I found these felt ornament kits by Rachel’s of Greenfield. I thought it would be quick holiday craft project, but then I realized I needed to cut all these fussy felt pieces, and it was no longer a quick project, so I put them away. As I’ve been learning a lot of embroidery techniques, I decided it was time to tackle appliqué.
When I started cutting, I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy this project at all. The tiny paper templates were frustrating and I found myself doing a good bit of freehand cutting. I did all the cutting at once, for all twelve ornaments, and that took the most time.
The sewing part was much easier and went much faster. The instructions said all the pieces should be glued down before stitching, but I used dressmaker’s pins to keep the pieces in place and stitched one at a time. This may have been more work in the end, but I didn’t need to deal with fabric glue fumes or wait for it to dry. Once I got into a rhythm, the pre-cut pieces came together easily and I finished the first six ornaments while catching up on my TV shows.
sewing in progress
sewing in progress
mittens and stockings appliqué kit
mittens and stockings appliqué kit
mittens appliqué kit
mittens appliqué kit
When I finished all twelve ornaments, I cleaned up my workspace and felt satisfied with my work. But, then I found myself staring at the plain pages of my needle book and decided to use the scraps to embellish the pages. This needed a bit of creative thinking, because I was using odd shaped bits. Plus, I was afraid of ruining my needle book, so I proceeded carefully, always asking myself if I would enjoy looking at this book or if it would irritate me every time I opened it.
I started by layering the odd-shaped pieces to see what appeared. It was like doing collage work. I made the first page, the vase of flowers, and liked the outcome. Since the theme would be flowers (of course it would), I then had to find a way to use the scraps to make three more designs that had larger spaces to stick needles and yet had some floral motifs. There was a lot of fussy cutting and trimming before I found the right things, but I am quite pleased with my scrap appliqué needle book pages.
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