Men in Blazers Cross Stitch Pattern

This Men in Blazers cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!men in blazers cross stitch pattern crap goals make my pants tingle

If you follow English football and have a sense of humor, make sure you catch the Men in Blazers. On a tight budget and a miniscule staff, Michael Davies and Roger Bennett create very funny podcasts, TV shows, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and they are even hosting their first “BlazerCon” in October 2015.

I have to credit my Dad with discovering the TV show that airs Monday nights on NBC Sports Network. I’m not sure how he found it, but as my husband closely follows British football, we are SO glad he did. Rog and Davo are smart, funny, and quick. The show is full of bizarre metaphors and obscure references – I’d say it’s like an English Premier League version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

There’s a lot of “crap” in the Men in Blazers – as in “crap goals,” and their studio is in the “crap part of Soho.” There’s also a lot of “tingling,” usually in Rog’s pants or pectoral areas. Frequent references to Arsenal player Olivier Giroud’s “meaty french forehead,” Man City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart’s appearance (especially when he had the moustache), whatever nuttiness Louis van Gaal was up to in the last week, and keeping an eye on the crazy fans in the stands are some of their features.

The Men in Blazers have also tackled American football – this video is some of their highlights:

I actually had a tough time deciding what saying to use for this project as there are so many possibilities! I originally thought of a couple of their sartorial hashtags: #MovetoTweed and #LeantoLinen. Next I considered the name of their loyal followers: GFOP’s aka Great Friends of the Podcast. But then I decided some crap and some tingling needed to get involved and so I created this Men in Blazers cross stitch pattern, perfect for your favorite GFOP’s!

NFL Crib Mobile Tutorial

nfl crib mobile tutorialThis NFL crib mobile tutorial is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop! I’m generally known for my cross stitch and needlepoint projects but lately I’ve been noticing so many fun felt projects I wanted to give it a try. I also really enjoy the colors of the NFL teams – they’re bright and bold, perfect for crafting. Why not have felt and NFL colors join forces in three dimensions?

nfl crib mobile tutorial 2015 crafty football blog hop badgeThis 2015 hop, like the 2013 and 2014 hops, is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post, check out the links to the other participants outstanding projects!

 

 

Things you’ll need:

  • felt
  • embroidery floss
  • an embroidery hoop (I used a 5″ x 9″ oval shaped hoop as it was close in appearance to the outline of a football)
  • paperclips
  • fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • pins
  • cotton batting or cotton balls (optional)
  • needles
  • ruler
  • small metal or wooden ring (optional)
  • glue (school glue is fine)

NFL Crib Mobile

You will need 16 colors of felt and 13 colors of embroidery floss. The embroidery floss I already had in my supplies, but I purchased the felt and the hoop from the incredibly helpful Deanna of the Etsy shop BusyLittleBird. She (and Mr. BusyLittleBird) went above and beyond when helping me get the correct colors of felt for this project and I can not thank her enough!

I recommend her listing for 20 sheets of 6″ x 9″ wool blend felt as that size sheet is big enough to accommodate all the cut pieces necessary of any color. I can also recommend her listing for the 5″ x 9″ oval hoop, and in addition, she sells DMC embroidery floss if you need to augment your collection.

nfl crib mobile tutorial legendThe legend at right shows the names of the felt colors (as they are listed at BusyLittleBird), the DMC floss numbers, and the team color combinations necessary for the mobile.

Note: It will take two whole skeins of floss to wrap the 5″ x 9″ hoop. Also, some of the colors in the photo above are different than the colors listed in the legend – a result of post-purchase consultations with BusyLittleBird. I recommend you go with the colors in the legend.

 

 

Cutting:

On the mobile, each of the 32 NFL teams are represented by a double-sided felt square. Each side consists of a big outer 1 1/2″ square and a small inner 3/4″ square.

Let’s use Denver (my fave team – Go Broncos!) as an example. The outer square is Ragtime Blue and the inner square is Sunburst. Therefore, for Denver’s double-sided square, you will need to cut two 1 1/2″ Ragtime Blue squares and two 3/4″ Sunburst squares. Repeat this for all the teams, and refer to the legend for all the color combinations.

