Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I've been playing with felted wool sweaters again and had a nice thick piece of felt that wasn't big enough for a bag. Instead I cut it into a circle (used a small plate as a pattern) and embroidered it with vintage embroidery floss. (The skein labels said 5¢ -- that HAS to be vintage, right? LOL)
The design isn't my own. I found it in Kristin Nicholas' Colorful Stitchery. The book has several other designs I'd like to try including a paisley figure I want to work on another piece of felt.
I had a little difficulty when I tried to transfer the pattern to the wool. My fabric markers didn't mark well on the felt. So I measured the design area and cut out a paper circle the size I needed to maintain the design's proportions. Pinned it to the wool and stitched around it. Once I had the initial circle on there I could work the other parts of the simple design by sight without having to rely on a marked layout.
An article in an old Threads magazine suggested backing felted trivets with cork but this felt was so thick I didn't find that necessary. And, unlike embroidery on other fabrics, I didn't take the needle through to the back of the felt. The wool was about a 1/2-inch thick so I just ran the needle through the top half of the wool and back out on top. It's well caught and won't work loose without being clipped.
I used the embroider stitches recommended in the book but if I use the same design for a potholder or napkin -- something subjected to rougher handling than a trivet in normal use -- I'd opt for a different stitch to make the flower petals. Those long floats would be too easy to snag, I think. Maybe a chain stitch? Or a stem stitch?