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California Golden Poppy – Felt Flower DIY

I love California Golden Poppy flowers. They are so simple yet breathtakingly beautiful and are dispersed all throughout the Golden State. Golden Poppies are the state flower of California and ever since I moved here when I was 8, just the sight of them growing wild along the highway or in a field somewhere has brought me joy. I especially love their vibrant yellow-orange hue and the way they fully open up when the sun first hits them in the morning, then close back up once it gets dark and wait patiently for the the next day to open again. They welcome sunshine daily in such a bold and joyous manner – I feel it’s a reminder of the way we should welcome love and Light into our lives daily and trust that each morning brings us a fresh chance to start again, even if we failed in some way yesterday.

*Gets down from soapbox*

In other words, poppies make me smile. Another reason I love this flower is that making one out of felt is super easy and quick! 🙂 Below is a tutorial on how to make one which uses many of the same detailing processes explained in my last post, but only requires a total of 2 colors cut into just six pieces of felt! I’m once again going to provide a few notes on how to speed the process up even more if you aren’t concerned about making a super detailed flower.

Supplies

  • 1 piece of felt in a sunny yellow or orange (or color of your choice)
  • 1 piece of felt in green of your choice for leaves
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun or thread

Optional – for the more detailed look:

  • Iron (regular iron, flat iron, mini iron…any of these should work but are likely to cause fingertip burns, so please be careful!)
  • Orange marker – I used a dry erase marker because….well….it’s what I had on hand.

Cutting the Felt

Start by cutting out four petals. Next cut a short long, narrow rectangle out from the same color. You can use this stencil if you’re not sure what shape and size to cut.

Cut a small circle out of the green felt and however many leaves you want to make. That’s it for cutting!!!

Adding Detail

Petals

If you’re making the super duper fast-tracked version, you can skip this part for the petals entirely.

First, take your marker and softly add in some color in a gradient from more color to less, starting at the center of the petal going outward. While the ink dries, warm up your iron.

Once your iron is hot, fold one of the petals like you would if you were making a paper fan. Press the outside edges of the pedal (probably the last 1/4) with the iron to create some creases and let cool before spreading back apart.

After the piece has fully cooled, tug on the edges some as shown in the picture below and shape the petal the way you want it. Do this with all four pieces. Lastly, snip a little slit down at the base of the flower.

Pistil/Middle

The detail in the pistil is very similar to the one from the felt peony post. Cut deep and V-shaped slices out of the rectangle so that it looks like the example in the picture below. Next, for added character, take your marker and lightly apply some color from the base to the edges of each point. Make sure you leave a little of the original felt color showing, but not too much.

Flower Base and Leaves

This process again is just like the peony leaves from my last post, only the green circle that makes up the base of the flower is much smaller. Snip out small, irregularly sized V’s all around the circle. Afterwards, for a more detailed look, fold the piece in half and iron a crease into the circle. Let that cool, open it up and fold it in half the other direction and iron additional creases in. Repeat a few times, each time folding the circle in half but in a new direction where no crease is present yet.

Cutting out the leaves, if you choose to include them, can take some time if you’re concerned with the leaves looking somewhat similar to real poppy leaves. If not, grab the stencil from my Peony post and use that leaf – it’s much easier!

Either way, cut as many as you want to include and use the iron to place a crease down the middle, the long way, to give it a little more character.

Assembling the Flower

Hooray for already being at this point in the process!!! Wasn’t that a quick and easy process this time?!?! 🙂

Making the pistil

To assemble, start with the pistil and wrap it around itself just like I explained with the peony post. Tack the felt down as you go with glue or thread to ensure it stays tight.

Adding the Petals

First, cross the two pointed ends of the petal over each other and glue them in place to give the petal a slightly rounded look.

This next part has a few nuances regarding the order in which you apply the petals; you’ll want to pay attention to this in order to get the best looking flower possible. Add two petals, on opposite sides of the pistil from each other, first. Of course add them one at a time but make sure they sit directly opposite from each other when you do. Next, add the third petal, attaching it to the pistil 90 degrees from where the current petals are attached. You should have something like what you see in the photo below now. Attach the last petal on the opposite side from where you placed the third one.

Now grab your cute little green base/circle and tack it down on the bottom of the flower and slightly up and around the base of the petals. Guess what – you’re all done!!!!

