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Wool Applique with WonderFil Threads

Razzle and Dazzle – oh my!!

As soon as I saw the weight and colors of the Razzle and Dazzle threads, I knew that I wanted to try using them for felted wool applique. I didn’t have a project in mind yet, I just wanted to see how they worked with the wools. I LOVE doing wool applique both onto wool backgrounds and onto cotton backgrounds. The texture is amazing and it’s so nice to hand stitch through. Usually I use three strands of embroidery floss to do all of my applique, but I was definitely ready to try wool applique with WonderFil Razzle and Dazzle threads!

Picking a test project

Luckily I had a little applique project that I never got around to finishing. The wool circle with the ladybug was supposed to be finished into a pin cushion ages ago, but I had obviously moved on to bigger and better things! I got it out and found an embroidery needle and picked a couple of the Razzle and Dazzle threads that worked well with the colors of the wools. I use a hand blanket stitch when I applique most of my wools, but as felted wool won’t ravel, all of the edges of the applique pieces do not necessarily need to be stitched. Sometimes for added visual appeal and a 3D effect, I’ll leave the edges of flower petals or leaves unstitched, but for this project I want to see how the threads look when used in a blanket stitch.

Finished lady bug applique. Notice the sparkle and shine of the Razzle and Dazzle threads!
Finished lady bug applique. Notice the sparkle and shine of the Razzle and Dazzle threads!

 

The Razzle and Dazzle threads worked really well for the blanket stitching so I did a little embroidery as well. I was so happy with the end result, that I decided to make two more – an idea for a project is starting to take shape!

Preparing the wool applique shapes

Here’s the process to follow to make the wool appliques:

  1. Trace the background circle, the lady bug body and the wings onto the dull side of a square of freezer paper.
  2. Cut along the drawn lines.
  3. Place these freezer paper shapes, shiny side down on the felted wool.

The freezer paper shapes placed on the right side of the wool
The freezer paper shapes placed on the right side of the wool

 

4. Cut the wool along the side of the freezer paper shape.

5. Peel off the freezer paper.

6. Spray the back side of the lady bug body and wings with an adhesive spray.

The freezer paper has been removed and the lady bug body and wings have been sprayed with spray adhesive
The freezer paper has been removed and the lady bug body and wings have been sprayed with spray adhesive

 

7. Place the shapes down on the right side of the wool circle and press down firmly with your hand.

Blanket stitching the wool applique with WonderFil

If you’ve never done a hand blanket stitch, there are LOTS of video tutorials online. I found many, many on YouTube – here is a link to one video to show you how to hand blanket stitch. I noticed when I used the Dazzle thread, that the unknotted end became unraveled before I had finished stitching all the way around the shape. I think this is because I had started with a piece of thread that was too long. The more times the unknotted end is pulled through the fabric by the needle, the more chances it has to unravel. If you find this also happening to you, just start with a shorter piece the next time.

Notice the sparkle effect of the Dazzle and the shine of the Razzle thread. A little fraying at the end of the Dazzle thread because too long a piece was used.
Notice the sparkle effect of the Dazzle and the shine of the Razzle thread. A little fraying at the end of the Dazzle thread because too long a piece was used.

 

Adding some embroidery

After I finished with the blanket stitching, I used a back stitch to make antennae for the lady bug and then used a daisy stitch and some running stitches to add some embellishment to the backgrounds. YouTube also has video tutorials for Learning the Back Stitch, as well as Learning the Lazy Daisy Stitch.

A successful first day

So far, so good! My experiment with doing wool applique with WonderFil threads has been very successful. Tomorrow I’ll try the Razzle and Dazzle threads on fusible applique. After that, I decided that I’m going to incorporate these test pieces into a skinny runner for my front hall telephone table. Until tomorrow, have fun stitching – I’m going to keep working on my wool applique with WonderFil.

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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