Search results for 'felt type'

Fall is coming I swear! Fall felt craft roundup.

29 Aug

Chances are where you are it’s hot…really hot! But fear not fall is coming.

Get into a fall state of mind with these awesome autumn themed felt crafts.

The Salt Tree's wonderful felt pine cones.

http://salttree.blogspot.com/2011/06/felt-pinecone-tutorial-victor.html

She’s done them in two styles too, a girl after my own heart.

Felt Fall Leaves

These amazing leaves from Rosina {ROSY ~ POSY} made for her nature table, they have the names of the trees they came from right on them! TOO CUTE!

http://rosinahuber.blogspot.com/2010/10/felt-leaves-for-your-nature-table.html

I see some of these in my future, what a great idea and a fun way to teach your little one about native trees.  I also think they could make some really cool felt coasters.

felt owls

Jessica Levitt of Juicy Bits shares this these adorable felt owl ornaments.

http://juicy-bits.typepad.com/juicy_bits/2009/12/131-give-a-hoot-for-the-holidays.html

You had me at rick rack…

DIY Felt Acorns Tutorial

A beautifully shot tutorial for felt acorns from Jessica guest blogging for The Cake Blog.

http://www.thecakeblog.com/2010/09/felt-acorns-diy.html

A few wooden beads and felt owls with these guys could make an adorable fall garland.

Of course you know what happened the last time I made one of those

https://americanfeltandcraft.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/something-to-be-thankful-for/

For the record we kept the garland.

~ Hope this keeps the heat at bay Andie

Felt Food 101 – Lesson 3 Needles, How to make felt food.

8 Jun

felt food how to fall veggies

Please stop into our store 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!

Felt Food 101 – Lesson 3 Needles:

needlesAFC

Differences in sewing needles:

There are a ton of different needles out there so I just thought I would take a minute to cover the bases. The first and most important thing to note about needles is that they are all sized in the same manner. The smaller the number the longer and thicker the needle.  I agree that this is misleading and annoying, and yes I think they do it that way just to mess with people.

smallerlargerNeedles are sized in numbers from 1-12, guess which is the smallest? If you guessed 12 then your obviously a quick study, a cheater or you already know a little about needles. If you guessed 1..see I told you it’s really annoying.  Now that you know a thing or two about sizing lets get down to the knitty grittyfudgedesserts

Types of Needles

130x13-SharpsNeedlesSharps– These are you everyday standard needle. When one refers to a sewing needle chances are this is what they are referring to.  These are your standard Joe sixpack  needle, their tips are sharp (some needles aren’t so don’t make that face at me!) and they are middle of the road on length. Available in sizes 1-12

150x6-MillinersNeedleMilliners Needles– These are very long needles sometimes called Straw needles they most often used to make pleats, sew  ribbon embroidery and embellish hats, hence the name.  They are usually available in sizes 3 to 12.

150x8-EmbroideryNeedle Embrodiery Needles(s0me people call them crewel but I find them to perfectly lovely and very likable…sorry couldn’t help myself there) These needle have the same sharp tip but are a bit longer since the eye of the needle is longer to accommodate thicker threads. Available in sizes 1-10

beadingneedlefeltfoodBeading Needles– beading needles are the needle you should use when, you guessed it placing beads onto fabrics, the eye of these needles are skinny (we should all be so lucky) to accommodate beads sliding over them without getting caught. In sizes 10 – 15

feltfood101Quilting-BetweenQuilters needles or betweens– Since these little babies are used for hand quilting you’d think they’d be the perfect choice for hand sewing felt, you’d be wrong. They are very short and thin, making them easily lost in thick felt and can feel a little clumsy in the hand when working with tough material. They are however great for making very even small stitches. They are usually only available in sizes 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 (medium short to Danny Divto short, love ya Danny!)

DarnerNeedleAFCDarning Needles, sometimes called Darners- A Darning needle is a larger big eyed blunt tip needle. The larger sizes are often used in wool work however for felt food purpose’s a sharp or embroidery is probably your best option.

150x8-EmbroideryNeedleDoll Needles– If Quilters are the Danny Divito of the sewing needle world doll needles are the Arnold Schwarzenegger of needles. (Twins was on a lot when I was growing up) While like any needle they will vary in length and thickness they are usually long strong needles, useful for sewing through very thick felt food, such as felt Pumpkins, apples etc…

* I am not getting into the felting needle in this post since they aren’t used for sewing.

Gee thanks but I just want to know what to buy!

