A Hill For Brigid

I am a sucker for a good seasonal centerpiece, and I don’t quite trust my toddler with our St. Brigid, so I decided to make a little display for her. It was a partial disaster (three words: needle felted sheep. Five more words: looks like a polar bear), but I still like it so I’ll share my results.

I started by following Sam’s tutorial:

 

I still haven’t gotten around to buying a wood burner. With all the peg people and bendy gnomes in my life, you’d think I could make a trip to the craft store. Perhaps someday. I had a mild panic attack when I decided to throw caution to the wind and use various markers and pens to make Brigid’s eyes, even though I knew, I knew, that they would all run. Surprise, surprise, that’s exactly what happened. I’d put down two dots, they would run, I would grumble, rotate her head a quarter turn, repeat, repeat. Brigid had six eyes before I decided to dip a very sharp pencil into black acrylic paint. Success! I just hope no one ever peers too closely under her hair, because it is terrifying.

On to the display. I wanted to make a little hill for Brigid. I cut out a pair of sort of organically-shaped felt ovals (I totally messed up here, and I’ll tell you why in a bit). Then I sewed loops around Brigid’s feet (not actually permanently attaching her, just tacking her into place) in leftover brown embroidery floss, connecting her to the felt. I bent the base of the crook ninety degrees, cut a teeny slit through the felt, and then worked the crook base through the hole. I made a tiny stitch through her sleeve and then looped thread around her crook.  I kind of had to fidget a little, but I was able to get Brigid to stand. At this point, she sort of looked like she’d been to a rave. I made a mental note to re-glue her hair after I’d finished.

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That looks hilly, right?

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I just made two loops around each foot.



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Ignore the paint on my fingers.



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The bend allowed the crook to stand.



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I just made a little stitch to connect Brigid to her crook.

Next, I blanket stitched the two felt hill pieces together, stuffing them with wool batting when I was about three-quarters of the way done (you can also throw in a baggy of rice or beans to give it some weight, if you choose). I had to use a contrasting green thread, which I wasn’t thrilled with, but hey, Ireland is the land of forty shades of green, and I live in the land of arctic-weather-prevents-trips-to-Michael’s, so I went with it.

This is where I messed up. I’ve made a few felt toys with blanket stitches, but these were all meant to have fronts and backs. This time, I wanted a hill with a flat bottom. Because I cut them to be the same size, I got a green blobby UFO instead of a hill. Whoops. It was an easy fix, though. I cut a slit down the middle of one side, pinned a seam with a half inch overlap, and stitched it up. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. If you decide to make a little hill for Brigid, make the base the same shape as your hill, but at least a half inch smaller all the way around. You should cut concentric -not identical- ovals.

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Whoops.



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It’s an ugly but effective fix.

I was almost finished, but I decided to give my display a little more heft by attaching it to the wood trunk cross section we keep our meal candle and verse on. It looked a little lonely on the bare wood, so I sewed it to a flat sheet of felt, glued the felt onto the wood, and then trimmed the felt to the wood’s shape. I figure when I want bare wood again, I can just flip it over, and now I have a grass-colored base for future scenes.

Next, I sort of loosely followed this tutorial to make a little candle holder. I left out the mini vases because the only things that grow in Iowa this time of year are frost and articles about the caucus, but I love the way the yellow flowers look. If you live in a place where flowers in January are actually possible, you should make this happen. I went with four candles to represent the seasons, and I used white candles with a green base as a sort of visual reference to snowdrops.

Then I got cocky and decided to needle felt a sheep. Guys, I don’t know what went wrong. Maybe it’s the too-big ears, maybe it’s the fact that I’m not used to felting something so small, maybe I would have been better off using curly roving, but the thing I made last night does not look like a sheep. Remember how on Lost there was a polar bear on the island? Well, apparently his brother made it to the Emerald Isle. I thought to myself, “Well, he’s kind of cute, and what does a toddler know? He’ll think it’s a sheep; it doesn’t have to be perfect.” And then Ben woke up this morning, saw our centerpiece, and said “Look! A polar bear!” and broke his mother’s heart. Also, because I used contrasting felt on the hill and the wood (I was trying to make the thread choice look more deliberate), the hill looks a little like a partially-submerged turtle shell, which the kid picked up on right away. I have clearly not told him enough Brigid stories because he spent the morning weaving grand tales about a little girl and her polar bear who go on adventures on the back of a turtle. I’m pretty okay with this. It may not do my crafting skills much credit but at least I’m raising imaginative children, right?

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All done! It’s okay enough!

So please, someone with more skills and matching felt/thread than I, try this out. And then share pictures on Instagram or Facebook group!

Have you been by the new Happy Hedgehog Post store yet?
The February envelope is now for sale, and we have a few cute spring kits your kids will love!

 

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One thought on “A Hill For Brigid

  1. Pingback: St. Brigid Gets a Makeover | Happy Hedgehog Post

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