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Monday August 30, 2010

Weighted mooncakes

‘Bake’ these delicacies with felt.

A FEW experimental mooncake-baking sessions in the kitchen inspired me to duplicate mooncakes using pieces of felt. It was definitely less time-consuming to sew a mooncake than to prepare the dough to make real ones! They look no less dainty, especially the quartered pieces.

You can produce a selection of different coloured “fillings” or “paste”, using green to maroon to dark brown pieces of felt. I then decided to turn them into paper weights by inserting a small stone within the cotton stuffing.

Fanciful: Paper weights made from felt remnants, cotton and stone.

You need:

Light brown felt – ¼ metre

Felt remnants – dark brown, light green, dark yellow and white

Needle and brown thread

Scissors

Scrap paper – 8cm square; 4cm square

Pencil and ruler

UHU glue

Cotton

Small stone

Making the mooncake

1. Fold the 8cm square scrap paper in half. Fold it again to half from left to right.

2. Draw a line diagonally from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. Make a dot on the line, 4cm from the left bottom. Draw a curved line to join the dot to the corners as shown. Cut along the curve.

3. Fold the bottom right of the quadrant to the top left corner to fold it into half. Follow the diagram to trim the curve. Open up the paper to see the flower template. Use the template to cut out two pieces from the light brown felt. These are for the top and bottom of the mooncake.

4. Follow steps 1 to 3 to fold and trim the 4cm square scrap paper into a small flower template. Use it to cut out a flower shape from the light brown felt.

5. Cut a small circle, 1.5cm wide, from light brown felt remnant. Sew it to the top of the 4cm felt flower with running stitches. Embroider eight elliptical shapes on the flower, around the circle, with small running stitches or back-stitches.

6. Place the embroidered flower in the centre of a piece of 8cm-wide felt flower and sew it down with running stitches. This is the top of the mooncake. Cut out four tiny circles and four crescents from felt remnants. Glue them around the top of the mooncake.

7. Cut out a long rectangular piece, 24cm by 3cm, from light brown felt. Use blanket stitches to sew one long side to the edge of the mooncake top. Sew until the ends meet and trim off any excess from the felt. This is the side of the mooncake.

8. Decorate the side of the mooncake by sewing back-stitches from the eight recesses of the top piece across to the opposite edge (bottom).

9. Join the other 8cm wide felt flower to the other edge of the side with blanket stitches to form the bottom of the mooncake. Sew around it, leaving an opening to stuff cotton and a piece of small stone inside. Finish sewing up the mooncake.

Making the felt mooncake piece

1. Fold the 8cm paper flower template into a quarter. Use it to cut out two pieces from the light brown felt. These are for the top and bottom of the mooncake piece.

2. Decorate the top piece with small cut-outs from light brown felt. Use UHU glue to stick them in place.

3. Cut out two pieces of rectangles, each measuring 3.5cm by 3cm, from dark brown or green felt. Cut out two pieces of rectangles, each 2cm by 2.5cm from dark yellow felt. Trim one side of each piece into a curve. Sew it to the dark brown or green rectangles as egg yolks. These are the pieces of “filling” for the mooncake.

4. Join the top of one rectangle to the mooncake top piece with blanket stitches.

5. Sew the other rectangle to the other side of the top piece. Then sew the side of the rectangles together as shown.

6. Cut a 6cm by 3cm piece of rectangle from light brown felt. Use blanket stitches to sew it to the edge of the top piece, from side to side. Trim off any excess that juts out when you have sewn till the other end. This is the side of the mooncake.

7. Sew a few backstitches on the side, at the middle half, from the top piece across to the opposite side. Join the bottom piece to the side and “filling” pieces with blanket stitches. Leave an opening for stuffing some cotton and a small stone inside. Sew up the opening.

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