Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Needle Felting with Sizzix Dies fromTim Holtz!

Simply Scrumptious! Don't you think?

Last week or so I have been using Tim Holtz and Sizzix dies for a whole new world of crafting joy. It's needle felting. You cut the wool with BigZ and other thicker dies. The Tim Holtz Alterations line is terrific for this. We all know they cut paper, light acrylic, vinyl, chip board, grunge board, and so on. And yes we may have heard they also cut fabric. But have you cut wool felt? And have you used the pieces to make a dimensional sewing project?

Gifties! My two grown children --and their spouses-- needed some holiday decorations. As newly married pairs, neither couple had much for personalized Christmas decorations yet in their homes. How about some nice big Christmas stockings?

What is needle felting? Needle felting is the craft of layering wool felt accents over wool felt base fabric and needle poking them with a special tool in order to integrate the fibers. Wool has this wonderful attribute of being able to bond with herself and make firm bonds without glue. Needle felting combines several of my favorite parts of creativity. It combines my love of fabric, fresh creativity and project design using supplies tools I own. I am able to use recycled wool scarves, skirts, sweaters and pants in these projects too which is a real bonus.

Needle felting gives me a quick sense of accomplishment with amazingly simple techniques. The finished pieces have an old world look and a wonderful tactile feel. They are created with an old world skill and simpler tools. I like that a lot.

Here is how I made these heirloom stockings in much less time than you might think! I worked on these off and on for less than 4 days total. Maybe 2-4 hours each?

First I drew a paper stocking pattern in a shape I liked that was large enough to fit an ample sized batch of goodies. I pinned the pattern to some 100% cream colored wool fabric and then cutting two identical pieces for each stocking. I used one of my spiral swirly Tim Holtz stamps and some ink spray to give the base fabric some interest.

I then cut lots of trees and stars and leaves and holly pieces with my Sizzix and Tim Holtz Alterations Big Z Dies. They cut our recycled and store bought wools with no problem! The names are made with an older Sizzix set of alphabet dies called "Fun Serif Alphabet" but you could use any other that will fit in the space. The stars are also an older star die from Sizzix.

His unique shapes are perfect for an old world project like this. Don't you just love the trees?

Even the words and smaller pieces cut beautifully.

Now comes the design fun! I laid the pieces out on the stocking base to decide where they looked good. Pin them in place. For my more traditional son and his wife I planned out a classic holly theme. For my daughter and her husband, I planned an outdoor tree theme. He is a astronautical engineer and physicist and loves winter so I put more stars and more glitter on his. She is a bio-systems and bio-products engineer in paper processing so I have lots more trees on hers. Each set of stockings reflected that couple. I wish I had found the larger deer die in our stores here, but everyplace was out! Dang! But I can felt that additional piece "into the woods" later I think. :D

When designing, allow space at the top for your choice of cuff. John and Steph's set of stockings used a sweater waistline for the ribbed top cuff in green. The other set of stockings had a red wool fabric top cuff. Plan ahead!

Felt, Felt, Felt, Felt. It takes about 20-40 pounces with the felting tool to secure an accent piece to it's base fabric.

Felt the accents on BEFORE you sew the stocking front and back together.

Sew together, add cuff, add dimensional accents like buttons and add a loop to hang.

John and Steph's stockings all filled up! Love that TH holly die above! And that tree die shape is amazing on the project below.

You can see I added Stickles to simulate snow on my scenes. My choice of glimmer color for my snow and stars was the Stardust Stickle. I exhausted my supply stash of three bottles but it was SO worth it. Trees and holly need snow!

Stickles make a big difference! Glitter it up! Featuring the Tim Holtz NOEL die, holly, street lamp, branches and more!

I just knew I had to work in my liberal dose of metals! Here is my assortment for this project. Some pieces are Maya Road and some are Tim Holtz. I used word charms that described each child. I also used circle charms with symbols meaningful to that person. Stars and moon for our astronautical fellow. Birds for the nature lover. Rx like symbol for the doctor and a big heart for the smart, sweet gal he married. Each set went onto a dog chain on the loop of the stocking.

Charms: before above and after below.

When my son saw my cart full of wools at the secondhand store, he asked me (with a semi-critical tilt of his head) if I REALLY needed ALL those wools? Yes, son, I do!!! Now that the stocking are all done, he knows WHY! These were a big hit with all four grown children on Christmas day. I almost hate to give them away to the kids....Ahhh, the sacrifices we parents make...all for love. ;D


Winnie said...

Truly amazing! I am sure they loved them. Your work is just beautiful. I don't sew at all, and seeing this makes me wish I knew how....Have a happy 2012.

Carol Crafter said...

Wow! The are great! Love it! Thanks!

Carol Crafter said...
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Carol Crafter said...
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Cathy said...

They are beautiful!!! I just love felt, but have not gotten into felting (yet.) I bought kits to make the "old fashion" type felt stockings for my grandkids next year (the kind that come with the sequins, etc.) Felting sounds like it might be quicker and easier than the kits! Makes me wish I read your story before I got the kits! LOL!

Happy New Year!!