Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Felt House-A-Long Week 2

Well, I'm a little behind (still), but this is what I have so far. As a reminder, I blogged about my plan here. I made the decision to work with two sides at once rather than one at a time. This is because I didn't want to work with the tree in two halves. I might come to regret that decision, but so far it's working ok. :)

So to begin I cut my three main pieces (roof, side 1 [ which is the right and back sides of the playhouse], and side 2 [which is the left and front sides of the playhouse]). I set the roof and side 2 aside to focus on the side with the tree in the middle. I wasn't sure at the time whether I would finish the right side or the back side for week 2, but kind of just winged it (wung it?) as I went.

Working with the first piece, I folded it in half to center the tree (I free-handed the trunk while it was folded in half):

I unfolded both the side 1 felt and the tree and pinned liberally around the perimeter of the tree.

I don't show the next step, but for the top and bottom I used a long stitch to mostly just baste it. I knew I would have grass on the bottom and leaves on the top to reinforce those stitches. I used a wide (4 or 5) short (1 or 2) stitch (often referred to as a satin stitch in embroidery) for the sides of the trunk. I wanted to make sure they had a nice clean edge.

I couldn't find a green I liked in the felt yardage, so I had to make do with the little 9"x12" sheets. That's the main reason I didn't copy Tina's tree, which I LOVE the simplicity and elegance of. So I grabbed my sheets and the bowl nearest to the width of my sheets that I could find and started cutting circles:

After cutting five, I placed them on the felt and filled in the blank spaces with scrap pieces of the darker green and "leaves" made with a lighter green. It looks pretty wonky, but when you think about the fact that you'll only see one half at a time, I decided it would do.

I decided to use free-motion quilting to sew the "leafy section" to the felt. I was hoping it would add to the leafy effect, and I actually think it turned out quite well. I sewed a simple long straight line and three cross-lines on each of the leaves. It wasn't until I finished one and stepped back that I realized it looks kind of like a football. Oh well. This is for a boy-child for now, and in the south football isn't exactly gender specific, so it shouldn't be a problem when (if) a baby-girl comes along. ;)

For the shutters my initial plan was to use painters tape to mark my lines and sew straight lines across to mimic louvered shutters.

After trying to take off the first piece of tape, I realized I needed to change my strategy. The back side looked great, and the painters tape added some stability to the felt, so I decided to go ahead with my lines and use the back side as the front side. Make sense? I also trimmed the sides slightly to cut off the paint and slightly uneven sides. Here's a pic comparing the front and back:

I don't have any pictures of how I made my windows. I cut 9"x9" pieces of a shower curtain liner remnant I used to recover my kitchen chairs. Then I sewed 1/2" strips through the center. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that sewing plastic isn't the greatest thing for the machine needle, but it hasn't broken yet, so we'll see how it makes it through the other plastic sewing.

I then took the window and the shutters and pinned them where I wanted. I kind of followed Fawnda's guidelines for my window placement. I did another satin stitch all around the borders of the shutters. A slightly thinner (3) satin stitch for the "top" of the window, and a much thinner (2) and longer (3) satin stitch for the bottom. I knew that would be covered up with the window box.

So after cutting the window box, I used that same old satin stitch to sew the bottom and sides. I left the top along so that we can add greenery and flowers and whatever that kid's imagination dreams up. I haven't done the grass because I'm hoping Hobby Lobby will have the green I like by the yard. I'm not too excited about trying to piece all the grass. It's kind of tough to see (since it's laying on the floor), but I cut out the felt behind the window. Kind of like a reverse-reverse applique. :)

I'm hoping it's crooked because I had to take the pic from the top to avoid getting my shadow in the way. So, that's my week 2 progress. I'll try to get the Week 3 (the back side) up this weekend.

So,what do you guys think? (And by that I mean that I want only positive feedback. The time for constructive criticism is past, I'm afraid. My poor ego couldn't handle it, even though I generally LOVE constructive criticism...) And if you have any questions about the how-to, PLEASE ask. I have to do another window on the other side, so I can take more pictures of that if you guys want. And anything else that is unclear, let me know and I'll do my best to clarify!


  1. Does this stand up like a clubhouse that he can enter?

  2. It actually fits over our card table! That way we can put it up and take it down very easily. Check out the Fireflies and Jellybeans Felt House-a-Long link on the right side to see how she did it and how some other girls are doing it!

  3. I think it is coming along great! And even though you think the tree looks wonky, it's wonky in a good way, dare I say, a 'whimsical' way? :) You are rocking the felt-a-long! Way to go!

  4. Oh, thanks, Les! You know whimsical might be the best compliment you could give. ;)

  5. That is turning out so FUN! I love it! Great job on the tree and window! : )

  6. I can't wait to see what the finished product looks like!!

    Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

  7. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on in the Handcraft category today [19 Mar 01:26pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria