Make a Scandi Folk Scissor Keeper!

Keep your Snipsters safe and protected with a handmade scissor keeper! Embroidery scissors are a vital tool for embroiders, cross stitchers, and hand sewing fans, so keeping them in good condition while protecting your project from sharp points is so important.

With a few embroidery stitches and some felt appliqué, you can make your own embroidery scissors cover.


 

The Scandinavian styling on this felt case is inspired by our Snipster Heart embroidery scissors, but other scissors of similar size (such as small stork scissors) will also fit. You can also enlarge the pattern so that your scissors fit well within the smaller template piece.

To make it easy to mark the embroidery pattern and cut out the small felt pieces, we used Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which is a great tool to keep handy for any embroidery projects.

 

Tools and Supplies

  

Step 1

Print the pattern page on regular paper. Next, cut a piece of Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy that's a little larger than the embroidery design, then tape it over the pattern. Run the pattern page through your printer again, this time making sure that you print on draft mode.

Step 2

Cut out the smaller scissor keeper template and pin it onto felt. Use scallop scissors to cut out the piece. Cut close to the template so the scallops show around the pattern piece.

 

 Cut out the larger scissor keeper template and cut two pieces out of felt. Next cut one of the pieces apart on the line. Set all these pieces aside.

 

Step 3

Trim away the excess Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. Next, cut out the three large and two small flower shapes. Be careful not to cut through any of the rest of the pattern, which you'll use for the embroidery.

 

 

Peel and stick the embroidery pattern onto the smaller scissor keeper piece. Peel and stick the cut out flower shapes on the other felt pieces.

 Cut out the felt flower pieces. Place the three large pieces in the spots where they were on the pattern. Set aside the small flowers.

 Use three strands of embroidery thread for all the stitching. Embroider the long lazy daisy stitches on the large flowers. Stitch the stems on the flowers with chain stitch for the main stem and back stitch for the smaller stems.

 

Use fly stitch to form the scallop-shaped petals on the small flowers. Stitch the small leaves with lazy daisy stitch and work the tiny dots with French knots.

 

After all the embroidery is finished, soak the felt piece in cool water to dissolve the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. It's important to use cool water so you don't shrink the wool felt.

Stitch down the edges of the felt flowers with small whip stitches.

 

 

Step 4

Layer and pin the embroidered piece, the solid larger piece next, and the split larger piece on the back.

 

 

 

Thread a needle with three strands of embroidery thread and tie a knot. Come up through the top two layers of felt so the knot is hidden between the layers.

 Stitch around the scalloped piece with running stitch, going through all three layers of felt. Keep the stitching close to the scallops.

 

Slide your embroidery scissors into the scissor keeper!

 

You can leave the top of the handles poking out, but when you are traveling with your scissors you can slip the top flap over them.

This is a beautiful accessory to make for yourself, but it's also a perfect gift to make for a crafty friend. You can make them a scissor keeper and give it with a new pair of Snipsters!

 With many thanks to Mollie Johnason for this tutorial.

 

September 24, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Introducing the Nutcracker Suite!

I'm so excited to show you our latest heirloom ornament kit -  the Nutcraker Suite! Designed by me, the Nutcracker Soldier, Sugarplum Fairy and Mouse King are made with our range of top quality 100% wool felt. The have embroidered details, and sequin and glitter sparkles.

You can make this complete set of ornaments with our brand new kit, which includes a super-easy way to cut out your pattern pieces without having to transfer the design onto the felt. The kit comes in a box to store your heirloom treasures as well as a sweet Christmas card, in case you want to send them to someone special.

The kit is currently available for pre-order, shipping in the week of 4th October 2021, giving you plenty of time to enjoy making them before the big day. All pre-ordered kits will also come with some extra surprises and treats for you!

September 20, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

5 Tips for using 100% wool felt

Here are 5 quick tips to get the most out of your 100% wool felt.