You can use this to create a broach, a hair clip or hair band, or some sort of home decor wall art – the possibilities are endless, really! I stuck one in with some of my air plants and thought it added a very fun pop of color. Another cute option would be to find a stick from your backyard and attach the flower as though the stick is the stem – add a few leaves and pop this sucker into a vase! If you go that route, I recommend adding the stick before placing the green circle/base onto the bottom of the flower. Cut a small hole in the center of the base and put the top of the stick through it, glue the stick to the base of the flower, then glue the green circle/base up around where you attached the petals. Voila!!!

For reference, here are a few old photos I took of some poppies next to the felt one I made (felt one on the top left, obviously).

I’m not sure whether I want to turn my new felt poppy into a barrette for my daughter, make a bunch more and create a new baby mobile for my our shop, or leave the one with my air plants for a nice pop of color in my family room. Maybe I’ll do all three….this flower is so quick and easy to make that it wouldn’t take very much time to make enough for them all!

I hope you enjoyed this super easy but fun flower tutorial. Leave me a comment and let me know if you like this type of tutorial and/or plan on giving it a try, want to see any other types of flower tutorials, or have any questions at all! Or if you have suggestions on how to make my tutorials better – I am always open to feedback!

And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog – we are going to have free monthly giveaway drawings and entry is exclusive to our subscribers! Also, be sure to follow and like us on Instagram and Facebook!

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Part 2 of Stitch Fiddle: Handy Tips

Hey Hedge & Fox lovers! After my last tutorial on the basics of Stitch Fiddle I decided to dive deeper into my favorite website for crocheting.  So I hope you all enjoy this second part and learn some helpful hints!

The Select Button

So as one of my fav tools on Stitch Fiddle is the “select” tool shown below.

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 3.01.40 AM

This little buddy help you with so many things, such as: copying and pasting a design, coloring a large section of your graph at the same time, writing out block letters, and I’m sure even more I haven’t discovered yet.

Copy & Paste

So lets say you’ve spent a long time making this awesome design and you want a row of this design across your graph but you’re dreading having to do it on by one all over again. No worries! The select tool is here to save you! Hit your select tool and draw a box around your design.

                                          Right Way                                     Wrong Way

 

Be sure not to select rows outside the context of your design or else you’ll have trouble with spacing and placing your copy correctly.  So once you have your design selected, right click and hit “copy”.  Now when you paste your design use your graph as a spacing guideline, decided if you want columns in-between each copy or no space at all.  For this design I’m going with no space at all for a continuous effect. When pasting you’ll put your cursor on the box you want the top left corner of your design to be in then right click and select “paste” and Wa-la!

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 3.15.36 AM.png

It’s so easy!! And so helpful for uniformity when you’re creating your own patterns and designs.

Coloring/Filling in a Large Area

When I first started playing around with Stitch Fiddle I did A LOT of things the long and hard way because I didn’t know some of these tools were available, but thank God I’ve found them because they’ve made my life so much better, it’s the little things ya know?? So there are two ways that I fill in large areas with color. The first way is with the select tool. First click on the color you want to be using then just like with the copy & paste feature you select the section you want filled in and then right click to fill it with the color you want. This reminds me of playing with “Paint” back in the day on my old computer (y’all know what I’m talking about lol). This method is great for sections with corners or for drawing letters (we’ll get to that); however this next method is my go to when theres a lot of detail.

I sort of touched on this in my first post about Stitch Fiddle, but I want to get into more detail.  So let’s say you’re making a design from a picture and when you’ve transferred it over it has way too many color options.  You’ve narrowed down the colors by selecting and replacing with the colors you want to use, (for further on how to do that see my last tutorial) , and now you have a white background and you want it navy blue, the simplest solutions is to delete white and replace it with navy. But wait! There’s white in my design too! So this is my work around for that.

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 3.52.52 AM

I color in the white I want to keep with an obnoxious color that totally stands out from my design, then I delete the white and replace it with whatever color you want for your background, then re-add white and delete the obnoxious color and replace it with white, and BAM presto change-o!

Making letters

The next thing I like to do with the select tool is making some quick letters and numbers. This is fun for personalizing projects. Who doesn’t like their name on things!? Using the select tool with skills we’ve talked about above makes things even and quick.  I’m using my track pad on my laptop so it’s a bit shaky, but you get the idea.

