Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Wool "Egg"citement!

Well, at least in Maryland, spring seems to be determined to stay this time. Given typical Maryland weather, I (Kara) wouldn't bet my life on it, but my hope "springs" eternal. Winter always seems to hold on just a bit longer than we would like, but now the forsythia is beginning to come out (for the second time) and my hyacinths have deemed it safe to bloom. When I have had enough of winter but it is still sticking around, I like to put touches of spring inside the house—just to remind me that warmer weather and flowers will come eventually. That is why it seemed like a good time to come up with some new spring decorations. 

Our wool acorns last fall were so much fun, I thought I would adapt that process to make some wool eggs in happy, spring colors. I went through my wool stash and was able to find some scraps that would work perfectly. Once I picked the wool, it was time to choose the embroidery floss. I have really enjoyed working with Weeks Dye Works floss, so that was what I decided to use for this project.

The floss and wool colors are almost an "eggs"act match!

The first step was to cut out a pattern. I wanted to keep these eggs small so my egg shape was 7/8 of an inch at the widest part and 1.5" tall. 

Next, I traced my 3 egg pieces on the wool and then cut them out.

Using two strands of floss, I put two egg pieces together and starting from the bottom (the fatter part of the egg) I blanket stitched them together, stopping at the top.

The first two pieces ready to stitch
Blanket stitched from the bottom, stopping at the top

Two sides stitched together
When I got to the top, I added my third piece and blanket stitched to the bottom.

After the two sides were stitched, I added my embroidery embellishment using various stitches: stem, chevron, herringbone, lazy daisy and french knots. I started at one end and traveled across to the other. 

A few little straight stitches using two strands of floss
Herringbone and stem stitches

Once I was happy with the embellishment, I stitched the third side starting at the top and stopping about a 1/4 of an inch from the bottom center.

Stopping at this point leaves an opening just big enough for stuffing.
I unthreaded my needle at this point and put it aside, leaving the threads hanging. Then I used a toothpick to help me get the polyfill stuffing in the egg and I packed it pretty tightly.

This much stuffing actually fit into the egg.
Almost full, but needs a little bit more to round it out.

When the egg was full, I threaded my needle again and stitched the hole closed using a blanket stitch.

A finished egg!

As part of this project, I really wanted to create a nest using the sari silk that I used in the Secret Garden. My first attempt was to stitch the sari silk into a nest, but I quickly realized that sewing it was not going to work, mainly because I didn't have the patience for it. So I thought I would glue it together using some fabric glue and a pyrex dish as a mold. The glue I was using wasn't holding very well and it showed up on the outside. 

Attempt #2
Not loving the glue
Not what I was going for 

My next thought was to still use the pyrex cup as a mold, only this time use the inside. I soaked a length of sari silk in starch, layered it into the cup, and baked my nest for a couple of hours until it was dry. It worked to a certain degree, but the layers did not stick together very well. I think this process has potential, but I was tired of fussing with nests.

Starch soaked sari silk.

My nest before baking.

A loosely woven and somewhat crunchy nest.

The creative process has its ups and downs, and my nest-making efforts were mostly downs, but that is the way it works sometimes. I really wanted to have a nest for my eggs and remembered that I already had a pre-made nest from Michaels and decided it was just perfect!

My hyacinths provided a lovely photo backdrop for my nest full of eggs

Five tiny eggs all in a row

While my nest attempts didn't turn out, these eggs went together so quickly and turned out "eggs"actly as I had hoped. If you give them a try, let us know; we'd love to see your pictures! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section. Hopefully, spring will come to your neck of the woods soon. If she hasn't, make up some of these little eggs to remind you that she is on her way.

P.S. If you haven't already, go over to our post, Happy Birthday to Us! and leave a comment there, telling us which of our posts over the past two years is your favorite—and why. You could win a Marcia's Flowers pattern in the color palette of your choice! The giveaway closes on Sunday, April 2, at midnight.


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