When it is still too cold to get out and do some actual gardening, what could be better than working on a garden themed applique. I found a great free potting shed design which I adapted to make a mini wall hanging.
This delightful wool felt applique potting shed is part of a free BOM series which posts weekly until the end of April (source and link enclosed in the post) to make a garden themed quilt.
Of course, you can pick and choose the individual blocks that you make and turn these into other projects instead. I was going to make the potting shed into a cushion but it got too detailed so it became a mini wall hanging instead. I’ll talk you through how it was made.
Garden Themed Applique: Wool Felt Potting Shed
Get the wonderful potting shed applique pattern here from the FarmHouseThreads website.
You’ll soon notice that my finished design is a little different. I added on a wicker basket, some carrots, a heart and a little bird into my finished design to make it my own.
Want to learn about some of the wool felt techniques used in the design? I’ll take you through how this was made.
Basting the Main Parts of the Wool Felt Garden Shed in Place
There are loads of different ways to temporarily secure wool felt applique pieces down to the backing material before you stitch them into place.
A lot of crafters now tend to use fusible applique techniques. I prefer to baste by hand for which I use my preferred white Gutermann polyester sewing thread.
Advantages of Hand Basting Your Applique:
- It’s very inexpensive, just requiring some thread
- You’ll already have thread in stock if you sew
- It’s highly portable because you’re not needing any special tools
- It doesn’t leave any marks on the fabric if you choose a small needle
- It doesn’t alter the fabric in any way or make it stiffer as fusible methods can
- It is fairly quick and easy to remove once you’re done
- Mistakes can be unpicked and repositioned without ruining the whole design
There’s nothing neat about basting. It is essentially a larger version of the running stitch which secures each piece in place.
I don’t use any knots. I leave a tail of thread at the front to start and a tail of thread at the front to end. This makes it much easier to unpick the basting when you’ve stitched each pattern piece down.
You Can Also Use Staples to Secure Applique Pieces
Depending on the project, I will also use pins or even staples with any long arm stapler – I have one like this. Staples are another good technique for holding small felt pieces very securely in place.
If using staples, I recommend testing them on scrap pieces of your chosen wool or felt first to see whether it’s a technique that works for you.
After removing staples, expect to see some holes and possibly a small indentation where the metal bar was. Don’t panic. You can rub over the holes with your fingers and also a blunt tool to remove them.
Using a Cutting Machine to Cut Tiny Flower Circles
There was no way I was going to be able to easily cut out the flowers by hand for this. I used my Sizzix Big Shot and a variety of small circle cutting dies to cut them instead.
I’m not suggesting buying a cutting machine if you don’t already have one, but it is worth using if you do. A lot of flower dies have circular parts and I used the Tim Holtz Framelits tags die to cut some of the tiny circles as well.
If you have any idea how small seed beads are (in the middle of the felt flowers) then you will appreciate that these flowers are pretty tiny. I could not have cut them by hand half so well.
To turn the circles into flower shapes, I took 4-5 small stitches from the center of each circle to the outside, pulling the thread fairly tight to form some petal shapes.
Long and fine Milliners needles (I use these Clover ones) are perfect for adding the seed beads in place. The Clover desktop threader works on the smaller needles in that particular pack too which makes threading easier.
The heart shape at the top of the applique potting shed was also cut using the Sizzix Big Shot machine using one of the heart dies from the starter set.
The Small Garden Themed Applique Details
These are my little carrots. They are tiny triangles of orange color wool blend felt stitched into place using backstitch.
The green carrot leaves are made from green embroidery floss. I stitched long loops with 4-6 strands of floss at a time. The loops were stitched down securely at the back before being snipped at the front and threads fanned out.
Couching is a technique used on the little basket. Long threads of 6 stranded embroidery floss have been worked up and across the felt basket and then couched into place with 1 strand of the same color threads.
From a distance, the thick overlain threads give the appearance of a wicker basket. I used a Sizzix cut circle to make an apple shape – just cutting a small notch at the top and adding a green felt leaf.
The Completed Potting Shed Felt Applique
Thank you to FarmHouseThreads for a great design. I hope I did it some justice. If you have yet to try wool or felt applique – give it a try because it is a lot of fun and very relaxing. No need for a hoop or any fabric stabilizers.
I turned my block into a mini wall hanging by sewing a square of matching wool felt on the back using blanket stitch around the edging. It is now hanging just above my sewing machine in my office where I can enjoy thinking about the outside while I’m on the inside.
You may also enjoy my Spring applique candle mat design.
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