A Santa and A Teaser

This afternoon, I arrived back home from my couple of days away. It surprised me how tired I was when I got here. Nothing's changed. I arrived home to find Smitty with some kind of critter cornered in Mike's office. It's good to know that in this busy and fast-changing world we live in, some things remain the same.

I wanted to give you a little mini-tutorial (although that's probably too high-minded of a word for what I'm about to do). It's really just a reminder for me so that I can remember the steps for putting together my little Santa. He could easily be turned into a witch or a wizard or a pirate...or just about anything.

I still can't believe I was able to put this guy together after just two days! Anyway...here's a quick and dirty little bit about how it's done.

We started the day with some "pieces" of the Santa. Below you see his walking stick, his pack of toys, his boots, his mittens (with separate thumbs) and his arms. The pieces are left intentionally "furry" where they're going to be felted onto the main body of the Santa.

We started by making a little stalk for the body and felting an oval ball onto the top for the beginnings of the head.

Then we added a section of "skull" to the back of the ball to make a more naturally-shaped head.

Then we made some holes for the eyes.

And then we attached the nose. This is done sort of in reverse. A tuft of wool is fastened just above the mouth, and then pulled back over the forehead where it is felted into place. Then we made a mark where the mouth would be.

Then we felted some green wool into the eye sockets and added two little balls for the cheeks.

After that, we put some little tufts over the cheeks to kind of smooth them out and used a single needle to add more definition to the cheeks, nose, and eyes.

We added some eye "brows" above the eyes in a similar way that we added the nose, and then we started wrapping and building up the shape of the body.

When we had the body to the size and shape we wanted, we wrapped it in red wool and felted that down secure.

After that, we wrapped the head with red like a scarf, and then added the hat. That was done by holding a large tuft of wool in the shape of a bouquet of flowers. The fluffy part at the top was felted to the head and the hat was shaped using our fingers and our felting tool to smash it flat and adhere the fibers to one another. We also added the arms. The left arm was felted to the side, and we made a little divot in the crook of the elbow to give it definition.

After that, we added the mittens, thumbs, and walking stick. I found this part to be the most difficult part of the process.

After that, we added the fur to his robe and used the tiniest little bits of orange to put color into his cheeks. Also, we gave him some dark eyeliner under his eyebrows.

All that was left to do then was to add the beard, eyebrows, and mustache, and our little Santas were finished!

Remember the little cat I showed you from my post a couple of days ago?

The woman who made it showed us the book it came from. Squee! Well, don't you think I went immediately to Amazon to order the book. While I was there, I found two other books of critters that I couldn't live without, and so those should be delivered shortly. (I know I'm supposed to be mad at Amazon, but I still loves me my Amazon Prime.)

Then I got a discount on wool fibers at Heidi Leuger's booth at the quilt show today, and I came home with all these in cat colors...both furs and eyes. And I gots me some pink for my pig-loving friend, Sue. I'll just bet I can figure out how to make a pig.

Speaking of Sue, she came for the show today. We went for a walk in the garden before the show. There isn't much blooming right now. We were treated mostly to lots of leafless trees. Nevertheless, we did see a few little things.

I saw a free-motion quilting design in this next leaf we saw in their tropical greenhouse.

The viburnum was in bloom and we could hear bees buzzing around. There were also croaking frogs, but we couldn't see them anywhere.

When you stand in the garden and look back at the resort, this is what you see. This is the building where the class was held, and it also holds the restaurant, a lounge, and all those other hotel sorts of things. The smaller building where my room was located was off to the right outside the frame.

There was a little program handed out at the entrance to the show. I only held onto mine long enough to take a picture of my own name...not that I'm vain or anything.

I took literally hundreds of pictures of the quilts, and I'm not going to go through them all at once, but I have a little teaser for you. This was the first quilt we saw. I forget each year how unfortunately bad the lighting is at this show.

The first few quilts were all modern art quilts.

Here's a detail of the quilt above.

This next one is a quilt by the featured quilter, Cynthia Corbin, who also held a workshop. Her quilts didn't necessarily appeal to me, which is what led me to take the wool felting workshop instead. It was one of the better decisions I've made in my life beyond marrying my husband and deciding to have children.

Her dye job was interesting here. You can clearly see a paper clip there.

Here's one more.

Oh yes, and here's a woman with really terrible hair. I think she must have been walking outside before the show.