1. The easiest way to cut out an accurate shape from 100% wool felt is to use freezer paper. Simply trace or draw the shape on the matt side of the paper, roughly cut around it and iron shiny side down onto your felt with a cool iron and no steam. You can then cut along your line to get a crisp, perfect shape. The freezer paper templates usually can be re-used 3-4 times too!
2. You can use tissue paper to transfer embroidery patterns to felt - trace the pattern onto the tissue paper and pin or tack it in place. Stitch over the top of the paper and carefully tear away when you’re finished. If the design is elaborate, my favourite product to use is Sticky Fabri Solvy - you can print your design onto a sheet and stick it to your felt. When your stitching is complete the Solvy can be washed away. Magic! It's a good idea to pre-shrink your felt if you use this method.
3. Store your wool felt sheets flat if possible. If they get creased you can give them a press with an iron with some steam but be aware that you might get a little shrinkage.
4. If you get a stain on your felt, first try spot cleaning - wool felt has stain resistant properties so this could do the trick. If the stain is more stubborn you can hand wash the felt as you would your favourite woolly jumper and leave to dry flat. You may get some shrinkage so if you know that you will want to wash your finished items, it's a good idea to pre-wash the felt sheets before you start cutting out.
5. Save all your little scraps and off cuts in a clear ziplock bag - you never know when you might need a tiny piece for a project or you can use the small pieces as stuffing for toys or a pin cushion.

 

Do you have any top tips for using 100% wool felt? We'd love to hear them -please let me know in the comments!

July 27, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

The ultimate beginner's guide to embroidery stitches (with free sampler!)

 

Cloud Craft Beginners Stitch Sampler

If you've ever wanted to learn embroidery but aren't sure where to start we've got you covered! This is the ultimate beginner's guide to 13 embroidery stitches. With video instructions and a free downloadable pattern, you'll be on your way in no time. With huge thanks to Mollie Johanson, who produced this post and designed the pattern.

Embroidery is a delightful and easy craft to learn and it all starts with a few basic stitches. One of the best ways to jump into embroidery is with a stitch sampler. With a sampler you can try a bunch of stitches while making something to display on your wall (or make into another project). 

With this sampler, you can learn and practice 13 different stitches which work up on 12 shapes. You can choose to arrange the stitches however you like and with as many or as few colors as you want. Additionally, we have four different sampler patterns for you to work with so there's no shortage of options for customizing your embroidery!

 

Supplies

We have a kit with all the supplies here.

You will also need embroidery scissors.

 

Getting Started

Trace your sampler pattern on the fabric with a water-soluble pen. The easiest way to do this is to tape the printed pattern to a brightly lit window and then tape the fabric over it. Place the fabric in your embroidery hoop. Keep the fabric held taut, but make sure it's not stretched in a way that distorts the design.

 

Cut a piece of embroidery thread that's about the length from your elbow to fingertips. For this sampler, we used all six strands of thread. Hold the very end between your fingertips, squeezing it as you push it through the eye of your needle. Tie a knot at the other end of the thread. Yes, it really is okay to start and end with a knot!

 

Now it's time to try your first stitch! Work your way through the stitches in order, as they build on each other. You can also watch the sampler come together on video so you can see these stitches in action.

 Cloud Craft free embroidery sampler

 

Straight/Seed Stitch

Straight stitch is the most basic stitch you can learn, and many stitches use this in one way or another. You can use this to make a single straight line (this is called running stitch - see below) or create a scattering of straight stitches to make what is called "seed stitch." Be careful not to make your stitches too long or they can easily get snagged and then pulled out of shape.

 


Come up through the fabric at point 1 and go back down at point 2. Repeat for each stitch.

 

 

 Running Stitch

Like a dashed line of thread, running stitch is as simple as going up and down through fabric. It's actually a lot like working straight stitches, but following a line! Running stitch is great for borders and accents, as well as forming more subtle outlines. Sashiko embroidery is a form of running stitch that has specific proportions. 

Come up through the fabric  at point 1 and go back down at point 2. Come up at point 3 and go down at point 4. Repeat as you follow the pattern line.

 Running stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

 

Back Stitch

As the name suggests, when you work the back stitch, each stitch goes back in the opposite direction as the lines you're making. It's great for making outlines and you can use it on just about any embroidery pattern!

