Friday, August 26, 2016

Can Felt Be Ironed? Fact or Fiction?

This is absolute fact! Yes you can iron felt! I've heard over the years that felt that isn't 100% wool can't be ironed. Well let me smash that myth right now, ALL felt products can be ironed you just have to know which techniques to use for each type of felt.

I'm going to give you my 4 easy tips for ironing felt and how to iron the 3 most popular types of felt. 

 

Here's a little secret: Ironing felt is easier and faster than ironing fabric! Some people find ironing fabric to be soothing and calming, I do not. It's takes so long and I find it annoying, but felt is a dream to iron!
 

Tips For Ironing All Kinds Of Felt 


Step One: Use the right iron temperature for the right type of felt.

Step Two: Keep a dry dishtowel on hand.

Step Three: Always iron on an ironing board and not straight on a table, ( all I'll say is that there was scraping and scrubbing involved ) although a folded bath towel on a table works in a pinch.

Step Four: Don't get crazy if you still see a very light crease after all that ironing, because if you are stuffing that piece for a doll or an plush or an ornament the stretch of the stuffing will completely eliminate that little crease, cause that's how awesome felt is.


How to Iron Craft Store/Eco Felt Sheets


 I started out as most beginning crafters do buying the 9" x 12"  sheets of low grade craft felt from the craft store. It's cheap, comes in lots of bright colors and is easy to learn to work with. It's also 100% polyester and made from recycled water bottles, which means it's plastic and you can melt it with an iron, if you don't know what you are doing. 

Most of the time you buy this felt flat and then store it flat so no ironing is necessary but sometime pieces get rolled under and creased when you are shoving too much felt into a drawer...trust me I know of what I speak on the stuffing and shoving of supplies. 


See wrinkled felt and that's no fun!

Then you'll need to break out the iron.

While eco felt is the trickiest to iron because of the plastic nature of the product, a little care and the right iron temperature is all you need.

Turn your iron to the Poly setting with steam and move quickly across the felt ironing on both sides of the crease or wrinkle.

 For wrinkles in craft felt. My iron doesn't show that you can use steam on this Poly setting but you can and I do it all the time.

If the crease is very deep you'll have to get that dishtowel I told you about, place it over the felt and re-iron holding the iron in place longer. That dish towel will keep bad things from happening to the felt. Just don't leave it there for long periods of time or walk away or that felt and dish towel are goners.

Unless an elephant has been sitting on this felt, the crease or wrinkle will come out super easy and fast. I only ironed the worst side of this piece since it's just going back into an over stuffed drawer.


Look at that nice flat side. Ironed and ready to craft with!
 
A warning: the plastic fibers in this type of felt will melt a tiny bit when you iron it, which is perfectly fine and nothing to worry about. I actually prefer that little bit of melt because it makes cutting that type of felt less messy and makes the piece a tiny bit more durable.


How To Iron Premium Poly/Eco Felt


Premium poly felt is slightly thicker than craft felt, is available in more colors, is stronger and more durable, is softer and you can buy it by the yard or sheets. It's also made out of recycled water bottles but is a higher quality product than craft felt. It's a personal favorite of mine because of the softness.

Because you can buy this felt by the yard and storing it flat is next to impossible, at least in my studio, you will have deep creases and wrinkles no matter what. They are still softer creases than you get with wool blend felt though.



I once heard a crafter say to arrange your patterns around the creases and then throw that creased part away?! Girl Scout swear I read this on someone's blog once! Apparently an iron was an unknown appliance to them. I'm a penny pincher, frugal or just plain cheap but I will use every speck of felt I possibly can so I iron my felt.


For wrinkles and lighter creases on Poly felt. Use steam, it really helps and I use it on Poly setting all the time.

 
Again turn your iron to the Poly setting with steam and iron both sides with some pressure as if you were ironing cotton fabric, but keep that iron moving. 


 If the crease is deep and still visible and drives you nuts like it does me, you can bump up your iron to Blend setting still with steam and iron the crease again on both side with pressure being careful not to hold the iron on too long. A couple of passes with the iron on the felt should get rid of the crease.


 After ironing the Poly felt. So smooth and ready to go!


How To Iron Wool Blend Felt


Wool blend felt is pretty awesome and is so durable but not nearly as soft as the premium eco felt. It usually has a blend of rayon in it and is thicker than the premium felt, which means it cuts beautifully with nice sharp edges. It also comes in sheets and yards and at some point you will need to iron it. 



I'm not sure if wool blend felt doesn't wrinkle as easy as other felt or if I just store it flatter and with more care since it's so much more expensive than the other felt, but the creases are usually deeper than Craft and Poly felt and I don't see any wrinkles. I find it the easiest of all the felt to iron and the results are amazing!


