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Joined felt shapes

In the following techniques, felt fabric shapes are joined together to create an open fabric which can be used alone or applied as a layer, perhaps onto a transparent fabric. Large pieces can become very heavy if hung up bringing the stitching and edges of the felt under strain, so ensure the stitches are firm and that the thread is fastened well. Any shape can be used – geometric tessellating shapes with gaps in between would be very effective.

Butted edge

Cut multiple felt shapes. Working from the reverse side, stitch two felt shapes together, fastening the stitches firmly so that they don’t come undone and taking care that the stitches do not show on the front of the fabric. Continue until all the pieces are joined.

Butted edge Joined felt shapes A

Thick wool felt shapes stitched together with butted edges creates an interesting open fabric which could be layered with other fabrics.

Butted edge Joined felt shapes B

Bar tack joined

Open fabric can be created using longer stitches to attach felt pieces together by making a bar tack with two to three strands of stranded embroidery thread (floss).

1). Working from the reverse side, knot the thread and insert the needle on the edge of a felt shape, so the knot is right on the thin edge of the piece.

Bar tack joined felt shapes A

2). Now take a second felt shape and stitch through it, about 6 mm (¼ in) from the edge, from front to back. Repeat so there are three loose stitches holding the felt shapes together.

Bar tack joined felt shapes B

3). Work blanket stitches around all six strands of the joining stitches. Insert the needle under the joining threads from right to left, ensuring the trailing thread is looped under the needle. Pull the stitch tight to complete one stitch.

Bar tack joined felt shapes C

4). Use the needle to slide each stitch along the joining threads so it lies close to the previous one. When you reach the end of the tack, put the needle through to the back of the felt shape and fasten the thread as neatly as possible.

Bar tack joined felt shapes D

Bar tack joined. Thick wool Melton allows the fastening stitches to be almost invisible. Other fabrics could also be used with contrasting thread.

Bar tack joined felt shapes E

Fabric Manipulation
150 CREATIVE Sewing Techniques

Ruth Singer