 

Back stitch for Cloud Craft beginners embroidery guide

 

Come up at point 1 and go back down at point 2. Come up at point 3 and go back down at point 4, which should be the same hole as point 1. Repeat.

Back stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler 

Split Stitch

This stitch does just what it says: it splits stitches. The result is a solid outline on the front, while the back usually looks a lot like back stitch. To keep the line solid, try to actually pierce through the thread, rather than bringing the needle between the strands of thread.

 Split stitch for beginners embroidery guide by Cloud Craft

 

Come up at point 1 and go down at point 2. Come up at point 3, halfway between points 1 and 2, splitting the previous stitch. Go down at point 4. Repeat.

Split stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler 

Stem Stitch

Another good stitch for making outlines (or plant and flower stems!) is stem stitch. This stitch looks a bit like a tiny twisted rope and is good at handling curves. The trick is to always keep the working thread below the stitching line.

 

Stem stitch for Cloud Craft free beginners stitch sampler

 

Come up at point 1, just a tiny bit above the stitching line. Go back down at point 2, just a tiny bit below the stitching line, keeping the working thread loose on the surface. Come up at point 3, just above the stitching line and halfway between points 1 and 2. Pull the stitch taut and go back down at point 4, just below the stitching line and keeping the working thread loose. Repeat.

Stem stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

Chain Stitch

There are lots of variations of chain stitch, including more than one way to work the basic version. And it really does look like a chain! This is the easiest method and it's sometimes called reverse chain stitch.

 

Chain stitch for beginners embroidery guide

 

Make a small straight stitch. Come up at point 1 and slide the needle under the first stitch. Go back down at point 1. Come up at point 2, slide the needle under the previous stitch, and go back down at point 2. Repeat.

Chain stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

 

 

Lazy Daisy/Detached Chain

Similar to chain stitch, this is just one "link" in the chain. It's often called lazy daisy stitch, which refers to making a group of these as a flower. Working just one is known as a detached chain. To keep the flower petal shape, be careful not to pull the loop too tight.

 Lazy Daisy stitch for beginner's stitch sampler by Cloud Craft

 

Come up at point 1 and go back down at the same point, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Come up at point 2, catching the loop of thread. Go down at point 3, tacking the stitch in place.

 

Fly Stitch

The way you form fly stitch is a lot like a detached chain stitch, but it's versatile and can take different forms. You can pull the first stitch tight with a small tacking stitch to make Vs, or with a long tacking stitch to make Ys. If you keep the first stitch looser you can make little scallops.

 Fly stitch for beginner's embroidery sampler by Cloud Craft

 

Come up at point 1 and go back down at point 2, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Come up at point 3, catching the loop of thread. Go down at point 4, tacking the stitch in place.

 

Fly stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

 

French Knot

These little knotted stitches often get a bad rap for being too hard, but with a bit of practice, you can make French knots! They are ideal for stitching small dots, but you can also use them to fill in an entire area.

 French Knots for the beginner embroidery sampler by Cloud Craft

 

Come up at point 1. Wrap the working thread around the needle two times. Partially insert the needle at point 2, which should be right next to point 1, but not the same hole. Hold the wrapped working thread taut (but not too tight!) around the needle as you draw it through the fabric.

Tip: Holding the working thread with your non-dominant hand helps keep the French knot tight and uniform in shape.

French knot for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler 

Satin Stitch

When you want to fill in an area with smooth, even texture, satin stitch is a beautiful choice. One thing to remember though is that if your stitches get too long, they can easily snag or even get a little loose.

 

Satin stitch for the beginner's embroidery sampler by Cloud Craft

 

Come up at point 1 and go back down at point 2. Come up at point 3 and back down at point 4. Repeat, always coming up on one side of the area and down on the other.

Tip: Often it helps keep the stitches straight if you start in the middle of the area you're filling and then work your way out on either side.

 Satin stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

Long-Short Stitch

Similar to satin stitch, long-short stitch is useful for filling in solid areas. This version uses staggered stitches so you don't end up with stitches that get too long. You can work the stitches so they are uniform like bricks or with varying lengths more like sketched lines.

