Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas Woodland Creatures

Making my own Christmas decorations has been a bit of a tradition since we moved into our own first house about ten years ago with only a car boot full of belongings to our name.  We didn't have much cash to squander on non-practicals but I did have my sewing machine and was given some tartan wool fabric to make cushions.  Instead I used it to make star shapes which I strung together on gold string and hung them everywhere.  Making our own decorations is also something of a family tradition, I still have some made by my mum, beautifully bugle-beaded felt shapes that hang from the tree every year. This year sees the addition of some cheeky woodland characters who live together in a festive garland.  

I have made one or two of these just about every evening this week, sketching a template using inspiration from British woodland and garden animals and birds.  I've tried to keep the shapes simple and exaggerate their colours and markings in each case.

The shapes are cut out of felt and hand sewn together.  There is a front and back section for each animal, with a little wadding slotted in between (some leftover bump interlining from a curtain-making project in this case, but you could use a couple of extra layers of felt).  I added the details such as paws, tails or other features on the front half of the animal before sandwiching it all together and sewing around the edges.  Not forgetting to tuck in a loop of ribbon at the top to hang them up with.

Here's the back of the bristly badger.  

Robin and fox appeared first, followed by badger, wren, thrush, owl and the little doe.

All this has been done whilst sitting on the sofa in front of the television with minimal need for concentration or application, just happy faffing around with scissors and felt and a box of trimmings.  What I hadn't noticed immediately, was how mildly annoyed they all appear to be!  Mr Cunningham the Fox looks as though he might be already anticipating with trepidation the boxing day hunt, the curmudgeonly badger is most definitely in a surly mood and even the red squirrel looks cross.  Perhaps because he can't quite reach that tantalisingly sparkly pear. 

The little eyes are all black, metallic glass beads to give twinkle.  I wanted to keep the stitches visible and used a mixture of cotton thread and some thicker embroidery silk for the sewing together, I think it suggests quite well their fur or feathers.  Whip stitch keeps the front and back sections together nicely but you could use blanket stitch to good effect. This little collection of creatures are very cute and very festive, nestling between the pinecones and lights in their forest garland.  Even if some of them are looking a bit Bah Humbug!  

1 comment:

  1. Soooooo cute! Can't they stay around all year instead of being put away with the Christmas decs? Perhaps that would make them look happy??!!