Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Poppy for Armistice Day: A How-To

Yes, November 11 is now known in the United States as Veterans Day, and well it may be, to thank the many men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. Yet once (and in other places in the world) the day is known as Armistice Day, for the treaty that, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, ended the war that was meant to end all wars.

It didn't quite work out that way.

But I still like to think of November 11 as Armistice Day, to remember, in a bittersweet kind of way, that once we believed for a brief moment we had conquered war.

Following WWI it was traditional (and again, still is in other parts of the world) to wear a red poppy for Armistice Day, in reference to the poem In Flander's Fields. I like to continue the tradition (even though, technically, poppies in the US are for Memorial Day, as they honor those who died in service to their country, not those currently serving, as Veterans Day is intended to do).

I used a tutorial from my blog friend Isis to create a felt flower this year--not quite a poppy in form, but the red and the petals reference the flower. The full tutorial is on Isis' blog, and I'll show you my steps below. (thanks, Isis!)

It's easy--and inexpensive. All you need are felt scraps (heavy wool would work, too), needle and thread, paper and scissors, and a bead or scrap for the center bit.

You'll want to cut a paper pattern first, unless you've very steady hands, to make all the felt pieces the same shape.

Yep, my felt and my thread don't match. No worries--the stitches won't show.

Then, stitch the petals together. I pinched each petal at the base and took a stitch through it, to form the puckered inner part of the petals, then attached it to the next petal.

I then stitched around the center a few times, and once around the middle portion of the flower, where I wanted the petals to overlap.

Ok, it shows on the back. But you won't see that bit once it's on.

Finally, I added a pearl bead to the center. I wish I'd had a black bead on hand as that would look more poppy-ish.

Tomorrow I'll wear this pinned to my jacket, and happily share my gratitude to those who serve as the hope that someday their service will no longer be needed. Do consider joining me!

And thank you to those who have and those who continue to serve.


Marg said...

Here in Australia we call it Remembrance Day.

MrsC said...

We call it ANZAC Day and observe it on April 25. Poppies are sold to raise funds for the RSA (like the VA). Pretty flower though!

Rowenna said...

So cool to hear what's observed in other places--thanks, ladies!