Tag Archives | wool felt

A Year of Wreaths: March Daffodil Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the March wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her delightful Daffodil Wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

Daffodil Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

This month’s wreath is all about joyful spring colour: fresh spring green yarn paired with bright felt daffodils and narcissi. The subtle variations in colour of the hand-dyed Malabrigo yarn create a gorgeous stripy effect around the wreath, and the felt flowers add a vibrant pop of cheerful colour.

As well as making the March wreath you could adapt this tutorial to make floral brooches or headbands, or add stems to the flowers to create a felt bouquet. All the supplies you’ll need to make the wreath are available from the Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the February wreath kit.

You will need:
*The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Banana Cream, White and Hallows Eve
*Orange and yellow stranded embroidery thread
*Orange and yellow sewing thread
*One skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Lettuce
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Pinking shears
*Sewing needles and pins
*A large, sharp needle
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: an air-erasable fabric marker

To make the wreath:

  1. Decorate the wreath base with Malabrigo Merino Worsted yarn in Lettuce.

Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base. Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Use the templates provided to cut out the felt pieces for each of the flowers. To make the exact wreath pictured you will need five daffodils and seven narcissi. For each flower, cut two petal pieces, one trumpet piece and one circle from the appropriate colours (yellow for the daffodils, orange and white for the narcissi).

When you cut each trumpet cut along three sides of the template with sewing scissors and along the remaining (long) side with pinking shears – just above the edge of the paper template. If you don’t have any pinking shears you could use embroidery scissors to cut a zigzagged edge, or just cut a straight edge.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Add some embroidery to each felt circle. Cut a length of embroidery thread to match the felt, and separate half the strands (so for six-stranded thread use three strands). Use the embroidery thread to sew single stitches radiating from the centre of each circle, as shown. Sew seven or eight stitches for the daffodils, and five or six stitches for the narcissi.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Join the trumpet and circle pieces together with whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Make sure that the embroidered side of the felt circle will be visible inside the finished trumpet and that the knot of your thread will be hidden underneath it.

Sew the long straight edge of the trumpet piece to the edge of the circle, then trim any excess felt from the trumpet piece. Sew up the side seam of the trumpet with more whip stitches, then back down the seam to finish your stitching neatly underneath.

Repeat for all the trumpets.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Sew the petal pieces together. Position the pairs of petals on top of each other, as pictured, and secure each of them with a couple of stitches of sewing thread. You can use matching thread for this if you want but as long as the stitches are small and in the centre of the petals they’ll be hidden on the finished flower.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Tip: if you want to use this tutorial to make flower brooches, etc., now’s the time to sew the trumpet to the petals. Whip stitch in matching sewing thread would work well. If you’re making the wreath leave the pieces unattached (you’ll be gluing them in position later).

You should now have lots of flowers ready to add to your wreath.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Arrange the flowers on the wreath base and pin them in position. You can use the photo as a guide, or create your own arrangement.

March Daffodil Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Use a glue gun to attach the flowers to the wreath. Think about the order you’re going to glue the flowers before you begin – remember that if two flowers overlap each other you’ll need to glue the bottom flower to the wreath base then attach the top flower.

One by one, remove the pins holding the flowers in place and secure them with a few dabs of hot glue. To attach the petals, add some glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt petals down into position on top. To attach each trumpet, add a dab of glue directly to the bottom of the trumpet then place it in the centre of the flower and use your finger (or the unsharpened end of a pencil) to carefully press the trumpet in position.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

  1. Your wreath is now finished! Add a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath, or hang it directly from a hook or nail.

Daffodil Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

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A Year of Wreaths: January Rainbow Wreath by Laura Howard

We’re practically giddy about our new blog series with Laura Howard: A Year of Wreaths! I dreamed up the idea while sadly putting away our Christmas wreath and wishing I had something new to put up – but it’s not super common to put up a wreath in January. And why not? Wreaths are the best! And Laura’s ideas are so much fun. This happy wreath now hangs proudly on our shop door.

