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Friday, April 19, 2013

Woolly Teddy

I don't make a lot from Creative Embroidery and Cross Stitch magazine, although I subscribe and like to browse it and check out suppliers and ideas. However, late last year, an issue entitled Inspiring Embroidery and Cross Stitch Vol 20 No 4 had two projects that really appealed. One was a DMC Bargello phone cover that I'd like to adapt to something else one day and the other was Wooly Teddy, designed by Ruth Marshall, on page 36. The magazine has not yet been listed on the publisher's site but I have found a link to it at Erica's.

I had a remnant of wool blanketing that has been just waiting for this project, and while I was gathering my wits and the threads (Mogear 2 ply Mohair - not easy to come by)  friends of our family announced they were expecting their first baby in May of this year.

I made a few changes to the project. First, I decided to trace the pattern outline directly on to the wool blanketing. Working the project, as recommended, through water-soluble Vilene did not appeal. I stitched the outlines first to stay ahead of the fading of the outline and filled in from the picture and diagram.

I had trouble getting all the Mogear threads, so substituted a Gumnut Tulips thread for the hard-to-get dark pink . I also substituted a Madiera gold silk for the Rajmahal.

The Mogear colours I did manage to get came out darker - particularly tea tree, the pale pink - than the magazine photos. That's a plus as far as I am concerned.

The dominant stitch is the colonial knot, which is used to fill in the spaces in the vest, as well as the paw and ear pads. The vest has some bullion knot flowers and yellow lazy daisies that go in first, and the knots go around them. It's very effective and provides quite a bit of freedom to improvise, which was useful because I ran out of both blue and the recommended olive green thread on the vest back.

Rather than chase more of the Mogear blue and green and wait for it to arrive, I raided my wool stash and found a darker green in the olive range in a Bendigo Woollen Mills 2 ply. I liked the effect of the darker green so much I decided to add some of it into the front as well.

The front and back are machine stitched together then over-stitched with colonial knots all around the edge. The pattern uses pale pink, but I thought it was a bit wishy-washy in the photo, and a bit too overall pink on my bear. I tried the cinnamon colour of the face, and also tried blue - very close to the Mogear blue, but a Bendigo Woollen Mills 4 ply in my stash.

I settled on the blue - thought it was bright and sat well with the vest. Because this is for a baby, I also rejected the tiny buttons down the front in favour of stitched buttons in the gold silk thread, and the ribbon around the neck in favour of a dark pink couched bow tie.
When I reached this point, I decided to go around the edge once more with colonial knots, filling in the spaces between so the edge looks solid rather that dotty.

I'm fairly pleased with the result. I'd maybe position the face a little higher next time, and make a few adjustments to vest armholes, but it is a nice little bear.

This project has given me an idea for the woollen blanket I have been thinking about for a couple of years.  I think the flowers and colonial knots technique might adapt to what I have in mind.

Edmund Brien Deveney was born early, on 17 April. I do hope he has much pleasure from Woolly Teddy!


katherine said...

What a very special little teddy for Edmund. It is gorgeous and I love the little waistcoat, its so cute. Love seeing your tablecloth coming together too. Such a beautiful design with the birds and foliage.

Monica said...

Yes, what an excellent teddy! The vest came out very well - I love that kind of dense, millefiore stitching. Great job!

margaret said...

what a beauty, I did get this magazine but stopped when my pile got to 90 magazines, now looking for a home for them as I have to make room for other things!

Jillian said...

Thanks, Girls. More on the tablecloth soon, Ketherine - it's coming along. I love the millefiore too, Monica. I am getting the magazines, Margaret - very cheap on a subscription special- but am becoming ruthless in passing them on unless there is a project I really want to do. They accumulate so quickly!