Oh joy--the gang's all here!
My first indie book is the result of a project I started here on the blog that began with a beautiful cream colored wool blanket I picked up at a thrift shop in the fall of 2005. The blanket didn't seem good for any practical purpose, but I couldn't pass up all that yummy wool. I brought it home and just gazed lovingly at it for a while. Contemplating. Eventually, I got up the gumption to cut a little rectangle out of one corner, and stitched up a small pillow. It turned out pretty cool, so I cut out two little hearts and made a pincushion next. Then I think I made a mouse. The ideas came randomly, and unexpectedly. It became kind of a challenge in a way. With every season and holiday, and sometimes by chance, a new creation would follow. A few were inspired by other bloggers. (Those patterns are not included, but the source of the free patterns are listed in the back of the book.) Before I knew it the "wool blanket project" had taken on a life of it's own--I never knew what would emerge from that blanket of mine next! It was fun sharing it all on the blog, although most of those posts were eventually gathered up into the book. Anyway, this zany madness continued for about two years until there was nothing left of the blanket but a basket of teeny-tiny scraps.
During that time, I made over forty projects from totes to toys and other assorted goodies. Mostly just small handmade items. A few of the dolls were a bit more involved, like Ella the Elephant. It must be stated though, that there are better fabric mediums for making dolls than heavy blanket wool, but therein lies the challenge. Here she is celebrating her birthday with cupcake and crown. (Her red and white polka dot bloomers are peeking out from under her party dress.) Yes, I had a lot of fun with this fancy girl!
Here she is surrounded by her pals. Eskimo Mama is another sweet little doll. She carries a babe on her back that's tucked into the "harness". This is an easy doll project that a child can make with basic sewing skills.
More sweet goodness. Hearts and flowers galore.
Adorable tiny bedroom slippers for fun or folly. Or make a pair for dolly!
Sachets are really easy and fun to make. Here's a peek inside the book with the potpourri recipe I make from the rose petals and lavender gathered from my backyard each summer. It comes in handy for all kinds of projects and makes wonderful gifts. I've found vintage hatboxes are perfect for storing it and am always on the look-out for interesting ones.
Like a soft winter snow scape, the textural aesthetic of white on white is lovely and easy on the eyes. For this stocking I used a pretty piece of crochet lace and a vintage applique dotted with sparkly rhinestones. The loop is cotton trim tape with the word Rememberance printed on it, adding a touch of interest.
I'm often asked, "do I need a wool blanket to make the projects?"
Answer: No. An old wool blanket is not necessarily required. It was just my starting point and my inspiration. Any type of wool felt can be used for the projects. Most good fabric stores and quilt shops carry wool felt by the yard or by the square. You can also use wool from outdated skirts and older clothing. Sometimes you can find great patterns, plaids, and colors not ordinarily available. Look in thrift shops to find them. Recycled goods are also a fraction of the cost of buying off the bolt. But if you are lucky enough to find a wool blanket--go for it.
I love handstitching, and like many people find it helps me focus and relax at the same time. I prefer using a blanket-stitch to join the felt pieces together. This also leaves a nice finish and covers the raw edges. For the projects here, I used 2 strands of cotton embroidery floss. The stitching can be done in a contrasting color or in a color that matches the wool. Both examples are shown here and give different effects.
Probably the most popular project that appeared on the blog was this one for Little Lambkin. The pattern practically appeared magically before me one day when it fell out of a vintage pattern envelope. It was too cute to keep all to myself so I shared it, and before long lambkins began to appear in an array of patterns and colors warranting it's own Lambkin Stuffies flickr group, a group which has since expanded to include other projects from the Blanket Statement book. Nice to have everything neat & tidy in one place. I continue to offer the pattern free on my website, but when it's down, you can still find the PDF LAMBKIN here. It's since been revised and updated. If you make one, please add it to the photo pool so we can all see!
PUPPY PAL is also available as a free download so check him out too. He is constructed in the same way as the lamb and makes a nice toy for a small child.
Another fun project. Ice Skate Ornaments! These take a little time, but turn out really darling. I've stuffed them with fresh sprigs of rosemary so they smell good too!
WHERE CAN I GET THE BOOK?