We arrived at this quilt just in time to hear a woman who appeared to be an expert at everything informing her friends that this quilt was machine embroidered (!!!!!). Yeah, the quiltmaker set her straight.

The lighting didn't do her any favors either.

So I have lots more quilts to show you, but I need to quit for now. Check back tomorrow for more eye candy. I'll still be trying to get reorganized.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Junebug613 said...

I'm sure there was more work involved in the making of the santa, but you made it look easy! He's cute. I will be waiting excitedly to see your cats and critters! Doesn't the info card for your quilt say "hand embroidered"? Just love those know it alls...... Glad you had a nice time! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more pictures.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I am so happy that you have grown so that you enjoyed yourself in taking a 'new' technique - you must have loved it as you came home with goodies to play some more. And good for you in keeping no it alls in place.

WoolenSails said...

I can't wait to see more of your felting, you really picked it up quickly.
I got that book from the library a few times, but then never got to make anything before i took it back. I did get a book but was disappointed with the designs in it, really not things I wanted to make. I do like my kitties and I have a few links with tutorials online, so will send those to you.


DeAnna S said...

How cute is that! I love the little puffy cheeks! The garden photos are awesome, makes me wish for Spring! Thanks for sharing.

Kate said...

You make it look so easy, I'm not sure I shape anything into what it's supposed to look like. Looking forward to seeing a few shots from the quilt show.

QuiltShopGal said...

Too cute. You have certainly inspired me to try this. So creative. Of course, I do so hope you'll consider sharing in the weekly #CreativeGoodness Linky Parties that I host every Friday I think more need to see this and I'm sure they'll be inspired.


carla said...

Hi!!!! You have been busy!!!!! I missed a couple of posts and now you are needle felting!!!!! Yaa!!!! Your directions sound so easy I might be able to do it!!!!! I would want to make a hundred kitties too!!!!! Your santa is adorable....I can't wait to see your kitties!!!! Your quilts are beautiful and they look wonderful hanging up behind you!!!!!! Your embroidery is so good I can see how some might think it was machined, but good you let her know!!!!! Glad you had a fun and safe trip!!!!

Quilter Kathy said...

Congratulations on having your wonderful quilts hanging in the show! Glad you could set everyone straight on your amazing hand embroidery!

quiltzyx said...

It's fun seeing the step-by-step of your Santa! And a good way to remind yourself too. I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Very cool looking plants you saw on your walk. I only took a few pics at Road to CA - my Coolpix did NOT like the inside lighting & there were just way too many people in the way. I posted those I did get over on FB. But we did have fun! And excitement too - there was wicked Santa Ana winds blowing like gangbusters!! When we were in the pavilion (tent) having lunch, we practically had to shout to hear each other. It had a steel frame, but the canvas (or whatever it was) flapped & the lights were swinging at least 12" in each direction! We heard later that they had some other food vendors on the other side of the building that had to pack up or blow away. Yikes! Barely a breeze at my house.

Michele said...

Thanks for the peaks and I'm so glad you were able to set the record straight!

Debbie said...

Too cute...Santa and cat....you are so willing to jump in and try these different techniques. I do admire that in you. And you are so often in the right place at the exact moment.....lol...bet her face turned gray when you spoke your piece!

LethargicLass said...

Just love the Santa! And what a gorgeous resort :) I am glad you set Miss-know-it-all straight lol!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The beginning pictures of Santa's face remind me of those 'Apple' faces from the 1970's.

Dana Gaffney said...

How wonderful that you were there to overhear the "expert" tell her friends about your quilt, I'll bet the friends talked about how wonderful you were later.

Dar said...

What a fun workshop you took. Your Santa is too cute. Your quilts and that woman standing in front of them were stunning. So glad the "resident quilter" set the expert straight about how the quilt was made. There is always one in the crowd that knows more than the maker about every quilt. That was a great looking venue to have a quilt show too.

Lou said...

Your santa looks great! He has SO much personality!!! So I will be waiting for a Smitty and Gracie real soon! Your quilts are beautiful and it sucks when the lighting isn't good enough to really show off the quilts! Glad you ahd a great time!

Diane Wild said...

Looks like a pretty fun time.

Brown Family said...

I guess it could be considered a compliment that your hand stitching is so smooth and even that it appears to be done by machine. However, I do think the callouses on your fingers tell the true story!