I just finished creating these Valentine craft project samples for my Feb 8th visit with Curtis Memorial Library's fiber arts club. The children in the group are 7-12 years old. Felt is the perfect material for introducing kids to embroidery, its sturdy enough to hold it's shape without an embroidery hoop. I like to use a full strand of embroidery thread so the stitches stand out. A crewel needle has a sharp enough point to get through the felt without poking fingers. It also has a wide enough eye to accommodate the floss. To keep Celia happy while I created this sample I handed her a felt heart and along with a threaded needle. With a minimal amount of help she was able to stitch her favorite finds out of my button stash onto the front of the heart, she was so proud!
If you're local please preregister at 725-5242 ext 225 and join me for this free workshop. If not follow the directions below, break out the embroidery floss and buttons and get your kids excited about stitching!
1/4 yard or less of pink and red felt - I love the felt National Nonwovens sends me. (http://www.commonwealthfelt.com/)
Embroidery floss, pink red and white - I'll use any excuse to break into the box full of colors DMC shipped me. (http://www.dmc-usa.com/)
Poly-fil stuffing (http:www.poly-fil.com/)
Scented plastic pellets - from plastic sleeve sachets (available at major box stores)
4" section of ribbon or cording for a hanging loop
Large heart shaped cookie cutter
Sewing machine - optional substitute sewing needles and thread
1. Use the large cookie cutter as your template to cut out the felt heart top, add a 1/4" seam allowance to all sides.
2. Thread the crewel needle with a full strand of embroidery floss and begin stitching flowers, cross shaped kisses, buttons even messages onto the front of the heart. If desired add a blanket stitch around the edge of the heart (see the red variation). Tie all knots on the backside of the heart and trim the ends.
3. Pin the heart to a second uncut scrap of felt, make sure it extends a half inch on all sides of the heart top. Position the ends of the hanging cord between the layers.
4. Machine stitch (or hand stitch) around the edge of the heart, approximately a quarter of an inch inside the cut edge. Trap the hanging cord in your seam and leave an inch and a half opening for stuffing.
5. Lightly stuff the heart and then pour a teaspoon of pellets into the heart. Hold the opening closed and position it back under your sewing machine presser foot to stitch the opening close (or hand stitch closed).
6. Use the pinking sheers to trim the heart backing so that it extends a 1/4" from the heart front.
Enjoy your sweet soft heart, make another and share the love!