 Long and short stitch for the beginner's embroidery sampler by Cloud Craft

 

Start with a row of alternated long and short stitches. Fill in the gaps by coming up at 1 and back down at 2. Come up at 3 and down at 4. Repeat, working across the row.

 

Long and short stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

 

Blanket Stitch

Blanket stitch is commonly used as edging or to hold felt applique pieces in place, but it also works as a decorative embroidery stitch.

 Blanket stitch for Cloud Craft beginner's embroidery sampler

 

Come up at point 1. Go down at point 2, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Come up at point 3, catching the loop of thread. Go down at point 4, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Repeat. To end, tack down the last loop with a small stitch.

If you are using this stitch as edging on a hem, point 1 should be close to the fabric edge or through a folded hem. Instead of coming up through the fabric for point 3, come up around the edge of the material.

Blanket stitch for Cloud Craft embroidery sampler

 

Feather Stitch

To add decorative scallops that look like feathery plants or scales, give feather stitch a try! There are several variations for this stitch, but one simple way to play with this stitch is to overlap it in different colors for more coverage and beautiful depth.

 Feather stitch for the Cloud Craft beginner's embroidery sampler

 

Come up at point 1 and go down at 2, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Come up at point 3, catching the loop of thread. Go down at point 4, leaving a loop of thread on the surface. Repeat, working back and forth.

 Feather stitch for Cloud Craft beginners embroidery sampler

 

Finishing

 Cloud Craft beginners embroidery sampler

 

After you finish all the embroidery, soak your fabric to remove the pattern markings. It's important to let it fully soak instead of just rinsing so the ink fully dissolves. Gently press the embroidery between two towels to remove excess water, and then hang it to dry. Place the embroidery face down on a fluffy towel and gently iron it from the back.

Frame your embroidery in an embroidery hoop or use it to make another project. You can make a wall hanging or even sew it into a pillow!

July 26, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Make a Needle Minder with Aimee Ray and her latest book (and a giveaway!)

Doodle Stitching book by Aimee Ray
I've long been a fan of Aimee Ray and the gorgeous things she makes with felt. Aimee is also a prolific writer of embroidery books - the latest to be released is Doodle Stitching One Hour Embroidery, due to be published here in the UK on 31/7/21. Using the same freestyle approach to embroidery as in Aimee's other doodle stitching books, this book is all about fast and fun embroidery, with all the projects taking no more than an hour. 
 
With this clever book you can mix and match over 135 different motifs with 18 different projects to create your own original embroidery design. It's perfect for beginners of any age as it covers basic embroidery techniques and stitches really well.  I love that there's such a variety of projects to try - from embroidering on clothes, to balsa wood brooches and and a stitched leaf garland. So much inspiration!
I'm really happy to be involved in the blog tour for Aimee's latest book. She's kindly shared with us this cute project from the book to make a felt needle minder. Have a go if you have a spare hour and read on to find out how you can win a free e-copy of this book.

Spool of Thread Needle Minder

A magnetic needle minder is so handy to have around while stitching. Attach it to your fabric and it will keep your needles and pins safe while you’re not using them.
Materials
  • Blue felt: 2” x 4” (5.1 cm x 10.2 cm)
  • Tissue paper
  • round magnet
  • DMC embroidery threads: purple 3836, light purple 3743, dark purple 3834
  • Spool of thread embroidery pattern and circle template (link here)
Stitches
  • Back Stitch, Running Stitch
Instructions
  1. Trace the circle template onto the felt piece twice. One will be the front and one will be the back.
  2. To embroider patterns on felt, first trace the embroidery design onto tissue paper. Embroider the design according to the stitch guide, through tissue and felt together, using 3 threads of thread. Gently remove the tissue when you’re done stitching.
  3. Cut out each circle and line them up back to back. Begin stitching a running stitch around the edge, 3 mm (1/8 “) from the edge, sewing the two pieces together. When you are half way around the circle, slip one of the magnets in between the felt layers and sew the piece closed. Tie a knot in the seam and pull it through to the inside.
  4. Place the needle minder on top of your next sewing or embroidery project and place the other magnet behind the fabric to hold it in place.

