A little background,
2 years ago I was put on bed rest during a pregnancy it was also around this time that I spent my daughters college fund on a beautiful pink retro kitchen set, I think you know which one I am talking about, you know the one everyone passes and says, “who would pay that!?” Well I did. Anyway for Christmas that year along with her lovely kitchen she received some wooden play foods, which being very little she promptly used to scratch and dent her wonderful kitchen! Needless to say those little suckers were gracing the shelves of goodwill by weeks end!
But what can you do in a play kitchen without play food? I wasn’t about to bring a bunch of plastic junk into my home, then the solution presented itself in the form of felt food. I have now made everything from soup to nuts, literally. After crafting felt food for sometime I began to get frustrated trying to find the bits and pieces I needed to to create the things I wanted to. So together with my BFF and fellow crafter Amelia I decided to create the store I was looking for, American Felt and Craft. Please stop in sometime and take a look around. And as always if you have any questions I am just an email away and I’m happy to share my knowledge and a few of my favorite patterns with you!
Lesson 1 Material Girl Coming Soon: Lesson 3 Needles
Lesson 2 Right said Thread
For making felt food just about any thread will do, if you’re going to make heirloom quality felt food, stand the test of time, your great granddaughter will be playing with it, felt food you’re going to need sturdy thread. I highly recommend a cotton or polyester thread, keeping in mind that polyester threads have a bit of a sheen to them and often distract from the piece a little, although there are cotton coated polyester threads. Personally I prefer 100%cotton since the threads are more flexible and softer than other types and since felt absorbs light the felt blends well since cotton usually doesn’t have the shiny qualities of other types. In terms of strength both cotton and polyester are less likely than other threads to break, snag or form unwanted knots. You may see thread called quilting thread this is ideal for felt food since the threads are thin and smooth but tough enough to hold up to hand sewing, and blend exceedingly well, the problem with quilting thread is it’s color range is extremely limited.
Thread to avoid
Don’t bother sewing felt together with silk or rayon thread it’s like attempting to hold it together with paste. And forget about the heavy duty carpet or button thread, sure it’s durable but it’s so thick that it tends to distract or misshape a piece. The giant spools sold for sergers are great values but tend to tangle and knot easily because they are generally made with a lower quality short cotton strands so I wouldn’t buy any colors you don’t plan on using frequently.
Cross Stitch Thread
Lately I have been using the skeins of cross stitching thread, they are cheap and come in more colors than I knew existed, I just separate the threads and sew with just one or two. Occasionally some cross stitching threads may leech dye so you may want to test them prior to use and avoid lower quality brands as they are more likely to bleed.
Sewing with specialty threads can take a felt piece to the next level. Variegated colors, for corn cob kernels, metallics for the shine on a cherry, iridescents for flower details and glow in the dark just for fun are all great details. <br>You might try experimenting with these keeping in mind that metallic and clear threads can be hard to knot and in the case of metallics may break very easily so both are only best used only for detailing.
When picking a thread color you should consider buying thread a shade darker than your felt, once sewn it will actually appear closer to the color than exact matches. Felt absorbs light rather than reflecting it so it’s very easy for the human eye to pick up shade differences so try to match the tones as well as possible, again going a shade or so darker for maximum benefit. Lighter threads are great for highlighting and adding depth to a piece.
I hope this covers any questions you had on thread selection, please feel free to leave any further questions, tips, or suggestions in the comments section.