2/09/2011

Why Felt...? She asks....

I love it when you ask questions and I received this in an email: Why do you do them on felt? How do you then attach them to the block? I am assuming you think this a good idea since you do it but I would like to know why and how. This might be something I will think about doing if I understand the process.

I use felt for two reasons. First, and mainly:

Felt has no weave to unravel or fray and when it's done I can clip right up to the very edge and there is no pesky bit to turn under.....I use a firm high quality felt in a neutral color or a color that blends.... Then very first step is to outline it in a VERY TIGHT chain stitch (as you see on the left) ...for two reasons.


* Felt has a tendency to stretch and you don't want your robin turning into an eagle....

*The tight chain stitch defines the edge nicely and you can weave all outer stitches into it and it makes cutting it out later very tidy indeed.. When it comes time to applique the motif onto something you can weave your stitching into this same tight chain stitch.... It looks less like something "plopped" on.

Second: Felt is soft and malleable... I can easily stuff it into a shape or change the shape when appliqueing. When I do the same bird (rabbit etc.) on any tight weave cotton it is rather firm and stiff... sort of like the ready-made appliques you buy at the fabric store...


If you are still interested I do have the tutorial page (tutorials listed just under the header) with more information and lots of pictures http://olderrose.blogspot.com/p/bird-on-felt-tutorial.html


As you can see for this bird I actually did the nest on another piece of felt .. which was great because I could give it a very dimensional quality. So I cut out the nest AND the bird separately and both were stuffed slightly and then appliqued on the block.. On this bird I left the wing free.

This was a VERY busy block with many patterns, patches, and textures. I would have found it very difficult to embroider this directly on the block


I CANNOT for the life of me remember when I started doing these on felt... I might have seen it somewhere or I may have just invented it... If you know of anyone else who uses this technique PLEASE tell me as I always love to give credit...
I love the "reactions". Susie W. says they are like a "drive-by comment."

7 comments:

Laurie said...

Hi Gerry! I love your birds, and am attempting them myself. You make it look so easy, so I'm giving it a try. Thanks so much for your tutorial, it's great!

katiemedarlin said...

That is just so clever. And I think it may work well for something I've been putting off - an addition to a CQ piece for a friend. I'm one of the last to work on it and it's tight. But if I did it this way, I could use hoops and my stitching will look much better. Thanks for the idea!

Rachel said...

That's a very clear description, and easy to follow.

Plays with Needles said...

Hi Ger! I love that bunny pose down low too. I think felt rocks as an applique background. I used it for my leaves on the Giving Purse...the mushrooms on my alice piece...the tea cup on my Elixir of Life piece. I can't disagree with you at ALL on this one! Can't wait to see all the bunnies and/or robins or whatever you eventually decide on! I hope it's the bunny in the post below...he's SO adorable!

Pearl said...

Love this bird Gerry so sweet.

Ruby said...

Thanks for sharing. Comments, directions and photos are great. Wonderful Tutorial.

Kimberly Jones said...

I absolutely love this idea! I'm new to embroidery, but your instructions are great. I discovered your blog via Craft Gossip. Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

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