Friday, 27 January 2017

Fancy Pants Pot Plant Mat

That's a helluva title for a mat to live up to! Well I have had this thought in my mind for a while now that I would like to do this inlaid effect on felt. It happens a lot in the woodworking world and I wondered if it might be possible with textiles.

Turns out the answer is an emphatic yes! It does work with a few caveats. You have to use a reasonable quality wool felt and make sure that when you choose the two colours of felt that they are the same thickness. Other than that, it is actually quite easy.

I found a cute little leaf die in my never ending stash from Sizzix. It is from the magnetic Movers and Shapers range and it is fabulous because it can be moved to anywhere and because it is a single die, you cannot miss punch and ruin your mat so easily.

I also went that extra mile and crocheted a border with metallic copper thread which was the time that I decided that this was all getting a bit fancy pants. The rest is history.

You will need a couple of 30cm (12 in) squares of felt in your base colour. Mine is fairly thick and pure wool.
You also need a second contrast for the leaves. Get some perle 8 coton to match your main colour and a ball of copper metallic crochet yarn. Mine is Anchor Metallic.
I have used a PVA glue for the laminating and inlaying and of course you will need a good strong needle and a crochet hook appropriate to your yarn.

Begin by cutting two felt circles. Doesn't matter how big. A plate is good to draw around. Mine is 25cm (10 in) diameter. Put one circle aside.
Cut leaves around the edge of the other circle at random, turning the die this way and that to get the effect....

When you have finished, count the holes and make as many leaves from your second colour....

Now spread the other piece of felt with PVA glue, quite thickly and quite evenly. Lay the die cut felt circle on top and put the leaves in...

It needs to be aligned really well too. Some trimming is possible but do your best to make it perfect as you go along.
This is what you have now.....

I really love the muted grey melange felt and those green leaves. Put it somewhere warm to dry overnight and put a couple of heavy books or similar on the top to keep it nice and flat. You will see now why I said that the two felts had to be the same thickness? You don't want a step where the leaves are. 

TIP: if it is unavoidable and you really haven't been able to find the felts that you want in the same thickness, try two leaves on top of each other. The books should compress them enough to make the surface perfectly flat.

When the mat is dry, make a blanket stitch with the perle cotton right around the outside of the mat like this....

The idea is to give your scalloped crochet edge something to cling to without having to go through two layers of glued felt! Now come back with the metallic crochet yarn and make a chain 4 stitch into every second blanket stitch.....

Finally, treble 5 (US double crochet) stitches into each scallop. SS into each space in between.

*Please excuse my brilliant crochet pattern writing. Only a newbie so that shows you how easy this really is!

Fasten the yarn off and weave in the end. How cute is that! Now find a deserving potted plant to sit on your masterpiece.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting me. I hope that you have enjoyed this quick tute. 

And you know what? It doesn't have to be leaves. think circles, feathers or hearts. 

So long as the die can be moved around a bit or has enough clearance around it so that you don't accidentally cut your mat, it will work!

Love and hugs