ThreadworX Variegated Floss – New Arrivals in the Shop!

ThreadworX variegated floss has just been added to my Etsy shop!threadworx variegated floss

Just look at these gorgeous combinations of color – and they’re even better looking in person. ThreadworX creates these brilliant flosses in their Southern California facility. As I live relatively close by, I’ve been lucky enough to meet the creative talent behind these combinations. These flosses truly are hand-dyed – I was greeted with a green handshake the day I visited.

The manufacturing process for DMC and Anchor variegated threads, I believe, limits the number of different colors on one skein to four. While those flosses are gorgeous in their own right, the hand-dyed process at ThreadworX allows for more than four colors on one skein. This is best evidenced by the true rainbow of floss number 1154 – Bradley’s Balloons.threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons

When unraveled, these are 20-yard skeins composed of 20 pieces of one-yard long floss as you can see below. This is different than the 8.7 yard long skeins of DMC and Anchor that many of us are accustomed to. However, this is a similar top-quality six-strand floss that stitches up exactly the same as a DMC or Anchor floss.

threadworx skein is many one-yard piecesBelow is a sample of this floss stitched on 18-count Aida cloth in a variety of directions. The top three (diagonal, serpentine vertical, and spiral) used two strands, and the bottom (serpentine horizontal) used just one strand. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 18 count aida

Here’s the same floss again stitched on 14-count Aida cloth. The left sample used one strand, and the right used two. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 14 count aida

This floss has great quality, it was easy to handle, and it was really fun to see how the colors changed with every stitch.

At the moment, I’m just carrying the 24 flosses you see in the photo at top, however if these start to sell well, I can easily see my shop adding more colors very soon!

Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

threadworx 1039 variegated floss autumn leavesAbove is ThreadworX 1039 – Autumn Leaves. It’s a gorgeous mix of browns, gold, rust, and dark gray. I can only hope that this photos does it justice, as it is stunning!threadworx 1039 variegated floss pastel bouquet

This subtle mix of pink, yellow, gray-green, and purple is ThreadworX 1078 – Pastel Bouquet.threadworx 1068 variegated floss hawaiian flowers

This combination of greens and purple is 1068 – Hawaiian Flowers, although it really reminds me of the beautiful Jacaranda trees that bloom in Southern California in the late spring. threadworx 1044 variegated floss chili peppers

ThreadworX variegated floss 1044 is a spicy blend of greens, dark red, and rust named “Chili Peppers.”threadworx 1032 variegated floss brown sugar and spice

1032 – Brown Sugar and Spice is a subtle mix of light browns – from white chocolate through milk chocolate and dark chocolate shades. It reminds me of seeing timeless geologic strata in bright desert light. Once again, I hope the photo does this floss justice as I really adore this one! threadworx 1053 variegated floss dreamscape

The last one I’ll highlight for now is this ThreadworX 1053 – Dreamscape. It is indeed a dreamy combination of purple, greens and light blue. Lovely!

I hope you check out the ThreadworX variegated floss and all of the variegated flosses I carry in my Etsy shop. Also check out my six-part series on a million different ways to use variegated floss in craft projects from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, home decor and much more!

Deeds Not Words Cross Stitch Pattern

This Deeds Not Words cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!deeds not words cross stitch pattern suffragette bannerThis was one of the mottoes of the women’s suffrage movement, as seen on the massive banner in this photo:deeds not words cross stitch example suffragette banner

Although the image is black and white, I imagine that the banner was in the purple, white, and green colors of the British suffrage movement. The three colors symbolized loyalty, purity, and hope.

Women worked so hard for the right to vote. They were jailed, went on hunger strikes, and even died for the suffrage rights women hold today. This right is something no woman should take for granted. I was encouraged recently to see women in the House of Representatives and Senate wearing white in honor of the suffragettes (in other photos and articles you’ll see some women wore purple as well).deeds not words cross stitch democratic women wearing whiteWhile “Deeds not Words” was a rallying cry for the more militaristic suffragists, I am by no means advocating violence. Instead, I hope this pattern will inspire us to demand action from ourselves, others, and our elected officials. Anyone can talk about “what needs to happen” while it’s a precious few who actually take steps to create positive change. I hope this Deeds Not Words project may serve as a reminder to do just that.

