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 purlbee.com 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.
August 2014

Colorblock Spring Scarf

The below directions are for only using 2 fabrics  

makes 2 scarves, depending on your width you probably can get 3 scarves
materials:  1 ¾ yards Kaffe Fassett Shot cotton
1 ¾ yards Nani Iro double gauze
matching thread

Cut one piece of each to be
-63” X 12”  shot cotton
- 63” X 12” Nani Iro (I started with one piece Nani of 44" x 12" so I added a piece of yellow shot cotton to make the length 63")

feel free to make your scarf as wide as you want but I think that 11” is a good width not to strangle yourself.

Lay fabric face to face, iron out and pin

Sew ½” seam allowance along 3 sides leaving one short side unsewn

Trim corners at a diagonal

Turn inside out and press side seams, topstitch 3/8” seam allowance

Tuck in raw edges and press

Match short edge to short edge and layer by ½” - basically you are sandwiching the two ends.  

Top stitch twice. Press with iron and done!


How to sew a button

1. If you are in a crunch use any kind of cotton or poly thread. But if you have the time you should buy proper quality thread. I like Gueterman brand.  Other quality brands are Coats and Clark and Mettler.  The rhinestone button that I sewed on for this customer was being sewn onto a cashmere sweater, very fragile fibers, so I used a wool/nylon strictly utilitarian thread from Sajou called Laine St Pierre found at Purl Soho.

Step 1 - Double strand your needle. Cut the thread to be no more than 18". Knot the end. Start the threading from underneath the button thru the fabric. 

Step 2 - Insert thread into a hole next to it, not diagnonal. Then slip another needle or a toothpick under the thread to form some extra space between the thread and button. You don't want the thread to be super tight next to the button because this can cause it to break.

Step 3- Stitch thru the other holes three or four times.

Step 4 - FInishing off - wrap the thread under the button and around the stitches you just formed. You are building a little shank that the button sits on. Remove the toothpick.

Step 5 -  Wrap around about three times. Now it's time to make a knot twice or back stitch. Back stitch on hand stitching is going thru the same stitch a few times, then make a knot in your thread. 

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