The wonderful world of wool – by machine (part 2)

We’re back to explore more wool wonders! (See part 1 of our series here.)

The projects below are just right for that chilly season around the corner: winter. If you love the cozy look and feel of wool during the winter months but have yet to try sewing with it because of the handwork—or the cost—there’s an alternative to both.

Wool has a reputation for being hand-sew only. But in the book Blossoms in Winter, authors Patti Eaton and Pamela Mostek use wool felt instead of 100% wool. Why? Because it’s easily sewn by machine.

Projects from Blossoms in Winter
Left: “Warm Welcome Wreath” with wool-felt appliqués stitched by hand. Right: “Nuts and Berries” with wool-felt appliqués sewn by machine. Find instructions for both techniques in
Blossoms in Winter.

What’s the difference between wool and wool felt? Wool felt is a wool-rayon blend that contains anywhere from 20% to 70% wool—the thicker the fabric, the more wool it contains. Wool-felt fabrics are commonly found in quilt shops in a variety of rich colors, and they cost less than 100% wool.

Blowing in the Wind lap quilt
“Blowing in the Wind” lap quilt with wool-felt appliqués sewn by machine.

If you prefer to sew by hand but aren’t familiar with the blanket stitch—the most common stitch used for wool appliqué—you can download free instructions from our How to Quilt page. Just click on “Common Hand Embroidery Stitches.”

Projects from Blossoms in Winter
More winter-inspired projects from
Blossoms in Winter

Blossoms in WinterWool or wool felt? Hand or machine sew? You can create every project from Blossoms in Winter with either wool or wool felt. The choice is up to you!

See more from Blossoms in Winter >

Elegant Quilts, Country CharmWool + reproduction fabrics = elegance
Believe it or not, even beginners can create these antique-style beauties. Because wool has no edges to turn under—it doesn’t fray!—appliqué is a breeze. Browse the 11 quilt projects in Elegant Quilts, Country Charm by Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel. You’ll love the ingenious tip they share for bringing a stapler into your sewing room!

Which do you typically prefer—hand or machine sewing—or is there room in your creative life for both? Tell us in the comments!

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