I enjoy all kinds of needlework, but there is a special place for wool work. I don’t really know what it is about it, maybe because it is so easy and fast, or maybe it is the charm of it. Either way, it is fun to do. I wanted something with hearts for February to dress up a Valentine candle that is white with pink heart rhinestones on it. So, I pulled out all kinds of crafty stuff, found some wool felt in ecru, pink, and red, along with some embellishments.
To start, I made a pattern. This is super simple. Take a regular piece of copy paper, fold up one side to the adjacent side to make a square. Cut off the excess.
Then refold it in half in a rectangle.
Then in half again, you now have a little square.
Then, fold in half again corner to corner from the center. You have a triangle now.
Cut a scallop around the edge.
Unfold and you have an eight sided circle with a scalloped edge.
Take the leftover and do the same thing to get a tiny scalloped circle.
Then cut one of the quarters out to get your heart pattern.
Place the pattern on the white felt and cut out.
Then use the little heart pattern to cut out the hearts. I cut four pink hearts and four red hearts, and pinned them into place. You can use all red or all pink, or whatever you like. Don’t worry if they aren’t all perfectly placed. Part of the charm of handmade is in the imperfections. Besides, no one will notice when it is sitting on a table with a candle in the middle.
I use a barely-there whip-stitch with two strands of DMC floss to secure the hearts. I like this part to be almost invisible, instead of the heavy blanket stitch a lot of patterns use, and I matched the colors. I used DMC floss in Cranberry Very Light number 605, and Christmas Red Bright number 666. I then added some pearls to the scallop points with ecru floss.
Next was adding some silk ribbon embroidery. I love doing handwork, especially while sitting in front of the TV. The stitch is called a French Knot Loop Stitch from Judith Baker Montano’s book Elegant Stitches. Essentially, you make a loop, secure it with a pin, then put a French Knot at the base to hold it down. I used Bucilla Silk Ribbon in 4 mm size, in three colors for the dimension it gives – Light Pink color 544, Mauve color 553, and Rose Red color 565.
I still wanted a bit more, so I added some seed beads in red between two pink bugle beads for a little shine.
With penny rugs and candle mats, I have found that adding a layer of fusible interfacing does two jobs – it locks down the stitches on the back side so they don’t come out, and it adds stability to the work overall so it holds up better to being handled. I like Sulky’s fusible, but you can use any brand. I carefully pressed the interfacing to the back side of the finished handwork, placing it face down on a towel to keep from ironing the embroidery flat. Peel the paper off.
Then, place the piece on the background piece, in this case a red base. Pin it in place, and mark a 3/8 inch border all the way around with a chalk pencil or a quilting marker. A dashed line is usually enough to see where to cut.
Carefully cut the base to give a nice frame to the embroidered part. Whip-stitch this down. I iron it from the backside after this step to be sure it is placed right before I fuse it together.
Voila, all done! If you are not into silk ribbon embroidery or applique, you can use the pre-made ribbon bows or flowers from the hobby store, and heart shaped buttons. This easy project was finished in just a few hours.
Do you enjoy wool work?