This might be the first year that I’ve remembered that St. Patrick’s day is soon approaching — like before the day of when I would show up to school wearing blue, because why not.
Oh why can’t there be some massively celebrated Norwegian holiday? Now that holiday I would not forget.
But in the spirit of spring and St. Patrick, let’s celebrate with some decorations for the holiday. I’ve been trying to get my house a bit more festive throughout the year, not by spending a ton of money, but by creating–or purchasing–one or two pieces to add each year. It’s a slow process, but so far I’ve been really happy with each item I’ve made or curated.
I’m really excited about today’s tutorial! As I mentioned last week, I’ve become completely smitten with this new machine: I’m spoiled by the space, the speed, the quiet, the space, the stitch quality…did I mention the space? Goodness I love how much work area this sewing machine has!
I also love that this machine has a few bells and whistles, even though it’s described and sold as a workhorse-straight-stitch-speed-machine–which it also is. Today I’m going to show you what you are able to do with the needle felting attachment. Yup. You read that right: needle felting attachment.
It is as amazing as it sounds.
Now I am no needle felting professional. No sir. So I’m going to show you how I’m taking baby steps to getting better. :) The first tip is to use wool felt sheets instead of roving wool. It doesn’t have to be 100% wool, but the better quality felt, the better! You will learn how to use the tools without the frustration of keeping your roving wool in place or in the shape you are trying to achieve. With the wool felt, you can simply cut out your shape and go! Let’s get started.
|| SUPPLIES NEEDED ||
- sewing machine
- wool felt cut into shape desired*
- 1/2″ leather strips or bias tape
- needle felting attachment or tool
1 || Begin by cutting your canvas into triangles for the bunting. I cut 7″ strips, which became the height of my triangles. The top of each triangle measures 6″.
2 || Sew around the bottom two edges of your triangle with a 1/4″ seam using a stitch length of no greater than 2. These stitches will allow the bunting to fray a little over time, but will keep the fray to a minimum. (If you’d rather to a small hem, a rolled hem, or an 1/8″ seam instead, feel free!)
3 || Attach the needle felting attachment to your machine or prepare your needle felting tools.
4 || Cut your desired shape from the felt using a scissor or cutting machine. I used six triangles with shamrocks and seven without for my banner.
5 || Begin by felting in a small area to tack the felt to the canvas. If you aren’t familiar with needle felting at all, you can see how the attachment works in the tutorial video. Each of the needles have a small hooks on them, pushing the felt through the canvas on the way through and leaving that bit there as the needle comes back up. Think of it as when you snag a small chip of a broken fingernail on a sweater, only on purpose.
I recommend tacking down the center first, followed by a quick felting of the border staying within the felt. Next move on to fill in all the space, checking the back periodically for areas you might have missed. Be sure to follow around the edges to really secure the felt to the canvas.
6 || Have fun! Kind of therapeutic, eh? Repeat the felting process for all flags of the bunting.
7 || Using an iron, press each felted shape using light steam to set the wool in place.
8 || Arrange the order of your bunting, and sew the 1/2″ leather strip or the bias tape to the top of the triangles. Leave a tiny or large gap between each flag — this space is completely a preference and might be determined by the space you plan to hang the bunting.
9 || Go hang it up!
Now I promised a few modifications if you’re not able to needle felt the bunting banner!
OPTION 1 || No Sew
Using an iron-on adhesive, apply to felt following instructions prior to cutting shapes. Cut desired shape from felt and iron on to bunting flags.
OPTION 2 || Top Stitch
Cut out felt shapes — you can use wool or poly craft felt. Pin in place and top stitch around the perimeter of the shape.
click file images to download
I was provided the Brother DZ1500F to test and review and was compensated for this tutorial post. All ideas, projects and opinions are my own. Truth? I love love love this machine.