Turn that iron on to Blend setting with steam if the crease is really light or Wool setting with steam for a deeper crease and give those creases a good couple of passes on both sides with a little pressure. I personally always use the Wool setting for my Wool Blend felt. It only takes a couple of seconds ( like 3 seconds ) and then you're done. 

I have an off brand digital iron I got at Aldi's in a pinch. If you have a super fancy ultra hot quilting iron then using that dishtowel on each type of felt might be a wise idea.

In case you were wonder what that blue thing I'm ironing on is, it's a small table top ironing board. It's for dorm rooms and I got it 50% off at Joann's last year. Love this thing!

Disclaimer: My tips are to be used as a general guide for ironing felt. I don't know your iron like you do, so practice on a scrap piece of felt if you don't feel confident at first and you'll soon be ironing felt like a pro!

So now that you know the 4 easy tips about ironing felt, get out there and iron and create something awesome!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Un-Fun Reason For My Blogging Absence

I've been having some health issues that have kept me from being my normal productive self.

I was back in the hospital in mid July with more heart issues and this time they sent me home with a 30 day heart monitor.


 I named him George, cause I figured he and I were on such intimate terms 24/7. It's not super fun having electrodes attached to your chest for 30 days.

I also had to take pills to raise my potassium because they thought my low levels might be the cause of some of my symptoms.

I also was given another medication that I had an extreme and scary adverse reaction to, that caused all kinds of problems and even after stopping that medication I still am not feeling quite myself. 

All of this has made me sluggish and slow and not feeling creative at all. I did take a custom order hoping it would kick start my creative juices again. The custom design is going well, if slowly but I'm not anywhere back to where i was.

That being said, I'm still here and trying to come up with some fun projects for you as soon as I feel a little more lighthearted. Thanks for sticking with me and I'll have more fun things to post soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Christmas In July Sale!

The month of July kind of got away from me, so I threw together a quick Christmas In July Sale.


Why Am I Having A Sale?


Well. I'm planning on re-organizing my studio soon and I need room! I have so much packed in bins that I feel like I'm working in a closet. 

I also have all these really amazing one of a kind pieces that need new homes. I'd keep everything that I made if I could, but I can't.


What Kinds Of Things Am I Selling?


All of my physical products are being sold. Any thing that can ship in a box is for sale. My digital patterns are not on this sale, but feel free to buy one if you like too.

Everything is made from my own patterns and all hand sewn except the mermaids which are machine sewn with hand embroidered details.

 Fairy Tale Felt Dolls.

 Raggedy Ann and Andy Felt Dolls.

Felt and Fabric Mermaid Dolls.

Day of The Dead Couple Soft Sculpture.


Plus a few more items. Since I turned my business into a pattern business I haven't had time to make these one of a kind pieces anymore. I really slashed the prices hoping they will find good homes. So if you've had your eye on something, now's the time to grab it!

Where Is My Website?


It's at www.sassypackratstudios.com and here's a link to take you right there! There is also FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING!

I hope you at least pop over and look. Thanks!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Finds: 6 Fun Sea Related Felt Products You'll Love



I found 6 really cute sea related things to share.


I'm currently working on an under the sea creature pattern so I though today's finds should be all sea related.I had a good time finding all of these to share with you and I hope you like them as much as I do.



This is just an adorable bunny pirate. The mustache cracks me up and the parrot is just too cute!


This shop has this sweet boat and fish mobile. This would be fun hanging anywhere in a home.



I thought this underwater pattern set was just the sweetest. It's not often that you see a merman.


This set of 9 fun under the sea creatures is so delightful and would be perfect for a mobile.



Such a simple yet unbelievably cute seal design. Those eyes just get you and you want to hugs this sweet thing!



3 beautifully made one of a kind mermaid dolls are available in my shop.

Friday, July 22, 2016

I Took A Field Trip To Benzie Design's New Brick And Mortar Felt Store.







Field Trips To Shops That Sell Felt Are My Favorite!


I geek out over felt and sometimes fabric like other women do over shoes or clothes. So when Benzie Design, who I ordered online from for about 2 years now, opened an actual walk in and touch everything store. I was in heaven and quickly made plans to go as soon as I could.

Tuesday my daughter and I took a field trip out to Plainfield, Illinois to check out Benzie Design's new shop. Although they have been open for a few weeks Tuesday July 19th was their Grand Opening. I had planned on going for the grand opening for weeks, but unexpectedly found myself in the ER on Saturday and then in the hospital until Monday night and thought I really wouldn't be able to go. But I pushed though it all determined to go and I did. I looked like hell and I was exhausted but nothing keeps me from felty goodness!

I live about 40 minutes away from Plainfield. It's close enough to take a trip once in a while,  but not close enough to drop in whenever I need felt, so my plan was to do some stock up shopping.

Plainfield is about an hour from Chicago and about 40 minutes from the South Suburbs of Flossmoor, Homewood, Olympia Fields, Matteson, Country Club Hills, Tinley Park, etc.