Blog tour and giveaway time!

Follow along with the book blog tour at the destinations below. Each day a winner will randomly be chosen from each of the posts to receive a free e-copy of Doodle Stitching One Hour Embroidery, sent directly by the publisher.
To be in with a chance, leave a comment below before 4th July 2021 and then check out the rest of the blog tour for additional chances to win.  Good luck!
June 30, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

How to choose the right felt for your project? Let's compare felts!

 

how to choose felt for your project

 

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between 100% wool felt, wool blend felt and craft, other than price?! On first glance, you might not thing there's much of a difference but there is! Here’s the low down – find out the characteristics of these fabrics and which type is best for your crafts.

 Comarison of 100% wool felt, wool blend felt and craft felt

What is felt?

Felt is a non-woven material made by pressing and rolling fibres together. It’s thought to be one of the first fabrics made by man, with the earliest pieces dating back to 700 BC. Because it’s made without a loom it could be produced easily from wool. It’s strong and water repellant so was used to make clothing, saddles and tents.  It’s still a very important fabric today, with many industrial uses in manufacturing and architecture, and it’s also hugely popular in crafting because it’s such a versatile, easy-to-use fabric.

Felt can be made by hand (using wet felting and needle felting) but on a commercial scale it’s usually done with machinery. If you like the TV programme ‘Inside the Factory’ you might enjoy a read of this!

The fibres used to make felt can be natural like wool or bamboo, or synthetic like petroleum-based acrylic or wood-pulp based rayon. All of these fibres produce a felted fabric which won’t fray at the edges, so no hemming is required. However, the different fibres also give the felt fabric different properties and uses. Let’s look at these:

100% wool felt

100% wool felt is made of pure wool only. Confusingly, wool blend felts are often called ‘wool felt’ but they usually have less than 40% wool in them (more on that below!).  100% wool felt usually contains merino wool, which is super soft and durable.  Because it comes from a renewable source, wool is a sustainable product and will biodegrade. It’s important to check when buying this type felt that the wool is museling-free (a cruel practice sometimes used by sheep farmers). Ours is!

100% wool felt is evenly thick and smooth with a matt appearance. It cuts without leaving fuzzies and it doesn’t tend to pill (bobble) when rubbed so it’s hard wearing.

This felt is dense so holds stitches well without being stretched out of shape, unlike a wool blend or acrylic felts, which tend to be thinner and less dense.

100% wool felt is washable. Just like your favourite woolly jumper, it’s best to do this delicately with a cool hand wash. There can be around 5% shrinkage on washing so if you are making anything that will be washed it’s a good idea to pre-shrink the felt before crafting with it. 100% wool felt holds dyes really well but some colours are not fast so it’s best to wash them separately if you need to. 100% wool felt can be ironed on a wool setting.

Because of the natural oils present in 100% wool felt it is water repellant so seems to stay clean for longer. It’s also naturally fire-resistant (the best test for wool felt to set fire to it – if it only smolders and doesn’t catch fire it’s wool!). The natural oils in wool also give this felt antibacterial properties.

Because it’s lovely to cut, stitch and stays smooth over time, 100% wool felt is a favourite amongst stitchers and toy makers because it has an heirloom quality. It is however the most expensive option and not widely available.

 

Wool Blend Felt

This is often called wool felt but it usually has no more than 25-40% wool in it, with the rest of the fabric made up of man-made fibres such as rayon (viscose) or acrylic. This felt is thinner and less dense than 100% wool felt but is usually more durable than a craft felt. It has a tendency to go bobbly and stretch out of shape with use and, because of the synthetic fibres, some have a shine to them. This felt is smooth and holds stitches nicely. They do come in a huge range of colours and are less expensive than a 100% wool felt so are great when you are producing a large scale project, for making things that won’t get much wear or for children’s crafting. As it stretches easily, wool blend felt can be useful for felt flower making, if you want a leaf or petal to have a curled shape.

