I have recently started using vegan friendly felt in my products, and when Chloë told me that you can buy vegan friendly felt made from recycled bottles, I knew I had to try it for this tutorial. I was really surprised by the choice in colours – they are so vibrant! To showcase these colours, I took inspiration from the prints and patterns of the 60’s and 70’s to create a retro floral felt hoop. It will take a bit of time to stitch, but the overall effect of the colours and layered circles is worth the effort. You can speed things up a bit by cutting the circles on a die cutter if you have one.
- Eco-fi Kunin Rainbow Classic felt in gold, orange, fuchsia and purple
- DMC embroidery floss in 742 (matches gold), 721 (matches orange) and 917 (matches fuchsia)
- Paper scissors
- Fabric scissors
- Lots of pins
- A needle
- 23cm (8”) embroidery hoop
- Water-based paint (optional – I used a tester pot of ‘Cherry Fizz’ from Wilko, as their own brand paint is vegan friendly)
Using the templates provided, cut out 20 large circles, 16 medium circles and 16 small circles of felt. Cut the piece of felt that you are using for the background into a 23 x 23cm (9 x 9”) square. Cut 4 of the large circles in half, leaving the rest whole.
Place the large circles on top of the background piece in a 4 x 4 square as shown in the photo. It’s helpful at this point to place your embroidery hoop over the top, just to check positioning! Add the semicircles as shown, again checking the positioning before pinning in place.
Attach each circle to the background piece using back stitch. Make your first small stitch in the felt. Then bring the needle up through the felt again to one side, about the same distance away from that stitch. Make the second stitch by putting the needle back through the felt where the first stitch ended. Repeat until the circle is attached – you’ll end up with a continuous line around the circle.
Repeat this process with the medium size and small size circles. I found it easier to stitch all of the medium circles first and then the small ones, just to save swapping thread colours all the time! Take your time getting the circles in the right place before pinning. You might find it easier to hold the small ones with your thumb in order to stitch, if the pin gets in the way.
Once all of the pieces are in place, it’s time to put it in your hoop! I like to add an extra pop of colour by painting the hoop beforehand, but you don’t have to. Take out the inner ring of the hoop and place the felt on top. Make sure you have undone the hoop screw as much as you can (without it falling out!) and then place the outer ring over the top. You might need to take it off to reposition if required. Turn the hoop over, draw around the top edge of the inner circle and take it out again. Very VERY carefully cut it out – always err on the side of caution and go bigger rather than smaller! Pop it back in the hoop, and then use a screwdriver to tighten it.
Ta-dah! Your hoop is ready to display.