For those that may not be familiar:
Poppies represent Canadian soldiers who died in the World Wars, hence their significance for Remembrance Day. The reference goes back to a poem titled Flanders Fields, and attributed to John McCrae. Many World War I soldiers lie in unmarked graves in the region of Flanders, Belgium, where a great deal of fighting took place. For some time after the fighting, red poppies grew profusely on the battlefields, due to the soil becoming rich in poppy-growing nutrients from all the war-zone rubble.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
How To Make Your Own Felt Poppy!
What you’ll need:
- red felt
- black felt
- red thread
- black thread
- a sewing needle
- straight pins
- a clasp pin backing or safety pin
- [optional] black beads
- poppy template (or you can draw your own)
Putting it all together:
1) Trace and cut out your shapes. (Or pin the templates to the felt and cut around them.) One larger flower and one smaller flower from the red felt, and a small circle-with-scalloped-edges from the black felt.
2) Sew the black circle to the small red flower, using stitches of varying lengths that go well into the red area.
3) [optional] If desired, sew small black beads overtop of the black felt. I double stitched mine in place to make sure they stayed put.
4) Using your red thread now, take the larger red flower and sew a rough circle of large stitches around its centre.
5) Before knotting the thread, pull on it a bit so the felt flower puckers and gathers in the middle. This gives your poppy some shape, rather than just letting it sit flat against your coat.
6) Still using red thread, the small flower to the larger flower. Stitch right around the edge of the poppy’s black centre, so that the red stitching is pretty much invisible on the front.
7) Stitch your pin backing or a large safety pin to the back of the flower.
8) Pin to your coat and wear outside. They really do stand out nicely, eh?