Tag Archives | felt

Almost Christmas

In August 2016, I heard the first rumblings of “It’ll be Christmas before you know it.” I was feeling pretty happy (or even smug) at the time, because my Christmas in July project was well underway. This year, SAME!

Bucilla kit “Train—Wall Hanging” is coming along fine. The difference between last year and this, is that we now have satellite TV. So we watch the news and I sew sequins and felt. Just a little every week gets the job done!

Week 5. Christmas crafts, one week at a time

Week 6. Christmas crafts, one week at a time

Week 7. Christmas crafts, one week at a time

Week 8. Christmas crafts, one week at a time

I’m done with Christmas in July for the week, so today I’m off to the studio to quilt a wall hanging.

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Christmas-in-July Project Done!

The beauty of starting this 16-week Christmas felt kit project in July was the flexibility in the schedule. When I decided to enter a juried show with a new quilt, I was able to take a few weeks off of making the wreath to make the quilt.

When the quilt was finished, I still had plenty of leeway to finish the wreath in time to decorate for the Christmas season. Hmmm. Will I make a habit of starting projects early?

This is how the last four weeks went:

Week thirteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week fourteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week fifteen. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

These are the fourteen pieces that made up the Santa ornament. It seems like a lot, but you just work on one or two at a time and soon you have the piece done. The Santa took me about four and a half hours to complete.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week sixteen. I sewed each ornament and toy onto the wreath base and added a hanging loop. Now the wreath is hanging up, and every time anyone opens and closes the door, the sequins sparkle beautifully!

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

When it was all done, I recycled the felt trimmings. I put them in a bag marked “SCRAPS” and dropped them into an American Textile Recycling Corporation collection bin. They take all kinds of used clothing and household textiles and of course, fabric scraps. To find a bin near you, please visit their website: www.atrscorp.com

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, recycling the scraps

This was so fun, I’m going to do it again next year! I hope you’ll join me to make your choice of Christmas in July project in 2017. Maybe you’ll choose a gift or a decoration to make—maybe something to sew or knit or crochet. We’ll have project planning sheets and lots of support.

If you’d like me to email you about it next summer, please send an email to knitandcrochetwithsuzann@outlook.com and type “Christmas in July 2017” on the subject line.

Christmas in July project 2017

Suzann’s Christmas in July project, 2017
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Felt Christmas Wreath Almost Finished

The third four weeks of my twelve week Christmas in July project are done, and now I’m in the home stretch. Making the ornaments and toys to decorate the wreath is so fun. They turn out very cute and they always make me smile.

Week nine. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week ten. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week eleven. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week twelve. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

I have a few more ornaments to go, and then I’ll spend week sixteen putting it all together.

For more frequent updates, please follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson.

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Here Before You Know It!

Lately several people I know have said, “I can’t believe we’re already at the end of August,” shaking their heads in disbelief. Today, for the first time this year, I heard someone say: “The holidays will be here before we know it.”

Hearing that made me feel pretty happy with the progress I’ve made on the felt Christmas wreath kit by Bucilla. It’s my Christmas in July project.

The second four weeks are going according to schedule:

Week five. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week six. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

In Week seven, all the holly leaves for the wreath are finished, and I got to make a candy cane. Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Now I’m getting into the really fun stuff, with this toy train engine and a peppermint candy. At around 20 pieces, the train took a long time to put together. Totally worth it, though. It is very, very cute—so cute it tugs at my heartstrings.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

And my sixteen week project is at the halfway point. Looking good so far! At this rate, it will definitely be finished in time to decorate for the Christmas holidays.

For more frequent updates, please follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson.

9/6/2016–Hi y’all. This poor post got tons of spam comments, so I’m closing comments. Email your comments to me at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com and I’ll post them here.

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Pacing Myself for Christmas

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla

I just love sparkly felt Christmas decorations!

They are fun to make, too. Herrschner’s, my favorite mail-order needlework company, has an annual sale on Christmas kits. In a fit of optimism, I ordered two kits back in 2014, thinking I could just make them in my spare time. Ha ha ha hahahahahahaaaaa!

It’s been proven that by pacing myself, I can actually get a kit finished. Blogging and Instagramming about my plan keeps me accountable. So here goes.

The goal is to finish this cute felt wreath an ornaments in time to decorate for Christmas. The kit is by Bucilla. Each week for sixteen weeks, I’ll embroider, embellish, and sew a manageable portion of the project. I started in July, and it should be done in November.

Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

The wreath project fits nicely in a small totebag, along with scissors and a plastic container for the sequins and beads. Contrary to the instructions, which advise keeping the different colors of sequins separate, I put them all together into the container. The day I can’t pick out a green sequin from the container is the day I need to quit sewing felt kits.

I like being able to carry the project along, like I did a couple of Sundays ago. While waiting for my daughter, I lunched at Subway, ate a delicious sandwich, eavesdropped on conversations, and embroidered holly leaves. It’s amazing what you can get done between bites. A very pleasant time was had by me.

Here are the first four weeks’ work:

Week one.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week two.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week three.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week four.Christmas wreath felt kit by Bucilla, one week at a time

For more frequent updates, follow me on Instagram @suzannthompson (see sidebar for link).

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Christmas in July: Make an Ornament from Crochet Garden’s Poinsettia!

Wild poinsettia in bloom

The native poinsettias have been blooming this month, here in north central Texas, inspiring me to make a little Christmas in July!

Along with a few hints for crocheting the showier, everlasting Poinsettia in Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, I’ll show you how I turned a crocheted poinsettia into a Christmas ornament.

For a very thorough Poinsettia photo-tutorial, please visit http://cache.lionbrand.com/faq/590.html

Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To make an ornament, you will need:

  • Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, pages 91-93
  • Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton in your favorite red and green
  • US 4 (steel) (2mm) hook
  • 4″ square of felted wool, 1 each of green and red
  • Beads for flower center
  • Sewing needle, pins, sewing thread in green and red

I designed the Poinsettia to be realistic, so it isn’t symmetrical. That means we have to follow the instructions very carefully and avoid making assumptions. (Yes, me, I’m talking to myself.)

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

When Rnd 2 is finished, you’ll see three small petals (marked with ‘s’ in photo 1). These are like the small petals in the hothouse poinsettias we can buy around Christmas time. The small petals are worked into the hdc sts. The other petals are worked into the ch-spaces. They are supposed to look like red sticks.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Rnd 3 is worked around the red sticks of the previous round. First work up the side, placing stitches in the ch-2 space (yellow arrow at right), then the free loops of the chain (yellow dots on the right). Several stitches go into the ch-3 loop at the tip of the petal (pink arrow). Work down the other side of the petal into the stitches (yellow dots at left) and into the ch2-space (other yellow arrow).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Photo 3 shows a completed Rnd 3. Every two leaves have a ch-1 space between them. You will crochet into this in the next rnd.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

For Rnd 4, fold the petals out of the way to the front. Sometimes you will ch 3 behind a petal (yellow arrow in Photo 4). Then you’ll anchor the next petal in the ch-1 space between petals.

Rnd 5 finishes the petals in the outer round. For the ornament, you don’t need to leave a long sewing length of red thread. The leaf is crocheted separately and sewn on.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To block the cotton poinsettia, I held it under the running tap, then stretched and pinned each petal to the ironing board, and let dry (photo 5).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

To make the ornament, pin the poinsettia to green felt, leaving at least a 1/4-inch overlap around the flower.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

The yellow marks in Photo 7 show how to sew the flower to the felt: sew invisibly (matching sewing thread helps) around the outside first. Gently sew down the sides of the top petals. Take one stitch in the tip of each small petal.

Add beads or other decoration to the center of the flower.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Cut excess felt away, leaving about 1/4 inch showing around the edges of the flower. Start by leaving too much felt showing. Cut away tiny slivers of felt until the border around the flower looks good.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

This is how the ornament looks from the back. Ew, messy! But don’t worry. Use this piece as a pattern to cut a piece red felt. Now, go to “How to Make an Ornament Hanging Loop from Embroidery Floss or Crochet Cotton,” and follow directions for making a hanging loop.

Determine the top of your ornament and sew the hanging loop to the wrong side, with the loop emerging beyond the top edge.

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

Pin or hold green and red felt together, with red in back to hide all those stitches and the end of the hanging loop. With No. 10 crochet cotton, sew the layers together with a whip stitch or a buttonhole stitch (my favorite).

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

 Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Ornament

The oak trees around here look like they’re celebrating Christmas in July, too. See their bright, round ornaments? Oh. Never mind. They are oak galls.

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Churro Rug: The Final Episode

The dotty knit churro rug is done!

I’m posting on the advice of the famed Knit Doctor, Karen Frisa, who is available for consultation at all Stitches events. For me this means two blog posts in three days. I hope she has a remedy for a pulled blog muscle!

At the end of the last post, the knitted churro rug was in the washer. Its fate was unknown. Would it turn out well? Or would all that knitting have been in vain?

And now…read on for the exciting conclusion to our story.