I used fabric scissors to cut the squares, although a fabric cutting machine or a rotary fabric cutter probably would have worked much better at getting the edges of the squares at precise right angles.

Next up are the 4 pennants and the 4 footballs, and here is a template of those shapes for you to use.

For the footballs, cut out the eight paper templates and pin them to the Peat Moss felt. You may want to do a rough cut to separate the pieces from each other, and then go back and more carefully cut around the edge of the paper football template.
NFL Crib Mobile

For the pennants, cut four big triangles of Kelly Green felt and another four of Chartreuse felt. You may want to pin the big outer triangle templates to the green felt in the same manner as the footballs before you make your cuts. The eight small triangles can be cut from scraps of the other felt colors.

After all the cutting, you can unpin the templates from the felt and discard the paper. You may need to trim a few pieces to get them a little more correct.

When you have finished cutting, in total you will end up with 64 big squares, 64 little squares, 8 footballs, 8 big triangles and 8 small triangles.
NFL Crib Mobile

 

Sewing:

Use three strands of the six strand embroidery floss to sew the small inner squares to the middle of the big outer squares. Use the floss color that matches the bigger felt square. Refer to the legend once again to get your team color combinations correct. The photos below show Tampa Bay’s silver and red sewn with the silver floss.

Make a knot on the end of the floss, and come up from the back about 1/8″ from the corner of the inner square. Make a simple running stitch all the way around, and then tie off the floss with a knot on the back. Repeat this process for all 64 squares.
NFL Crib Mobile

Put the two halves together back to back, with the knots on the inside. This time use only one strand of that same bigger square floss color. Make a small knot at the end of the floss. Starting at the middle of the top, whip stitch the two pieces together. The photos below show the basics of the whip stitch, but here is another set of directions you might find useful.
NFL Crib Mobile

Stop whip stitching at the fourth corner, leaving half of the top unsewn and open as shown in the photo below. Leave roughly 4 – 5 inches of the single strand of floss so that you can finish whip stitching the top later. Repeat this process for all 32 squares.  NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileRepeat the same steps for the pennants. Sew the small triangles onto the big triangles with three strands of floss. Put the two pieces back to back, and whip stitch the pennants, again using one strand of floss. However this time, leave the entire top edge of the pennants open.

 

 

NFL Crib MobileUse three strands of white embroidery floss to sew laces on four of the eight footballs. Whip stitch one “laced” football to a plain football. This time, leave roughly 1 1/2 inch around the top center open and unsewn. At this point, you can stuff the footballs with cotton batting or even cotton balls to give them a little dimension.

 

When all of your pieces have been whip stitched, layout all the pieces into 8 columns of 5 pieces. Put one pennant or football in each string. Try to balance the position of brighter squares and darker squares, and try to avoid duplicate color combinations (I’m looking at you navy blue and red, for one) being adjacent to each other.
NFL Crib Mobile

One note, do not put a pennant at the bottom of a string like I have shown above. I found out that those little puppies won’t hang straight unless there is a square or football below them.

Assembling the Strings:

For this step, you will need another needle that is at least as long as the squares are tall – 1 1/2 inches. I alternated between the two green floss colors, DMC 699 and DMC 704, to make the strings. Cut pieces of floss 30″ – 36″ long and separate them into two three-strand groups. Thread your long needle with one of these three strand groups of floss.

You’re going to start from the bottom piece and work your way up each string of five pieces.

Double or triple tie a paperclip to the end of the floss. Trim the tail end of the floss quite close to the paperclip. Insert the paperclip into the unstiched gap in the square. Orient the paperclip vertically, and center the top of the paperclip and the floss at the top center of the square. Make sure that the tail end of the green floss is tucked inside the square.
NFL Crib Mobile
NFL Crib Mobile

Thread your smaller needle with the tail of the floss you used to whip stitch the two pieces together. Whip stitch the top of the square closed, making sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip.
NFL Crib Mobile

As this mobile isn’t meant for much handling, no knot is necessary. Just draw the thread out through an edge of the square between the two pieces of felt and trim it close.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a square or a football, insert the long needle through the bottom center between the two back-to-back pieces. Work the needle toward the top center, making sure you don’t accidentally pierce either of the two sides. Pull the long needle through the top of the piece.