Read on for her January tutorial and if you’d like to take a class with Laura at our West Hampstead shop, you can sign up for her Felt Weather Mobile class on 28 January! Take it away, Laura!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Every month this year I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making a seasonal wreath. First up: a bright and cheerful rainbow wreath to banish the January blues!

These happy colours are perfect for brightening up dull winter days and I’ve added a bit of sparkle too. All the supplies you’ll need are available from The Village Haberdashery – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the January wreath kit.

You will need:
The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in seven rainbow colours: Red, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream, Chartreuse, Blue Bayou, Wisteria and Cotton Candy
*Black and White wool blend felt
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread #41
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of string or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:
1. Use the templates provided to cut out 7 small felt circles (one of each rainbow colour), 7 large black felt circles and 7 white felt letters spelling out the word “welcome”.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

2. One by one, sew each small circle to a backing large circle. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect thread and whip stitch, keeping your stitches as even as possible.

Tip: this metallic thread is easy to sew with, but I’d recommend cutting a shorter length of thread than you’d usually work with to make sure it doesn’t tangle.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
3. Add one letter to each circle in colour order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink. Use more of the metallic thread to sew each letter in place, sewing around the inside of the letters with backstitch as shown.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

4. Use the templates provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath. Cut 4 standard strips and 1 wide strip from red felt. Then cut 5 standard strips from each of the other 6 rainbow colours.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
5. Beginning with the wide red strip, position the felt pieces on top of the wreath base as shown. Add the pieces in colour order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
6. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
7. Turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath and pin the ends in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
8. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base, then very carefully press the felt down into position,.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
9. Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
10. Arrange the felt circles on the wreath as shown, spelling out the word “welcome”. The edges of the circles should touch but not overlap each other. When you’re happy with the layout, pin the circles in place.

Tip: position the circles so they help hide the join where you started and finished wrapping the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
11. Use the glue gun to attach the circles to the wreath. One by one, remove a pin and set aside a circle. Add two or three dabs of glue on the wreath then carefully press the circle back in place. Make sure to keep the letters neatly aligned as you glue them in place!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
12. If needed, cut a length of string or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

january-felt-rainbow-wreath-tutorial-18

 

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Tutorial! Felt Christmas Baubles by Laura Howard

We’re thrilled that Laura Howard is back with a tutorial for her lovely vintage-style felt Christmas baubles! Read on for the tutorial and if you’d like to take one of Laura’s classes you can find them here.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Sew a set of felt ornaments for your Christmas tree or to give as gifts this season! These decorations were inspired by pretty vintage glass baubles and are so much fun to sew.

Make them in classic red and greens, retro pink, turquoise and lilac, or any colour combo that takes your fancy. Mix and match the colours across the set, and decorate them with co-ordinating embroidery thread, ribbons and trims, plus sequins and beads to add some festive sparkle. You could also use things like mini buttons and mini pompoms, or even strips of festive fabric cut with pinking shears.

You will need:

The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)

*Three co-ordinating shades of wool felt for the baubles
*Light grey felt for the bauble caps
*Sewing thread to match all the felt colours
*Embroidery thread in co-ordinating colours
*Narrow ribbon for hanging the baubles (approx. 7 inches per bauble)
*Assorted co-ordinating ribbons, ric-rac, sequins and seed beads for decorating the baubles
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out small shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Optional: air erasable fabric marker, a ruler, toy stuffing, and pinking shears

To make each bauble:

  1. Use the templates provided to cut two matching bauble pieces from your chosen shade of felt, and two cap pieces from light grey felt. Pin or hold the paper templates onto the felt as you cut around them.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Use pinking shears to cut a contrasting strip of felt to sit in the middle of the bauble. You can cut this by eye, or use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw guide lines to cut along. You can make this felt strip as wide or narrow as you like, but it must be long enough to overhang each side of the bauble as shown.

