Monday, September 27, 2010

UpCycled Coasters...Gotta Love Goodwill

I'm in the latest issue of Diablo Magazine with 5 other fine East Bay Crafters:
papaver vert Patty Benson press Diablo Magazine
photo by Melissa Kaseman
I had a fun time being interviewed by LeeAnne Jones and I liked her idea of each artist coming up with a tutorial. I've always liked felting wool sweaters for a variety of projects  - mainly pillows but some other ideas would be to make quilting squares, scarves that are pieced together, tea cozies, book covers...the possibilities are endless. I went with making some felted wool coasters. The tutorial is online, but I thought I would post it here with all the pics! (*side note here* - The term is acutally "fulling" and not felting, but it's easier to say "felting")

What you'll need:
  • 2 x 100% wool sweaters - each a different color - making sure that they're only 100% blends such as cotton, acrylic or anything that says superwash.
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwashing soap - I use Dawn's Original
  • Old pair of jeans
  • 2 x pillowcase
  • Scissors
  • Paper to draw a round 4" template - mark a line 2 1/2" up
  • Yarn
  • Needle
  • Hot iron
Washing Machine Settings:
  • Lowest water level
  • Hottest temperature with cold rinse
  • Longest agitation cycle

recycled wool sweater coaster tutorial papaver vert
First put your wool sweaters into their own pillowcases and tie a knot so the sweaters won’t come out. Then start the washing machine and throw in your pillow cases, pair of jeans and about 4 small squirts of soap -  you don’t need a lot. You’ll want to let your machine go through the longest cycle, stop the machine and start the cycle again. Depending on how long your machine cycles, you’ll want to agitate your sweaters for about 30 minutes or so. You can check the progress of the sweaters in between to see how much they have felted. 

recycled wool sweater coaster tutorial papaver vert
Once they have shrunk enough (the blue sweater started at 25”long and shrunk to 15”long) you can let the machine go through the rest of the cycles, so all the soap is rinsed away.
*NOTE* Make sure to scoop out any loose wool in the water that comes off the sweater before you start the rinse cycle. Line dry or tumble dry. 

Coaster Instructions:
The felted sweaters can now be cut with scissors without unraveling!
Using your round template, cut out 3 circles from each sweater. Use a hot iron to felt the fabric a little more on each side. 

recycled wool sweater coaster tutorial papaver vert
Then, cut the template at the marked line and use the smaller template piece to cut off the tops of each circle.  Pair opposite colors together to create a 2-color circle and pin them together. 

Thread your yarn onto the needle, make a small knot at one end and start to join the 2 circle halves using a fell stitch:
"Put in needle from the back top corner and pull in from the front. Bring needle down into the second half about 3/8” making a vertical stitch. Pull taut.  Starting from the back again, put your needle in ¼” away from your first stitch and repeat the process. Your stitches will be at an angle on the back and vertical on the front."

recycled wool sweater coaster tutorial papaver vert
Tie a knot at the end when you are finished. Press each coaster with the hot iron for a final, polished look. 



Peppermint Pinwheels said...

Wow! I love these! You have the coolest style - I can't wait to whip some up for Xmas presents!

Patty said...

Thanks Stacey! I have a feeling your design will beat up my design in a craft match :) I always love what you create!

ELK said...

great to see the process....