Monday, September 25, 2017

Appliqued Fall Felt Vase



Each year, when it's time to put our garden to bed for the winter, I harvest the twigs and pods the flowers have left behind and use them indoors as part of my fall decor. Because they don't require any water, my dried arrangements aren't limited to traditional containers. This appliqued felt "vase" works perfectly and adds a nice pop of autumn color. (Bonus: It's just the right size to hold a quart canning jar, so you can also use it to display greenery that needs water, if you like.)

As with all my felt projects, I used WoolFelt from NationalNonwovens: Driftwood for the body and base of the vase; Burgundy, Pea Soup, and Gold for the appliques. (I also used Pea Soup for the lining.) Making this project is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. To start, print out the patterns below and use them to cut out felt shapes in the colors you like. 


Arrange them on a 7" by 12" background piece, which will form the body of the vase. Be sure to leave a little extra space on the edges for the seams. Here's what my design looked like before I sewed it all together:



When you come up with an arrangement you like, pin the felt pieces in place. Next, use matching embroidery floss and running stitch to sew the appliques in place.

When you finish the appliques, it's time assemble the vase. Fold the appliqued felt piece in half widthwise with right sides facing and sew the pieces together with a 1/8" seam. Cut a 4" base from the Driftwood felt and pin it to the bottom edge of the vase. Sew the base to the vase body with a 1/8" seam and then turn the vase right side out. To add extra stability to the vase, I cut a piece of Pea Soup felt to fit inside and sewed a seam along the short edges. To finish, I tucked the lining inside and sewed the top edges of the vase and the lining together with running stitch.


I love combination of textures and colors in this project--it looks rustic and modern at the same time. The pattern can easily be adapted to create any size or color vase you like. Just keep in mind that a felt vase is not as heavy as a glass or pottery vessel. You might want to add some glass pebbles or another vase filler to keep it standing upright.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Crocheted Trellis Cowl


This cute little cowl is much easier to make than it looks. A repeating chain-and-pineapple stitch pattern creates a textured, openwork look that looks the same on the front and back. Each of the unjoined rounds is worked identically, making it a fun project that requires minimal concentration. Once you get the pattern in your head, you can just stitch away while you watch TV--which is how I spend most of my fall evenings.

The yarn I used is Cascade 220 Superwash in Como Blue #811. It's 100% washable wool, so it feels cozy and has just the right amount of stretch. Of course, you can use any worsted-weight yarn you have on hand. I used a size I-9 crochet. I tend to crochet tightly, so I used a hook that's a bit larger than I would ordinarily use for this yarn to keep the pattern loose and lacy. Experiment with your yarn to find the hook that creates the desired effect before you begin making the cowl.


This pattern uses one special stitch--the pineapple stitch--which creates the tiny "puffs" that give the cowl texture. Here's how to make it:
Pineapple stitch: [Yarn over hook, insert hook, yarn over hook, draw a loop through] 4 times in the same stitch, yarn over hook, draw through first 8 loops on hook, yarn over hook, draw through remaining 2 loops on hook.

To begin the cowl, chain 140, join with a slip stitch in the first stitch to form a ring. (The circumference of my cowl is about 26 inches.)

Round 1: [Chain 3, skip 3 stitches, single crochet in next stitch, chain 3, skip 3 stitches, pineapple stitch in next stitch] 17 times. To end the first round, chain 3, skip 3 stitches, single crochet in the joining slip stitch.

Remaining rounds: [Chain 3, skip 3 stitches, pineapple stitch in the next single crochet, chain 3, skip 3 stitches, single crochet in top of the next pineapple stitch] around, without joining rounds.

Work in this pattern until the cowl reaches the size you like. (Mine is 8 inches high.) To finish the cowl, chain 3, slip stitch in the next single crochet, fasten off, and weave in ends.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

See My Design in "Crochet! Winter Warmers"


Scarf and shawl season is almost upon us, and I couldn't be happier! If you're a crochet addict like me, and you're looking for some cool-weather accessories, wearables, and home decor items to make, look for "Winter Warmers" on your newsstand (it's a special publication from Crochet! magazine). I'm thrilled to tell you that my Ridge Rock Shawl is one of the featured designs. These photos give you a sneak peak.


I really can't wait for the weather to get just a little bit cooler so I can wear it. In the meantime, I'll keep busy crocheting. This issue has certainly given me a lot of inspiration!


Monday, September 11, 2017

My Halloween Designs in "Just CrossStitch" Magazine


As you can see, I'm going to be having a very-cross-stitched Halloween at my house this year. I was lucky enough to have four of my designs featured in the special Halloween issue of Just CrossStitch magazine, which is on newsstands now. Here's a peak at my projects: first up is the Halloween Welcome Banner, pictured above.


I've got to admit, this Monster Movie television is one of the favorite things I've ever made. Maybe because I love watching campy 1950s sci-fi movies at Halloween or any time of year.


As you can see from the Nevermore cross-stitched picture above, I'm also a big Edgar Allan Poe fan.


Last but not least is this creepy Spiderweb ornament, which is embellished with a shiny spider charm and silky fringe. (The satin floss from DMC can be a little tricky to work with, but I think it's totally worth the effort.)

If you'd like to stitch one of these designs--or any of the other 49 projects featured in the magazine--look for this cover on your newsstand. And if you want to finish in time for Halloween, you better start stitching soon.

Happy stitching!