Contributed by Stephanie Bearce
Remember felt? It was the cloth of childhood. Sunday school teachers used felt sheep and shepherds to tell Bible stories. Classroom teachers outfitted us in felt Indian headbands for Thanksgiving. And in scouts we made felt bags to carry our treasures.
But like all of us, felt has grown up. It's no longer just the province of children and Sunday school teachers. Felt comes in dozens of colors and patterns. It's soft, easy to work with, and and makes brilliant craft projects.
I love playing with felt and creating my own patterns. The materials are inexpensive and easy to find. Felt costs about 25 cents a sheet, but sometimes you can hit a sale and get it for less. I frequent Hobby Lobby and Micheal's Craft store sales and buy in bulk. You can make felt projects on the sewing machine, but I enjoy hand sewing with felt. It's a great way to play with crafts and catch up on my favorite television shows at the same time. (I don't feel as guilty about watching T.V. If my hands are busy.)
Lately I have been playing with felt flowers. I guess if I can't grow flowers, I'll sew flowers. I cut out free form flowers and embroider accents or outlines. Buttons add fun details, and I use lots of brightly colored embroidery thread.
One easy to make flower is what I call the zinnia pattern.
You will need:
floral wire or straight back lapel pin
Cut a piece of felt at least 10 inches long and two inches wide.
Fold the felt in half length wise. Cut quarter inch slits from the top of the fold to the open end. Be careful to NOT cut all the way to the end.
Sew a running stitch down the length of the felt and gather the felt to form the flower shape.
Use thread to secure the ends of the flower.
Place a button on either side of the middle of the flower and sew them together to form the flower center.
If you want to make a zinnia bouquet, you can attach floral wire to the center of the flower. Or you can hot glue a pin to the back of your flower and have an early spring flower for your coat
Ah, felt - you have grown up to be so pretty. And have I got plans for you!