 

Misc Tools

The next two tips I’m about to show you are great for measuring out your graph. For example I’ll use one or the other to space out lettering or designs on my graphs.

Draw Lines Tool

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 8.46.25 PM

This tool lets you draw temporary lines on your graph either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.  To use it you click on the “Draw Lines” button then click where you want your line to start and drag it to where you want it to end and un-click. When you’re done with the line you just click on the line.

 

Row/Column Filler

There’s no official name for this next tip, but I use it all the time.  When I do lettering I like to divide my graph into sections so I know how much space I have to work with. For example, if my graph has 140 columns and I want to write my name across the top I divide it by 5, so every 28 columns I’ll fill a line in the graph.  To do this you put your cursor over the number on either the row or the column and click and it will highlight the row/column and allow you to fill it.

 

I hope part two of this Stitch Fiddle tutorial was helpful! If there’s anything else you want to know how to do or have questions on feel free to ask!

Untitled_Artwork 9

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Pretty Pink Peony – DIY Felt Flower

Hello! Jen here doing my first diy tutorial – this one on how to make a felt peony. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Felt flowers are so cute and a lot of fun to make! They’re also fairly easy to construct once you have all of the pieces you need. What I love about making them is that you can choose to do them as simple or as complicated as you’d like and either way, they look great and can be used for so many different things!

Lately, I have been making them to create wall decor pieces, most recently a piece for my daughter’s nursery. I love the way it turned out so much!

Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally landed on a method that I feel has the best results for a more organic-looking flower, which is what I personally prefer. This process can take a lot of time but is really worth it in the end. That being said, I’m outlining below my method with notes on a fast-track version for those who don’t want to spend as much time making this piece.

Supplies:

  • 3 colors of felt
  • 1 color of choice for petals
  • 1 color of choice for middle/pistil
  • 1 color of choice for leaves
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun and glue

Optional – for the more detailed look:

  • Permanent chalk markers (you can use any marker, really)
  • Iron (regular iron, flat iron, mini iron, curling iron…any of these should work but are likely to cause fingertip burns if I’m being honest, so be prepared)
  • Heavy starch

Cutting the Felt:

Cut 7 small sized flower petals out using the stencil provided (we’ll get into how to make them look more detailed later). Then, cut out 11 large sized petals. If you’re going for the detailed look, cut out the outer petal piece from the same fabric. Next, cut a long rectangle out of color you want the middle of the flower to be. Last, cut out a green circle for the part where the stem and flower meet, and a few leaves if you want to add those.

Adding Detail:

Petals

These next steps pertinent to the petals can be skipped completely or partially depending on the level of detail you’re going for.

  • To detail out the petals, first draw lines from the bottom/pointed part of the petal out to the end in sweeping motions using a chalk pen. Smudge the ink a bit with your finger to make it blend a little.

  • Next, cut into the end of the petal with small, very short snips while holding the scissors perpendicular to the edge of the petal. Don’t be afraid to move the angle from which you’re cutting a little left then right from time to time (it may take a few tries to get the hang of it and the look you want, so if you have some scrap felt to use as a trial piece, try getting the right look on that first).
  • Pinch the end of the petal where you just cut between your fingers and pull at it to remove any tiny bits of felt that didn’t fall away when cutting. Then cut a slit down the pointed side as shown.

  • For even more of a detailed look, grab a small iron (I use my flat iron) and use it to curl the petals into a slightly rounded shape, focusing on rounding the edge you snipped into mostly. It’s super easy to burn your fingertips when doing this part, so be extra careful!

Pistil

To add detail to the pistil/middle, first color one of the long ends of the rectangle, on both sides, with a white chalk marker.

Afterwards, cut deep and irregularly shaped V-shapes into the felt along one long side of the rectangle, making sure the ends of every cut end up pointed.

Leaves

To add features to the green circle that will make the base of the flower, make small but irregular v-shaped cuts into the piece, this time all the way around until it looks something like this:

Then, if you’re using the iron, fold it in half and iron a crease down the middle of the circle. Open it, turn it 45 degrees, fold it again, and iron creases there as well. Continue this process repeatedly until you have creases all the way around (you can add even more if you’d like).

Side note: I’m gonna suggest that if you haven’t yet, you should go ahead and plug your glue gun in at this point if you’re ready to finish the project now.

