I have been wanting to make a wreath in all white and ecru felt for some time now, but when we got in our fun, new neon threads I knew I had to bring the two worlds together to create a wintery white wreath with playful bursts of color that would bring a smile to my face all winter long.
The pairing of the soft, snowy neutrals with the intense, colorful neons make this piece glow in a way that words can't describe. Enjoy! --Page
For the background
- Four 12 by 12-inch pieces of Wollfilz's 5mm precut wool felt in natural
For the flowers
- Three 18 by 18-inch pieces of Wollfilz's 1mm precut wool felt in ecru
You will also need . . .
- Mattler's Neon Thread in a variety of colors
- Gutermann's 100% Cotton Thread color 1040, 110 yards
- Embroidery Needles
- Fabric Marker
- A Winter Wreath Flower Template, available as a free pdf download here
Using the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine and the off-white thread, sew together two pieces at a time of the 5mm thick felt to create a four piece grid. You will need to roll the felt on the right side to fit it through the machine. If you are worried about the felt remaining perfectly lined up while sewing it, tape each seam together on the back of the felt with masking tape. It is easy to remove even after sewing over it. Back stitch at the edges and in the center for durability. If the felt pieces are uneven after sewing them all together, trim edges straight using a rotary cutter , cutting mat and non-slip ruler.
Trace a circle approximately 13-inch in diameter with a fabric marker. My garbage can lid worked perfectly! This circle will be your guide for placing the flowers once you have cut them.
Download and print flower templates here. Cut out templates. Trace flower and flower center templates onto the 18-inch x 18-inch pieces of ecru felt. For my wreath I used:
- 5 Poinsettias (I used the small poppy piece as a center)
- 9 Poppies (I varied how many poppy layers I used each time)
- 6 large Asters
- 4 small Asters
- 5 Clematis
- 5 Dogwoods
- Approximately eleven flower centers of varying shapes and sizes.
Cut Flowers and Centers
Cut out all the flowers and centers using sharp fabric scissors.
To make fringed flower centers, cut along solid lines marked on templates. To make looped center, first fold the felt on the dotted line and pin. Then cut along solid lines. Remove pins.
For all three center types, roll from one end to another to create the center. You can stick a pin through the center to hold it together until you are ready to sew it.
Arrange and Stitch Flowers
Place cut flowers along the traced 13-inch circle. I found it best to start with the large flowers and then fill in with the smaller flowers as I went along. Once you have everything placed (minus the finged and looped centers) tack everything down with one small stitch in each flower using the off-white thread and the thinnest embroidery needle you have. You will need to go through both the flower and the thick background felt. This holds everything in place when you are embroidering with the neon thread. Next sew together the fringed and looped centers with the off-white thread. I did this by just sewing a few stitches at the end of each rolled center. Important- I then made a few more stitches that went all the way through the rolled center to ensure it doesn't come unrolled from the center.
Embellish with Neon Thread
Once you've placed and tacked down all of your flowers you can begin embellishing with the neon thread. Below are a few techniques to get you started.
I doubled the neon thread so that it would have more of an impact. Thread your thinnest embroidery needle (this makes it easier to sew through the thick felt) with one of the neon colors and tie the ends together in a knot. Going from the back side of the background felt to the front, push the needle through the thick felt, then through the flower and pull the thread all the way through. Wrap the doubled thread around the needle three times.
Push the tip of the needle just slightly into the felt right next to where it came up, (but not in the exact hole!) then pull the wrapped thread taught against the needle and slide the wrapped threads all the way down to the bottom where the needle tip meets the felt. Draw needle all the way through the felt on the back side and pull taught. Repeat steps to make as many french knots as desired.
Basic Straight Stitch
Going from the back side of the background felt to the front, push the needle up through the thick felt, then through the flower and pull the thread all the way through. To create a starburst shape like above, bring the needle up through the outer perimeter of the center of the flower and then finish the stitch by pushing the needle through the flower center from the front of the felt to the back.
Repeat this stitch five more times to create the starburst shape. Remember to bring the needle up through the outside perimeter of the flower center and then back down through the center. Using the basic straight stitch you can create little grids of stitches as well (they look like tic tac toe, but with more lines)
Going from the back side of the background felt to the front, push the needle up through the thick felt, then through the flower and pull the thread all the way through. Make one stitch in the center of the flower center by going back down through the felt approximately 1/8-inch from where you came up. Then bring the needle back up 1/8-inch away from where you came up for the first stitch (it will leave a 1/8-inch gap between your last stitch). Finish the stitch by going back down through the felt right next to where your first stitch came up. Your stitch will fill in that 1/8-inch gap that you made.
Continue in this way of coming up through the felt 1/8-inch away from your last stitch and then going back down right next to the last stitch. I did this in a spiral pattern as seen above. I also created an outline along the outside edge of a few of the poinsettia flowers using a backstitch.
Make Hanging Loops
To hang the wreath I sewed two 3-inch long by 1.5-inch wide tabs to the top using a back stitch along the bottom edges of the tab. Be sure to sew through the front layer of the tab as well as the back layer once you've passed through the thick felt.
Hang your wreath up and enjoy all winter long!