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