Bill Hicks Cross Stitch Pattern “Life is Only a Dream…”

This Bill Hicks cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!bill hicks cross stitch life is only a dream and we are the imaginations of ourselves

Bill Hicks was a comedian who died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer. You might not expect such a metaphysical quote from a comedian… only if you’re not familiar with Bill Hicks’ work. He was controversial, biting, and certainly not for those with delicate ears. At the same time, he was often spiritual, philosophical, and personal.

This project is only a part of a longer quotation of Hicks. Although he stopped using drugs in 1988, he still espoused their use, saying ““I’ve had some killer times on drugs.” He railed against the war on drugs and on the media focusing only on negative stories about drugs. Hicks instead hop[ed] for a different perspective:

[As if giving a news cast] “Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration—that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imaginations of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.”

anchor 1345 variegated flossOn a more superficial note, I filled the stars in border with seven different variegated flosses. The one I had really been wanting to try is Anchor 1345, called “Blue Hawaii,” and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s gorgeous and you can see it in the star in the upper left corner of the pattern.

I stitched some of the stars filling in a serpentine way and some in a spiral way, and it was interesting to see how differently the colors pooled. For example, all three were the same color, Anchor 1345, but the star in the upper left corner was stitched serpentine in horizontal rows, while the fourth one below it and the first one from top right were stitched in a spiral.

This Bill Hicks cross stitch pattern is perfect for everyone who appreciates counter-culture ideas, alternative spiritual philosophies, variegated embroidery floss, and of course, Bill Hicks.

If you’re interested in seeing some of his work, below is a clip from The Late Show with David Letterman. At the taping in 1993, Letterman and CBS decided that his material was too controversial and his performance was not aired. However, in 2009, Bill’s mother was a guest on Letterman and they aired his set in it’s entirety. [Warning: this is not for the easily offended]

Think for Yourself and Question Authority Cross Stitch Pattern

My Think for Yourself and Question Authority cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern

The inspiration for the pattern comes from a famous quote from Dr. Timothy Leary. He was a psychiatrist who advocated the use of LSD for therapeutic uses, and he was a counter culture icon from the 1960’s until his death in 1996. In fact, Richard Nixon considered Leary one of the most dangerous men in America. In the 60’s he popularized the phrases “turn on, tune in, drop out” and “think for yourself and question authority”.

The pattern features a mirrored pair of fun 1960’s pop art style flowers that I intended to bring a little color and flair in juxtaposition to the more serious nature of the quote. Pop art started in the 1950’s, bloomed in the 1960’s, and the style of these flowers could easily be seen in the works of artists such as Peter Max and the animation team behind the Beatles‘ movie Yellow Submarine.

Of course, I don’t advocate that we all drop acid and form our own psychedelic religions while skipping in and out of jail. However, the idea that we read, research, and think for ourselves and question all kinds of authority (political, religious, economic, et al.) is certainly valid. And if the political culture of 2016 is any indication, it appears that a little 1960’s-style peaceful counterculture would be a welcome change.

Let this think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern be a good reminder to have some healthy skepticism of authority.

DMC Coloris Variegated Flosses

The new DMC Coloris variegated flosses have just been added to my Etsy shop!

dmc coloris 24 new variegated flosses

These 24 flosses are outstanding additions to DMC’s already excellent line of variegated threads. These are all true multicolor combinations, where most of their predecessors have more subtle color combinations.

These are so new in the States that it’s a little tough to find information about them. DMC USA has not updated their website yet with Coloris information, however the DMC UK site has a little information and five free charts.

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when opened the boxes containing these flosses – it was so fun! I’m sure my husband got tired of me repeatedly saying “oooh” and “wow” as if I were watching fireworks. But these combinations are just so different and striking that I couldn’t help myself.

Here are a few of my early favorites…

DMC 4501 ColorisDMC 4501, called Fleurs des Champs (Wildflowers), is a springy blend of watermelon pink, green, and light teal. It reminds me most of the inner layers of a watermelon rind.

 

 

 

DMC 4502 ColorisDMC 4502 is called Camellia and is a springy combination of bright pinks, green, and light blue.

 

 

 

DMC 4506 ColorisDMC 4506, Primavera (Spring), is a gorgeous blend of green, blue, and yellow.

 

 

 

 

DMC 4507 ColorisDMC 4507 is called Bougainvillea, and it’s a gorgeous group of teal greens, blue, and dark pink. It reminds me most of peacock feathers.

 

 

 

DMC 4523 ColorisDMC 4523, Vent du Nord (North Wind), is a lovely combination of light purple, light blue, and sandy browns.

 

 

 

DMC 4520 ColorisOne curious note: I think DMC 4520, called “Christmas Story,” is identical to the older DMC 4042 “Very Merry.” I will have to compare them in more detail, but in the meantime I’m wondering why they repeated this combination.

 

 

These DMC Coloris variegated flosses are just lovely and I really look forward to stitching with them. I also think they will look great in any of the multitude of crafts that can be done with variegated floss (check out my six-part series on variegated floss projects!).

Compass Needlepoint Finished

Here’s my compass needlepoint project finished and framed!compass needlepoint project compass rose finished

persian needlepoint kit and pattern ancora imparoI’m absolutely thrilled with the result. It’s just gorgeous, and as good or better than I even imagined. I designed this compass rose project in 2013, hoping it would be a quicker project than my earlier Ancora Imparo needlepoint. However, once I got into the design of this compass, I realized that the number of stitches necessary would be roughly the same as in Ancora Imparo. So much for being quicker!

I started stitching this compass project in January 2014 and finished up in February 2016. It didn’t take up all of my crafting time during that period as I was working on other, mostly cross stitch, projects concurrently. This compass needlepoint even crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice! I have vivid memories of working on this project while sitting on the patio of a house in the mountains of Asturias, Spain.

This project was inspired while we were traveling in Europe; it is based on a compass rose made of tile pieces on the patio of the charming Cuq en Terrasses hotel in France. The hotel is in the countryside near Toulouse, and it’s one of our favorite places to stay in the world.

Here you can see the needlepoint early in it’s execution, next to it’s model.Compass Tile WIP #3

You can see that I made the project a little more colorful than the original, but stayed true to it’s earth tones. At that point I had outlined and partially filled in nearly all of the first row of tiles except for the four gray tiles of the primary compass directions (north, south, east, west).

One of the reasons I stitched the primary direction tiles last is that, as I did in the center circle, I wanted to use the double stitch in that area. As I discovered through this project, double stitch works great on a square area; however, in an irregular shape, it can turn into quite a challenge. To conquer that challenge, I created a helpful tutorial on how to tackle the double stitch.compass needlepoint compass rose close up 1 double stitch

Above, you can see the two colors I used in the double stitch. The long cross stitches are in dark grey, while the short cross stitches are in a dark grey-blue. When I was choosing colors for this project, I thought the blue would make a nice visual compliment to all the earth tones without contrasting too much.

compass needlepoint compass rose close up 2Above you can see that with the all of the brown flosses, I slightly blended the colors, mixing 5 strands of one color with one strand of a contrasting color. I did this to better represent the speckled color and texture of the original tiles and to add a little visual interest.

You can also see the Tent stitch used in the radiating tiles of the center square, the Hungarian stitch used in the background of the center square, and three of the stitches used in the border blocks. In total, I used 20 different needlepoint stitches. The reference book I used for the stitches is an old favorite of mine, 101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them by Hope Hanley.

To read more about the execution of this compass needlepoint, here are my posts over time: Getting Started, Update 1, Update 2, and Update 3.

The pattern for this project is now available in my Etsy shop, and it could also be made into a custom needlepoint kit as well. While I love the earth tones in the stitched example, I think this project would look great in lots of color combinations. Please contact me if you would be interested in seeing some other color options with this project.

My husband and I may not be able to spend all our time at Cuq-en-Terrasses, but now we have this compass needlepoint project as a beautiful reminder of our wonderful stays there. There are also a few more of their patio tile patterns that would make great needlepoint projects… stay tuned!

React with Love Cross Stitch Pattern

This React with love cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!react with love cross stitch pattern

This project is my reaction to the enmity, conflict, and ignorance in the world. If we react to certain situations in a positive way, toward kindness, trust, and understanding, the world might be a happier, more constructive place. [Of course, there are situations where love is not the immediate answer. For example, I don’t advocate welcoming physical threats to ourselves, our families, or our friends. That’s not what I’m addressing here.]

It can be overwhelming as there is so much conflict out there: between religions, between nations, between political parties, between neighbors, between co-workers, and even within our families. I find that concentrating on individuals rather than groups helps alleviate some of that overwhelmed feeling. Every two people have something in common, if only the fact that we exist. Even from a meager beginning we can develop our commonalities into a better understanding. This project can serve as a gentle reminder to work toward this goal.
handshake

[Handshake by Sakina-san via Flickr]

In an interesting coincidence, a conflict has come up between me and a good friend while I’ve been writing this post. This friend said that putting all Muslims on American soil into internment camps, much like the US did to people of Japanese ancestry during World War II, is a good idea. I was flabbergasted and deeply disappointed; how could someone I consider a friend espouse such a ugly, fearful idea?

My reaction? To be perfectly honest, my first reaction was not “with love.” It was disgust and exasperation as my husband and I argued fruitlessly against his idea. The next day, my reminder to “react with love not fear” kicked in as I started really thinking about what to do next.

My main thought was: EDUCATE MYSELF. Because I didn’t have the best information on hand at the time, I didn’t know how to respond intelligently or even coherently when my friend first brought up his awful idea.

I feel there are two big points to address: the first is about Islam and Muslims vs. radicalized Muslims, and the second is about the about the idea of internment camps. I happen to be friends with a really lovely Muslim couple, and I will ask if they can lead me to information that will address the first point. As for the second point, I happen to know that Japanese-American actor George Takei (he played Sulu on Star Trek) was in an internment camp as a child during WWII. He is an internet powerhouse and a champion of fighting the idea of internment camps, so I will search the internet for his most persuasive arguments on the subject.

DSC_0287

[Manzanar by Jason Neville via Flickr]

Will I then share these pieces of information with my friend? You bet. How will I do it? I’ll present the clearest, most succinct and rational ideas I can find and ask him to read them. Will he read them? Maybe not, but this is a person who generally respects my ideas, so I have hope that he will. Will this information change his mind? I don’t know, and that has to be okay.

Even if he doesn’t change his mind, my understanding of two big topics will expand. In the future, if I am confronted by anyone else with similar prejudices, I will be better able to react with love and in a more constructive way.

Self & Conflict

[Self & Conflict by Soul Patcher via Flickr]

My story above is just a tiny instance of conflict between a handful of people. Think globally and look at a situation as complex as the unrest in the Middle East. There are thousands of years of root causes of the violence there, from religious differences to political upheaval, from oil to opium, and countless more. It would take a multitude of scholars’ lifetimes to unravel the web of conflicts and truly understand all of the major points of view. How does one react with love toward something this overwhelming?

Obviously, there are no simple answers (how I wish there were). But this is a good example where focusing on individuals rather than groups helps me. I find myself often thinking about war refugees and their situations. If we act toward a refugee family with fear, with ignorance, distrust, and isolation, then they may have good reason to become our enemies. However, if we greet the family with love, with a desire to understand them better, with kindness and compassion and with opportunities for work and education, then they may have have good reason to become our friends.

Like I said above, every two people have something in common, if only the fact that we exist. The most simple acts of kindness can open up channels of understanding between people. I hope that this react with love cross stitch pattern may help remind us of that idea. 

Willy Wonka Cross Stitch Pattern

This Willy Wonka cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!willy wonka cross stitch pattern so much time and so little to do

This pattern features one of the famous quotes from Gene Wilder’s character in the 1971 version of the movie. As the visitors to the factory have just walked in the door and are removing their coats, Willy says: “So much time and so little to see. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”

Only after I stitched the photographed example did I realize that I got the quote slightly incorrect! In my mind and on IMDB.com the line is “…so little to do,” whereas the line in the movie is clearly “…so little to see.” Nevertheless, this project will appeal to fans of the movie and to busy people everywhere (and who of us isn’t busy?).

photo of gene wilder as willy wonkaThe border of this pattern is a homage to the floral fabric in Willy Wonka’s waistcoat. With it’s purple, pink and white flowers on a background of black and light purple, it’s an enduing part of Willy’s ensemble.

 

 

 

 

 

On Spoonflower, there are two separate versions of this fabric, as well as two different “Golden Ticket” fabrics, a reproduction of the “lickable wallpaper” fruit pattern, and a rather unusual fabric of Willy with the Oompa Loompas.

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, it’s based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. At it’s release in 1971 it received good reviews and fared decently at the box office. Since its release for television and home video, it has become a cult classic with quite a few devoted fans.

Dahl didn’t like this version of the movie, saying it strayed too far from his original book. One can understand his concerns, considering the change of emphasis from Charlie to Willy, the introduction of Slugworth as an enemy, and the inclusion of seemingly random literary quotes from various authors. I’ve also heard that the lyrics of the Oompa Loompa’s songs were completely different than what they sang in this this first version.

willy wonka cross stitch pattern so much time and so little to doDahl’s family was much happier with the Tim Burton-directed version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp from 2005. Although they are much different movies, I happen to like them both. Ah, but when it comes to quotable lines, the 1971 version certainly takes the (chocolate) cake.

 

This Willy Wonka cross stitch pattern is perfect for all fans of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and for all of us with hectic schedules.

US Highway Cross Stitch Pattern

This US Highway cross stitch pattern and kit are now available in my Etsy shop!

us highway cross stitch road sign

The pattern is based on real US highway signs. The stitched example, Highway 89, is a roughly 1250-mile stretch from the Montana-Canada border to Flagstaff, Arizona. It is nicknamed “The National Park Highway” as it links seven national parks including Glacier National Park in Montana, Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It also provides access to numerous other national park areas including national monuments.Bryce Canyon

[Bryce Canyon by Suzanham via Flickr]

Another fascinating location along Highway 89 is Thistle, Utah. According to Wikipedia, it is “a ghost town that was destroyed by a lake resulting from a landslide in 1983.”Thistle, Utah

[Thistle, Utah by Rick Smith via Flickr]

The US numbered highway system was approved in 1926. Before then, “auto trails designated by auto trail associations were the main means of marking roads through the United States.” With names like the “Bee Line Highway,” “Glacier to Gulf Motorway,” and the “Old Spanish Trail,” these trails’ names definitely sound more romantic than their numerical replacements.

Route 66 is probably the best known of all the US Highways, although it was officially removed from the highway system in 1985. It spanned roughly 2450 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Before the numbered highway system, this path included parts of three trails: The Lone Star Route, the Ozark Trail, and the National Old Trails Road. It was the migration path for thousands of people during the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s and again during World War II. It inspired both a popular song, “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and a successful TV show in the 1960’s. Eventually, the growth of the Interstate Highway System rendered Route 66 obsolete, however many parts of the old roadway have been specially designated as “Historic Route 66” and set aside for preservation.Route 66 Hackberry (Arizona USA)

[Route 66 Hackberry (Arizona USA) by Perry Tak via Flickr]

I can easily customize this pattern for any of your favorite highways. Create a reminder of a favorite drive or road trip with this US highway cross stitch pattern and kit!

This pattern is just the latest in a series of US and state highway sign patterns. Others in the series thus far include Colorado, Alaska, California, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Florida, New Mexico, Georgia, Washington, Montana, and an Interstate sign… Check ’em out!

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!