Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Play Food: Tomato slices

The tomatoes are a little more complex than the spinnach, but I think they turned out really well. They are probably the most difficult food item I'm going to share, but they are also my favorite. I tried to take plenty of pictures on these to help with the explanations. These will go in those tortilla wraps eventually along with the spinnach. Here's what you need:

red felt
yellow embroidery thread
red or pinkish embroidery thread lighter than your felt
red embroidery thread darker than your felt
Step1- Cut out two matching roundish pieces of red felt for each tomato. Tomatoes aren’t perfect circles so your pieces don’t have to be either.
Step 2- Seeds
You need to put seeds on both sides of each tomato in three different sections. I tried to imitate a Roma tomato because that's what we have in Tanzania. Roma's have three sections each filled with seeds. We won’t add lines showing the three sections until later so you need to be visualizing it as you put the seeds on. I've drawn in blue lines on the pictures below to show the three sections I'm talking about. 

The seeds are made using french knots. I made them different sizes by wrapping around the needle once for some and twice for others. There is a great tutorial on how to do a French Knot here. There is no right number of seeds. Just make them until it looks good to you.
Now you are ready to put in the lines that delineate the three sections. Use a reddish or even pink thread color that is lighter than your felt. You are going to be sewing through both pieces of felt at once. Use a running stitch to work your way around the seeds, making sure the seeds on both sides end up inside the section. 
After you’ve gone around once, go around again doing another running stitch between the stitches you've already done. Now you’ll have a solid line on both side. Knot you thread and cut close to the knot.

Now, using a red thread slightly darker than your felt, make a stitch going all the way around your tomato. I'm not sure what to call this stitch. I just looped around the edge, but you could use a blanket stitch here. As you work your way around the tomatoes may stretch and not match up so well. Just trim as you go to make them the same shape. At the start you can knot the thread on the inside so it doesn’t show. At the end you’ll need to knot it on the outside. Now, pull the excess thread through one or two of your stitches, and cut it off.

Little Man loves tomatoes, so I think he’ll really enjoy playing with these!

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