 

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a pennant, run the needle between the pieces roughly in the same location as the base of the small triangle.

 

 

 

Now you will want to look at the spacing between pieces on the string. In my example, I put about two inches between pieces. Tie another paperclip to the green floss where the top of the next piece will be. For example, if the next piece is a square, the knot on the paperclip would be 3 1/2 inches (2 inches spacing plus the 1 1/2 inch of the square) above the top of the piece below it. Using a ruler will definitely help your spacing.
NFL Crib Mobile

After you get your paperclip knotted in place, insert the paperclip into the unstitched gap and finish whip stitching the piece in the same manner as you did with the first piece on the string. Again, make sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip inside the piece.
NFL Crib Mobile

Repeat these steps until all five pieces are on a string, and all eight strings are assembled.

Assembling the mobile:

All you will use is the smaller, inner embroidery hoop. Mark 8 equidistant places on the hoop, and then tie the 8 strings to the hoop using secure knots. You can tie the eight strings all at the same height or stagger the heights as I did. You should have plenty of extra string – don’t trim the excess yet!

Take three of the eight excess strings (I chose the strings at roughly the 12:00, 4:00 and 7:00 positions), and tie them together above the mobile so that the hoop will hang level. At this point you could attach a metal or wooden ring. I didn’t have one available, so I just made a second knot about an inch above the first knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileTrim the five other excess strings down to a length of about 1 1/2″ and then use a little glue to stick the floss ends to the inside of the hoop.

 

 

 

Now you’re ready to start wrapping your hoop. It will take two whole skeins of floss, using all six strands, to wrap a 5″ x 9″ hoop. Use a little more glue to stick the beginning of the skein to the hoop. Work your way over that beginning and continue wrapping the floss around the hoop. Take care that you don’t catch up the eight strings below or the three strings that go up to the knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

Tip: Holding the hoop with all the strings attached and bobbing around while you’re trying to wrap the floss is nearly impossible. On my table I used a couple of new rolls of paper towels standing on end to assist me in holding up the hoop. Putting a big rubber band around each roll helped as well.

NFL Crib MobileTo tie off a skein, thread a needle with the floss, pass it under as many wraps as possible on the inside of the hoop, and then closely trim off the extra. After you tie off, you may need to scoot and shift a couple of wraps to cover some small gaps that show the wood hoop.

Congratulations – your mobile is complete! Here is mine, hanging out with some aspen leaves.

 

 

 

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!


Cross Stitch Guide to the NFL

cross stitch guide to the NFL

2014 crafty football blog hop badgeThis cross stitch guide to the NFL is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop hosted by commissioner Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod! Like last year’s blog hop, this 2014 hop is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and other fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post are thumbnails and links to everyone’s creations.

Although I am a fan of the Denver Broncos, this year I decided to make a project that could appeal to anyone with some interest in football. If you’re unfamiliar with American football, this is a perfect way to introduce yourself to the league. And if you already follow football, this is a fun and colorful way to familiarize yourself better with all 32 teams and a little of how the NFL is organized.

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 10 inches by 8 inches. [In 14 count, this project will fit perfectly into a standard 5 inch by 7 inch frame]
  • 16 colors of embroidery floss – I used DMC numbers 815 (burgundy), 666 (red), 720 or 946 (orange), 783 (gold), 319 (dark green), 699 (green), 704 or 907 (light green), 958 (teal), 336 or 3750 (dark blue), 820 (royal blue), 996 (bright blue), 333 (purple), 838 (brown), white, 168 or 415 (silver), and 310 (black). See the legend for a printable list.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

Pattern:

cross stitch guide to the NFL patternThe pattern (pattern and legend) is a tidy little graphic that shows all 32 NFL teams with their team colors, grouped by their conferences (NFC and AFC) and divisions (East, South, North, and West).

