Happy New Year!
Yesterday I shared a free desktop wallpaper for January. Today I’m sharing a free felt pattern for making the project I featured on the calendar.
I’m a morning person. I really do wake up most of the time happy and excited to start my day.
I know this can be super annoying. I live with two not-morning people who speak in grunts for the first hour they’re up. By the time they wake up I’ve usually been working for a couple of hours and I have all kinds of things I’m excited to show them. I’ve learned to restrain myself until they’re past the grunting stage. 🙂
As Polyanna as it can be – my eternal optimism is part of who I am. It’s a part of me that I like – and a part that I fully embrace in my work. So my studio is a great place to hang this happy reminder of how I like to start every day!
I love happy words, felt applique, and embroidered details – so you KNOW I had a ton of fun stitching up this project. 🙂
Here’s how. . .
I printed the reversed version of the pattern onto a sheet of this freezer paper, then cut the letters apart and fused them to some of my smallest felt scraps. I cut out the letters and the freezer paper at the same time – it’s the best way to accurately cut small, detailed pieces like this.
I colored in the regular (not reversed) version of the pattern with some crayons first to help me choose a good balance of colors and make sure I didn’t end up with consecutive letters in the same color.
My scraps were ruby red slippers, loden, periwinkle, love bug blue, old gold, and copper. Use what you have! Your scraps will be in colors you love!
Arrange the letters carefully on your base fabric. I used black cotton twill.
The pattern shows the letters arranged in an 8-inch circle, with a dotted line showing the vertical and horizontal centers. That line can help you eyeball the arrangement of your words. I used a 9-inch hoop for a little extra breathing room – plus it’s what I had on hand. 🙂
You can pin the letters in place, but it drives me bonkers when my embroidery thread catches on the pins, so I glued each letter in place with a tiny dab from a fabric glue stick.
Whipstitch around all the letters.
I love the look of whipstitch in matching color thread, but an outline in blanket stitch in contrasting thread would also be really nice.
I could have stopped there – and I almost did. I thought there was a real charm to the simple refrigerator-magnet-letter look. But I couldn’t resist adding a bit of extra fancification. 🙂 I did keep the extra stitching tone-on-tone so the effect wouldn’t be too wild or overwhelming. And I love the texture it adds!
Sometimes I just did little straight stitches across the letter.
Sometimes I did French knots in the center.
Sometimes I made little stars out of simple straight stitches.
Sometimes I backstitched a stick letter right in the middle of the block letter.
And sometimes I did some extra little stitches across the backstitched letter for a “Frankenstein stitches” kind of look. 🙂
For the two i letters and the exclamation point, I stitched a star in the dot and a row of three backstitches in the line.
I didn’t plan anything out – I just did what would be easiest in each letter and tried not to do the same fancification in two letters right next to each other.
I finished the back using this technique. No glue!
Now it’s hanging in my studio and I smile every time I see it. Even at 6 am. 🙂
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