Last night, driving home from work, I had a sudden inspiration for a new Christmas tree garland. I'm sure I was inspired by all the knit garlands folks were posting but I haven't seen anything quite like this. It was super easy to make and looks fantastic (if I do say so myself). As always with my tutorials the photos are awful but I'm sure you can figure it out.
Start with 2 or 3 felted sweaters. I chose a bright red, a gray and white and a brown and mulitcolor. All are 100% wool and from the thrift store. The red one was full of moth holes but that's no problem for this project. To felt the sweaters toss them in your washing machine on hot with detergent and run an extra cycle. Dry in the dryer. The sweaters should be well shrunk and thick--they should not fray when you cut them.
Once your sweaters are ready, start cutting roundish
shapes ranging from 1.25 to about 3.5 inches in diameter. No need for a
template, egg shape, circle, oval, rounded square, all are fine. This
is a perfect tv watching activity.
Once you have a largish pile of round pieces of felt, move off the couch and too your sewing machine.
Use a ball point needle and set your sewing machine to make a long, straight stitch. You may also want to use a heavier thread although I used all purpose thread and it seems okay. Anyway, shove the first circle under the presser foot and sew through the middle.
As soon as the first circle is through, immediately push the next circle under the presser foot. Don't overlap them but try not to have any gap between the circles.
This is what the chain of circles should look like coming off the back of your machine. I got into a groove of grabbing the circles with my left hand and guiding them into the machine while guiding the stitch with my right hand. I never had to stop the machine. Try to vary the color and sizes to achieve a random look.
This is what a good section looks like. Note the approximate sizes of the circles and that they are closely butted together.
This section doesn't look so good--gaps are too big between circles. If this happens when you are sewing, back up the machine onto the previous circle and feed in the next circle more closely and then move on.
That's it! I made 13 YARDS of this in what felt like NO time at all. The sewing probably took 15 minutes total. The cutting perhaps 2 hours of tv time.
Don't forget to pack this with mothballs.
PS--we spent the entire evening decorating the tree so I am way behind on emails and listing on etsy. I plan to get to it all tomorrow :) Thanks for your votes on the holiday photo for the card--ya'll seem to agree with Mr. H.