Craft Felt

This is the cheapest felt, often found in craft shops and schools. It’s made of 100% man-made fibres – acrylic, polyester, rayon or viscose. There are some more environmentally conscious choices now too – you can get felt made from a fibre produced from recycled plastic bottles or bamboo (bamboo is fast growing an doesn’t need chemical fertilizers so it’s a more sustainable choice).

The one thing these felts have in common is that they are inexpensive however they tend to vary a lot depending on what type of fibre they are made from. It can be quite thin (sometimes you can see light coming through it) or very stiff. It usually has a plasticy shine to it and it’s easy to stretch out of shape. If you stitch onto it, the threads don’t ‘sink’ into the fabric so they look loose.

This type of felt is great for getting young kids into crafting – just  expect their creations to stand the test of time! It can also be handy if you want to test out a design before upgrading to a better quality felt. If you do use this felt, choose carefully – don’t pick the stiff type of craft felt if you are planning to make a stuffed toy. However, if you need a fabric with a bit of structure, the stiffer felts can be a great option. It’s also perfect for vegans.

This image shows how seams look with different types of felt. You can see that because 100% wool felt is more dense than the other types of felt, the stiches don't pucker the seam. You can also see when you look closely that the wool blend felt and craft felt have a slight sheen to them.

 

100% wool felt

Wool blend

Craft Felt

Composition

100% wool

20-40% wool

60-80% acrylic or rayon

0% (bamboo, plastic bottles, acrylic, rayon)

Fraying

No

No

No

 

Stretching

Dense so doesn’t stretch out of shape.

Seams hold up well.

Not as dense, can be stretched a bit.

Seams hold up relatively well.

Thin and very prone to stretching out of shape

Seams may stretch and tear.

Water repellant

Yes

A little

No

Safety

Flame retardant

Will catch fire but then go out

Flammable

Environmental impact

Sustainable

Sustainable (depending on composition)

Non-biodegradable, depending on composition

Washable

Yes (but expect some shrinkage)

Yes (but expect some shrinkage)

Yes and won’t shrink

Texture and appearance

Smooth and soft.

Matt appearance

Smooth, soft, feels slightly ‘squeaky’.

Slight sheen

Often fuzzy or hard, depending on type.

Sheen

Colours

Lots (but no very bright white as the heavy bleaching would damage the wool)

Huge selection, including bright white

Not so many, but includes a bright white

Sustainable

Yes, wool is a renewable source

If it’s made of rayon

Not always

Hold stitches

Really well

Ok

Not so well

Pills (bobbles)

Unlikely

Somewhat likely

Very likely

Price

£££

££

£

 

There are so many types of felt to choose from these days - each works well depending on your aims and your budget. It's worth spending a little time when you start your next project to be sure that you are using the right type to give you the finished result you're looking for.

June 29, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

A gorgeous new book to get kids stitching!

In my experience, kids love sewing and get so much out of learning to stitch something with their own hands. It's great for their concentration, creativity and confidence and, as a parent or caregiver, it's a great way to get them off their screens for a bit and enjoy some time together. So, I was delighted to be asked to review the new book by Trixi Symonds and Deborah Fisher called 'Sewing Simple Softies with 17 Amazing Designers', published by Schiffer Books. Trixi is the founder of Sew a Softie, which aims to inspire people and community organisations to sew with kids. Deborah Fisher is a well known author of sewing books, so together they make the perfect duo to bring this book to life.

The book is a collection of projects from fantastic contemporary designers from around the world. It's bright and fun and really accessible, even for kids and adults who have never sewn anything before. Each project has clear step-by-step instructions and lots of photos.  All the stitches and techniques can be easily learnt and it comes with a great how-to section, with links to videos showing the basic stitches used. So clever! 

The projects are really cute - from Bluey the Koala to a cuddly sandwich (by the wonderful Mollie Johanson), and a delightful circus pincushion (I'm planning to make this with my little one first!). Most of the projects are made of felt but there are also some that used recycled materials, like the giant tomato pillow, which is a great way to re-use an old jumper.

