Table of Contents
- Sketching a strawberry sewing pattern by hand
- Creating seeds for the felt strawberry using heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
- Using the strawberry pattern to cut out the felt strawberry
- Embellishing your felt strawberry using heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
- Making green petals to top off the felt strawberry
- Incorporating tactile play in felt strawberries using eyelets, beads, hooks and yarn
- Sewing and adding volume to the felt strawberry
- Giving your felt strawberry a neat and tidy finish
Do you want to make a felt strawberry for your quiet book but have no idea where to start? I was in the same boat as you until I decided to go ahead and create the strawberry pattern myself.
I realised that making a felt strawberry from a homemade pattern is very easy. And if you follow these simple steps, you too will be able to make one in no time at all.
The main supplies you need are:
- Paper and pencil for the pattern
- Wool mix craft felt in red and green colours
- Fusible interfacing
- Polyester filling
- A small piece of white heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
- Two little green eyelets and an eyelet setter
- A small green bead
- A piece of green wool yarn
Now let me show you how I made the felt strawberry for my quiet book page.
Sketching a strawberry sewing pattern by hand
I started off by hand-drawing a rough strawberry sewing pattern on a piece of paper. I made sure that the strawberry is symmetrical by folding the paper down the middle and then cutting out the strawberry using a pair of sharp scissors.
Creating seeds for the felt strawberry using heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
Next, I took a small piece of white heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and a colouring pencil. I used blue colour but literally any coloured pencil will do. Now, if you don’t know this already, it is incredibly hard to tell which side is which on white HTV after you cut it out.
So before cutting out the strawberry seeds, I lightly coloured the wrong side of the white HTV with my blue pencil. After this, I cut out tiny seeds using my small sharp pair of scissors.
Using the strawberry pattern to cut out the felt strawberry
I used the strawberry pattern cut out as a template to trace around the back of some fusible interfacing. Then I took a piece of soft red 30% wool felt and pressed the fusible interfacing on one side of it using a hot iron.
I then cut around it to reveal a felt strawberry shape.
Embellishing your felt strawberry using heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
I preheated my heat press and placed this felt strawberry cut out under the heating plate. Next, I arranged the white HTV seeds on the felt strawberry.
Hint: use tweezers to arrange the tiny seeds in position.
I made sure that the blue side of the HTV is facing up and then I pressed everything at 160 degrees for 15 seconds. Finally, I peeled off the blue tops to reveal perfect little white strawberry seeds.
Making green petals to top off the felt strawberry
I drew a simple five-petal pattern on a piece of paper and cut it out. It was not at all symmetrical; in fact the top petal is shorter and fatter than the others but it doesn’t matter.
I stuck this template on to a piece of stiffened green felt using cello tape. Now I cut out this piece of felt and placed tiny dots of fabric glue on one side. I stuck this on to a second piece of stiffened green felt.
Next, I took this entire thing to my sewing machine and very carefully sewed all around the petals using the smallest straight stitch. Finally I cut out the lower felt layer to reveal the petals for the felt strawberry.
Incorporating tactile play in felt strawberries using eyelets, beads, hooks and yarn
If your felt strawberry is inside a quiet book, you will need to make it fun for a toddler to interact and play with. Here is how I made my felt strawberry ripe for tactile play.
Sewing on a hook
I wanted to create a plush felt strawberry that can be removed from the quiet book page. So I hand-sewed a small hook to the page using green thread.
Tip: to make sure that the baby does not pull the hook off, I reinforced the wrong side of the hook with a small plastic button.
Installing the eyelets
I wanted the strawberry and its green petals to have a little 3D stem. To do this, I needed to install an eyelet through both the felt strawberry and the green petals. I used my spring-loaded hammer punch to install little green eyelets in both.
Making the little hanging stem
I made the strawberry’s stem using some green wool yarn. I measured three strands of yarn about 8 inches long and knotted these at one end. Next I hung them on a window’s handle and plaited them to create a length of sturdy plaited ‘stem’ for the strawberry.
The bead and eyelets
Before passing the yarn through the eyelets, I threaded a large-eyed green bead through the stem. This would stop the yarn from slipping out through the eyelets. Now I doubled the yarn plait on to itself and passed the ends through the eyelet holes in the petals and the felt strawberry.
To make this easier, I wrapped the ends of the yarn plait in some cello tape. This gave me a pointy end of yarn that passed easily through the eyelets. Finally, I tied the ends of the plait into a strong knot on the wrong side of the felt strawberry cut out.
Sewing and adding volume to the felt strawberry
Now I took another piece of fuzzy red felt, slightly larger than the strawberry cut out, and fused a piece of interfacing on to it. I placed my embellished strawberry wrong sides together on top and started stitching along the edge using a straight stitch.
Once the strawberry was stitched halfway through, I took some polyester filling and stuffed it inside its belly. I used the back end of a paint brush to help me do this. Now, slowly and carefully, I sewed the felt strawberry closed.
Tip: it helps to use the pointy end of a thin sharp instrument like a seam-ripper to hold the fabric in place before passing it under the sewing machine needle.
And finally, I trimmed all the way around the edges to reveal my stuffed strawberry.
Giving your felt strawberry a neat and tidy finish
One thing that I have learnt over these past five years of making quiet books is this: how carefully you finish your craftwork reflects a lot upon how well your quiet book will turn out. So I always make sure to pass the extra lengths of stitching thread to the back of the project with a needle.
I diligently knot the thread ends and, where possible, hide the extra lengths under the fabric. And this is precisely what I did with this strawberry too. I also ironed the edges of the strawberry to give it a neat finish. Want to see how I made the rest of this S-is-for-strawberry page? Click here to find out.
And there you have it ─ a step-by-step on how to make a felt strawberry for your next quiet book! It is easier than you think and it helps you practise a number of different crafting skills. So go ahead and give it a go.