I don't drive on the highway anymore because I suffer from severe anxiety, but my daughter was kind enough to drive me there knowing how over the top excited I get about felt.

Benzie Design Is Located In A Really Cute Downtown Area Of Plainfield, Illinois.


Benzie Design is in a row of cute little shops right across from a little public park with a splash pad. There is also a decent Mexican Restaurant on the corner.

 
Getting there was really easy and I was so excited to get inside and and look around.

Renae Bradley, the owner of Benzie Design greeted and welcomed us. I told her I was a newsletter subscriber and a member of her Facebook Group and she remembered some of my art and patterns I posted there. We had a nice little chat as she showed me around her cute shop.

Benzie Design Is A Well Laid Out Shop.


As an artist I'm a very visual person and I was so excited to see all the bright colorful felt and other items in the shop displayed in such a logical and fun way. The shop's products are organized in ways that make it easy to find what you want.





My daughter who says she isn't crafty at all, was quite taken with the felt flowers. She's getting married next year and I've been trying to get her to consider a felt flower bouquet. She really did like these and may now be considering felt flowers.


I thought it was so fun that you could mix and match a felt flower bouquet of already made flowers. I wish I had done that, but I will next trip.

My Favorite Display In The Shop Was This One.



 All the colorful felt pom poms in the glass candy jars reminded me of a candy shop and the poms here came in 3 different sizes and so many awesome colors.

Below that the shelves hold 10 sheet collections all tied and ready to entice you with their luscious colors. Then further down there were 1/2 yard and 1 yard cuts of beautiful, wonderful felt. I had colors in mind that I needed but there was so much more that I wanted!

My Second Favorite Display Was This One.



 This hutch was packed full of happy felt goodness. It had 12" x 18" felt sheets, wool roving, kits, books and some client work for sale. Oh and I believe there were some more felt pom poms in the 3 three drawers.


 There was also a "Guess how many pom poms are in this jar" contest too. My daughter and I went back and forth until we agreed on a number and entered the contest.


 To the right of this hutch there was a display of client felt art: pendants, dolls, hoop art and a feather mobile. I'm sure I'm missing some, but you'll have to stop in and see for yourself.

Of Course There Were Bolts Of Felt All Stacked Up And Calling My Name.




I seriously wanted to buy yards of felt in every color, but my budget was yelling "Oh no you don't!" So I didn't, but I will be back to buy more.

Take a look at this lovely ombre chandelier made from felt that is hanging from the ceiling. It is a real showpiece

On the table there was a diy set up to make your own felt pinwheels. If I wasn't so overwhelmed by all the felt I totally would have made one.

You Can't Have A Grand Opening Without Cupcakes!


  
There was an adorable cupcake and lemonade stand. Honestly, those cupcakes were delicious! I'm an absolute sucker for a good cupcake. I had 2. My daughter only had one and regretted she didn't take another one. There were cups of lemonade too but we had a long drive back so decided not to have any.


And finally even more awesome felt and a smiling Renae and her assistant Courtnye.


I Did Something So Stupid!


I was so overwhelmed by all the felty goodness, getting to touch the felt and physically match colors that I paid for my felt and left...without taking any photos!!!!!

We were walking back to the car when I realized I came all this way and now I couldn't write a blog post about the trip. So I asked my daughter if she'd be embarrassed if we went back in and asked if I could take photos. She said, of course not we came all this way lets do everything you wanted to do. Have I mentioned how much I love my daughter?! She's so awesome!

Renae was very accommodating and even took a photo with me. 

 

So I Know You Want To See My Felt Haul From Benzie Designs.


I seriously could have spent hundreds of dollars in Benzie Design, but I only did a small stock up of some colors I've been wanting. I usually buy felt by the yard but am running out of storage space in my studio, so I bought smaller amounts this time.


I was given a sweet freebie of 2 note cards with felt heart accents. I just love little things like that, although I tend to keep them rather then send them to anyone.

I bought 6 1/2 yard sheets of the colors I use most in my poly felt since I'm transitioning over to wool blend felt.


Benzie has so many awesome color collections! There were so many color collections that I loved I had a really hard time picking just 2. Glitter and Glass is the top one and has a lovely vintage Christmas vibe. The bottom one I think is Mermaid Lagoon and I just loved the color combo.


 I also picked up some 12" x 18" felt sheets of fun underwater type greens and a Caucasian flesh tone felt.


I got one last fun freebie since I'm a newsletter subscriber. A super cute and colorful garland kit. I'm going to make this and hang it in my studio.

I really enjoyed the field trip to Benzie Design and will go again soon. I wish Renae much luck with her brick and mortar business venture!

If you are in the Chicagoland area and use felt in your art, craft with felt and just love felt I encourage you to take the time and make the trip to Benzie Design.

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