Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Making Felt Table Mats

Recently, I was given a pretty rock garden which has been precariously perched on two coasters to protect the table from moisture.  Since today was rainy I decided to make a felt mat to place under the garden.

Wool Mat With Embroidery
I like to use various wool felt mats to protect my furniture from scratches and moisture.  Wool is water repellent and is easy to dye with plant materials.  The mottled purple mat above was dyed with logwood.

Pick out a piece of felt and find a pencil that will show up well on the fabric.  I chose a dark green felt, so I tried a white and yellow pencil for contrast.

Next trace around the base of the vase or bowl that will be on top of the mat.

After tracing add another line 1 1/2 inches from the original line.  This will give you a nice border area to embroider.

Cut out with scissors or rotary cutter.  The marked side will be the bottom of the mat.

Choose a coordinating embroidery thread.  I chose this silk thread that I have dyed with Brazilwood.  I like to use a color that is on the opposite side of the color wheel from the base color.  My base is green, so I chose thread with red tones.

Using a sharp embroidery needle I did a running stitch around the edge of the mat about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge, then did a second line of stitching 1/4 inch in from that with a lighter colored thread.

My stitches and the space between them are about the size of a piece of short grain rice.  This is a good first embroidery project for a child.  We were taught this project when I attended the Applied Arts teacher program at Sunbridge College.

As you can see the finished mat makes a decorative, but unobtrusive protective barrier between the dish garden and the wood table.  I like to think of these felt mats as modern doilies.

Well, this is what I did with my rainy, lazy afternoon.

God bless,

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