Winter can get a bit gloomy, but I find that a snowy palette of pale blues and whites can be very calming. These little baskets translate the colors of winter into felt and embroidery floss. One features an embroidered branch embellished appliqued leaves and pearl "berries"; glass beads accent the windy embroidered swirls on the other. (The large basket is 3 inches diameter, 2 3/4 inches high; the small basket is 2 1/4-inches in diameter, 2 1/4 inches high.)
This project was originally published in Craft Ideas magazine, which sadly ceased publication next year. You can still click here to get the on the magazine's website. The directions follow below. (They're more involved than most of my blog project how-tos, so please bear with the step-by-step format.)
NationalNonwovens WoolFelt: two 9" x 12" sheets White, one 9" x 12" sheet Alluring Aqua, one 6" x 9" sheet Blue Snow
DMC 6-Strand Embroidery Floss: 747 Very Light Sky Blue, 3756 Ultra Very Light Baby Blue, 3766 Light Peacock Blue, White
Ten 1/8"-diameter pearl beads
Eight glass seed beads
Tools and Supplies: scissors, white tissue paper, fine-tip marking pen, straight pins, sewing needle, ¼" hole punch, tweezers.
Use the patterns (see link above) to cut the following shapes from WoolFelt:
White: 1 large basket middle band, 1 large basket inner band, 1 large basket base, 1 small basket middle band, 1 small basket inner band, 1 small basket base, 6 leaf. Use hole punch to cut 6 circles from white.
Alluring Aqua: 1 large basket outer band, 1 large basket base inset
Blue Snow: 1 small basket outer band, 1 small basket inset, 6 leaf from light blue.
Embroider and Embellish:
Trace the large basket stitching diagram onto the white tissue paper with the fine-point marker. Pin the tracing to the large basket outer band and embroider the branches as indicated by the dash lines with White embroidery floss and split stitch, sewing through the tissue paper. (The leaf stems will be added later.) When the branches are embroidered, carefully tear the tissue paper away from the stitching. Use tweezers to remove small pieces, if necessary.
Using the large basket stitching diagram as a guide, position the White and Blue Snow leaves along the branches and sew split stitch stems and center veins with white embroidery floss to hold leaves in place. Sew pearl beads along branches as indicated on the diagram.
Trace the small basket stitching diagram onto the white tissue paper with the marker. Pin the tracing to the small basket outer band and embroider swirls as indicated by dotted lines with Sky Blue embroidery floss and split stitch, sewing through the tissue paper. Use White floss and split stitch to embroider along the dash lines. Tear away tissue paper as above.
Referring to the diagram as a guide, position Wite felt circles on the design and sew them in place with White embroidery floss and straight stitches, working from the center of each circle. Sew seed beads in place.
To assemble the large basket, pin the large basket base inset, centered, on the large basket base. Sew along the outer edge of the inset with White embroidery floss and running stitch. Fold the large basket middle band in half widthwise and sew the short edges together with White embroidery floss, 1/8" from edge. Fold the large basket inner band in half widthwise and sew the short edges together in the same way.
Next, turn the large basket inner band so the wrong side faces inside and pin the base to one end of the tube with inset facing out. Sew the base to the band 1/8" from the edge with White embroidery floss and running stitch. When you've finished sewing, turn the basket so the inset is at the inside bottom and the side seam is on outside.
Turn the large basket middle band so the wrong side faces inside. Position the embroidered large basket outer band around the middle band. (The middle band should extend 1/8" beyond both long edges of the outer band.) Pin the outer band in place, easing the fabric so the short edges of the outer band abut. Use Light Peacock Blue embroidery floss and running stitch to sew the outer band to the middle band along the long edges of the outer band. Sew over the seam where the edges of outer band meet with closely spaced straight stitches and Light Peacock Blue embroidery floss.
Slip the middle band/outer band over the inner band so the top edges of the inner band and middle band align. Sew pieces together with White embroidery floss along top edge.
To assemble the small basket, follow the steps above, using Light Baby Blue floss to sew the small basket outer band to the middle band.