Friday, February 10, 2012

"Snow Days" Pattern Ready for Release Next Week - and Part 2 of Tutorial

Gals, I've made huge progress in developing the final model and pattern for "Snow Days", a cute 14" candle mat you can make from hand-dyed wool or from wool craft felt you can find in your local fabric store.  I hope to have the pattern back from the printers by Monday (February 13), and I'll post some contest rules for your chance to win a free copy of the pattern!  I the meantime, here's the second segment of my Tutorial to help your make "Snow Days".  If you missed Part 1, you can read it here, and you can now also see Part 3.  So here we go . . .
"Snow Days" Tutorial - Part 2

Remember, We're Not Working with Concrete Here!  If you've been reading my previous posts, you know my patterns work equally well with either wool or wool felt, depending on your budget and personal preferences.  I have a good supply of each and am always torn between them because I like the unique look of both! Remember, none of the steps to make your own "Snow Days" candle mat are set in stone.  You can change the colors and even the shapes or order of the snowmen to fit your own taste.  If a nose looks too big, cut it down a bit.  If you don't like the colors of embroidery floss I used in the pattern, choose your own colors.  Like I always say, relax and enjoy yourself, since creating is part of the fun!  

More Fun Embellishing!  In Part 1 of this Tutorial, we cut out all our template pieces and attached them to the dark blue scalloped background piece with washable fabric glue and/or staples.  As you can see from the photos in this tutorial, I often "cheat" and use staples, because they are fast and easy to use and I remove them with the tip of a dull steak knife after I'm done.  In Part 1, we also began stitching the snowmen to the scalloped background, using a simple "blanket stitch" that is demonstrated in the pattern.  Today, we'll continue working on our candle mat by starting to embellish portions of their faces and hats.  This snowman doesn't have his eyes or smile yet, but you can see we will embellish the pom-pom on his hat with a black running stitch, the centers of his cheeks have a simple star/snowflake design, his carrot nose is ribbed, and stripes adorn the red ribbing on his hat.  All of these stitches are done by simply bringing your need up at Point A and down at Point B--nothing complicated!  Of course, full instructions, diagrams and  photos will be included in the pattern so you can follow along easily.

One of the other snowmen has a wide grin (which is NOT finished yet) that is accomplished with the "running stitch" (another simple up-and-down stitch) and his eyes are tacked on with a little "x" in the center. Once I get each nose or hat stitched on, I remove my staples . . .

You can see from the photos that your candle mat may be looking a little rough at this point and pretty lumpy and bumpy, but don't worry because that will all be fixed before we're done!

The final Part 3 of this Tutorial will come next week as we finish embellishing the faces and hats and add some snowflakes to the blue background.  We'll also finish the edge of the smaller scalloped background and attach it to the larger red scalloped piece. I'll also show you how to add a backing to your candle mat so it is nice and full and stays flat.  I love to embellish with embroidery thread, and you'll find out just how easy it is!

We'll it's time to get back to stitching!  In the meantime, I know many of you have taken advantage of my February giveaway for the free Beatrix Potter downloads (see my post of February 8).  If you want to use these downloads for invitations, note cards, baby items, etc., be sure to download them before the links expire on February 29!  I'll post again next week, and in the meantime, Happy Stitchin'!  xoxo--Melanie

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