Hand-stitch the first blooms of spring from easy-to-work-with wool.

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Designer: Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings

Materials

• 7-4×7" rectangles of textured felted wools in red, salmon, burgundy, pink, purple, mauve, and gray (pennies)

• 10" square of black felted wool (pennies)

• 6" square of green felted wool (leaf appliqués)

• 7-3" squares of solid felted wools in red, salmon, burgundy, pink, purple, mauve, and cream (flower appliqués)

• Perle cotton No. 12: green, black

• Embroidery floss: green and colors to match flower appliqués

• Lightweight fusible web

• Chalk pen or pencil: white

• Seam sealant (such as Fray Check)

Finished table mat: 8-1⁄4" diameter at widest point

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for patterns.

To felt your own wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent. Machine-dry it on high heat and steam-press. To use fusible web for cutting circles and appliqué shapes, complete the following steps.

1. To cut A circles, lay fusible web, paper side up, over Pattern A. Trace pattern seven times, leaving 1⁄4" between tracings. Cut out each fusible-web circle roughly 1⁄8" outside traced lines.

2. Press each textured wool 4×7" rectangle in half to create two 4×3-1⁄2" sections; unfold. Following manufacturer's instructions, press a fusible-web A circle to one section of each textured wool 4×7" rectangle; let cool. Cut out wool A circles on drawn lines. Do not peel off paper backings. Reserve remaining textured wool sections to make matching penny backings.

3. To cut appliqué pieces B–D, lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns. Trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1⁄4" between tracings. Cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1⁄8" outside traced lines. Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto designated wools; let cool. Cut out wool shapes on drawn lines. Peel off paper backings.

From each textured wool, cut:

• 1 of Pattern A

From black wool, cut:

• 7 of Pattern B

From green wool, cut:

• 14 of Pattern C

From each solid wool, cut:

• 6 of Pattern D

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Appliqué and Embellish Pennies

1. Center a black wool B circle atop a textured wool A circle. Fuse B circle in place to make a penny foundation.

2. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, use a white chalk pen to draw a curved stem on penny foundation. Position two green wool C leaves along stem, then arrange six matching wool D flowers at top of stem; keep appliqués at least 1⁄4" away from edges of black wool B circle. Fuse appliqués in place. If you used a steam iron and the stem has disappeared, redraw it (it was necessary for placement of flowers and leaves).

3. Using green perle cotton, stem-stitch along marked stem line. To stem-stitch, pull needle up at A (Stem Stitch Diagram). Insert needle back into fabric at B, 1⁄4" away from A. Holding floss out of the way, bring needle back up at C and pull floss through so it lies flat against fabric. Pull gently with equal tautness after each stitch.

4. Using one strand of green embroidery floss, tack-stitch around each C leaf. To tack-stitch, bring needle up at A; push it down at B (Tack Stitch Diagram). Pull needle up at C and continue in same manner around appliqué shape.

5. Using one strand of matching embroidery floss, make four tack stitches on each D flower. Begin each stitch on outer edge between two petals, and end each stitch in flower center (Diagram 1).

6. Using two strands of matching embroidery floss, stitch a French knot at center of each D flower. To make a French knot, refer to French Knot Diagram and pull needle up at A (the intersection of tack stitches). Wrap floss around needle two or three times without twisting it. Insert tip of needle into fabric at B, about 1⁄16" from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through fabric slowly and smoothly.

7. Using black perle cotton, blanket-stitch around black wool B circle to make an appliquéd penny. To blanket-stitch, pull needle up at A (Blanket Stitch Diagram). Form a reverse L shape with thread, and hold angle of L shape in place with your thumb. Push needle down at B and come up at C to secure stitch. Continue in same manner around entire shape.

8. Repeat steps 1–7 to make seven appliquéd pennies total.

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Assemble Penny Units

1. Remove fusible-web paper from wrong side of an appliquéd penny A circle. Fuse appliquéd penny to reserved matching textured wool section. Trim textured wool along edge of appliquéd penny to make penny backing (Diagram 2). Apply seam sealant to outer edges of appliquéd penny and penny backing.

2. Using black perle cotton, blanket-stitch around appliquéd penny and penny backing through both layers to make a penny unit (see photo).

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make seven penny units total.

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Finish Table Mat

1. Referring to Diagram 3, arrange six penny units in a circle; place remaining penny unit in center of circle. Using a white chalk pencil, mark dots on penny unit edges where they touch other penny units.

2. Flip one penny unit atop an adjacent penny unit, aligning dots on edges. Using black perle cotton, tack-stitch penny units together at marked dots. (Designer Lisa Bongean hides the thread tails inside the textured wool layers.) Repeat to join remaining penny units at each marked dot.

3. Using a pressing cloth, steam-press joined penny units to complete table mat.

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