Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tutorial for New "Krazy Kats" Candle Mat - Part 1 of 2

My newest design is well underway, called "Krazy Kats", for a 15-inch candle mat I'm making in both 100% wool and also with National Nonwovens Woolfelt (a wool/rayon blend that looks and acts a lot like 100% wool). You'll find that National Nonwovens Woolfelt is inexpensive, comes in many wonderful colors and is ready to use as-is (it won’t fray).  You can usually find both regular 100% wool (hand or factory dyed) and National Nonwovens Woolfelt at your local fabric or quilt shop and in many places on the internet.  However, If you don't enjoy shopping for wool or would rather have everything in one place, I'll also be offering a kit next week on this blog and through my website at,

I promised a tutorial for "Krazy Kats" while I'm developing the full pattern, and I wanted to get you started with how easy and fun this candle mat is to make.  Unfortunately, you might not get away with making just one when your in-laws see how cute your alley cats turn out!  So let's begin . . .

Photo of Unfinished Candle Mat

Here's How it Looks on the Drawing Board!

Step 1 - The Scalloped Background

In the pattern I'm releasing next week, you'll find a template for the scalloped background pieces you'll make for the front and back of your candle mat.  The first step in creating your mat is to trace the scalloped template onto the non-shiny side of common freezer paper you can find in your grocery store.  We use freezer paper because (1) it's cheap and readily available, (2) we can iron it to our wool or Woolfelt and it won't leave a sticky residue, and (3) it stabilizes the wool while you cut out your templates.

Place the freezer paper against your wool or Woolfelt with the shiny side facing the wool and iron it to your wool with a fairly hot iron:

With a pair of sharp scissors, cut out your background piece along the traced lines and then peel away the freezer paper to reveal your perfect background piece.  Repeat for the back of the candle mat and then set these pieces aside for now.  Remember not to worry, because the freezer paper peels away without leaving any residue on your wool!

Step 2 - Let's Make Some Cats!

The full paper pattern will also supply you with all the templates you need to make the cats and their little friends, the mice and birds. Remember, if you don't enjoy shopping for wool or would rather have everything in one place, I'll also be offering a kit next week with all the National Nonwovens Woolfelt you'll need to create your own candle mat.

As with the scalloped background, you'll just need to trace those templates onto the non-shiny side of freezer paper and then cut them out with sharp scissors.  The following photo shows you what your freezer paper looks like when it is ironed to the wool.  Again, the freezer paper will easily peel away and won't leave a residue!

 Step 3 - Arranging the Pieces on the Background

Once you are done cutting out all the pieces, just peel the freezer paper away and position them on the background.  In my pattern, I will provide a full-color photograph of the finished candle mat, as well as a master diagram so you can see how to easily position your template pieces. Some are small (like the eyes and noses), so if you are like me this will be the most time-consuming part of completing your candle mat, but it's still fun!

When you are satisfied with the layout, we'll use washable fabric glue to temporarily tack the pieces into place.  If you make a mistake, remove the template piece and dab it with a warm washcloth to remove the glue.

Looks Hard, But It's Simple!

You can see by now that by breaking this candle mat down into simple steps, it makes it very easy to complete your own candle mat that will look adorable on your table or china hutch.  And remember not to panic if you're no good at picking colors or if you don't want to shop for your own wool or Woolfelt, because the kit will be available next week too!

Step 4 - What's Coming Up Next . . .

Here's how our candle mat looks so far. In Part 2 of my Tutorial, I show you how to embellish and finish your candle mat with simple stitches, and we'll add the eyes, face details and some other surprises along the way.  And I do mean the stitches will be simple!  If you've never done embroidery stitches before like the blanket stitch or the french knot, my pattern will have very complete details on how to do these stitches, along with diagrams so you can get them just right.

I hope you've enjoyed Part 1 of my tutorial for "Krazy Kats".  Stay tuned for the final Part 2 coming in a couple of days and for the pattern and kit release next week.  Please leave me a post if you have any questions or if there is something you would like to see added to this tutorial.  In the meantime, have a great week, and Happy Stitchin'!  xoxo--Melanie


  1. So cute! I'm going to make this! I did the pumpkins and they turned out adorable; I was sad to put my Halloween stuff away. I can leave cats out all year!

    1. Lisa, I'm so thrilled you already did the pumpkins candle mat ("Halloween Jacks") and that you like this new design! I'm improving the round scalloped background template in this new pattern, so it should be easier to trace. Thanks for leaving a comment! --Melanie