Don’t have a pair of pinking shears? Just cut a straight edge with your sewing scissors instead.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Pin the felt strip to one of the bauble pieces and trim it to size. Using running stitch and matching sewing thread sew along the top and bottom edge, then remove the pin.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Now comes the fun part: decorating the bauble! You can use the photos in this post as inspiration, or get creative and come up with your own bauble designs. The basic design principle to follow is to add the embellishments in rows, keeping things as symmetrical as possible.

  1. Start by adding ribbon and/or ric-rac. To add each piece, cut a length slightly wider than the bauble (so it overhangs the edges by 1-2 cm at each side). Pin or hold the ribbon/ric-rac in place and sew along it with matching sewing thread. You can use running stitch, or sew tiny whip stitches along the edges. Fold the ends of the ribbon / ric-rac over and secure it at the back of the bauble shape with a few whip stitches, sewing into the felt but not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

You could add one piece of ribbon or add several pieces (as shown above). Create contrast and detail by sewing a narrow ribbon on top of a wider one, or by sewing a piece of ric-rac onto a second strip of contrasting felt (add this felt strip using the same method as in steps 2 and 3, but without the pinked edges).

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Next, add some embroidery. Use co-ordinating embroidery thread, separate half the strands (so for six-stranded embroidery thread, just use three strands at a time) and switch to a larger sewing needle if necessary.

If you’re an embroidery whizz you can add any stitches you fancy. I decorated my baubles with lines of running stitch and simple patterns of Xs and Vs, each sewn from pairs of stitches.

To help keep your designs symmetrical, sew outwards from the centre of each row then fill in the second half with the same number of stitches.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard
Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Tip: If you have trouble keeping your stitched lines straight, use an air-erasable marker and a ruler to mark guide lines to sew along.

  1. To finish the decoration, add a selection of sequins and small beads. Use matching sewing thread to sew each embellishment in place – I used thread to match the felt / ribbon I was sewing onto, but you could match your thread to the embellishments themselves if you prefer.

Sew each seed bead with a double thickness of thread, using one stitch per bead. Secure each sequin with two or three stitches, depending on the size and shape of your chosen sequins. I used two stitches for the round sequins, and three for the stars.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn over the undecorated bauble piece. Position the two cap pieces on the top of the bauble pieces (which will become the front and back of the bauble) and sew them in place with two stitches each: one between each scallop.

You’ll see that the cap pieces are larger than the cap shape on the top of the bauble – this is so that when you sew the grey felt caps together the bright felt of the bauble tops will be completely hidden inside the grey caps.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn the back bauble piece over again, and add a ribbon loop to the top. Cut a length of narrow ribbon about 7 inches long, fold it in half to form a loop and sew the ends in place with whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Take care to sew into the felt, not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Place the two layers of the bauble together and begin joining the edges. Start with the cap, sewing around it with whip stitch and matching grey sewing thread.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you want to stuff the baubles, add a very small piece of toy stuffing to the cap.

Then start sewing around the edge of the bauble, using whip stitch and matching sewing thread. If you’re leaving the bauble unstuffed, sew all the way round the bauble and finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you’re adding stuffing, sew most of the way round then stuff the bauble evenly with small pieces of toy stuffing and sew up the gap.

Tip: When sewing the long bauble, I’d recommend stuffing it gradually as you sew up the second side.

 

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

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Laura’s Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial

The super talented Laura Howard designed this beautiful autumn wreath for a class for our West Hampstead shop and now she is sharing a tutorial for all of you to make at home! If you’d like to take one of Laura’s classes you can find them here.

We love this wreath so much, but if you don’t fancy making the whole wreath the templates can be used to make a toadstool brooch or you can add ribbon loops to turn the toadstools into Christmas ornaments!

