Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Newsletter

Silence, please

The windows are open; I’m lying in bed listening to the gentle waves, trying to silence my mind of all that needs to be done tomorrow, of all that was forgotten today.

A memory comes to me of a quiet day one summer, in a canoe on a pond surrounded by lily pads, watching damselflies, hearing nothing but the occasional paddle dip and the lapping of water on the side of the boat.

But then my sweetheart reminds me of all the sounds: the tinny whir of dragonfly wings, calls of the marsh wren and warbler, the insistence of frogs. Perhaps silence isn’t so quiet after all.

Summer days at the beach or lakeside are a great time for craft projects. Stuff a few sheets of felt, some thread, scissors and a needle into your beach bag or picnic basket and enjoy the sounds of summer — whatever they may be.

~ Alison Kaplan, Founder of Kata Golda

Plush Turtle

This project was recently featured on Ebabee Likes, a London-based style guide for babies, young kids and their mamas.

Want more inspiration? View all things "turtle" from Kata Golda.

  • Turtle Template [PDF]
  • Wool felt: 2 colors (use the template to gauge dimensions)
  • Stuffing (polyester fiberfill, wool, bamboo, or cotton)
  • Embroidery floss: 2 colors (This thread is 6-ply and is easily separated; steps below will use 2 or 3 plies.)
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sharp snips
  • Hand sewing needle (sharp and with a large enough eye to thread embroidery floss)
  • Satin stitch
  • Double Running stitch
  • Whip stitch
  • Blanket stitch
Unfamiliar with these stitches or just need a refresher? Download Kata Golda’s Guide to Basic Stitches [PDF].


Print the template and cut out the pieces with paper scissors. If you wish to make all three turtles, print one template at 100%, one at 75% and one at 125%. Then place the pieces on the felt and cut out the felt shapes with fabric scissors. Note that you will cut out two of the body pieces and one shell piece for each turtle you make.

Stitch the eyes on one body piece using 3-ply black embroidery floss. Use a satin stitch and widely place the two eyes.

Using a blanket stitch and 2-ply black thread, stitch the two body pieces together.

Use a double running stitch to sew eight “U” shapes on the shell layer with 2-ply gold embroidery floss.

To attach shell to body, whip stitch shell piece to only the top layer of the body layer three quarters of the way around. Leave an opening and stuff.

Continue your stitch and close the hole.

Repeat Steps 1–5 for each additional turtle.

  • Hand-sew with a piece of thread that is about 18" long. (Longer lengths are frustrating to work with as they tangle easily.)
  • To separate the 6-ply floss, start in the middle of the floss strand you've cut and gently, slowly pull off the strands needed (together at the same time).
  • Try to keep the stitch depth and length consistent. When whip stitching and blanket stitching, make your stitch length and depth between 1/8"–1/4".
  • Bundles of wool felt squares in various colors are also available from Kata Golda, and include ten sheets of 6.5" x 6.5" hand-dyed felt.

Kata Golda creates unique gifts for children and adults using a combination of hand-dyed wool felt, stitching, and letterpress printing. From photo albums and guest books to hand-stitched items and personalized gifts, Kata Golda’s work is a treasured heirloom for any occasion.

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