I would say that the projects are most likely to appeal to kids aged 8-12, and perhaps younger more dextrous children could manage them too with some help. I love that the focus is on enjoyment not perfection, and encouraging kids to get creative with customising the designs to make them their own.

For those times when it's tricky to come up with ideas to get started, this book will provide inspiration to have a go and will enable kids to build their skills and have fun while sewing. Hopefully they will then become life-long stitchers!

April 13, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Introducting Edgar the Easter Rabbit!

I've always loved decorating a few blossom branches for Easter and have a collection of ornaments that come out year after year, which are just as special to me as my Christmas decorations. During these last few strange months while I've been locked inside, I've been working on my own design for an heirloom Easter ornament and here he is!  Edgar is made with our range of top quality 100% wool felt and comes complete with his basket of Easter treats of little eggs and carrots and a pompom tail. 

If you'd like to make your own Edgar, we have a brand new kit, which contains all the materials and instructions you need, including a super easy way to cut out your pattern pieces without having to transfer the design onto the felt. The kit comes in a box to store your heirloom treasure as well as a sweet postcard, in case you want to send Edgar to someone special.
March 11, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Your embroidery supply essentials

 

Getting started with embroidery is super easy as you don’t need very much to have a go and stitch something beautiful. The best bit is that the supplies are not expensive and are usually small enough to take wherever you go (roll on holidays!). With these essential materials and tools you’ll be good to go.

 

Choosing your Fabric

Although you can embroider on almost any fabric, some work better than others. When you’re getting started it’s best to avoid stretchy fabrics – cottons and linens work really well and come in a rainbow of colours. Our favourites are Kona cotton and Essex Linen. If you are looking for a different texture, 100% wool felt is also lovely to embroider on and, unlike acrylic felts, it holds stiches beautifully.

 

Choosing a hoop

It’s not essential to us an embroidery hoop but it does help to keep your fabric taut while you’re stitching and allows you to have better control of your needle. You can get wooden or plastic ones, in lots of shapes and sizes. A great hoop for starting out is a 7” wooden one, and you can use it to frame your masterpiece when you’ve finished!

 

Choosing threads

 

There are lots of different threads to choose from but don’t be tempted to buy cheap bundles because these are prone to tangling and are not always colourfast. Starting with DMC stranded cotton embroidery thread is great. It comes in around 400 colours. It’s made up of 6 strands which you can separate, so you can stitch thick or thin lines. A popular choice to use for embroidery is 2 strands. If you want to keep things simple, choose perle cotton – it’s not divisible but is lovely and smooth and great for beginners.

 

Choosing needles

Embroidery needles have sharp points and a large eye, making them easier to thread. They come in a variety of thicknesses (the higher the number the thinner the needle). It’s a good idea to get a mixed pack so you can see which you prefer and works best for your style of embroidery. Size 5 works well for stranded or perle cotton. If you’re planning to do any knotted stitches it’s handy to have some Milliner’s needles. These are the same width from eye to tip making it much easier for a knot to pass through the needle. For woven or threaded stitches, tapestry needles are useful as they have blunt ends so won’t snag your thread.

 

Choosing scissors

Embroidery scissors have small sharp blades so you can snip small strands of thread. If you get a good quality pair and remember to only use them on thread and fabric they will give you years of service. Be warned though, collecting embroidery scissors can become addictive!

It’s also helpful to have a good pair of fabric scissors and, if you are using linen, some pinking shears to cut the edge of your fabric to minimise fraying.

 

Transfer tools

You can carefully draw your design directly onto fabric using a pencil but the lines can be difficult to remove. There are some specialist supplies which make this process easier – such as wipe off pens (where the ink disappears with a spray of water), chalk pencils (great for darker fabrics) or iron-on transfer pens, which are a great way to get a detailed design onto fabric.

 

And handy to have…

To save you from sitting on a needle you put down when you went to make a cuppa, it’s really handy to have a needle minder. These are magnetic so you can attach them to your fabric or hoop and set your needle on top to keep it safe. And they look super cute!

 

February 01, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Welcome, Little Elves!

