Sewing instructions for the wool panel in the fireplace screen.

Sewing instructions for the wool panel in the fireplace screen project featured in issue 130 of WOOD magazine.

All of the amounts given are amounts necessary prior to felting the wool.

  • 1-14 yards Navy Blue
  • 18 yard Light Gold
  • 18 yard Dark Green
  • 18 yard Light Green
  • 1-12 yards Woven Fusible Interfacing Scraps of Rust, Caramel, Pumpkin, Peach, Gold, Medium Blue and Red
  • 34 yards Cotton Backing Fabric
  • 3 skeins DMC #612
  • 3 skeins DMC—a green compatible with your green wool
  • 1-12 yards Heat N Bond Lite Template Plastic

I used mainly wools that I overdyed with Cushing dyes. You can do the same or perhaps you can find shades that you like without overdying.

Amounts given for the floss are approximate. Amounts can vary greatly according to your stitch size.

  1. Before using any of your wool, wash it in hot water and rinse in cold in your washing machine. The agitation and the change in temperature will felt the wool nicely. You can just throw it in the dryer to dry. During this process you will loose about 13 of the size of the wool to shrinkage.
  2. Trace the pattern pieces onto the template plastic and cut them out. You only need to make one template of each letter marked on the drawing.
  3. Choose the templates that you need for each color wool that you are using and trace those pieces onto the paper backing of the Heat N Bond. Trace each color into a group on the fusible so that when you cut these groups apart you can iron them to the back of each color of wool. When you trace the birds, be sure to trace one with the templates right side up and one using the reverse of the template. Do the same for the basket pieces.
  4. Using a steam iron, follow the direction on the back of the Heat N Bond to fuse to the back of the wool pieces, then cut out all the pieces.
  5. Trim your navy wool to a piece about 28" by 33".
  6. Peel the paper backing off the back of the fusible web and lay out the penny rug on your navy wool. Once you have it all placed so that it is centered and you like the arrangement, steam press the wool into place. This takes approximately 12 to 15 seconds to fuse through the wool. Only fuse one layer at a time starting with the bottom layer. If you try to fuse all layers at once, it will not fuse very well and your pieces will come off as you are stitching.
  7. Once everything is fused in place, stitch them down using a blanket stitch and 3 strands of floss. I used the tan for everything except the green. There I used the green floss. I start stitching with the pieces around the outside edge. Then there isn't the problem of bunching up unstitched pieces in your hand running the risk of perhaps pulling something loose.
  8. Once everything is stitched in place, press your interfacing to the back of the navy wool. This helps give the piece stability so the wool won't stretch. You want a nice snug fit on the firescreen and you want it to stay that way.
  9. Trim the navy wool to 24-14 " by 31". Be as accurate as possible.
  10. Cut your backing fabric to 22-14 " by 31". This is cut smaller, because you want the wool to fold to the back on the top and bottom edge of the firescreen so that the backing fabric doesn't show from the front.
  11. With right sides together, sew the backing fabric to the top edge first and press the seam with the navy wool going towards the backing fabric. Sew the bottom edge and press the same way. Both of the seams should be 14 " seams.
  12. While the piece is still inside out, pin the backing to the wool, centering it. When it lays completely flat (wool side down), you should be able to see about 12 " of the navy wool at the top and bottom of the piece. Pin together well so the cotton can't creep on the wool as you sew it. This seam is a 12 " seam. Sew down this side leaving about 34 " unstitched at the top and bottom so there is a slot for the rod to go through. Reinforce the beginning and the end of the stitching so it can't undo.
  13. Turn the piece right side out. Press well. Along the unstitched edge, press the 12 " seam in on the wool first. Then you can press in the seam on the backing, folding in slightly more than ½". That way the backing will not show on the front side. Hand stitch this seam closed but be sure to leave about 3-34 "at the top and the bottom for the rod. Press well.

Your finished piece should measure 22-34 " x 29-78 ".

Bears Paw Designs Jill Kemp PO Box 839 Westfield Center, OH 44251