings a whole lot more than usual.  In an attempt to get Little Imp excited and willing to join us we kept telling her we were heading to another party - now every time we head out the door she is asking if she needs to wear a party frock!

Obviously the bride looked stunning, but Little Imp also had her fair share cuteness and comments in the little up-cycled dress I finished a while back.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Felt Cucumber

Right, I am going to ignore the comments of some of my family members and upload this post showing my felt cucumber.

This was finished this ages ago, but certain people have insinuated that perhaps my design of this vegetable is a little phallic. Ok, perhaps I could see it too once it had been pointed out, and even more so in some of the camera angles I used to take pictures, but Little Imp doesn't have the dirty mind that some of my family do so here is my cut cucumber.

Instructions for one cucumber
Finished size approx 23cm long 
Materials - dark green felt (about 25x 15cm square), white felt (about 10cm square), needle, thread, stuffing, sewing machine (optional but faster!)

For the cucumber body or skin
Fold dark green felt in half lengthways.  Place pattern template with one long edge on fold as indicated.  Pin and cut out.

Open out flat and then stitch lots of straight-ish parralel-ish lines in dark green thread down the length of the cucumber skin - this will give the ridged effect you see on burpless cucumbers.  I used my sewing machine freemotion embroidery setting to stitch these lines, but you could hand stitch them too.

Felt opened out with stitched lines lengthways along skin of cucumber

Now fold in half with right sides together, pin and stitch around the seams to form a tube.

stitched cucumber before being turned right side out

Clip seams around the narrow end of the cucumber, turn right side out and then stuff all the way to the top of the tube.

To make the cut end, pips and all
If freemotion embroidering the pips onto the white felt, mark and stitch these first before cutting out the circle of felt - much easier to freemotion stitch onto a bigger piece of felt as it doesn't bunch up in the machine.

To do this, mark the circle and approximate pip position onto white felt using a water soluble marker.  Then free motion stitch.  I liked the effect of a dark green thread in the bobbin and a lighter green in the top spool as you can see both colours in the finished cucumber (default, not design, just forgetting to change the bobbin!).  When happy with the stitching cut out the white circle shape.
Top - template ready to mark onto white felt. Bottom - stitched and cut out white cucumber end.
Lastly position the white circle into the open end of the cucumber and blanket stitch it into place with white thread, adding any extra stuffing if you feel you need to just before you close it up with stitches.  And there you have it.  One innocent cucumber!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Felt Beans and Bean Pod

I like how these ones turned out.  The little beans you can see are removable (for now - perhaps I will stitch them in if Little Imp loses too many along the way).

Instructions for one bean pod with beans
Finished size approx 14cm  long and 3-4cm wide
Materials - dark green felt (about 15cm square), light or bright green felt (about 15cm square), scraps of brown wool, store bought pom pom (about 1.5cm diametre), needle, thread, stuffing, sewing machine (optional but faster!)

To make the beans
Fold a piece of light/bright green felt in half. Mark out one of each bean shape onto the doubled over felt (the picture below shows two of each shape marked out).  Do this using a water soluble fabric marker as the beans won't be turned inside - way too fiddly!

 I used my sewing machine freemotion embroidery setting to then stitch through both layers of felt to roughly outline each bean, leaving a small (approx 0.5cm) hole for stuffing.  I'm sure this would also work using hand stitching.

Then cut out each bean a few millimeters outside the stitched line.  Stuff the bean tightly and finally use a running stitch to close up the hole.  The photo below shows these steps:   
From top to bottom: roughly cut out stitched bean;  neatly cut out bean; stuffed bean; completed bean stitched up.
Here is a picture trying to demonstrate how I managed to get stuffing into the small hole in each bean using the blunt end of a closed pair of scissors (obviously I used my right hand to hold the scissors...but I needed to use my right hand at this point in time to take the photo!)

Making the bean pod
Double over a piece of dark green felt and then draw the pod template outline onto the felt.  Again, use a water soluble fabric marker to mark this line as the pod won't be turned inside out so any non-vanishing line will be visible at the end of making the pod.  Note that the line for stitching and the line for cutting are different for the left side 'A' of the bean as shown on the template.

doubled over felt with template ready for marking
 Then stitch around the red stitch line (I used my free motion embroidery foot to do this, I think you could manage with a standard foot or hand stitching).  Use the template as a guide as to where to start and stop this stitching to still allow a hole to insert the beans.  Then cut out the bean pod, a few millimeters from the stitched line & leaving a bit of a 'tail' at point 'A' by following the blue cutting line shown on the template.  (the top pod in the picture below is a bit confusing as I've taken the photo with the pod back to front with point 'A' actually on the right side)

top pod - shown back to front before being cut out.  bottom pod - neatly cut out with a 'tail ' on the left side 'A'
 Wind a piece of brown wool a few times about 0.5cm from the end of point 'A' and then tie off and cut loose ends to neaten.
top pod - piece of brown wool wound and tied around 'tail' at point 'A' . bottom pod - loose wool ends trimmed
 Now to insert the beans.  The first 'bean' I used was a small store bought pom pom stuffed down inside the pod.  This is quite difficult to get out so figuring it is there to give the pod a bean-filled shape but nothing more.
top - pom pom 'bean' before being stuffed into the pod. bottom - and then stuffed into the pod
 Then stuff the two beans you made into the pod and you are all done.

About my felt food challenge