Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Basket & Friends - Wool Felt Set Tutorial

It's Time For An Easter Basket.... With Friends!

This adorable wool felt Easter Basket and Friends Set is quick to stitch and a perfect little spring gift for children.  

Designed by Victoria of Little Black Duck, the pattern and instructions can be found on Sew Mama Sew's blog post.  

The set includes a basket, a chick in an egg, a bunny, a carrot, and a decorated egg.  All the pattern parts and pieces are here.  

I've created a wool felt kit especially for the set.  It's available here in my shop.   Included in the kit is my fabulous 100% merino wool felt.  You'll need your own scissors, pins, embroidery floss or thread and a small amount of stuffing.

Victoria explains how she assembled her version in her pattern/tutorial.   I thought I'd share my version here on my blog.

This is the wool felt you'll receive in the kit.
It includes a pre-cut strip for the basket handle.

Yes, there's still time to make this basket before Easter (which falls on Sunday, April 20 this year).  When you purchase the wool felt kit from my shop   and mention 'BUNNY' in 'Notes to Seller' upon checkout,  I'll upgrade your shipping method to Priority Mail (please see offer exclusions below).

Once you've printed out the pattern from Sew Mama Sew's blog,  use Reynold's Freezer Paper to trace the pattern pieces, on the dull side of the paper, with a pencil.  

When you're tracing those pattern pieces onto the freezer paper, keep like-color pieces together, and keep the size of the wool felt sheets in mind.  For example, trace all of the dark green grass pieces together, and trace them within a space on the paper no larger than the dark green wool felt sheet provided in the felt kit.

Iron the freezer paper pieces (shiny side down) onto the wool felt using a hot iron.  Cut out the pieces with sharp scissors.  

Begin assembling the basket by stitching one end of the handle onto the center side, as shown.  I used a simple straight stitch, and I used two strands of DMC embroidery floss (color #728 - a perfect match for my Butter Yellow wool felt).  Repeat with the opposite end of the handle on the other side of the basket.

I folded in the corners, and stitched with a blanket stitch.  Most of these stitches don't even show once the basket is finished so you can do a simple whip stitch or straight stitch if you prefer.

Next, the long Kelly Green grass (the lighter green wool felt) is wrapped around the corners of the basket.  Evergreen (the darker color) wool felt is layered on top.  Initially I thought I would stitch both layers of grass, but ended up stitching only through the dark green layer.  The stitches were enough to hold both layers of grass to the basket.  I like the way the lighter green longer blades of grass are more loose and free... more like real grass!  

I played around using different stitches.  I tried a whip stitch, a straight stitch and a back stitch.  The embroidery floss (DMC #890) matched my Evergreen wool felt so perfectly that it's hard to see the stitches at all.  Which is absolutely fine with me!

And now for the Friends.....

These can be done as simply as you like, or some fun details can be added.  All pieces are lightly stuffed with wool stuffing.  I gave the bunny some whiskers with a few straight stitches and I added little paws.  All of the fine details on each piece are stitched first, before stitching around the outside of the piece.  Each piece required such a tiny bit of stuffing that I simply layered the stuffing in between the front and back and stitched everything together.

The cracked egg is blanket stitched from Sand wool felt with DMC floss #842.  This was a very simple piece.  I like the natural egg shell look.  The little chick can be removed from the shell.  His beak required just a few straight stitches with DMC floss #741 which matches my Goldfish wool felt.  Eyes are french knots using DMC floss #844, a very dark charcoal grey.  The fluff on the top of the little chick's head was whip stitched from the inside to secure, then the body was stitched together with a blanket stitch.

I could have done the stripes on the decorated egg with a few simple straight stitches but I decided to have a little fun with a lazy daisy stitch in white, followed by a meandering backstitch and some french knots in the center of each little flower.  DMC floss #894 is a perfect match for my Carnation Pink wool felt.

The bunny (Camel wool felt, DMC floss #437)  had to have a white fluffy tail.... I used one of my Tiny Blossom Die Cut flowers.

The carrot is embellished with some little wrinkle lines.  Victoria (the pattern's designer) referred to the lines as 'carrot wrinkles' which I thought was quite cute.  I will never look at carrots again without noticing their little wrinkles ; )  The two separate pieces of the carrot top were stitched together with a straight stitch and a contrasting green floss - DMC #989.  The carrot top was whipstitched into place from the inside, then the front and back carrot pieces were blanket stitched together.

There's plenty of room left in the basket to add other treats if you'd like....  or add Easter grass or even some fluffy wool roving.

And now for the 'offer exclusions' as mentioned above..... Order an Easter Basket & Friends wool felt kit from my shop between now and April 19, 2014, and I will upgrade your shipping to Priority Mail class at no additional cost.  This offer for a postal upgrade is good only for sales here in the USA.  But to be fair to my international customers, I will add in a fifteen piece set of Tiny Blossom Die Cuts.  BE SURE TO MENTION 'BUNNY' IN 'NOTES TO SELLER' UPON CHECKOUT.  

And everyone will receive a little white fluffy tail for their bunny.  Yes, life is sweet.....