OK, the sun has finally decided to show itself and it's time to take your hoops outside! I'm so pleased to be able to bring you this sweet Summer garden inspired project designed by Jenny Blair at Bloom and Sew, which would be perfect for some alfresco stitching. To get you started we will be giving away a pack of 100% wool felt and DMC threads for this project (see them here). Just pop over to the Bloom and Sew or Cloud Craft Instagram feeds for the details.
Thanks so much Jenny for this gorgeous project, now over to you!
Materials required: Summer garden pattern template page, 100% wool felt (we used Barbie, Aspricot and Buttery for the birds and Ascot, Cherry Blossom, Charteuse and Popeye's Gal for the flowers), DMC stranded cotton embroidery threads in shades 317, 3865, 307, 734, 604 (we have put together a pack of the embroidery threads and felt pieces for you here), cotton thread (optional), stuffing, embroidery needle, scissors, and wipe-off fabric pen.
1)Print out the Summer garden pattern template page and cut out each flower and bird. Next cut out the tail from each bird to create 2 templates for your bird decoration.
Using the fabric pen, draw around the body shape TWICE onto the felt and cut out.
Draw around the tail shape ONCE onto the felt and cut out. Note *When drawing around the tail template continue the line further than the cut out tail piece. This part will be sandwiched between the body parts and when sewn will keep the tail in place.*
Using the wing template, draw around this once and then cut out.
For the flowers, draw around each flower outline TWICE and cut out from felt. Then cut out the smaller shapes from the templates (the scalloped edge and circular middle) and use these templates to draw around. The leaves have been drawn individually for you to cut out and use as templates.
See below for the numbers of pieces required for each decoration.
2) Draw on the embroidery details with the fabric pen. If you don’t feel confident doing this freehand, simply place the template onto the felt and make guideline marks by pricking through the template and felt with your needle or pin.
3) Cut a 20cm length of your chosen material (for hanging the decoration), fold it in half and knot it at the bottom. Then pin the pieces all together, ready for sewing.
*Note on the template page the arrows which indicate the suggested place to position the hanging thread. You may need to play around with the position to ensure a balanced dangle!
4) Stitch the decoration together using whip stitch as shown below. The dots on the template page indicate the gap to leave for stuffing. When approaching the hanging thread, take care to stitch through the knot to prevent it from being pulled out when on display.
Once reached the tail simply continue stitching as before but taking your thread through the tail piece as well. This applies to the leaves of the flowers also.
The scalloped element of the flower decoration is sewn at the same time as the flower edge using whip stitch.
5) Stuff the decoration and then whip stitch the gap closed.
6) Now it’s time to embroider the details and add the finishing touches.The bird wings and the circle detail of the flower are attached by the embroidery detail.
Below is a stitch guide for the embroidery stitches used to embroider the decoration. The stitches suggested are all simple and commonly used embroidery stitches .The more seasoned stitcher may prefer to use the birds and flowers as a fun blank canvas to decorate using stitches and details of their own choice.
Use 3 strands of thread for all the embroidery details, except for the bird tummy details where only 1 strand of thread is required.
Click on the links to be taken to a step-by-step tutorial on each embroidery stitch:
7) Time to find somewhere in your home in need of a little summer garden zing!
*Make multiples of the bird and flower design and string together to make some sweet summer bunting.
*Create a lovely long dangly decoration by joining all the decorations together. Simpy knot both ends of the string/thread and attach to the top of one decoration and to the underside of another decoration...do this for all 5 pieces.
*Use the bird and flower designs as an embroidery design and stitch the bird and flower motifs onto your chosen fabric item.
Have fun with your Summer Garden stitching! x
...Christina Snellgrove (aka @gussetsandgodets)!
Sophie and I have loved seeing your little mice come to life over the last few months, especially those which found their way onto your Christmas trees! You made it very difficult for us to choose a winner however, after much deliberation, we agreed that Christina had really gone the extra mile with her mousy images. Well done Christina.
..... but wait!
...... and the runners up are all of you who took part!
Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for the stitch-along this year - we've had a ball and hope to see you again next year!
I'm not a huge fan of all the pink, mushy stuff around at this time of the year but I do like to make a few decorations for Valentine's day, just to cheer the house up a bit during these cold, grey days. This is a really quick way of making some felt hearts that would be lovely hung from a door handle (I'm going to put one on each of my boys' doors) or on some twigs. They would also work strung together to make a garland. They use 3mm wool felt, which has great structure for these hearts but it's still super easy to stitch through. What's more, I've just dropped the price of these sheets so it's the perfect time to whip up some of these!
You will need:
- 20x30cm 3mm wool felt in Blueben
- DMC stranded embroidery threads (I used 444, 604 and 907)
- 2cm felt balls (I used the colours in the Sherbet collection but you can buy the balls individually
- Baker’s twine
- A tapestry and embroidery needle
- Pliers are helpful if you have some
2. Cut the felt into strips so that they are 2x25cm. You can use scissors but it’s easier with a rotary cutter.
2. Using all 6 strands of embroidery thread and the embroidery needle, stitch a running stitch along the middle of the felt strip.
3. When you get to the end put the 2 ends of the strip together and stitch them together on the inside of the strips.
4. Bend the felt in the middle to get a heart shape and stitch to hold the shape in place.
5. Thread a 30cm length of baker’s twine onto the tapestry needle. Thread the twine through the stitch you made at the top of the heart then thread on a felt ball. You might need to use a pair of pliers to pull the twine through the ball. Put your needle on the other end of the twine and thread that too through the ball, very close to where the twine went through first.
6. Tie a knot at the top of the twine, hang up and feel the love! x
I’ve been thinking of all the lovely things you could do with the framed cufflinks that I have in the shop, such as framing a piece of Liberty print with a tiny pattern or stitching a mini monogram. In the end I decided to do some micro-weaving with embroidery floss! It’s super easy – if you fancy having a go this is what you do.
You will need:
A pair of cufflinks with a frame
Embroidery threads (I chose DMC……………..)
A small piece of fabric for the background
A small piece of thin card board (I cut up a random Top Trumps card I found lying around!)
Double sided sticky tape
What to do:
Unscrew the frame from the cuff link. Trace around the circle on the cuff link post (not the frame) onto your card and onto your background fabric and cut out. Using a glue stick, glue the fabric to the card circle.
Cover the other side of the cardboard circle with double sided sticky tape and trim any bits of tape overhanging the circle.
Separate a length of the embroidery thread into 2 strands. There’s no need to tie a knot in the other end, just attach the end to the sticky tape to hold it in place. Wind the thread 5 times around your circle and attach the end to the tape again.
Thread a needle with your embroidery thread (I used a different colour), and start weaving your thread over and under the threads you’ve already wound around the card. If you started this first line of weaving with an ‘over’, then the second row should start with an ‘under’. I alternated these lines with different thread colours. When you’ve finished weaving, secure the loose end of thread to the sticky tape at the back and cut the tail so it doesn’t show at the front.
Add another piece of sticky tape over all your loose ends at the back to secure them in place and trim any loose bits away.
Pop your weaving into the frame and screw the frame back onto the cufflink post and, Bob’s your uncle, you have a fab pair of cufflinks to wear or give with pride! x
Yesterday I was feeling a little jaded after a fantastic (but rare) Saturday night out on the town. Thankfully I managed to persuade my boys to do a bit of crafting - my littlest made thaumatropes, courtesy of the very awesome Mini Eco blog. My eldest made origami bat bunting from my scrap paper pile and I made super quick Halloween decorations with felt balls.