I have in recent months been crafting with felt and found it a very easy and beautiful medium to work with. I have crafted religious dolls with felt. Also revamped our yearly Precious Blood craft with felt. I have many other projects in the pipeline, so as to speak, which I look forward to.
One of the projects that has been on my heart since working with felt, is making scapulars from completely from scratch. Making unique creations for each member of the family, for friends and relatives as gifts from the heart. Each scapular's design can be different, chosing religious symbols that are special to the individual person. As long as the scapular is made from 100% brown pure wool felt, there is no set image or design that must be used.
So I bought some 2mm commercially dyed 100% wool felt and cut it up into rectangles, 4.5cm x 5.5 cm (1.5inches x just over 2inches ). I also bought some beautiful hand dyed 100% wool felt to use like a 'blank canvas piece', slightly smaller than the brown wool felt, onto which I could embroider my designs. The colour of this felt could be any colour, my very first creation was being made for my eldest daughter's best friend, so I chose pink. I am presently making one for my mother for her birthday, it is on a neutral 'mushroom' coloured felt. Very light blue would be another popular colour to use. It also allowed me to create a 'pocket' between the two felts, where I could once again, sew in other sacramentals, securely.
Here is a photo of a piece of the hand dyed wool felt. It is a 'salmon' colour. Hand dyed felt has irregularities in colour often, which adds to the beauty and versatility of the piece. I wanted to use the commercially dyed brown for the back of the scapular, as I wanted uniformity of colour. For everything else, I was happy for colours with some irregularity. The piece you see above is what I bought to make my Sacred and Immaculate Hearts...when you see the images of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart below I have used for my designs, you will see how the irregular colour suits the hearts perfectly.
I would prefer to use DMC cotton threads (6 stranded) but I cannot afford to buy alot, so I searched on ebay and found another brand of cotton thread that used the same code numbers and colours as DMC. I bought over 400 different colours for $60+ dollars, free shipping. The quality is not quite the same, but it is more than adequate, which is all that matters. I have the freedom now to make very good colour choices and matches in my designs.
I have been doing extensive image searches on the net for many different designs and patterns for my scapulars, I've been saving the images into a folder for future use. The sort of images I have been looking for is: miraculous medals, IHS, crosses, Lamb of God images, Eucharistic images ~ from this I hope to create many templates, so I can offer those I'm making the scapulars for, a choice of designs.
For my first scapular I chose a lovely feminine miraculous medal picture and a matching Sacred and Immaculate Heart that I had drawn many years ago.
Here is the holy card image that was the inspiration for the scapular. I shrunk the image down to scapular size, printed it up and traced around the medals to create my felt template, I always make these out of tracing paper. Except for the medals, everything else is embroidery work.
I have also embroidered the mirculous medal images onto the felt medals. For the side of the medal that has the 12 stars around the edge, I embroidered french knots. For the side that has Our Lady's image, I stitched a very simple pattern, considering how small the medals are, see my template below that I used. Where Our Lady's hands would be, I made little French Knots.
Here is this side of the scapular now completed. I had 4 different coloured roses, pink, purple, yellow and orange ~ each rose has three shades of the colour. The darker colour in the centre, the next shade, in the middle and the lighter shade on the outside. Roses and forget-me-nots are classic Marian flowers, so very suitable for this miraculous medal design. I think next time I do this miraculous medal design, I will buy some gold thread to outline the miraculous medal and to embroider inside the medals.
This is an image I drew, using pastels many years back, which was a replica of a very unique image of the Sacred Heart which was owned by my great grandfather. This was going to be my design for the embroidered Sacred Heart, I would also use the ivy pattern around edges as well.
Here is a close up photo of the hearts finished. I have used the bullion stitch quite a bit. I've used this stitch for:
If anyone has any questions about this craft, please feel free to email me.