We are so excited that designer Larissa Holland of MmmCrafts has released the third pattern in the 'Twas the Night ornament series - the Little Elves. These join Santa Claus (pattern 1) and Mrs Claus (pattern 2). With all of Larissa's designs the details on these are amazing - the little girl elf has a tiny bag full of letters of Christmas wishes to take to Santa and the boy is writing the naughty and nice list! The pattern instructions are super detailed and these are so much fun to stitch if you have a little stitching experience.

As with the other 'Twas the Night ornaments, with Larissa's blessing we have put together a kit of supplies to make these elves. It doesn't include the pattern, which is only available in the MmmCrafts shop.  Because we know that you and your family will want to treasure these very special ornaments, the pack contains our heirloom quality 100% merino wool felt, which is a pleasure to use and can stand the test of time.

You can chose to get just the felt or all the threads, sequins, bells, beads and other tricky to find bits, so you can get going with your making. I hope you love making them as much as I do!

January 25, 2021 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Count down to the Twelve days of Christmas!

I'm so pleased that we now have supplies kits to make these heirloom Twelve Days' ornaments by designer Larissa Holland of MmmCrafts These incredibly popular patterns are a joy to make and make decorations to be treasured forever.

The downloadable patterns for these are available for purchase at www.mmmcrafts.etsy.com. We have put together the supplies you need to get going. These supplies will make one of each of the 15 ornaments in the the colour version shown in our image here with some left over to make more ornaments. We recommend laying out all the pattern pieces on the felt before starting to make sure the felt is used in the most economical way.

We have 3 options of kits to choose from - felt only, felt and DMC threads or felt, threads and supplies. The supplies you get with the 3rd option are the wooden beads for the heads and hands and the pipe cleaners for bodies. All options have our premium 100% wool felt in 10 beautiful colours. 100% wool felt is an heirloom quality product so your creations will stand the test of time.

To complete the project, it's also very handy to use Sticky Fabri Solvy sabiliser (not essential but highly recommended in the pattern and helps to keep your stitching accurate and cutting precise). You will also need glue, precision scissors, embroidery needles and toy filling (we have polyester or a wool version).You could also add some sparkles - we have lots of beads and sequins to choose from!

The felt colours in our kit from left to right are Chartreuse, Colonel, Sorbet, Strawberry Field, Popeye's Gal, Chai, Blue Moon, Denim and Petroleum. You could of course choose any colour for your ornaments but to make them in the colourway we have put together we used the following colours:

Partridge felt - Denim, Petroleum, Strawberry Field, Colonel

 

Pear felt - Strawberry Field, Chartreuse, Artichoke

 

Turtle Dove Felt - Chai, Blue Moon, Chartreuse

Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Turtle Dove

 

French Hen Felt - Artichoke, Strawberry Field, Colonel, Sorbet, Chartreuse

 

Colly Bird Felt -  Popeye's Gal, Chai, Petroleum, Blue Moon

 

Gold Ring Felt - Colonel, Chartreuse, Blue Moon, Petroleum

 

Goose a-Laying Felt - Strawberry Field, Blue Moon, Denim, Colonel


Egg Felt - Chai, Artichoke

 

Swan a-Swimming Felt - Petroleum, Colonel, Blue Moon, Chartreuse, Chai

Maid a-Milking Felt - Chartreuse, Blue Moon, Sorbet, Colonel, Strawberry Field, Petroleum

 

Drummer Drumming Felt - Blue Moon, Petroleum, Colonel, Popeye's Gal, Chartreuse

 

Piper Piping Felt - Strawberry Field, Artichoke, Colonel, Chartreuse

 

Lady Dancing Felt - Denim, Chartreuse, Popeye's Gal, Strawberry Field, Blue Moon

 

Lord a-Leaping Felt - Artichoke, Sorbet, Chai, Colonel

 

Heart Felt - Strawberry Field, Sorbet

November 10, 2020 — cloudcraftshop Admin

Pumpkin Pin Cushion DIY

Get a taste of the season with this diy to make a pumpkin pin cushion!
October 28, 2020 — cloudcraftshop Admin
Tags: diy halloween