With the new place and new spaces to decorate, I knew I wanted some new room decorations. The very modern space needs softer, cozier elements to make it more comfortable and warm it up. I decided a wool mat would be a nice place to start. It also would give me a chance to try my hand at coarse applique and play with the pinking machines.
I had this nice, dense black wool in the stash, meant for a coat, that was going to be perfect as a mat base. I think/hope I still have enough left for my coat.
The circles weren’t quite perfect. But, that is okay. The smaller circle goes on top of the larger circle. All the applique would go on the top layer. The the layers get stitched together.
Originally, I planned on doing a trio of reindeer with a trio of holly bunches. The lack of brown wool changed this. In the end, I think this was for the better since the deer would have been rather difficult to applique with the thin areas.
While I did predraw and cut out a leaf template, I ended up freehand cutting all the pieces. I used only a very small amount of red to get the berries. I did use up a good portion of my green for the leaves.
This is what I was picturing for the layout.
The groups of leaves were a combination of three wools.
I appliqued the leaves first with a rough top stitch. I decided I liked the diagonal line better. I did try a blanket stitch first. I did not like it.
The berries went on next. Thene the layers went together. For that last part, I put a stitch at the apex ov each V.
There is how it came out.
This year’s ornament is this pretty white wool bird made with Fanciful Utility techniques.
I have a good bit of extra white wool cuttings left from doing winter hoods. I thought this would make nice birds, being that I find birds to be pretty and natural in trees. Go figure.
The first two I made using the wool as is with a layer of natural cotton batting. While pretty, I found the wool to be difficult to work with as it wanted to fray easily.
So, into the washer and dryer went the next. The fulled wool is soft, fluffy, and much easier to work with. I opted not to use the layer of batting on the following birds because the wool was much thicker.
Here are the directions and template for this year’s ornament:
I have made ornaments for my family and friends each year since junior high school. The very first ornament, if I’m remembering correctly, was a clay heart in 1989. One of these days, I need to see if I can recall and share photos of each of the 28 ornaments from 28 years.
For now, here is this year’s ornament.
This simple tree goes with the semi-primitive runner and faux-mantle curtain I made. The tree is Osneburg over cotton batting with a pasteboard base and a felted wool trunk. The embroidery is very simple with a mix of primitive and whimsy.