Funky Falling Leaves Wall Hanging

I’m totally in love with my latest endeavor. All the projects I post please me (alas, those that don't will never receive their 5 minutes of fame on our blog!), but every now and then I make something that I could never part with. My new Falling Leaves Wall Hanging has just bumped out an older piece of artwork for a prime location on my wall!

I think I may have mentioned in passing that we are partnering with Prairie Point Junction on a totally awesome Holiday Giveaway. (BTW... PPJ's Julie is so totally patient and delightful to work with!) I can't wait to share... but that will have to wait a couple more weeks. ANYWAY... that project is going to have mitered corners. In preparation for that project I knew I needed to do a tutorial on the “mitered corner” and this Wall Hanging was born out of that simple idea. My first thought was to make a placemat but that would have required a full set to be useful. I've been asked several times now “What do you do with all those Applique blocks?” and decided now would be a great time to demonstrate one way you can display your appliques.

I started this project by hitting the fabric stash and picking out this very mod print that I’ve had for awhile with the intent of using it for a fall project. Then, onto the felt cupboard and grabbing coordinating colors. Next... what to stitch? I recalled some doodle of Michelle's from the not so distance past that had a tree on it. (FYI... when I doodle it's with paper and pencil, when Michelle doodles, it's with a computer!) I dug into my stacks (have I mentioned my stacks before?) and finally happened on the image I was thinking about. Sorry the image is so light, but it's good enough for you to see the similarities between Michelle's doodle and my interpretation. Funky, but totally fun!

I had no particular plan as I started. I just wanted color! I decided what stitches to use as I went along. I'd pin it on the wall, step back, and decided how to proceed. The leaves on the ground were an after thought. The leaves actually falling, were an after after-though, and the leaf on the far right was added AFTER I put the border on because I didn't do a very good job of centering the tree and needed something on that side to balance it out!

And that is what led to my new “Favoritest Piece.” I have included the shapes and stitches I used, but obviously, this is an exercise in the pure joy of creative expression. Get funky! Try new stitches, put colors together you normally wouldn't, and stand back and drink in the absolutely intoxicating sensation of artistic mayhem! Oh, BTW... I do teach you HOW to do a MITERED CORNER, which just goes to show you, like Michelle so thoughtfully pointed out the other day, even though I'm prone to meander, eventually I return to the topic at hand! If you'd like to make your very own Falling Leaves Wall Hanging click HERE or go to our FREE Patterns. Enjoy! (I know I did!)

Falling Leaves Wall Hanging

This project was an absolute joy to make. It started with an idea but morphed as I was working on it. The pattern has the tree trunk, the major large pieces and an assortment of "leaves". It also has the majority of stitches I used, but I encourage you to be playful, and make this tree your own. I mitered the corners of the border, but if you'd rather, just square them off. The main thing with this wall hanging is self expression. Pick colors you like. Be daring, combine colors in ways you might not normally. Hope you enjoy making this as much as I did!

1 piece of felt 11" x 13" for background
1 piece of felt 8" x 10" for tree trunk
assorted felt for foliage and leaves
1/2 yard of light to medium weight cotton fabric for border and backing
1 piece thin batting or flannel approximately 18" x 20"
embroidery floss

Cutting out border and backing:
Cut your fabric in half along the fold. You should have 2 pieces of fabric each approximately 22" x 18". One will be used for the backing. The other piece for the border pieces. Cut 4 border pieces 3 1/2" x 22".

NOTE: When making my Woven Spider Wheel Stitches, I made the stitches longer than I usually do, and I made the spokes' length and spacing irregular. Plus, I used 5, 7 and 9 spokes. Then, I only partially wove the Spider Wheel, leaving half the spokes' length exposed. This was just me having fun! Make any stitches you like. Remember, though, in order to weave the Woven Spider Wheel, you must have an uneven number of spokes. 

Appliqueing Design:
1] Make a copy of the pattern pieces.

2] Cut out background felt 11" x 13".

3] Using a disappearing marker, mark a 1/2" seam allowance around the 4 edges of the felt background.

4] Cut out pattern piece marked "positioning outline". Note: If you cover the pattern pieces with clear contact paper or wide tape before cutting out, they will be more rigid and easier to trace around. 

