Sunday, 9 March 2014

Meet the Menagerie: Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition

A few weeks ago I saw the details of the Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition to use a piece of fabric to create something, then blog about it and enter into a competition.

Calluna Amethyst
The fabrics were lovely. In the end I chose one with a smaller pattern repeat. Some areas are dense in colour and others are much paler. Many of my items are fairly small so I wanted to make the most of the variation in pattern.

I started by adapting my map print owl and made two - from the two different sections of pattern. They are made from my own hand-drawn pattern. Having cut the pieces I hand stitched a circle of felt with a zig zag stitch and attached a button to make the eyes, with a small piece of felt for a beak. Next I machine stitched them with right sides together, adding in a hanging loop from cream ribbon. Then I turned them right side out, stuffed and used a ladder stitch to close up the hole.

My second make was a version of my linen chicken. This uses 3 pieces of fabric - two sides and a joining piece underneath. The first stage is to pin the base to one of the sides and stitch, then repeat with the other side. Then I sew around the rest of the chicken, leaving a opening to turn it.

I usually sew the eyes on the side pieces before sewing but this time I decided to do it afterwards as the buttons I used were quite large and the opening would therefore have to be large. This time I turned the chicken right side out, and then added the buttons for eyes before stuffing and using a ladder stitch to close the opening.
And finally...
I decided to finish my little menagerie with a new creation - a little mouse. It is a really simple pattern - two side pieces, almost semi-circular but with a taper at one end, and a base piece.
As with the other creatures I machine stitched the pieces right sides together leaving an opening to turn. After turning I attached the tail - this was made from a piece of velveteen tubing with some floristry wire inside so I could shape it. After stuffing and attaching the tail I used some black embroidery floss to add in a nose, eyes and whiskers. The ears were made from two layers - one of the fabric and a larger piece of pink felt which were then stitched onto the outside.
And that was it!!