A Robin, Snowmen and a Gingerbread House

A Robin, Snowmen and a Gingerbread House


For the fourth quarter challenge, the Robin is made from ‘stash’ only and is seasonal, and as sometimes happens, my original plan changed after I’d started the project!

I had decided to make a white Merino base, place open weave fabric on it in the shape of a robin, add some sparse Merino wool tops and more tiny pieces of fabric then finish off with a bit of needle felting to make the eye, beak and legs.

I chose some scraps of open weave fabrics …

… and wool in robin colours.

I started by re-using the white Merino wool that had formed the ‘snow’ for the snowmen Christmas card diorama (shown later in this post).  I’d gathered up all the bits of white Merino into a bag with the intention of running it through the carder but then the lazy part of my mind told me to not bother – so I did a very rough layout for the background of the Robin, using the messy white wool, and crossed my fingers.

I netted it over, wetted it and soaped it flat.

Then I cut the robin body shapes from the very open weave fabrics from my stash, then wetted them down onto the white background – I like using these fabrics as they stay flat in nuno felt.  Shown below is the layout before felting.

I tried several times to put a thin, messy layer of the ‘robin coloured’ wool fibres over the fabric so that it would still show through but enable me to add more fabric.  I was hoping to achieve a textured finish with very small scraps of fabric but I couldn’t make it work so I just made the nuno felt and decided on plan B – to embellish with “scribble” stitch.

When the nuno felt was rinsed and dried, I ironed interfacing to the back to make the felt easier to stitch into.

My snow-people family decided to ice a gingerbread house this year and I photographed the diorama for my Christmas cards.  Again, this fits the challenge as it’s made completely from ‘stash’ and is seasonal.

The snowmen are made from white Merino wool tops wet-felted into balls then stitched together.  Their noses are made from orange Merino wool, their arms from floristry wire and I had a great time knitting and sewing their hats and scarves.  Thanks to Annie for suggesting the holly in the hat – it was made from fabric and red Merino wool.

The gingerbread house was made from cardboard covered in silk fabric and the icing is hand-stitched yarn.  The icing bags are made from corners of a plastic bag and filled with Merino wool fibre.

The snow is a layer of white Merino wool tops and the sky is a grey board.

Should you make anything for this challenge, please post your entries on the Felting and Fiber Forum.

20 thoughts on “A Robin, Snowmen and a Gingerbread House

  1. Great ideas Lyn. The robin’s snow looks perfect, as he does. I love the scribble stitching.
    Your snow family are as much fun as Jan’s Mer family. There’s so much to see in that card. What was the icing “mixing bowl” originally? I’m assuming that it is quite small, though of course, as this is a photo of a diorama it could be bucket size.

    1. Thank you Ann. Like most of us I hoard items ‘that might come in handy’ and I have an assortment of containers – the ‘mixing bowl’ is about the size of a plastic shot glass and it had a snap on lid – I honestly can’t remember what it contained or how old it is.
      To give you an idea of scale, the snowman on the tree stump is 23cm tall (9″).

  2. I love the robin. English robins are so small and round. Ours a big and fly away for the winter. The Diorama as great. People must really look forward to getting your cards every year. I love the icing. 9 inches tall, I always envisioned them as smaller than that may be half that size.

    1. Thank you Ann – yes English robins are very cute and not afraid to be close to you as you work your garden and turn soil over.
      A diorama is always fun to make – often frustrating to get it right – but always fun.

    1. Thank you Cathy – I love snow on cards and pictures but every year I hope that it doesn’t come this far south as I’d rather not see it for real 🙂

  3. Love the robin, he’s so colourful and a wonderful use of bits and pieces of left overs!
    The diorama looks like it could be animated, in stop action from a vintage Christmas series. Its really charming and perfect for the season, congratulations on both projects.

    1. Thank you Bernadette. It’s weird but the snowmen do seem to ‘come to life’ when they’re finished and I can imagine them doing stuff when my back is turned 🙂

  4. You put a smile on my face today Lyn! The robin is wonderful and even though the process changed in the middle, the result is fantastic. I always appreciate a bit of free motion to finish off the details.

    Your snowmen are adorable as usual. I love that they are so busy working away on their gingerbread house. You must have an entire village of snow people by now. You do save them, don’t you? I would love to see a photo of all of them together, having a big party 😉

  5. Thank you Ruth! It took me ages to come up with something different for this year, but when I saw a gingerbread house kit in the food shop, it got me wondering what mischief the little ones could get up to with icing bags ….
    Sorry to disappoint but I haven’t saved them over the years. I make new snowmen every time and I love the current family, but after Christmas their days are numbered – they melt 🙂

  6. Oh Lyn you clever person….Robin is lively & mischievous (what will you do with him?) whilst the snow family are totally engaging. Love your scribble stitch, something you share with Annie.

    I was going to ask the same question as Ruth. So where do they melt to? Surely you keep the knitted elements for subsequent use!

    A lovely story in the diorama & I can just imagine the icing mischief & ‘play’

    1. Thank you Antje. They do melt – I don’t keep them after Christmas – and I always make new hats and scarves.
      I work the nuno felt until it’s not ‘fluffy’, otherwise the stitching disappears, but not to the point of completely fulled.

      Don’t suppose you’ll be seeing much snow in Dubai 🙂 Hope you have fun.

  7. Lyn, that robin is delightful! You are so talented 😀

    I loved the Christmas scenery you’re creating. I hope you’ll bring the snowy family out every holiday from now on, turn it into different stories and share them with us!

  8. delightful and the little details you add to your scenes are wonderful. You obviously have a lot of fun making and staging these if you get rid of them and remake each year!

  9. Love Mr Robin Lyn (just catching up on these lovely posts). Your stitching really brings him to life.
    The diorama is the cutest! So much going on with these busy little snow people. Bet you had great fun creating the scene. There’s lots to focus on. Love it !

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