5] Center this template on your background felt. Using a disappearing marker, trace around the template.

6] Following the pattern, the photos and your own imagination, attach the four large "foliage" pieces to the background. 

7] Using a running stitch and 6 strands of floss, attach tree trunk following the outline you drew on the background. Following the pattern, the photos and your own imagination, attach leaves as directed or in any pleasing manner you decide. NOTE: I added the "falling leaf" on the far right, AFTER I had sewn the border on. I did not totally center my design, and added this little fellow to balance the design.)

Adding border with mitered corners:

NOTE: Mitered corners are not an "ish" technique. Straight seams, beginning and ending at the appropriate spot are necessary to turn out a professional looking corner. Mitered corners are not hard, taken step by step, but take the time to be accurate. It is time well spent!

1] Border pieces should be cut the length of a side, plus the width of 2 unsewn borders, plus 1 - 2" extra. Always error on the side of having your borders too long, rather than too short.

2] To start, take a border piece for a long side. Center the border piece on a long side of the appliqued piece, with right sides together. Pin in place. On the wrong side of each end of the border, mark the edge of the appliqued piece. Then mark 1/2" in from the previous line. This will be the starting and stopping point of your seam.

3] Sew your seam. Make sure you do not cross the start and stop line. This is very important. Attach the other long border in the same fashion.

4] Iron your seams. Normally, when making mitered corners, I iron my seams open. When using felt and a lighter weight material, however, I do not iron the seam open, rather, I let the felt lay flat. Note: If using felt, make sure your iron is not too hot or you will shrink the felt. I do not actually iron the felt as much as the other material around it.

5] To attach the other borders, start by pinning the other borders you just sewed on out of your way.
Now, pin your new border to the applique piece, placing your "start pin" next to the stop point of the other border.
To check positioning, fold back your new border on your "start pin". It should line up exactly next to the border you already sewed on.
Do the same with the other side where you place your "stop pin". Sew on the new border between your start and stop pins. (It is better to stop 1 or 2 stitches before the start and stop pins than go over them, which will cause your corners to pucker.) Iron.
6] It is now time to "square up" your corners. To do this, lay your work on a flat surface. Smooth down your borders. Pin them in place. At this point your border ends will extend beyond a square corner. Following the outside edge of the border, cut off the excess fabric. Flip project over and trim the other side of the corner following the other exposed outside edge of the border.

7] To sew a corner together, remove the pins, turn your work over and separate the two border pieces.

8] Pin the two border ends with right sides together. Make sure you do not catch the applique piece while you pin. Notice how I used a red pin to pin the applique piece out of the way. 

9] Draw a line from the outside corner to your stitching line. (Remember, you have 2 lines, one the marked the outside edge of the applique piece and a stitching line. Make sure you are drawing a line to the stitching line. This is a 45 degree angle.
10] Sew along this line. IMPORTANT: Make sure you do not over sew your stitching line (the bottom line on the lower right hand side of the photo. It you sew even 1 stitch beyond, it will cause your corner to pucker. You are better to stop a stitch or 2 short of the stitching line. Trim away excess material.
11] Iron the seam open.
12] You have now mitered a corner! Do the other 3 corners in the same manner.
Sewing the wall hanging together:

1] Create a sandwich by laying your backing material down first with wrong side showing. Lay a piece of batting on top of that. (NOTE: In my picture, I had already cut a piece of batting 1/8" - 1/4" smaller than the applique piece. In the pic the batting is hidden between the backing and applique piece. I did this because I wanted to make sure I could see the pattern in the backing. It has a stripe and I wanted to make sure I accurately laid my applique piece along a stripe. If you are working with a solid or print background, you do not have to cut the batting out separately, since being "a little off' won't be noticed.) Trim away excess batting and backing.

2] Carefully take seperate the backing layer from the applique piece and the batting. It may be helpful to chose a corner, and put a pin in the backing and the applique piece so when it's time to pin the pieces together, you are sure to get the same corners together. This is important because you applique piece may not be a perfect rectangle. (Stuff happens, right?) When you cut out the pieces together, you made the backing, batting and applique piece exactly the same shape. You will want to make sure when you sew them together, you are putting them together in the same way you cut them out.

3] Pin all three layers together with the right sides of the backing and applique piece together and the batting on top. Pin the four sides of the wall hanging together.

