Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Feeling sheepish

Need some sheep for a grassy field? Here is one way to make them, using a punch needle with embroidery floss or other threads to make the fleece. If you’re not familiar with punch needle work, here is a nice tutorial on Planet June by June Gilbank. I tried 2 strands of white floss with metallic silver on the upper left, but it looked too gray. On the upper right is plain white floss, which seemed a tad dull. The lower left one is white floss with one strand of variegated thread... it’s pretty, but not a good sheep color for this project. On the lower right is the winner, one strand of perle cotton in a cream color. 

The backing is white Kona quilting cotton. After taking the fabric out of the embroidery hoop, it’s trimmed to about 1/8" away from the loops. Then it's glued around back with tacky white glue. (A bamboo skewer comes in very handy to press down the raw edges.) The black parts are ultrasuede, their eyes are a gold bead held with a knot of black thread, while the ears have a stitch of brown floss. 
Here they are in place with seed stitch quilting, consisting of 2 strands of variegated floss. It’s pretty hard to tell, but in a few places I colored over the dark green pattern where it seemed too prominent next to the sheep, using a light green wax colored pencil. Might need do some more. I’m not 100% sure that I like the quilting stitches... may try some beads instead and see how that looks.

These remind me of sheep pins I made eons ago out of polymer clay. Actually, these guys could be pins with a little pin back sewed on. Their face and legs might need stiffening, though. You could fuse two layers of ultrasuede together, maybe.
Hope you’re having a creative week!


Bebedores do Gondufo said...

Very Good.

Anonymous said...

These are Great! Love 'em!

Nellie's Needles said...

They're adorable! I love their expressive faces.

Thank you.

Diane J. Evans said...

These are absolutely priceless!! You are amazingly creative, Loreen -- I can see why you're such a successful author of children's books: you are truly young at heart.