Mo Bedell is a fabric and pattern designer, and an all-around wonderful person to be around! She stopped by with her popular Summer Reading Library Book Bag, Lego Tote and the Hanging Vase, and now she has a mobile tutorial! Mo originally made the mobile for her award-winning booth at Quilt Market in Portland a couple of years ago, featuring her Full Moon Lagoon collection. The mobile was a huge hit and lots of people have asked Mo for a tutorial. Here it is! This is a great statement piece for any room, adding movement and interest. Make it with the kids, use your favorite fabrics, add it to your screened porch or sun room… Enjoy!
Mo designs and sells Embroidery Patterns + Kits on her website, and she’s also giving away a Mobile Kit complete with everything you need to make the mobile from start to finish! Just visit Mo Bedell and comment for a chance to win the kit.
Using three of your favorite fabrics you can create a beautiful mobile that feels like an undersea garden. The construction is simple and the results are fantastic. Certainly a project that could be done by a parent and child together, it is also a good project for a beginning crafter. Please read through the entire instructions before you proceed to insure great success!
- 2/3 yard each of three different fabrics that coordinate together nicely
- 5 yards Ultra Lightweight Fuseable interfacing. I prefer Pellon. (This interfacing is 20″ wide which is why you need so many yards.)
- One skein of size 10 crochet cotton. I prefer DMC Baroque Crochet Cotton.
- One 12″ wooden embroidery hoop
- Quick Dry Tacky Glue
- 1 bottle acrylic craft paint that matches your fabric
- 26 gauge wire (found in the floral supply area of most craft stores)
- 1 dowel 1/8” by 1/4” by 24″. Cut into 2 twelve inch pieces.
- Fabric scissors
- 3” soft sculpture doll needle or any other longer needle with an eye large enough to get the crochet cotton through.
- Optional: 6″ embroidery hoop for circle template
Prepare Your Pieces:
1. Glue the 12″ piece of dowel to the inside ring of the embroidery hoop (you do not need the outside ring so set aside for another use). Place it across the middle of the hoop with equal space on each side of the dowel. The flat side of the dowel should rest on the edges of the hoop. The center strand will hang from the dowel. When the glue is dry, paint the hoop and dowel with the acrylic craft paint. Set aside until dry.
2. Fuse the interfacing to the fabric following the manufacturer’s directions. Because the width of the interfacing is only 20″, I recommend cutting 24″ lengths and fusing the interfacing in 20” by 24” pieces. In addition you will need a strip approximately 4″ by 24″ to cover the fabric completely. Cover the whole piece of fabric with interfacing but be careful not to overlap the interfacing or have any interfacing go beyond the edges of your fabric.
3. Cut seven 6″ by 24″ strips from each fabric. Cut each of those strips into 6″ squares. You will have 28 six inch squares of each fabric.
4. Cut each square into a circle. You can free hand your circles for a more organic look, just be sure to cut a circle as large as the 6″ square will allow. You will have a few extra squares in each fabric so if you mess one or two up you will still have enough. If you prefer a more precise circle, use the Six Inch Circle Template, or the inside ring of a 6″ embroidery hoop as your template.
5. Cut a 3″ slit in each circle as shown. (Fig. 2) You can create a line to follow by folding the circle in half and finger pressing. Open the circle and fold the other way in half and finger press, cut along one of the creases.
6. Overlap one edge of the the fabric at the slit to form a cone shape. Be sure not to make your cone too tight, though you want it tight enough at the top of the cone so that you do not have a hole where the fabric does not meet. Experiment with rolling before you pull out the glue. (Fig. 3)
7. Use a small amount of Quick Dry Tacky Glue to glue down the outside edge of the fabric. The glue should run from the top to the bottom of the inside of the slit. (Fig. 4) Also put a small dot of glue on the inside flap to hold it in place. Do not use too much glue as it will soak through and make a mess. I recommend the Quick Dry Tacky Glue because it has a nice thick consistency that works well with the fabric.
8. Set aside your cones and allow them to fully dry.
Assemble Your Mobile:
The mobile is made up of 7 strands of cones that measure between 50″ and 60″. Each strand will have 10 to 11 cones. I usually do three strands with 11 and four strands with 10. The longest strand will be the center strand. Vary using three or four of each fabric in each strand.
1. Cut a length of crochet cotton 120” long. Thread your needle and tie a small knot at the bottom of the thread by doubling a loop and tying it into a knot. (Fig. 5)
Starting with the cones that will be on the bottom of the strand, thread your first one by placing the needle through the inside center top point of the cone and pushing it gently down to the knot. You can put a tiny drop of glue inside the cone on the knot if you like, to help keep it in place. I like to vary the distance between each cone so measure 4.5″ to 6″ from the top of the cone and tie another knot, in the same way that you tied the first one. Add your next cone. Repeat this process up the strand. When you vary the distance between 4.5″ and 6″ the cones fall at different places on each strand and it gives the overall look more depth. When the strand is complete, nestle the cones inside each other, one on top of the other all the way up the strand and clip in place with a clothespin or similar type of clip. This will prevent your strands from getting tangled.
2. Repeat for the remaining six strands.
3. When all seven strands are finished, unclip one strand at a time and lay it out on the floor until all seven strands are laying next to each other. Be very careful not to tangle them. Determine which is the longest and designate that one for the center strand. Decide the arrangement of the remaining strands and then carefully re-nestle and re-clip them.
4. Tie one strand on the hoop at a time. Wrap the crochet cotton twice around the hoop and make sure your knots are secure. Trim the excess cotton. After all the strands are tied on and positioned correctly for good balance,place a tiny drop of glue on each knot. Space your six strands evenly around the hoop. Tie the seventh strand to the center of the dowel. Keep all of the strands nestled and clipped until you have your mobile hanging.
5. Cut two 27″ long lengths of 26 gauge wire. Wind the end of one length around the hoop, wrapping the other end diagonally across (shown as the pink dots in Fig. 6). Secure the other end at the blue dot, securing the opposite end of the wire diagonally across to the other blue dot. Your mobile is ready to hang. Hang it up and carefully unclip one strand at a time. When they are all unclipped, adjust as necessary. The wire can be bent to help adjust the balance.
Copyright 2015 Mo Bedell, For personal use only.