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

You will need:

*The template sheet (opens as a pdf in a new page to print)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Chunky yarn in an autumnal shade
*Red, white and dark brown wool or wool-blend felt
*Matching red, white and dark brown sewing thread
*Assorted autumnal shades of felt for the leaves. Laura used Pumpkin Spice, Butternut Squash, Old Gold, Barn Red and Copper Kettle
*Red, orange and light brown embroidery thread
*Toy stuffing
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out felt shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*Heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: air-erasable fabric marker pen, a pencil

To make the toadstools:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the toadstool pieces (as marked on the template sheet). Pin each paper template onto the correct felt colour, cut around it carefully with embroidery scissors then remove the pin. Don’t throw away any scraps of white felt as you’ll need them to decorate the toadstools. Both sizes of toadstool (large and small) are constructed in the same way.

2. Place the two white toadstool pieces together. Starting near the top of the cap, begin sewing the edges together with whip stitch and white sewing thread. Sew down the stalk then up the other side, stuffing it gradually with small pieces of toy stuffing. Continue sewing up around the cap, leaving a small gap at the top. Stuff the cap with more toy stuffing then sew up the gap with more whip stitches.

Tip: use the closed blades of your embroidery scissors or the point of a pencil to gently poke the stuffing into all the corners of the toadstool so it’s evenly stuffed.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
3. Use embroidery scissors to cut out an assortment of small circles from the white felt scraps. You could cut these freehand (they don’t need to be perfect circles!) or use an air-erasable marker pen to draw circles on the felt and cut them out. Arrange the circles on one of the red cap pieces. For a natural-looking toadstool, make sure your arrangement isn’t symmetrical. One by one, sew each circle in place with white sewing thread and an X of two stitches.
Tip: don’t position the circles too close to the edge of the cap – remember you’ll need to sew around the edge of the cap in the next step.
Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Sandwich the stuffed toadstool shape between the two matching red cap pieces. Start stitching where the cap and stalk meet, sewing up and around the cap until you reach the top of the stalk again. Use whip stitch and matching red sewing thread, joining the edges of the red felt so the white felt cap is completely hidden inside.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
5. Continue whip stitching across the bottom of the red cap, sewing through all the layers of felt and stuffing and pulling each stitch tight. Turn the toadstool back and forth as you sew, so you can make sure your red stitches aren’t overlapping onto the white of the stalk. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variations: for a slightly different look, you could use whip stitch to attach each felt circle instead of an X of two stitches. You could also use white seed beads, white sequins or even small white buttons to decorate the toadstool caps instead of using felt circles.

To make the mushroom:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the mushroom pieces (as marked on the template sheet). Pin each paper template onto the correct felt colour, cut around it carefully with embroidery scissors then remove the pin.

2. Sew and stuff the two white mushroom pieces, using the method described in step 2 of the toadstool instructions (above).

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
3. Position the brown mushroom cap piece (A) on the white mushroom cap piece (B) and pin it in place. Use dark brown sewing thread and whip stitch to sew along the bottom edge of the brown felt shape. Remove the pin. Turn the cap pieces over and carefully trim the excess white felt above the line of stitching, as shown below right.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Place the white stalk piece on the cap pieces as pictured below, so the top of the stalk slightly overlaps the bottom of the mushroom cap. Hold or pin the layers of felt together and whip stitch along the top of the stalk with white sewing thread.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
5. Cut a piece of light brown embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, for six-stranded thread use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and backstitch around the top of the stalk, sewing flush with the edge of the felt. Then use an air-erasable fabric marker pen to draw several lines radiating from the top of the stalk. Sew along each line with backstitch and more half strands of light brown embroidery thread. Don’t sew all the way to the edge of the white felt – leave a small gap at each end of the lines, as shown below.