For the leaves, fold them in half lengthwise and iron a crease in. Pinch the edges of the folded piece between your fingers stretch the felt a little to add some dimension as shown.

Now you should have a good pile of felt pieces to assemble your flower! 🙂

Assembling the Flower

Making the pistil/center

Grab the rectangular piece and roll it from one end to the other, adding glue to the non-cut side as you go so it stays tight. Glue the end down once you’ve rolled it all the way. You should have something that looks like this once you’re finished:

Adding the petals

First, cross the ends of each petal and glue to get a more rounded petal. Then, for more detailing and roundedness, pinch and glue the sides together near the middle to get an even more rounded look like in the photo below.

To add the petals to the pistil, take the small petals first and glue them one by one, going around all the way. Once you’ve made it all the way around once, start the second row by adding a petal behind but in between two from the first row so that the pattern alternates.

Do the same thing with the large petals, alternating with each new layer, until you have a flower! Depending on how you’ve done your gluing, there is a chance you will want to add more (or less) than the amount specified. Just make sure the flower overall is balanced visually.

Lastly, once all of the individual petals have been added, glue the big outer petal piece to the bottom and up around the last layer of petals to give the flower the overall rounded appearance of a peony.

Adding the leaves

Take the green flower base and glue it to the very bottom of the flower in the middle (if you want your flower to have a stem, I recommend you first poke a hole in the middle of the green base and stick the stem through it and then glue it all to the flower. You can use sticks, wooden dowels or wire wrapped in felt, or if creating a mobile, some embroidery thread).

If you want leaves, add them at this point. And now you’ve got a felt peony in your hands! Hooray!

This process takes me quite a while to complete – I typically do a little each night until it’s finished since I don’t have huge chunks of time to dedicate all at once. If you’re like me and will be doing a little at a time, I highly recommend keeping all of the pieces together in an envelope or ziplock bag until you’ve finished. I say this with experience – it’s very easy to lose a critical piece or supply item and have to re-do something that has already been done but was lost or misplaced!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and easy enough to understand and follow along! If anything is confusing and you need more info just let me know! And if you’re using it to create a flower I’d love to see the result, so please send me a photo. 🙂

Feedback on the instructions or anything else, or just comments in general will always be appreciated!

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A Guide to Graphgans/Stitch Fiddle

Football season is offically here!! I am so freakin excited!!!!!! Not sure if you can tell how excited I am from all the “!!!” hahah, but seriously though, it’s football season. Even though where we live in California its still hotter than hot outside, it’s getting close to that time of year where you want to cuddle up with a warm blanket and support your favorite team.  Mine happens to be the Green Bay Packers (GO PACK!) and Jen and her family are Broncos fans.

So making a blanket with your favorite team logo may seam daunting, trust me when I first started out crocheting I thought there was no way I’d be able to come close to making such a thing, but with the new fad of “graphgans” it’s pretty darn easy if you already know the basics of crocheting.

There are two different methods for a graphgan, there’s corner to corner crochet (C2C) and tapestry crochet.  Both methods use basic crochet skills; for C2C the following stitches are used: slip stitch, chain, and Double Crochet (US); for tapestry crochet all you need to know is single crochet!

There are a few different websites that allow you to turn photos into graphgans, however my favorite website and the most user friendly in my opinion is Stitch Fiddle. This website is also another one of my favorite things…FREE!! Not to say there aren’t benefits to joining their paid option as well, but you can absolutely get by without paying anything.

How to use Stitch Fiddle Step by Step

So now the fun stuff.  How do you actually use Stitch Fiddle to create yourself, or better yet, a gift for someone. So since we’re on the football theme here I’m going to use a football logo as an example and plan a tapestry crochet pattern.  So go to your favorite search engine and search images for your favorite team, and you’ll get results like this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 10.42.57 PM.png

So the trick is to find a logo without a bunch of unnecessary junk like the second down from the right. The city scape that is below the logo won’t translate well to our graph. So lets pick this one:

49er

This has simple, clear cut lines with minimal colors which is exactly what we want. So after you log into Stitch Fiddle it will look like this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 10.57.43 PM

You’ll go on to select Crochet – Crochet with Color – From Picture where you’ll upload your photo.  So at first your photo is going to look like this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.11.32 PM.png

Doesn’t look the greatest…really pixelated and blurry, but do not fret! we will fix this! The next step is to gauge your work. If you don’t know how to gauge, no problem! Stitch Fiddle actually explains it pretty decently for this process. Looking to the left side of the above photo you’ll see a section that says “Gauge” with a blue link that says “Size Calculator”, go ahead and click on that to go to our next step.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.27.14 PM

This is where we will figure out the size of our blanket. I typically make throw or lap size blankets, which are perfect for cuddling up on the couch with. You can find measurements for any size blanket on Google or Pinterest. So a Throw is generally about 50″ x 65″.  So I’m going to be using a size J-6.00 mm hook with 100% acrylic medium weight yarn, my favorite yarn is “I Love This Yarn” from Hobby Lobby because it’s so soft! I’m not gonna lie I HATE dong gauge swatches, it’s so boring, but oh so necessary. Go ahead and make yourself a swatch with your yarn of choice and hook for choice,  I usually make a chain of 25+1 so I can make a row of 25 single crochets then make enough rows to get a 2″ measurement.  Once thats completed you’ll fill in the form above. The first box asks us for the width in inches, so mine was 9″ across with 25 stitches; we then go below and fill out the height, mine being 2″ with 8 rows.  To the left you’ll enter how big you want your final product to be.  So we know we want a throw that is 50″ x 65″, and then it will calculate how many stitches and rows you will need.  You should now be looking at this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.44.09 PM

Bam! Calculations done! Next hit create chart where it may ask you to select Crochet with Color – From Picture again. So now we have this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.47.54 PM

The blurry pixel logo is gone, yay!  But now it’s cut off on the sides.  No Problem Stitch Fiddle has our back and we can rotate it by going to the top left of the page and clicking the rotate arrows!

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.49.54 PM

So there’s still a bit of our ends cut off but thats ok, we can fix that! Increase your height on the left until your logo is all the way in like so:

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 1.03.04 AM

Now looking to the left under yarn colors it says there are 10 colors being used. I know what you’re thinking “Umm Katie there’s only 4 colors there”, I know, you and I only see 4 but Stitch Fiddle gives you ALL THE SHADES! It’s tempting to lower it down to 4 now but I Have a better trick for you in the next step. So go ahead and click “Save Chart” at the top of the page. The next screen you get go to View and choose “Fit Width” so you now see this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.57.39 PM.png

Next we are going to narrow our colors down to four: black, white, gold, red. Go to “Edit” and “Edit Chart”.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.06.05 AM

All of our colors are to the left. I already know we want to get rid of all the colors in the right column and the brownish color above the red. We are going to remove these colors one by one and replace them with one of the colors we want to keep. Right Click on the light grey at the top of the right column and select remove, and replace it with black.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.11.46 AMScreen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.12.05 AM

You’ll keep eliminating the colors until you’re down to the 4 main that we want. I’ll refer to each number and what I replaced it with; however it’s just a matter of looking at your logo and and replacing each unwanted color with it’s closest match. IMG_8397So we’ve already replaced 2 with 3. Next will be: 7 with 5, 8 with 9, 10 with 9, 6 with 3, and 4 with 3.  You should now be left with our 4 main colors. After all the color swap outs you’ll end up with something that looks like this:

IMG_8399.jpgAs you can see there’s some editing you’re going to need to do.  It’s very easy, just time consuming.  Fill in the squares with the appropriate colors until you are satisfied with how your logo looks.  I don’t think you’ll need help with this part but if you do please contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help you.

Now that you have all your colors fixed you’re just about ready to crochet!!!! Yay!!! So now that you have your graph you can print it if you’d like or you can use Stitch Fiddle’s cool progress tracker feature! You access this by going to “File – Progress Tracker”.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 1.26.44 AM.png

I’ve upped the progress so the visual is better, but it highlights what row you’re on so you can count more easily. So each square on the graph is a single crochet stitch. So this graph shows 139 squares across the top, which means your foundation chain will be
139 +1. So you’ll follow your progress tracker along changing colors as your graph shows. If you don’t want to use the graph, you have another option of printing out written instructions; however this option requires you to opt for the payment plan, which works out to be about $13 a year if I remember correctly.

I hope this was a helpful guide for you, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  I’ll gladly help you in any way I can. Also, if you have any crochet tutorial suggestions I’d love to hear them!

Until Next time!

Katie

 

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