Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Autumn Acorn Tutorial

Autumn is a favorite time of year for me, Kara. I love all the smells and tastes of fall, whether it's a bushel of apples, the smell of a pile of leaves, or all things pumpkin. Visually, I think it is the season with some of the most dramatic color changes, with the leaves changing into the most brilliant yellow, orange, and red hues. On our recent visit to Maine, the colors were just starting to come out, and signs of fall were everywhere. On one of my many walks through the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, I passed under a large oak that had begun to drop its acorns. I had been wanting to make some wool acorns for some time, so I collected a baggie of the caps to bring home with me.

Since we are now in the heart of the autumn season, I thought I would make a few of the acorns just to see how they turned out, and I am pretty happy with the results. First, I gathered my supply of wool in a fall palette, along with some of my Gentle Art Simply Wool thread and Valdani pearl cotton.

I made my pattern from a piece of card stock folded over about an inch. I drew half of an acorn shape on the fold and then cut it out.

The length is about one inch, and that seemed to work for most
of my acorn cap sizes.

This burnt orange wool from Shakerwood Woolens seemed like a good choice to start with, so I traced three acorn parts using my template.

With a strand of Burnt Orange Gentle Arts wool, I brought my thread through the bottom of the first piece on the inside.

 I then aligned the edges and blanket stitched the first two pieces together from bottom to top.

I tied off at the top and proceeded to add the third acorn piece, starting at the bottom again.

Two sides finished and ready to stitch the third.

Once all three sides were stitched together, I used some hand quilting thread (because of its strength) to make a series of gathering stitches all around the top of the acorn.

My gathering stitches

When I had finished going all the way around the top with the quilting thread, I left the needle threaded and stuffed the acorn with polyfill. Once I had enough stuffing, I pulled the gathering thread tightly and made a few straight stitches across the top to secure the gathers.


The tied off acorn 

All that was left to do was use a little E6000 glue on the top of the wool acorn and add the cap. I did hold the acorn and cap tightly together for about a minute to give the glue a chance to set.

My first acorn

I liked the look of the matching wool and wool thread, but I thought it would be fun to experiment with contrasting colors and a different type of thread. So, for my next acorn, I chose a thicker burnt orange wool from Primitive Homespuns and a Valdani, pearl #12, and I decided to add a little embroidery on all three sides of the acorn. I added the embroidery once I had two of the sides put together.

The contrasting pearl cotton for the blanket stitch
The embroidery is finished, and I am getting ready to gather it.

The finished acorn with embroidery

Once I started making these, I had to force myself to stop. I experimented with different threads and wools to see what effect I liked best. 

The start of my collection

It's hard to stop at just one!

These would be lovely displayed on a small plate, or turned into a necklace, or even as an acorn garland. Hopefully, you will enjoy making these as much as I did! If you decide to make some, please send us pictures, as we would love to see where your creativity takes you. Happy Autumn!