FINALLY! Some progress on my Christmas in July projects!
After a wonderful, whirlwind visit, my niece and mother left Seattle yesterday and I found myself with some free time during one of those miraculous simultaneous naps by the boys. Yippee! I turned on some music, lit a candle (getting romantic with my old self!), grabbed some candy and a cup of coffee and... sat down to thoroughly enjoy a little bit of handwork! Breathe a sigh of satisfaction with me, would ya? Aaaah.
Here's my first finished ornament, using the Layer Play ornament pattern designed by Laura Howard for Fa La La La Felt:
I decided to go with a simple color combo rather than a whole rainbow. The result is interesting, quite different from the original design. Not sure if I like it. Just like you Angel, I had issues cutting even circles (as you can plainly see!) and it bugs the perfectionist in me to no end.
I had plans to make several Layer Play ornaments because I love this design, but I think I'll wait until I get better scissors or figure out how to sharpen my embroidery scissors. (See Laura Howard's tips for cutting circles in this post.)
I also was able to get rolling with my Little Birds Garland yesterday, using the lovely pattern designed by Lisa Jordan! I debated between using a mix of bright colored felt or a combo of heathered gray and sand felt. I decided that since I might keep the birds around the house as a decorative item year-round, I'd better go with a neutral, natural look that I won't get tired of. I'll keep the bright colors for the tree ornaments!
Instead of 200%, I increased the pattern by 300% and it's just right for my awkward fingers. I knew that I would make myself crazy with the needlework required on the small pieces. Lisa Jordan recommends using fabric glue to secure the wing to the bird body before stitching it, but I didn't have any on hand.
I went through my button stash to find a mix of clear and grey button pairs. I am stitching everything with a slightly off-white embroidery floss (3 strands as instructed by the pattern). It's working out pretty well! I've been able to complete the eye and wing detail on 2 pairs of birds so far. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of the "feathers" but I think I've got it now.
As with most handwork and needlework, this is the perfect project to do in front of the TV. I am hooked on America's Got Talent lately and don't feel as if I should blush admitting that if I'm being productive while watching, he he. Here's my TV stitching set-up (that tray has "legs" that open up like a little table):
And that's about it for my progress! I hope to show you my finished Little Birds Garland soon! How about you? How's your ornament-making going? Let me know in the comments or share pics in the Christmas in July Flickr pool.
You can find the pattern and template for the Layer Play ornament here, and the pattern and template for the Little Birds Garland here, both from the book Fa La La La Felt and courtesy of Lark Crafts. If you need to stock up on felt, our friends at A Child's Dream Come True have offered our readers $5 off your purchase with the discount code FALALA. Happy stitching!
>> See all our Christmas in July posts here. And psst, don't forget to enter the giveaway from Fashionable Fabrics here for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate.