Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nostalgia {& a simple Christmas garland tutorial}

resting doll resting doll train track exploration train track exploration train track exploration exploring Little L pretending to be a train Little L pretending to be a train three little friends three little friends by the train tracks Christmas garland for her bed

Little L, like any three year old, is very curious about the world around him. Especially when it comes to things that have wheels and move quickly. Trains are particularly fascinating to him, so when the weather was unexpectedly beautiful we took a walk to check out some abandoned train tracks not very far from our home. Little L enjoyed feeling the wood and steel of the tracks with his own hands, and ran up and down them pretending to be a train himself.

Times like this I wish my Grandpa was here to experience these moments with us. He would have reveled in them. He worked on the railroad when he was younger and had a train clock sitting on his mantle. I can still hear him singing, "I've been working on the railroad." It's not as clear as it once was in my mind, but it's there. Oftentimes I found myself whistling the tune without even realizing it. Funny how those things happen.

And now to completely change subjects (before I get all teary eyed) I thought I would share a simple little project I made for K (with her help and art direction) to celebrate the second light of Advent (the light of plants) - a wool felt Christmas garland.

Supplies needed:
- wool felt
- thread
- a long sewing needle
- scissors and/or pinking shears
- wool fleece or roving for the berries

Christmas leaf garland
Using the pattern above as a guide, cut out as many leaves as you desire from your wool felt, either with scissors or pinking shears (we did both - scissors for the bigger leaves and pinking shears for the smaller ones)

stitching it together Christmas garland in progress
Once all your leaves are cut our arrange them in the order you wish to have them. I added wool felt "berry" balls to my garland (simple, fast needle felting. Can be wet felted, too) so I was not able to machine sew the leaves together. Instead, I hand sewed them together. I cut a piece of thread the length of the garland plus an extra inch for tying knots at each end, so I don't lose any of the leaves when it hangs. Then I tied a knot at one end and threaded the needle. I basically did a running stitch down the center of each leaf, pulled it down to the end of my length of thread and then repeated the step with each leaf. Adding berries here and there as I went. When I added the last leaf I tied another knot and trimmed any access thread.

Christmas garland
Hang and enjoy! One step I should have done is iron the wool felt before cutting it. As you can see, some of my leaves have wrinkles in them. I plan on fixing that mistake and ironing them tomorrow :)

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