4] Using a 1/2" seam, sew the four sides, leaving a 4" opening on one side.
5] Trim the corners and turn the piece right side out.
6] Iron the seam, being careful not to over heat the felt. Using a ladder stitch, sew the opening close. 
7] Using 6 strands of floss, sew a running stitch on the applique piece about 1/8" from the border. 

You are now done. If you would like you can sew round rings to the back of your piece for hanging. Because this is so light, I simply used 3 straight pins, that I pinned about 1" below the top edge on the backing, and pinned it to the wall.

Note about patterns: We are sharing patterns we have designed and made for our own children, families and friends. Every effort is made to share information in a clear and accurate manner. We offer preemptive apologies for any mistakes that may be made. Please let us know via comments or emails if you stumble upon a mistake or if you stumble upon a mistake or if you encounter directions that leave you scratching your head! We will rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible!

Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2009. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

Mushroom Business Card Holder

Well, I got my pattern fixed for the Mushroom Business Card Holder. So, if you'd like to make your very own, TOTALLY cool, business card holder, the directions are good to go. Unfortunately, I spent the afternoon fixing the pattern and didn't get a chance to remake mine. But as soon as I finish this blog, I'm off to work on mine. Actually, Michelle put in a request for a red and white mushroom one, so I'll probably do that one first! The pattern for the Mushroom Business Card Holder can be found HERE or with the FREE Patterns. Enjoy! 

I've Got the Mushroom Business Card Case Blues!

We just received the new business cards that Michelle designed for us. I love them... they are so Wee Folk Artish... which, of course, they should be. So, naturally, I wanted to design a business card holder that also felt like Wee Folk Art.

For anyone not familiar with designing crafts... the projects are evolutionary. You start with an idea, you design it on paper, start making the project, tweaking the pattern as you go. Hopefully, the end results correspond with your intent. Having said that... I designed the business card holder, meticulously recording my steps, taking careful measurements, and painstakingly crafting. When I finished, I was in love! THIS is exactly how I wanted my business card holder to look. I took pictures of the front, I took pictures of the back, and I took pictures of our new cards tucked inside.

Then... the snafu! When I went to close the case... despite all my careful planning and measuring... the case was too short! It isn't the end of the world, but it is beyond frustrating. I have to redesign the pattern, and I'll have to make another for myself. Of course, the process is always faster the second time, but I feel like I wasted so much time. I am going to need to re-purpose this case for something else!

So... this blog is me venting... and a bit of a tease for what will come tomorrow. Michelle made me promise to walk away from the table... actually I'm driving 2 miles to her house for a cup of coffee! The correct directions will be up later today or tomorrow!  ARGH!!!!!

You Say Jack-O-Lantern, I Say Harvest Pumpkin!

You have heard us often talk about the many uses for our applique blocks... that's why we create so many of them. We've talked about enlarging them, reducing them, turning them into wood, stuffies, stencils or cross stitch. What we really haven't talked about, though, is how colors can dramatically change the look of the design.

I designed a pumpkin pattern, and through the use of color, (and a bit of "flair") gave our pumpkin design two completely different looks.

Our Jack-O-Lantern almost jumps off the screen, with it's vibrant oranges set against the drastic black. It "screams" Halloween night! Then, work the same design out of rust, browns and golds, and our pumpkin is warm and inviting... like a Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones! Rather a fun experiment in color, don't you think?

As always, the pumpkin was designed for a 6" x 6" block but can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs. The Pumpkin Applique Block can be found HERE or in our FREE Applique Patterns. Enjoy!

We included several sets of Jack-O-Lantern mouths, noses and eyes in our directions, but if the "spirit" moves you, design your own, just like a real Jack-O-Lantern.

The harverst pumpkin would look great enlarged and appliqued to the front of a holiday apron using small print calicos. Or, reduce the pattern, and applique onto napkins. Lots of possible uses!

Note about patterns: We are sharing patterns we have designed and made for our own children, families and friends. Every effort is made to share information in a clear and accurate manner. We offer preemptive apologies for any mistakes that may be made. Please let us know via comments or emails if you stumble upon a mistake or if you encounter directions that leave you scratching your head! We will rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible!

Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2009. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

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