A Pretty Felt Playhouse - Part One

OK.  It is the Thursday before Christmas!  A few weeks ago my daughter showed me a picture of a playhouse made from felt.  It fit over a card table.  Very cute and felt is easy to work with. So I planned one for the girls for Christmas.  When I showed my drawings with the measurements  to Andrea she said it looked great but asked if I could make it larger to fit over her dining room table.  Then all three girls could fit inside at the same time.  So when felt was on sale for half price we bought lots of it to make a pretty pink playhouse.  It is now the Thursday before Christmas and although I have all the pieces cut out only two sides are finished.  They look like this:


It is a fun project though and I will share the outline designs for the pieces I made along with the basics of what I did.

What you need for the side walls:

Heat and Bond Ultra

Embroidery thread

Bobbin thread

Sewing thread

Felt from the bolt

1.  Light pink for the Walls:  Measure the table sides  and from the very top to the bottom  Add 2 inches to the height and width for double seams for the four walls (ours was 56"X 56" X36" tall- yes, she has one of those bar stool style tall ones -  so my pieces were 58"wide  X 38" tall for each of the four walls.) 

2.  White for the window:  Decide how much of the wall should be window - use a little less than half the width of the wall.  (I made mine 26" wide x 14" tall.)

3.  Brown for the flower boxes:  These should be the same width as the window and less than half as high as the window height. (mine were 26" x 6".)

4.  Various colors for the flowers, butterflies, birds and birdhouse:  We used some scraps and bought some felt squares for these.

You can download the outline designs here.

 What you do:

1.  Cut the rectangles out of the center of the white felt rectangles for your windows.   Cut strips of Heat and Bond Ultra to fit the window frame and iron them on.  Let cool and remove paper.

2.  Cut a couple strip of Heat and Bond Ultra the length of your window box and iron them on.  Let cool and remove paper.

3.  Position the window frame and flower box on the side of the playhouse as desired.  Pin in place.  Iron in place per the Heat and Bond instructions.  Then sew around all the edges.

4. Embroider a bunch of the daisies:  Hoop felt squares (I did not use any stabilizer on these.)  Embroider the first three thread colors using the same color thread.  Now put a small square of felt on top of the center circle and embroider the last color to match that square of felt.  Remove from the hoop and cut around the small circle and the daisy.

5.  Iron small squares of Heat and Bond Ultra onto the back side of the daisy centers.  Let cool and remove the paper.  Position the daisies on the window box and iron per the Heat and Bond Ultra instructions.  Sew an X in the center of each daisy using coordinating thread.

6.  Embroider the butterflies the same way as the daisies.  Cut narrow rectangles of Heat and Bond and adhere the butterflies as desired.  Sew down the middle with coordinating thread.

7.  Embroider the birdhouse and bird. Cut a post for the birdhouse from leftover brown felt.  Cut and adhere with Heat and Bond.  Sew around the edges.  (I did not want to sew around the bird so I cut the Heat and Bond Ultra to the exact size and made sure it was well adhered).

Note:  I guess you could cut exact shapes of Heat N Bond and do a no-sew version.  Or if you are making a smaller version you could just sew without the Heat and Bond but it sure helped keep the pieces in place on the large walls while I sewed.

The back wall will have an apple tree and a little rabbit and the front has the door and mailbox plus a couple other design elements.  I will show you the finished playhouse and give you the designs for these next time.  It has been a fun project so far and if deadline stress doesn't take over I will enjoy the project.  The first two walls did not take much time so I am confident I can finish this by tomorrow with a day to spare before Christmas.

Part two is here.

Happy Holidays to every one of you,

Take care,


Comments (3) -

What a cute idea!  I think my Granddaughter would like this too.

What an awesome idea to fit it over an existing table!

It would be great to put a big piece of velcro on the flower bed and velcro on the flowers, so the girls can change them when they want.

So adorable, I'm sure they loved it!

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Still another Stash - And I am proud of it!

Still another Stash - And I am proud of it!

I have never thought of myself as a collector of any sort.  I never collected stamps or coins (unless you count the jug of pennies that I used to keep) or anything of value, limited or otherwise.

However, embroidery changes your life in so many ways.  If you did not catch my last blog on your stash of sewing/embroidery machines, you really need to read it.  What you really need to do is read and tell the AnnTheGran Community about your machines, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Don't forget to include the one that was your grandmother's or came into your world in a special way.  I loved reading the stories - if you need a machine, I know someone who might (not!) trade theirs for 3 hogs. . . . (kjmangan would never part with that machine!!)

When you share your stories of your embroidery, we all enjoy reading them.  No one cares about your grammar or spelling, we just love to hear about you and your adventure in embroidery. I love to share my experiences, I am not an expert, I am an avid embroiderer.  I hope you enjoy reading about my world as much as I look forward to telling you about it.

This collection I am referring to is my designs.  I must say that I have a great admiration for beautiful digitizing, wonderful designs and terrific colorings of the designs I have.  These designs are to me what stamps are to a philatelist, pure delight and joy.  I don't care if anyone else has one like it, mine are - well, mine. 

They all have personalities of their own.   They all speak to me in different ways.  They all have a story to tell.  They are as unique as my three children.  They are as individual as every sunrise.  Most of them were bought with a plan in mind but they all have a character to be appreciated.

If I did not use my CatalogXpress to keep the designs in an orderly manner, I would not be able to find what I am looking for at a moment's notice.  Over the weekend, my sister was in town from Phoenix and she wanted to see some humming bird designs for pictures for her kitchen.  I know I have lots of them, but putting them together (if not for CatX) would have been a nightmare.

Additionally, my alter-ego, TheComputerist, wrote some very good instructions about the features of CatX that you will want to check out.  That same link gives you recaps of both CatX and AlphabetXpress, the other excellent software from AnnTheGran.  For so many of your embroidery needs, these are the best on the market and frankly, well priced.  Keep in mind that doing software that is this specific is really labor intensive and always in need of updating.  Both of these are well respected.

Not only did I catalog the butterflies in CatX by the name, but when you utilize the multiple methods of Naming Categories, you will be able to find anything you have in your arsenal. 

I do review and look at my designs by the categories so that my ideas will flow and when they are linked in multiple facets in the design.  Here is an example of how:


Embroidery Designs Winter 


This design has so many items that I might want to consider for a project. I will look over the pattern and place the ‘data' (remember, Catalog Xpress does not hold the design, it holds the information about the design) in several places. Let me list a few here, some are obvious, but some may be just a little covert:

  • Snow
  • Sled
  • Fence
  • Winter
  • Pine tree
  • Birds (there are 2)
  • Rabbit (do you see it?)

Here are some that are more subtle:

  • Child (cool on a backpack)
  • Seasons (a possible set of 4 designs)
  • Animals (general)
  • Multiple Sizes (I have this design in 3 sizes)

To take the design relationship idea further, if I have a friend with a birthday who just loves rabbits, I can call up the rabbit designs and find one that is just perfect for that event.  As you know, many designs are named by a numbering system which does not help an embroiderer at all.  I have renamed some of my designs but then I could never be sure where I got them from when I wanted to revisit that design site.  I just could not win without a way to sort them.

I also purchase packets of designs for the reasons above reasons.  If I want a gift for a bride, using 2 or 3 designs of Humming Birds on 2 or 3 dish towels will make a wonderful gift.  I got this set -  for 50% off from Morango - just $1.20 per design! (sale is my favorite concept).




 As usual, I created my own colors to suite my needs.  The photo of my sew out does not do justice to the design.  The details have the appearance of feathers - what a concept! Wink

I love looking at my designs.  I could spend hours just looking at them.  I enjoy the colors, techniques and exquisite details.  There must be a name for that,  I just don't know what it is.  Perhaps you have an idea of a name for someone who collects - Embroidery Designs.

Comments (8) -

Pat, you did not mention how addictive collecting designs can be.

I am a huge fan of CatX & AphaX, I have over 4,000 designs now in CatX and if I didn't use that program I would not be able to find anything in less than a week.

I don't really change colors that much, most of the designs I have are digitized with Maderia thread and I think I have almost every color that they have in Rayon.  I think whoever did the designs have a lot more color and shade experience than I do.


