After much procrastination, thinking, planning, re-considering and getting to the point where I absolutely had to get moving with it, I have made a start on the baby blanket for my niece or nephew due very soon! Nothing like leaving something to the last minute!

I had decided a while ago that I would do ‘something’ with sheep. Why? I hear you ask! Firstly, my brother and his wife are farmers, and maybe more importantly for me, I have blanket backing fabric with sheep on it! It seemed like the logical choice!

The first hurdle I had to jump was to actually find the blanketing! A few months ago I went through a ‘tidy up ‘ phase and put everything away in what at the time felt like sensible locations. After climbing to to the top of cupboards and emptying out the entire contents of more than one, and then going back to the first bag I took out of the cupboard, I finally found the wool blanketing! Am I the only one who puts things away in these really  sensible, safe, places? So that resulted in a mess to tidy up!

Once the required fabric had been located, it was time to transfer the design. For this, I used solvy, a water soluble material, which feels a lot like interfacing. I know some people love it, and others won’t go near it, so this could open up some debate! However, when transferring onto blanketing, I find this the easiest, most accurate method for me. I don’t tend to use it for anything else except wool blanketing! I know another method that is commonly used when using a fabric such as blanketing is to tack it into place. This probably would have been a good simple design to try that method, but anyway! As you need to drench the completed work in water to remove the solvy, you need to be very confident that your produced products are washable, but as its a baby blanket, my theory is it will likely have far worse than a lot of water on it!

transfer process

To position the design, I found the centre by tacking the centre in both directions. I then used this as a guide to find the bottom one third of the design, with the centre tacking line used to centre the middle of the three sheep.

Once I had tacked on the design and removed the centre lines, it was time to choose colours! I was hoping my stash would have comprised of some pale pink felt for their faces, but I had to settle with light brown since the other option was purple! I had initially thought the ‘daddy’ sheep would have a darker coloured face, but the felt I had just wasn’t quite the right colour for this. So they will all have the same coloured faces!

colour choices.jpg

Now sheep obviously come in a few different colours, and whether it’s because I grew up with ‘white’ sheep, or because I knew those were the colours I have more of, I have opted for mainly white sheep, with a bit of brown thrown in. The lambs will be more white, and the daddy will be more brown. I’m quite happy with these colours, I just hope I get it right when I stitch it in! I also have a feeling I will run out of at least one colour, so a last minute order might be coming up!

final colour choices

I’m still thinking and playing around with what will surround the sheep. At first I was thinking grass and maybe some bees. However as the likelihood of the little one being born before this is all finished is high, I might just add in some flowers and a butterfly too, if its a girl.

And now I just have to start! I have opted to use fusible web for the faces, which will be the fist step, and then lots of French knots! Nice evening, relaxing embroidery. Unless I mess up the colours!

I’d love to know what you think of using solvy to transfer designs – it could become heated, but its always good to know others experiences!

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