 

 

Stitching:

This pattern calls for cross stitch and then backstitch. If you’re new to cross stitch and looking for basic directions, I recommend you visit my Stitching Instructions page. Otherwise, the stitching is pretty straightforward. If you use 14 count Aida as I did in this example, use two strands of floss with your needle.

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 1As with most projects, start from the middle and work toward the edges. In this photo you can see how I started with (clockwise from top left) Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Baltimore, and Detroit.

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 2Then I spread out from there, trying to do as much with one color at a time as possible, just to be a little more efficient.

 

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 3Finishing up the team blocks creates this pattern, which I thought looked pretty groovy on it’s own. I can easily see this pattern being turned into an awesome graphic quilt or blanket!

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 4The last of the cross stitch was the border of alternating greens.

 

 

 

 

Backstitch the title and the labels for the conferences, divisions, and team names, and ta-da! you’ve created a stylish and informative cross stitch guide to the NFL!cross stitch guide to the NFL - photo on ledge

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!


Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Tutorial

framed and complete

2013 crafty football blog hop

The idea for this Denver Broncos cross stitch project originated from the Fantasy Football League I’m in this season, the commissioner of which is none other than Diane of CraftyPod fame. Early in the season, we came up with the idea of a crafty football blog hop and invited others to join us. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see all the other fun projects that our group created. We’ve got knitters, multi-crafters, a tatter, and quilters in this mix of crafty participants. My contribution is this tutorial on how to create this cool Denver Broncos cross stitch!

materials

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 7 inches by 9 inches.
  • A skein each of DMC 6 strand floss in colors 820 (blue), 720 (orange), and White.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

denver broncos cross stitch - broncos horse logoPattern: I designed this “D” pattern as the current team logo only has the word “Broncos” in their kick-butt font.

 

 

D chartI took parts of the letters in “Broncos” and rearranged them to make the “D” pattern you see (click to get the full page version).

This project uses the double stitch, and it combines a long cross stitch and a small cross stitch into a neat woven effect. The chart shows all the small cross stitches and how each row should begin and end (as some rows will end with partial stitches). I didn’t fill in all the long cross stitches on the chart as it just became too visually chaotic. You’ll understand when you take a closer look.

double stitch 1Stitching: Use two strands of your six strand floss. Start with the long cross stitches in blue, making sure you stitch over the tail of your floss on the back. Also, be careful that your top stitches are all in the same direction or your project will look uneven.

After creating this project, I recommend that you perform the long cross stitches in columns, not in rows as shown in the photo. It will make the orange short cross stitches much easier.

double stitch 2Very quickly you’ll see this groovy little pattern forming!

 

 

 

 

double stitch 3Stitch the long stitches first before filling in the orange short stitches.

 

 

 

 

double stitch 4After you finish the blue and orange stitches, you may want a little bit more texture in the background of the piece (I did). Continue the pattern of the orange small cross stitches in the background with the white floss. This is optional, but I think it greatly improves the appearance of the piece.

 

double stitch doneCouching: Double stitch done! Looks great, but there’s one more thing you may want to try: couching.

Like the stitching in the background, this too is optional. I had been wanting to try a couching stitch, so I thought this might be a good opportunity!

 

braidTo outline your “D” you will need to make about 18 inches of braid. Use all six strands of each of the three flosses. Knot each end to keep the braid from unraveling.

If you are considering outlining the inside of the “D” you will need about another 10 inches of braid.

 

couching 1The couching stitch is simple. Use a single strand of floss to secure the braid to the surface of the aida. I used the blue floss, but you could use the orange or the white – whichever you prefer.

Secure the blue floss on the back, then pass the needle up through the top left hole of the “D.” Bring the needle back down the same hole, securing the braid to the fabric.

couching 2Repeat this stitch every four holes around the perimeter of the “D,” keeping the braid flat and untwisted against the aida.

Take care that your couching stitches aren’t too tight as they may make the braid and even the fabric bulge and pucker.

When you get to the end of the couching, you will need to tie another knot in the braid and trim the ends of the braid to a length you like.

couching doneYou’re ready to mount and frame your “D”! About.com has some basic instructions on mounting cross stitch – it’s a good place to start.
Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Project Done

 GO BRONCOS!

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made!