Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Wednesday Sewing - Felt Peppers
One of the best things about our fall garden is the peppers! I plant them in the spring and they give us a few peppers before the summer heat sets in - after that, they're pretty much on survival mode and just sit there. But when the temperatures start cooling off to the 90's and 80's, they make up for lost time and become loaded with peppers!
Usually I grow sweet peppers and chile peppers, but this year it's solely a few varieties of Italian sweet peppers. They've been delicious eaten fresh, roasted and peeled, and baked with cheese and herbs or sausage stuffed inside - mmmm!
And they're still blossoming like crazy and starting up new peppers, so we'll probably have a couple more months of enjoying them.
So .... my mind has been on peppers, and I thought of making some felt peppers for little c's kitchen she plays with when she's down here visiting.
*felt - green and red for chiles or red and yellow for sweet peppers and dark green for the crown and stem
*fiber fill stuffing
*dark green embroidery floss
*long embroidery needle - not especially long, just not the little short ones
*patterns found here
1. Cut two each of pattern pieces A and B using the colors of felt you want your peppers to be.
2. Lay one of pattern A on top of one of pattern B with the right sides (if your felt has any!) together. They won't match up - don't worry about the bottoms going in opposite directions, it works out.
3. Pin the top edges together and the bottom edges together.
4. Pin the edge together that was marked with an X on the pattern. It's the smooth, non-wavy edge. Sew together with a 1/4 inch seam.
5. When you open the piece up, it should look like this ....
6. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of A and B. Before you sew them together, make sure that when you put the right sides of the two pieces together, they match up. The bottom curvy part should face in the same direction with the right sides together, not in opposite directions like in Step 2.
When you've sewn the second part together, pin it to the first, right sides together. Sew the two side seams separately.
7. Turn right side out and stuff with fiber fill. Thread a longer embroidery needle with a double strand of sewing thread that matches the felt. Run large stitches around the top ....
8. ... and pull tight to gather the top closed. Tie a double knot, but do not cut the thread off yet.
9. Now we're going to give the pepper some dimples and twist it up a bit. Insert the needle down through the top of the pepper and come up in one of the seams as shown below.
10. Go back down about 1/8 inch below and come back up in the seam on the opposite side of the pepper. Give a tug to distort the pepper a little.
11. This is where it becomes a bit like work! Keep going back down near where your needle came up and come up further down on the opposite seam than you did before. Each time you come up, give a tug - and then hold the thread so you keep the distortion you made as you go to the next spot. Do this all the way down the two seams. When you reach the bottom, go back up in the same manner using the other two seams. Tie off your thread with a double knot when finished.
12. Cut stem and crown pieces from the dark green felt. Pin the crown piece to the top of the pepper.
13. Using two strands of embroidery floss, sew the crown to the pepper using a blanket stitch.
14. Roll the stem piece up tightly and pin to hold. Sew the edge to the stem using a blanket stitch.
15. Sew the stem to the crown - again using a blanket stitch.
16. A note about finishing off the end of the thread - when I'm working on stuffed pieces like this, I tie a knot in the floss or thread and then stick the needle down where the knot is and out in an area that is the same color as the thread. I pull the thread through and cut it close to the felt. This way your knots won't show!
And a finished red sweet pepper!
Happy Creating! Deborah