Friday, August 22, 2014

DIY Watermelon Coasters

So if you follow me on Instagram you will know I've been working on these bad boys for awhile. Summer is busy and I have to say I actually keep making more of these instead of writing up the post.  Finally I said to myself "self just start writing". "Get something on paper". Yes call it old school, I like a pen and paper.  
There are a few things that I really like  about this project: one, the wool felt is lovely and easy to work with, two, you can really mix up the colors. Watermelons range from soft pink, not quite ripe flesh to deep sweet pink, super ripe.  Three, you can hand sew or machine sew these coasters.   Which means it can be a travel project. 
I struggled with the shape in the beginning.  My inspiration for this project came from Molly's apple coasters on and this piece of fabric that I fell in love with two summers ago:  

I wanted to do watermelon coasters because the shapes can be different and these are a whimsical coaster for a summer BBQ.  So I've experimented with a few shapes, colors, threads and techniques.  You choose what you want to do. See what you like best.  So choose your design and your color palette.  Once you choose your palette you will need 1 piece of felt per color.
My palette: the greens are lime, kelly, olive
pinks: baby pink, bright pink, pink, fuschia
white: ecru, white

1 18" square felt per color
hand sewing needle- I used an embroidery needle between sizes 5 and 10
dmç cotton perle 8 -  greens #700 and #906 (lime green),  ecru, deep pink #718, bubble gum pink #603, baby pink #818
For the seeds: I used DMC embroidery floss in black #310, it's a 6 ply but I only used 3 ply.
fabric scissors
pinking shears
1.  Your design is chosen; half circle, full circle, cut slice.  Cut out your pieces of felt. 
The following directions are for circle and half circle. I used the bottom of a large jar that had a 5" diameter.  This was for my green piece and the largest size, from here I sized down about 1/2" for the white then the pink.   If you have Adobe Illustrator or a compass, you can make your circles quite easily.   I created a template in Illustrator.

I played around with the design of it.  In the top photo you will see I experimented with strips of pinks to add some dimension.  I also experimented with shades of green thread to  add watermelon skin texture.  I ultimately settled on the circle and half circle, 3 layers and keeping the flesh a solid piece of pink felt.

2. Sew the seeds. Place one piece of pink felt on top of white felt and using the black thread, either 3 ply of DMC floss or the perle DMC  do a simple running stitch starting at the back side (the white).  With a disappearing tracing pen I drew little v's to follow as a shape for the seeds.  You can also machine stitch the seeds.

 For the machine stitch I used a zig zig in black or chocolate brown on top.  Remember to sew the seeds before putting the last layer, green, on. This way you won't see the underside of the seeds.

3.Lay the pink and white section on the green.  Do you want a really ripe melon? Then choose your dark green.  Pin the layers together and if you want to make a bite into the piece of melon now is the time to bring out the pinking shears.  

Hand sew pink edges with your choice of pink Perle thread and then do the same with the white.  You can sew a green Perle thread around the edges, this would just be a topstitch. 

Time to have a watermelon cocktail!

PS these are machine washable cold, but please line dry.
And be sure to check out my post on etsyny website on cacti color palettes for the fall!

Have a great weekend!