Marge - You are so right.  If I have to have an addiction, I guess this is as good as it gets.

I do find that I become attracted to certain digitizers as well.  Morango has become a favorite of mine.  When I want detail, they are tops.  

Thanks!  Pat

I, too, have my stash of designs that I've bought from several companies over the past few years. I've bought Cat X and Alphabet X, too.  They were a great help to me when I first started.  I also get great pleasure from just looking and dreaming.  I keep thinking that someday I'll have time to stitch them all out.  Now retirement is 6 months away so that time is approaching.  But until then I can dream.........Cheri

cherrylmaree 6/9/2012 8:22:17 PM

Hi Pat, I love reading your blogs ( just figured out how to leave a comment) My very first sewing machine was a Singer in a cabinet which my father had bought for my mother when I was 4 years old ( 61 years now ) She never learnt how to use it properly so I started at about 6 by mending things and 'making' dolls clothes..when I left home at 18, I took it with me and it made my children's christening dress and a safari suit for my then husband and dressed us all for many years. I upgraded to a Janome 619 in 1978 ( I was a single mum of 3 ) because I could use the embroidery stitches to embelish children's clothes to sell.(.I remarried in 1994) The machine ( and the marriage ) is still going strong and is still my main construction machine..I bought a Janome overlocker from a friend 8 years ago and it is great fun to use..my embroidery machine is also a Janome..an MC300E, and it is a joy...I bought it in 2005 after I had a heart scare and my doctor told my to relax more and do things for myself instead of everybody else ( I was a bit stressed!! ) Now my computer is jam packed with designs and my 'spare room' is full of notions and other' must haves'....nothing expensive, just lots!! I follow sites like this one and really enjoy being part of this amazing, creative world.

cherrylmaree 6/9/2012 8:41:43 PM

I forgot to say that my 619 made both, my wedding dress in 1994 and my beautiful daughter''s wedding dress in 1999..it took 3 months and she looked like a princess. She has 2 lovely girls of her own now and they are learning ( along with my son's 2 sons ) how to use all of my machines..we have the best fun together...can't put a price on that!!

My first machine was my mom's treadle machine.  I was 8 years old and used it in our basement to make doll clothes.  Later I graduated to a Singer.  The kind you had to put all the attachments on to do anything.  And a very few cams came with it.  I used that machine for years to make children's clothing when I married and began our family.  Then a 1979/80 Kenmore which I still have.  It was and is a workhorse and was so much more advanced (I thought) than the old ones I had been using.  And then came another Kenmore which I use now.  It's a wonderful computerized version and I just love it.  Last December I treated myself to my very first embroidery machine, a Brother PE780D.  I absolutely love it and the world of embroidery.  I catologue my designs by printing out in color the order page and storing them by date, which for me is much easier than catologing them by design.  I tried that in the beginning and just got lost.  This way I can simply find the date and choose the design.  Works for me so far.  Will have to see how well it holds up though.  I put all my papers in a loose leaf binder but could see it getting too heavy to lift someday.  Thanks for letting us share.  

Pat. check out BFC-Creations.com.  They are having a BOGO sale right now.  Their designs are gorgous.


Thank you all for your comments!  I love these stories and input.  Sharing is an important part of being an embroiderer.  As you know, I do bridal embroidery on Etsy (http://abrideseyeview.etsy.com">http://abrideseyeview.etsy.com) and I convo (their term for emailing) with other embroiderers all the time and they share their info with all as well.  

Community is the correct word for embroidery.  I can almost see each of you sitting at your beloved machines.  I see the long nights of finishing a special outfit for someone's special event.

Last Friday was my granddaughter's first Prom.  We ran out of money before we ran out of items to get for her.  I spent a late night putting together a FSL Free Standing Lace purse for her to carry her lip gloss, band aids (new shoes) and tic-tacs!  I will post a photo of it.  http://www.annthegran.com/cs/media/p/46561.aspx">www.annthegran.com/.../46561.aspx  

I am off to see more SALES!  I buy from the places I prefer and that definitely includes right here at Ann's Place!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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