Placement, how does one get the pieces lined up since you can’t see through wool or wool felt to a pattern below? I frequently just eye-ball it! After all this is a handcrafted item and it is unlikely anyone will come along with a measuring tape and/or the pattern to check up on me. (If they do, it isn’t my problem). If you are really concerned, the pattern can be traced onto clear vinyl which can be used as an overlay. There is another way you’ll see below.
In class, we’ve discussed several different ways to temporarily attach the applique pieces to the background for the penny rugs/candle mats.
Glue is another option. Yep, plain old washable school glue will do the job. I do want to add a word of caution. I don’t wash the candle mats after I’m finished so the glue would stay in there. If you have any issue with bugs in your house, for instance silverfish, you may want to avoid this method. Bugs eat starch and in the process they destroy the fibers around that starch. Glue is loaded with starch.
Finally, my current favorite method, needle felting. I cannot claim this idea. My co-worker Beth, has an Embellishing Machine (needle felting) and she gave me the idea. I don’t have the machine and have no intention of investing in one at this point in time. However, the needle felting brush/mat and needles work almost as well with a little effort. If you are using pure wool it is possible to literally felt two pieces of wool into one fabric. This is not the case with wool felt which is a blend. Wool felt will separate. However, it can be felted together sufficiently to hold in place for stitching. It probably isn’t a good idea to do too many pieces at once or really long/large pieces. They tend to pull apart before the stitching is completed.
Let me just show you the process. I’m working on Bareroots’ Turkey Candle Mat in the pictures.
I’ve already cut out all the pieces as I explained in yesterday’s post. The placement is a little more picky for this mat than some others.
Unlock the needle felting tool and holding it straight up and down over the applique and brush/mat. Use an up and down motion to “felt” the two pieces together. -You can get rid of some frustration this way 🙂
Now move the applique pieces to the background. I need to say, I don’t usually do this many pieces at once with the needle felting. Usually, I’ll place one or two pieces on the background. Needle felt and then stitch, then continue to add pieces. With this many pieces it is very likely they will start to peel up before they are all stitched down. If they do start to come up, just felt them down again.