With so many vibrant colors of felted wool available, wool appliqué is a great technique for making ornaments, and this flower ornament can be for a holiday tree or displayed year-round. Felted wool does not fray, so you don’t need to turn under any edges or add fusible web to stabilize your appliqué pieces. Just cut and stitch! You can use craft felt, too, if that’s what you have. Great color choices are readily available. Apply the techniques in this article to any wool applique ornament.
Add texture and design elements with embroidery floss or Perle cotton in matching or contrasting colors. These little projects provide great practice when you want to learn a new embroidery stitch! Blanket stitch is the most popular, but you can use a wide variety of stitches for wool appliqué! I used several in the sample wool appliqué flower ornament, and you can find even more in our Embroidery Tutorials.
Here’s how to make a Wool Appliqué Flower Ornament.
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What is wool appliqué?
Wool appliqué is a technique to stitch layers of fabric together using wool or felted fibers to form a design for a quilt or other decorative items such as ornaments and table toppers.
Can wool appliqué be combined with other fabrics?
Yes! Cotton prints make wonderful accents to wool appliqué projects! Think wings of birds, windows on houses, clothing on people and more. Linens, silks and even decorator fabrics add interesting texture and luster.
Can I wash my wool appliqué projects?
Yes, if your wool and other materials are washable. If you plan on washing your project, it’s best practice to prewash your materials so that you will know how they will behave after laundering. Hand dyed wools usually will not shrink because of the dyeing process, but the colors may bleed. You will want to be sure colors are set before starting your wool appliqué project. Hand dyed and felted wools typically do not fray along the cut edges.
How about wool appliqué on the sewing machine?
With so many decorative stitches on today’s sewing machines, you can definitely use your machine for wool appliqué. Test your stitch settings on scraps before stitching on your “real” project – unsewing machine stitches on wool is a tedious task. Check your machine’s stitch menu. It may have a section of stitches dedicated to appliqué!
How do I do wool appliqué with freezer paper?
Freezer paper is an excellent template material for wool appliqué. Because it temporarily adheres to the fabric with the press of an iron, it does not distort the appliqué shapes like paper templates and pins can. Freezer paper templates are reusable. The number of times depends on how much fuzz transfers to the waxy side of the paper with each pressing. It can be a challenge to find a temporary marking tool that will show up on fuzzy wool fabric. If you mark your appliqué shapes with a permanent marker, you must be very careful to cut away all traces of ink before stitching.
What are the best wool appliqué stitches?
The Blanket Stitch is most the popular stitch for wool appliqué because it’s an easy stitch to learn and it takes a nice bite into the fabric while defining the edge of the motif with thread.
What thread should I use for wool appliqué?
Embroidery floss and perle cotton are popular choices for wool appliqué. There are lots of colors to choose from, and you can vary the texture of your project by varying the number of strands of floss you use or the weight of perle cotton you choose. Size 8 perle cotton is the go-to for many stitchers, but you can stitch with a thread as bold as size 3 or as delicate as size 12 or 16. (With thread sizes, the higher the number, the thinner the thread.
What are the best needles to use for wool appliqué?
Needles are a personal choice, with every stitcher having a favorite. Embroidery needles that fit the size of your thread are a good choice. My favorite is a chenille needle in size 22 or 24 for stitching wool. It’s a sturdy, sharp needle that accommodates most of the sizes of floss and perle cotton threads that I like to use.
Browse through more appliqué projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.