Our first project for Autumn Jubilee begins today with a stitch along using wool felt. I thought you’d like to see how to use found wool fabrics, like in garments from the thrift store or yardage from a shop. Some time ago I got these lovely wool fabrics at a local shop with the intention of using them in applique. They have finished the aging process (you know, where things sit on a shelf for at least a year before being used!) and I was finally ready to prep them for a wool project for Autumn Jubilee. If you want to skip this step, scroll down for the pattern for the stitch along and the entry for the giveaway for today.
I cannot use them as they are because the fibers aren’t tightly woven and ravel like crazy. Just handling them for a photo resulted in this!
I did some research and settled on this method of felting the wool so it would no longer ravel, and be suitable for applique. I got out my big red pot that I designate for boiling things that aren’t food. It holds about 2 gallons of water, and to that I added 1/4-cup of vinegar to help set the colors.
Boiling the water, the fabrics were put in one at a time starting with the lightest one in case the colors ran. I used tongs to handle them, pushing the fabric into the boiling water.
Getting the fabric wet all over, the water settled for a moment.
It quickly came back to a full boil. I left each fabric in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
Using the tongs, each one was lifted from the water, and the excess allowed to drain back into the pot. I used a second set of tongs to wring out what I could, placing the fabric in a bowl to cool off while the next one was boiled.
Each one was boiled five minutes, ending with the darkest color. There was really very little color in the water which was a good thing. I’m not sure if the vinegar was responsible for keeping the colors stable, or if it is just the quality of the wool I purchased. Either way, they were all done in a half hour. I spread them out in the sink to cool off enough so I could handle them, and wring out most of the water.
Then they were thrown into the dryer with a towel. The dryer was set to the hottest temperature it has, and they were tumbled until thoroughly dry.
These strings were left on the edge, but pulling on them didn’t do anything. The wool was drawn up and fluffed to the point that no further raveling could occur.
Now look, the wool is more fluffy and thicker, perfect for applique. The colors are still good, and it seems that they will work nicely for the project I planned for Autumn Jubilee. I would use this same procedure to felt wool clothing items from the thrift store too. I would cut the garments apart first to discard the unusable parts, and only treat the pieces large enough for use.
Getting out my other wool colors, I decided on the oranges for the large pumpkin I’ve designed to be stitched onto a 9-inch square. We’ll embellish it and add some words in two weeks. Then we’ll mount it on a 12-inch wool base, and do the final finishing.
The second page of the pattern has the pieces individually, with some dotted lines indicating the overlap area, which goes behind the next piece. Work the pumpkin in order starting with the stem, adding piece A then B1, then B2, and so on. Pieces marked B1 and B2 are the same wool color, as are the two C pieces. This means you need five colors for your pumpkin to do it like mine. But feel free to duplicate colors however you like. You could use browns or whites if you like.
I cut out all the pattern pieces and arranged them on wools, going from lighter to darker A to E for the most part. Cut one stem and three leaves.
Then digging out the DMC floss, the colors were chosen for whip stitching. You can use a whip stitch with two strands of DMC as I do, or a blanket stitch if you like. It’s your pumpkin!
We will work the pumpkin on a 9-inch square of background wool. Arrange the pieces to be sure you are starting in a good place for the final placement near the bottom right corner. I cut my background just a bit big and will cut it to the final size after the stitching is done.
Begin with the stem, stitch it in place. Then place piece A overlapping the bottom of the stem, and stitch.
Add B1 and B2, and stitch those. Be sure to overlap the pieces.
Add C1 and C2, stitch down.
Continue with D and E.
You have two weeks to get to this point. When we come back to the Stitch Along, we will embellish and finish. Here’s the pattern – Wool Stitch Along Pattern
Just so you know, if you have a blog, you can earn extra entries in the drawings once a week by blogging about Autumn Jubilee. This week, blog about the kickoff or any post this week for additional chances in one of this week’s drawings. Blog about your progress in upcoming weeks for extra entries in future drawings.
Today’s giveaway is sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop!! The lucky winner will receive a $50 Gift Certificate, and it is open to anyone anywhere in the world! Click on the Giveaway button to enter via Rafflecopter. Check out FQS’s Woolies line of fabrics. What would you wish for from Fat Quarter Shop? Entries close Oct 9th at 11:59 pm.
If you are new to Rafflecopter, just click on the picture above, click on “use your email” to enter your name and email to open the entries. I need your name and email to contact you if you win, but your email will not be shared or used for any other purpose. After that each entry will have its own instructions, like leave a comment or click to visit a page. For example, you might visit the sponsor’s website or a facebook page (which will open in a new tab), then come back and click “I visited” to register your entry for that option.
Good luck!! Be sure to share your progress on our sharing groups!
What would you wish for from Fat Quarter Shop? Are you stitching along?
PS!! Wanna win more cool stuff? Jolly Jabber, the FQS blog, is sponsoring a Mega Quilt Market Sweepstakes! See the Jolly Jabber blog to enter, deadline is October 26th!!
AND, I just found out about a month of free wool pattern giveaways on the Wooly Block Adventure sponsored by the Row By Row Experience. Every other day, two shops will be features with a free pattern download. Get it while it is up, because it is only available for two days, then it is gone and the next two are posted. Click on Wooly Block Adventure! And keep going back every other day, the event runs through the months of October and November.
Sharing – Slow Sunday Stitching