Monday, January 11, 2010

Felt Applique

I have very mixed feelings about felt applique. On one hand, some of the earliest stitching I ever did was with felt, and it opened crafting/stitching doors to me that I had never imagined before. When I was a kid we moved to a new country with a different language, and during the first couple of days I went to that school we worked on a Mother's Day present, making a scissors pouch from pink felt held together with button-hole or blanket stitch. I can remember gathering all my siblings together to get them to make more items for that great day. It must have been a very encouraging project; something I could do well without knowing Spanish.

When my daughters were young, I made this Advent calendar from a kit. It was fun, it stitched up quickly, and it has been loved for close to 30 years. The most fun was making the camels, because they had beads, braid, the best colors, and tassels. This year P and C were still vying to see who got to turn over what.


The stocking I'm working on now is more involved. There are many sequins and beads. Here's the top band:


and here's the Christmas tree.


Each of these represents about 15% of the total, so I'm about 70 % done. The Christmas tree was supposed to have 1/2 star sequins instead of all dark green ones, but once they were on I didn't feel like changing them. The tree still needs a couple of sequins on the cup-cake frosting, and the star on the top, but I like how it turned out. I'm really quite amazed by how much hand stitching is on this. The candy canes and peppermints in the top band are outlined with pink, there's chain-stitching around the gingerbread men, and the tree garland is stitched and couched. All the red on the tree peppermints and candy canes is embroidered, in satin stitch and outline stitch.

The next step is all the candy and confections across the bottom, totalling about 30 to 35% of the total. I'm hoping that will move very quickly.

I don't consider these projects art, they are definitely crafts, but felt applique can be art. Check out the self-portrait in this link. I'm very tempted to make at least a couple self-portrait dolls, but I don't know if I'm up to making over 50 of them. Of course, the longer I wait to start, the more I would have to make! Isn't that piece amazing?

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