Diane Leftwich’s cat Maddie loves the birds and flowers that abound in her garden so Diane decided to capture her playful companion using wool felts and colourful threads. Created especially for Homespun readers to correspond with her gorgeous Bluebirds In The Hedgerow project featured in Homespun Vol 9 No 8, this wonderfully whimsical needlecase is the perfect way to keep your needles safe and sound. Your crafty mates are sure to love this latest creation of yours.
• 15 x 20cm (6 x 8in) light grey green wool felt (outer needlecase)
• 15 x 20cm (6 x 8in) golden yellow wool felt (lining)
• 12cm (4½in) square of dusty pink 100% wool felt (needle page)
• 9cm (3½in) square of light grey wool felt
• 6cm (2½in) square of white wool felt
• Wool felt scraps in light green, mid green, pumpkin yellow, autumn rose, aqua and periwinkle blue
• DMC Stranded Embroidery Cotton in Ecru, Light Steel Grey (318) and Fern Green (522)
• DMC Perlé No 8 Cotton in Black (310)
• The Thread Studio hand dyed 4ply Stranded Cotton in Avocado, Autumn and Peacock
• No 7 embroidery needle
• Needle for beads
• Two 3mm (⅛in) black beads (cat’s eyes)
• 15 x 20cm (6 x 8in) medium weight fusible interfacing
• Double-sided fusible web
• Freezer paper and 2B pencil
• Pressing cloth or baking parchment
• Water-erasable fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk
• Silver gel pen and fine tipped permanent marking pen
• Clear self-adhesive paper, such as Con-tact™
• Pinking shears
• General sewing supplies
Finished size: 9 x 10cm (3½ x 4in)
Stitches used: Blanket stitch, fly stitch, French knot, straight stitch
Note: Please read all instructions before commencing the project. Careful and accurate cutting and sewing is essential to ensure success with this project. Diane has used a dense 1-2mm (1/16in) thick wool felt for this project – other finer felts can be used by fusing two layers of felt together with fusible web to achieve the same thickness. To create a 3D effect for the bird wings and the bluebird on the needlecase, Diane has used two layers of felt fused together. If you wish to substitute DMC Stranded Embroidery Cottons for those from The Thread Studio, you will require two strands of DMC cotton for one strand of The Thread Studio cotton.
Preparation and cutting
1. Repeat step 1 of the instructions provided in the magazine for Bluebirds In The Hedgerow.
2. Fuse the interfacing to one side of the light grey green felt and trace the needlecase template using the silver gel pen. Cut the shape out on the traced line.
3. Trace the following templates from the pattern sheet in Homespun Vol 9 No 8 onto freezer paper and cut them out roughly. Fuse the freezer paper shapes onto the appropriate colour felt and then cut them out carefully on the traced line, except for circle C.
From a single layer of felt, trace and cut:
• Two leaves from light green
• Two leaves from mid green
• One large flower from pumpkin yellow
• One medium flower from autumn rose
• One C from autumn rose
• One C from aqua (using pinking shears)
• One B from dusty pink
• One A from pumpkin yellow.
From two layers of felt fused together, trace and cut two cat ears in light grey.
4. Trace the following shapes from the pattern sheet in Homespun Vol 9 No 8 onto the paper side of the fusible web and cut them out roughly. The shapes have been printed in reverse where relevant to assist you. Fuse them onto the appropriate colour felt and then cut them out carefully on the traced line:
• One needlecase from golden yellow
• One cat head/body from light grey
• One cat face from white
• One cat tummy from white
• One cat tail from light grey
• One tail end from white
• One bird from periwinkle blue.
5. Repeat step 7 of the instructions provided in the magazine for Bluebirds In The Hedgerow.
6. Blanket stitch around the side edges of Maddie’s ears (not the base), referring to the stitchery guide below. Position the cat body/head on the front of the needlecase and fuse only the bottom half. Slip the base of the ears under the head, then fuse the upper part of the head in place. Position and fuse the tail and the tail end. Fuse the cat’s face and tummy over the body/head and fuse the bluebird in the sky.
7. Blanket stitch all the edges on Maddie and embroider the bluebird, referring to the stitchery guide.
8. Using the fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk, lightly draw the vine onto the background. Embroider the vine and flowers. Remove any visible pen or chalk markings following the manufacturer’s directions before you iron the needlecase again.
9. Position and embroider the two sets of leaves in place, referring to the photograph as a guide. Position the large flower and medium flower over these leaves and embroider them in place. Place the autumn rose C shape over the large flower and embroider through all layers. Place the dusty rose B shape over the medium flower and embroider in the same manner. Place the pumpkin yellow A shape over the aqua C shape on Maddie’s ear and embroider through all layers.
10. Embroider Maddie’s nose using Black (310).
11. Press the back of the embroidery and then fuse the golden yellow needlecase inner lining shape to this side. Repeat step 12 of the instructions provided in the magazine for Bluebirds In The Hedgerow.
12. Sew the black beads in place for Maddie’s eyes by sewing through all layers and anchoring the thread on the inside of the case.
13. Repeat step 13 of the instructions provided in the magazine for Bluebirds In The Hedgerow.
14. Work fly stitch along the left edge of the inner needle page to secure the lining to the inside of the case using one strand of Autumn. Fold the case in half and press.