If you don’t have an air-erasable pen just sew the lines freehand using the photo as a guide.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
6. Place the embroidered mushroom on the stuffed mushroom shape, lining up the stalks. Starting at the top of the stalk, sew down the stalk and around it using white sewing thread and whip stitch to join the pieces together. Then add the brown mushroom cap piece (B) at the back and begin stitching up around the cap. Start with white thread, switch to brown as you sew around the brown felt, and then switch back to white again on the other side of the cap.
Finally, sew along the bottom edge of the cap at the back of the mushroom (don’t stitch through all the layers as in step 5 of the toadstool instructions) then finish your stitching neatly.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variation: instead of making a mushroom and three toadstools to decorate the wreath, you could use the “mushroom” and “mushroom cap B” templates to make a third red and white toadstool.

To make the leaves:

1. Use the leaf templates provided to cut out 24 felt leaves in assorted autumnal colours (12 large and 12 small). Pin each paper template onto your chosen felt colour, cut around it with sewing scissors then remove the pin. I used six felt colours, cutting two large and two small leaves of each colour.

2. Add detail to your leaves with half strands of contrasting embroidery thread (i.e. for six-stranded embroidery thread just use three strands). Sew a line of running stitches down the centre of each leaf then finish your stitching at the back and trim any excess threads.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variation: keep the leaves unstitched for a simpler look, or mix and match stitched and unstitched leaves.

To wrap the wreath base:

Chunky yarn is perfect for wrapping the wreath! I chose brown yarn, which goes well with the autumnal colours of the wreath but allows the leaves and toadstools to stand out. Grey or black would also look great, as would an autumnal shade like burnt orange or mustard yellow to match your leaf colours.

Tip: if you’re using thinner yarn, use two balls of matching yarn and wrap with two strands at once (one from each ball) to save time.

1. Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the skein/ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside.

2. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base with your chosen yarn. This can take a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or an episode of your favourite TV show.

3. Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

To assemble the wreath:

1. Arrange the leaves on the yarn-wrapped wreath base, using the photo below as a guide. When you’re happy with the arrangement pin each leaf in place, inserting the pin at the bottom of each leaf.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
2. Heat up your glue gun then use it to attach the leaves to the wreath. Work inwards, holding the leaf back and applying a small dab of glue to the wreath then lightly pressing the outer/top half of the leaf down so it sticks in place. Then remove the pin from the bottom of the leaf and glue the lower half.

When you reach the central cluster of leaves, glue all the outer/top halves of the leaves then remove the central pins and glue the inner/bottom halves of the leaves one by one.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

3. Arrange the mushroom and two toadstools on the leaves. When you’re happy with their position, glue them in place one by one. Apply several dabs of glue to the back of each mushroom/toadstool where it will lie against the leaves, then place it in position and press firmly.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Finally, cut a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

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Sewing with the ladies of the West Hampstead WI (and a free pattern for you!)

Last Thursday I was invited to be the guest speaker at the meeting of the West Hampstead Women’s Institute! One of the WI’s resolutions for 2014 is to support your local high street, so as part of that effort I joined our local group to talk a bit about my business and then get down to the business of sewing!

I decided to make little felt birds with the ladies and I asked Colette if she’d share a tutorial for the lovely garland she made for Harvey before he was born. We dusted off a photo we took with this garland last year to show off the project:

felt-birds-newsletter-2

Colette’s pattern includes instructions for making three birds and a little heart strung together to make a vertical garland. It’s super sweet and Harvey’s has hung over his cot since he was born! For the purposes of the evening, however, we stuck with making just one little bird.

I put together a very springy palette of wool felt and embroidery floss, little fabric scraps and skinny satin ribbons and made little piles on all the tables at Brioche on West End Lane, where the meeting was held.

piles of supplies

Truth be told, between the ladies’ sewing know-how and Colette’s clear instructions, I didn’t have to do all that much teaching once I got the ball rolling! We had about 30 members present and it was a very fun and social evening.

women at work

The result was a beautiful flock of suitably springy little birds (and one rogue heart!) I just love how they look together.

finished birds

Colette has offered to share her pattern here, so if you saw our little birds last Thursday and want to make your own – here you go! Click on the image to download the three page pdf pattern.

Little bird garland pattern

Thank you to the West Hampstead WI and Colette!

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