The intention of this project is to build confidence with the blanket and running stitches and to practice keeping your pattern pieces aligned. Because of the scale of our projects, and most of the work being hand-work in nature, pinning just isn't practical. Adjusting as you go is common and, in fact, part of the process with toy construction.
Why a pocket? It leaves one side open so you can clearly see your beginning and ending work more clearly. Most of the upcoming projects will be closed, so a little knot mastery now, will go a long way later.
The blanket stitch is what I use for all dimensional and constructive work. The running stitch is more decorative but can also function as a finished edge/look. It will also help the wool felt maintain it's shape.
You're more than welcome to use a whip stitch, in place of a blanket stitch. Personally, I've never been able to get comfortable with a whip stitch and quickly abandon it for the blanket stitch.
Project Supply List
- 2 pieces of felt, same size. I used 3 inch squares.
- Roughly a yard of 6-strand floss. Divided down to 2 or 3 strands, or not. Personal preference prevails on this project.
- Sharp embroidery needle
The Blanket Stitch. Start, finish and corners.
Green is front square. White is rear square.
Thread up needle, knot one end. Place squares together and draw out the needle from the back of the front square (green) as shown below. We're trying to hide your knots for a clean finished project.
Starting or beginning stitch.
Take your needle and come from the back of the rear square (white) , evenly place this stitch to match up to the thread on the front square. Send your needle to the left, so that the thread will fall to the left of the stitch.
Now you'll start sewing. Come in from the back and send your needle under the thread, like illustrated below.
Work on evenly placed stitches. Remember too, to keep those two pieces of felt matched up perfectly. don't allow one to start sliding around.
You'll use 3 blanket stitches to get around a corner. The only difference between a corner stitch and an edge stitch is that you'll use the same hole, 3 times, for the corner.
Try to have the first hole set evenly from both sides. You'll use your finger to control where the thread lies as shown below. First stitch is on the left side, second stitch is right on the corner point, 3rd stitch is on the top.
Make your final stitch, then bring your needle in between both layers of fabric. In the photo below, the needle went in between the green and white felt and exited 2 stitches to the left, again between the fabrics. Try to make the needle come out from the felt cleanly between the white and green felt. In other words, don't allow it to come out through one piece of felt, come out between the two pieces. You'll have to wiggle that needle a bit, but you'll find it.
Draw the thread out tightly, but don't smash the corner, try to guide the thread between the two pieces of felt.
Take the tail, make a simple square knot, but don't pull it tightly.
Take the tip of your needle and place it right at the exit spot of the thread. You're using your needle to guide that knot right down to the edge of your project.
Pull gently and downwardly on the tail of the thread and it should slide down the needle right to the edge of your work. Nice and snug. In the photo, my thread is kind of up, instead of downward. I'd lifted it to show the knot.
Remove the needle and pull the knot tightly.
With your threaded needle, again, go in between the two pieces of felt at the knot. The needle can exit anywhere, it doesn't matter. What you're doing is pulling that knot into the project seam and hiding it.
Knot hidden, snip off thread.
No knot this time, start from behind white (inside of the two pieces) and you'll go through the orange thread hole. Draw needle all the way through leaving a tail about 3 inches long.
Try to work from the top of the fabric, using your needle in an up and down fashion to adjust your stitch length.
When you get to the end of the white side, try to space your stitches so that your exit stitch will go out in the orange hole as shown below...allow the needle to exit through the two pieces of felt.
Turn over your project so the green side is up and set your first stitch in the orange thread hole.
I split the orange threads. I could have been more careful, but it punctuates the placement of this side's first stitch.
Continue with the running stitch on the green side as you did on the white side. Exit between the two pieces of felt.
Tie a full square knot inside of the seam.
Rethread your needle with each tail separately and send it straight down the side (orange) stitching. Exit anywhere and snip tails. I would do each tail individually. You can do both tails at once, but it's difficult to thread, you could get bulky exit spots and it's hard to pull a needle that full. No sense digging for pliers this early.
You may have to do some gentle reshaping or pressing.