Friday, December 7, 2012

Red, Red Wool

Earlier in the year, I bought a red wool jacket at Goodwill for the express purpose of cutting it apart. 

I did that recently.

The idea was to try to felt the wool.  I envisioned making all sorts of cool Christmas things, like gift tags or ornaments or little stuffies resembling Santas and stockings and poinsettias and cardinals and such.  As you do, when you think the entire year stretches before you like an empty road and you have all the time in the world.

But all of a sudden, here it is December and there is that red wool.  I should do something with it.

So first I washed it in the washer on hot setting and dried it in the dryer.  But it wasn't quite felt-y enough afterwards, so I decided to boil it on the stove.

Simmer is probably a better word.  About 20 minutes later, I drained the boiling water off and gave the pieces a brief soak in cold water so they could be handled.  Rolled them up in a towel to draw off the excess moisture and then hung them to dry.

Felt-y goodness!

This morning, I drew a little ornament on paper and then traced and cut it out from one of the pieces of wool.  I cut out the middle circle and replaced the felt with part of one charm square of Blitzen, which I Elmer's Glued in place from underneath and pressed with a dry iron to set dry.

I glued another little piece of fabric over the top.  Then I set the whole thing on another piece of red felted wool which was bigger all the way around than the top piece (basically a square).

I threaded my machine with some sparkly metallic Sulky thread (which my machine did not like at all), and I quilted through all the layers, first in a straight line star pattern, and then around the outside edges and finally around the inner circle.  Then I trimmed it, following the shape of the upper piece as a guide.

It was an afterthought to add the hanging loop, and I really should have sandwiched in between the layers as I was quilting it together, but hindsight is 20/20.  My machine rewarded me by jamming with the very last stitch, and because I thought I could sew past the jam (ho-ho-ho), it proved just who was boss and broke the needle with a flourish, as if to say "FINITO!"

Oh, the drama.

I added a little red button in the center as a final step.

This may or may not be the only red felted wool item I produce this season, but better than nothing.  And it's kind of cute, if I do say so!

Update:  I made another one last night. This one went together faster.

December Finishes

Dreaming in Patchwork


Keetha Broyles said...

I know of a lady who felts old wool sweaters and then repurposes them into some of the prettiest, warmest, mittens I've ever seen.

Shay said...

That is machine doesn't like metallic thread either.

But I have heard you can get special needles to deal with metallic thread so maybe we'll see more ornaments?

Love the idea of re-purposing the jacket. Very cool!

Ok and Ho Ho Ho cracked me up!

thea said...

what a great idea! I want to make some red coasters with crocheted snowflakes on them - I'll have to see what I can find.

Shay said...

Oh and I meant to say - your blog post title was a reference to UB 40 wasnt it?

Elizabeth said...

Sew cute! I love it! Fast and easy; my kind of project. I'm totally pinning this. I have a Christmas ornament category. Prepare to be flattered (as in imitated is the sincerest form). Thanks for linking up!

xo -E

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Singing that UB-40 song. You know the one I mean.

Jackie's Stitches said...

Love the ornament and quite a brilliant idea to repurpose a jacket!

Allison said...

your ornament is very cute! great way to repurpose an old coat :) I am having a little Christmas linky with a giveaway, and I'd love it if you would link up :)
Have a great weekend!

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

So cute! Felting is kinda fun, yes?

Sarah Craig said...

Whoop whoop! Such a cute ornament - and now you've got all that lovely felt ready for next year if you don't use it up now!

Linda said...

Lovely idea, a clear Xmas shape. I have sympathy with you on the metallic threads as my machine spits them out as well!

Diane said...

Adorable! My machine hates metalic thread too. I am the queen of buying things 'for a project' ane sticking them in a closet to find years later so Kudos on getting these done!

Nati said...

Fantastic idea, I already have a read sweater in mind for next year! Visiting from Dreaming in Patchwork.

Happy Turtle said...

Oooh! Very cool!!!

Michelle said...

That's so adorable!