Just plain old sewing needles will do just fine when sewing felt food i.e Sharps.  I however like to use embroidery needles because I am a rebel and because they are a bit longer and easier to thread plus if I decide to do any embroidery onto my project I don’t have to dig out another needle. I find that for sewing felt you’ll want a thicker longer needle, I have actually bent one or two of the smaller sharp needles. I would use anything from a 3 to a 6 (remember the smaller the number the larger the needle) You will want to avoid too thick of a needle since it can leave a noticeable entry hole in your felt, although these will disappear after time or you can just gently rub at the surrounding felt and it will usually blend in better. I also use  a doll needle for sewing into thick objects and beading needles for you guessed it, beading!

Can I sew felt food with a sewing machine?

Nothing beats the easy and versatility of hand sewing when working with something small or thick however you can also use a sewing machine for most of your sewing applications involving felt food, this is very nice if you’re making a lot of something. The Majority of the time I think just loading the bobbin and thread takes more time than hand sewing and hand sewing seems to add a charming personal touch and can be done while watching re-runs of Bewitched because your BFF thinks the Tony’s are dumb, yeah I am talking to you Amelia! When using a machine there will be draping and curving issues that are unworkable since most machines are really limited in the kinds if stitches they can create.  Another downside to using a machine is that if you should make a mistake the stitches can be hard to remove and since you can no longer use cross stitch threads finding the right color of thread and then winding a matching bobbin can be a nightmare.

If you are looking to buy a sewing machine I would highly recommend talking to friends and family to see what they like to use. My favorite resource in this area is the sewing machine repair shop, these are usually listed in the phone book as sew and vacs, a good place will be able to give you some tips on what’s good, what’s not, what needs the most repair and maintenance and most importantly what costs the most to maintain. 99 % of the time they will also sell used machines, and generally offer a guarantee. You can also try Craig’s list or eBay although the cost of shipping can be prohibitive and it’s hard to know if something is in good working order until it’s too late.

Last Week : Thread              Next week:  Putting it all together, stitching and glues

Felt Food 101 – Lesson 2 Right said thread, How to make felt food.

1 Jun

felt food how to fall veggies

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

thread

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

 crossstitch 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.happysheep

Specialty threads

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.

Choosing colors

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.

fudgedesserts

Lesson 1 Material Girl                         Next week Lesson 3 Needles

 

What have we got here or bonfire of the antiquities – How to tell what kind of felt you have.

9 May

So you just got a great deal on felt sheets from a tag sale and you want to know how good a deal you actually got.

Is it wool, acrylic, or blend?

felttypes2

 If you can’t tell by looking or your just ridiculously optimistic. There is a simple way to find this out called the burn test, and yes this is dangerous and no I didn’t make this up so I can set stuff on fire.

OK,  when I say dangerous you should know it’s not,  jumping 12 buses on a motorcycle dangerous, but it’s definitely cutting onions dangerous. And I know it seems like I have an obsession with setting felt on fire, let me assure you this is NOT the case.

 

First things first you’re going to need a small sample of your material your willing to part with, a plate or pot and a long match or lighter used for lighting BBQ’s, if you don’t have that I’d suggest tongs and whatever you do have. Basically get yourself setup like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, (the scientist from the muppetts.) you don’t want to be too close to the felt when you light it up since plastic felts (acrylic and eco-felt) will melt and trust me you don’t want that to drip onto your hand.

Drum roll please….. now carefully set your sample ablaze…

fireEco

Does it emit black smoke, smell like a Tupperware top on your dishwashers heating element and form a hard ball at the end, that’s eco- felt (sold under the names eco-fi and eco-spun) or acrylic.

 Your felt is made of plastic these felts usually retail form about $0.25  a 9x 12 sheet, usually less when bought in yardage.

fireblend

 Does it form a soft gray ash? With no real smoke or plastic smell.

That’s most likely a blend, these retail for anywhere from $0.75   to $3.50 a 9 x 12 sheet, again less in yardages.

lovefeltfirewool

If you have a difficult time keeping it lit and it turns into a fine ash that practically disappears when you touch it. Hallelujah you have wool!! Commence victory dance…Keep in mind that the high wool ratio blends will be hard to distinguish from 100% wool since the burn test reflects the main composition of the felt, but regardless you have some very nice felt on your hands. Prices in wool vary widely by thickness, quality type of dying process and country of origin so giving you an esitmate on it would be impossible.

There’s got to be another way! I can’t bear to burn my precious felt!

What you don’t want to go around yard sales with a pair of tongs and a lighter turning peoples felt sheets into mini bonfires… fine … here’s another easy, although less accurate trick. If the sheets are a little shiny and slide across each other easily they are likely acrylic although some blends may be a tad shiny as well and both may sometimes show no shine at all.

Blends are often cut and put under things like lamps and display pieces precisely because they will not slip easily, the same is true for wool, so if it helt there must be wool in your felt (actually this isn’t 100% but it’s as much info as your going to get without a match.)

I know much less fun than the fire thing huh?

Happy Crafting! And yes I know helt isn’t a word, it was a tough rhyme cut me some slack!

Andie

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