After the first washing, the rug looked good, but it wasn’t felted enough. Back into the washer it went, this time with a bunch of dark towels. I set the water temperature on hot wash/cold rinse instead of hot/hot, because the hot-cold contrast is supposed to shock wool fibers into felting better. I forgot about that the first time around.

corner close up of felted churro rug

The washer finally spun to a stop. The lid took ages to unlock. I pulled out all the towels, trying to avoid looking at the rug. Only when the towels were hung out in the heat of the day, did I go back for the rug.

The wool felted even better during the second washing. Just about perfect! And I discovered a new rule about felting things in the washing machine:

Never wash your felt project with a new, pink beach towel.

close up of felted churro rug

I laid the rug on top of a big towel, on the floor. I straightened the edges and the stripes, and then spent about an hour picking pink lint off of it. The pink pills are still surfacing. Maybe they’ll all be gone by the time October rolls around.

It looks great. I’m very, very happy with it.

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Amoebae, Sweater Insides, Tag

Eva's amoebae

Inspired by the stuffed creatures on the cover of the most recent issue of Craft: magazine, Eva made these felt amoebas or, if you want to be correct about it, amoebae. “How do you pronounce that?” we asked each other over and over. So I finally looked it up: uh-MEE-bee.

While looking in the dictionary, I found a word to describe their shape: amoebiform (uh-MEE-buh-form). I just love dictionaries.

Ella was thrilled with the two brothers and the mama amoebae. The daddy is still in the works. Last night she made them a bed, tucked them in, told them stories, read to them, and kissed them goodnight. It was so sweet!

inside of wheat ear rib

I promised a look at the wrong side of Ella’s sweater. I thought you would be able to see how the wheat ear rib is made over three stitches, even though it looks like only two from the front. Now that I look at it, I can’t see the three stitches, either. But believe me, that rib is three stitches wide!

Diana, knowing me to be a book-lover, tagged me for this game. Rules are: To open the book you are reading, turn to page 161 and copy the fifth sentence on the page.

The last three books I read, The Case of the Fenced-In Woman, by Erle Stanley Gardner (my favorite author), Gideon’s Men, by J. J. Marric, and The First Mrs. Winston, by Rae Foley never made it to page 161. So I picked a book by Hulda Regehr Clark, that I’m reading little by little. The sentence in question is:

“She was told to repeat chemotherapy.”

Well that’s alright, but we can’t stop there! Here’s my favorite sentence in the whole book.

“The human species can no longer afford to make a business out of illness.”

There. Now you know more about me. If you want to play this game, too, consider yourself tagged. You have to find out the title on your own, if you’re interested.

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Angels Done!

the last of the felt angels

I finished the last of the felt angel ornaments! Yay! I expected heavenly music or a beautiful fanfare when I snipped the last thread, but all was quiet as I hung Angel Number 7 on our ficus tree.

Before the job could really, really be finished, I had to clean out the project bag. I sorted embroidery floss, threw away the dog-eared instructions, and stored the extra sequins. Then I shook the lint out of the bag, folded it neatly, and put it in my bag-o’-bags to await another project.

I have two unopened Christmas felt kits. One has four ornaments, covered with sequins–oooo, spaaaarkly. The other is a tree skirt with sequin poinsettias. They are lurking among our stuff that is in storage, waiting for us to build a house. I can’t find them, and it’s probably for the best.

Now I can concentrate on finishing Ella’s pink cardigan, which is coming along nicely. The measured approach worked so well with the angels, I plan to set goals for the cardigan, too.

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I “Felt-It” was Time to Experiment

The laundry isn’t piling up fast enough any more! I walk around the house wondering “what else can I wash in hot water?” That’s because I’m trying out some different yarns for felting, and my favorite lazy way of felting is to throw the items in the hot-water wash.

felted crochet flowers made in Caron's

Caron International’s “Felt-It” comes in six multi-color mixes. Here’s color number 0003–Wildflowers. From left to right, we have a freshly-crocheted flower; the next flower has been through the wash cycle once; the rightmost flower has been washed twice. “Felt-It” felts beautifully!

felted crochet flowers made in Cascade 220 and Jojoland

Many knitters really like Cascade Yarn Company’s “Cascade 220” for felting, and I can understand why. It looks great when felted, and in comes in many, many colors. The yellow flowers at right show “Cascade 220” before and after felting.

The multicolor yarn flower is java-orange-meadow-mauve ‘Quartette’ from Jojoland International. It is merino and cashmere sock yarn. Very nice!

I love how the popcorns in the flower center became even more defined after felting, which is not what I expected.

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