Hello everyone, and thanks for tuning in to this year’s “In the continent boxes” blog hop. I have some wonderful blogger friends who are joining me on this adventures, and I hope this little list will be a blessing to you as you study geography.
Today, I have a guest post from a friend of mine in Australia! She’s presenting to us a wonderful tutorial for making your own felt map. Without further ado, here’s the guest post…
Continent Felt Map Tutorial
by Tracey H.
From my local dollar store or book store, I bought one of these children sticker animal/atlas books. They have a lovely large sized map normally inside them, that folds out.
Cutting out the continents:
Using the fold out map, I traced around each continents and islands (that I wanted), using baking paper. Please those in North America, forgive my lack of detail on your continent! Don't be too detailed, just outline roughly, as to cut and sew it later, you don't want too many sharp lines.
One trick I read, was to then cut out my felt pieces, with the baking paper and felt together. In this way you don't get pencil transfer lines on your felt and the baking paper holds the felt quite firmly for an even cut.
For Asia/Europe, I traced this out as one piece and traced the lines and seas that separate the two. This is your trickiest piece. I then cut out Europe. When I got to the divide line, between these two continents, I snipped right through the baking paper, going around the seas that are in between. This will give you the correct line for then cutting out Asia. With the seas that divide the two continents, cut these out, as you cut Asia. They are going to be seas for when you sew them and will show the exposed blue fabric.
For your islands, keep these in separate zip locks until you finally get to them. I just left them with their baking paper tracers and pins in until the end. Trust me, by the time you get to them, you've forgotten what they are. For these islands, remember that Indonesia and Papua New Guinea share the same island, but are from different continents groupings.
I used a light-weight denim fabric that I had from an old project. Cut out your base fabric. Now position each continent on your base fabric, by aligning it with your map. In hindsight, I could have drawn graph lines across my map and then base fabric, to get better co-ordinates, but I'm quite happy with my end result. Poor Indonesia is a little squished - but it will survive. Pin each continent.
I tried running stitch on Asia and it was more difficult using a small stitch on heavy felt. Backstitch is VERY forgiving. You can make your stitches different lengths and you don't see it. When you have points like peninsula's, you can easily sew these and the back of your fabric looks gawky, but the front looks gorgeous.
This is the longest work, but so relaxing. I did this as children bathed, or driving long distance or just general relaxing sewing weekend afternoon's. I've suggested to another friend to get her Cycle 2 class to do the sewing for her. Great project for elementary children.
Putting it all together:
To make the map nice and heavy, I cut out my backing decorative fabric and two extra pieces of calico. Pin right side-to-right side backing fabric next to map fabric, then the extra two pieces on outside. With sewing machine, sew around, leaving a gap to turn inside out. Crop corners, turn inside out. Then iron seams down and top stitch.
Here is the completed map, rolled up and ready to be placed on the shelves!
I am Tracey, originally from Cape Town, South Africa, but now happily living in the nation’s capital, Canberra, Australia. Wife to gorgeous husband, Rod, devout Christian. Grateful to be following my God-inspired dream to be homeschool mum to 4 year old and 2 year old. It's busy as I also do Autocad drafter at home. Was formally a Software Developer contractor. I mainly aim to homeschool with Montessori guide, but in typical Montessori, I try to observe my little gems and adapt to what is a fun, prepared and an enjoyable environment, which is hard for a typical messy!