Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
See how to sew a reversed applique embroidered heart
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of reverse applique for some time now. I just hadn’t ever tried it so a while ago I gave it a try.
I got out a small embroidery hoop and some cotton fabric. I chose a colorful floral and a piece of navy spotted fabric. It’s a good idea to choose highly contrasting fabrics so you can ‘see’ the design clearly. This is particularly the case when the project is small like this one is.
I placed the navy fabric face down on the back of the floral fabric. This too is important – both pieces of fabric need to face in the same direction because you’re going to cut a heart shape out of the floral fabric so you can “see” the navy fabric through it – so you want to be seeing the right side not the wrong side!
I cut a simple hand drawn heart template. I do this by folding a piece of paper in half and drawing half a heart across the fold. Then cut the shape out and unfold the paper and you have a perfect heart shape.
I pinned the heart to the floral fabric and measured it all against the embroidery hoop that I planned to frame it in. I checked to make sure it would all fit comfortably and that there would be room around the heart for some stitching to show and that it wouldn’t all be too close to the edge.
Then I threaded a needle with navy blue thread to match the navy polka dot and I stitched a heart in chain stitch about 1/4 inch outside the edge of the template area. I stitched through both pieces of fabric so they were both sewn together.
Then I took a small pair of very sharp scissors and using the template and the stitching line as a guide I cut a heart shape out of just the top piece of floral fabric.
You have to be very careful doing this – you need to cut through the floral fabric but not touch the polka dot fabric which is sewn to it! You also need to leave around 1/4 inch of floral fabric showing inside your fancy stitching line. Cut the fabric in a very neat line – it needs to be smooth and neat.
Then I took some regular navy thread (I use Clover silk thread) and sewed really tiny stitches around the cut edge of the floral fabric – I went though both pieces of fabric so the edge is very neat and tidy. You now see the polka dot fabric heart through the floral fabric.
I finished off by stitching the finished piece to another larger piece of fabric because it was all too small to fit easily in the hoop – my fault for using too small a piece of fabric (or too big a hoop!).
Once it was backed with a large enough piece of fabric I put it all in a hoop stretching it nicely.
Then I flipped it all over and finished it off with a piece of matt board cut a bit smaller than the inside of the hoop. I pressed it into place – the excess fabric is enough to keep it all nicely in place.
Labels: applique, chain stitch, clover thread, DMC thread, embroidery, hand embroidery, heart, layered heart, reverse applique
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Friday, January 31st, 2014
How to draw Valentine houses as a framed image
This is another in my houses collection. This time I drew the houses inside a hand drawn oval frame. The houses lean together so I decided to give it a Valentine theme with one of the houses blowing heart shaped smoke from its chimney. The design was hand drawn and then inked with a permanent marker. I’ve been adding stairs to my houses a bit lately to give real folks access to them – of course the stairs don’t actually line up at a door – you can’t have everything!
The color is courtesy of a Tombow marker for the outside of the frame and the bunting. The inside colors are Prismacolor two tip markers – I use a Deco Pink, Cool Gray and some sort of blue – not sure what. The Prismacolor markers are kind of cool as you can build up color with them so you don’t get a necessarily flat color but you can make it more dimensional as I have here.
Labels: bunting, cloud, clouds, drawing, frame, heart, house, houses, kissing houses, prismacolor marker, stairs to nowhere, tombow markers, Valentine
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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Discover how to sew using a punch needle and how to showcase your work
I recently discovered Punch Needle sewing and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s more skilled than I thought it would be, the results are pretty robust and you can achieve some great results.
Now a lot of people do punch needle to cover a surface and there are a lot of dolls house rugs and small patterns around. I just like to break the mold a bit and up-cycle the craft to give it a new look so I opted for an embroidery hoop project. These small hoops can be purchased in bulk (the way I buy them) or singly at a craft store. They are great to use to frame projects – they are ideal for punch needle since you have to use one to use the punch needle anyway.
I went to my local fabric store and found some great linen. It has a fairly close weave and it is a medium weight. Its neutral background makes it ideal for a punch needle project.
For this project I used two colors of 6 strand floss. I used a darker solid color for the edge and then a variegated thread for the middle. If you use variegated color thread then you get a mix of colors without having to change color so the piece has a lot of dimension and interest and you don’t have to stress over making this yourself.
You’ll need a punch and I use and recommend the Ultra punch which is around $20 and which comes with 3 needles and 2 threaders. You really need threaders and these are tagged with white tags so they don’t get lost. This punch also has a loop adjustment slider thingie on the side which makes it easy to vary the length of your loops.
To start out, place some linen in an embroidery hoop and mark out a heart shape on the back. Thread the punch with some dark orange color – DMC 6 strand cotton thread is awesome and it is cotton so it works well and has a great luster. I use 2 threads at a time in the punch needle.
If you are unsure how to thread a punch needle the spottedcanary.com website has a simple how to on it – once you’ve done it a couple of times it will be dead easy to do. If you are new to punch needle, then this is a good blog post on how to do it – created by someone who wrote a book on punch needle crafts.
Go around the heart shape outline a couple of times keeping your stitches close to each other and evenly spaced. You will work from the back of the piece so the loops are on the front. I usually do these two rows at a loop size one smaller that the rest of the piece. This gives it a neater edge and seems to hold the piece together better – particularly since we aren’t filling our canvas and we’re just filling the shape.
For the middle of the heart I used DMC Variations in an orange color mix. Thread the punch needle with two strands of cotton and start punching from just inside the border round and round to fill the heart. When you get close to the end of your cotton, finish that piece, thread the needle again and keep going until you are done.
Check that there aren’t any gaps and if there are then punch over them to fill them.
I removed the fabric from the hoop, trimmed the edges with Pinking shears and put it in a smaller hoop for display. I finished off with a loop of ribbon for hanging.
All in all it probably took around a half hour for this project – a quick and fun project that is done and ready to hang in a very short time.
Labels: DMC embroidery thread, DMC Variations, embroidery hoop., frames, heart, how to, loops, punch needle, punch needle heart, punched, punching, st valentine's day, st valentine's day heart, thread a punch needle, thread for punch needle, valentine heart, valentine's heart, valentines day
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Friday, December 14th, 2012
Have fun tuning a recycled MiO container into a super cute felt house.
With this project I finally nailed the recycled MiO container felt house. Yeah!
Inside this felt house is a MiO container filled with sand to weight it very nicely.
This one took a bit of time to make – I pulled the roof off a few times and continued to rework the shape until I got what I wanted. What I wanted was to give the impression that an inverted flower cap or something similar was the roof of the house.
To make this you can download the free pattern here.
You will need colored felt for the house. I used grey, dark crimson, a cream for the house and little bits for the decorative elements. You should always use wool felt or a blend that includes wool as this stands up to a lot more punishment than the fake/polyester stuff.
Cut your house shape from one color felt – use this for the back, front, sides and base of the house. Cut out a door, windows, hearts for the flowers and the roof pieces. You’ll probably want the underside of the roof to be a different color than the roof itself – I used a dark crimson.
Start by sewing on the windows and door of the house. Sew a French knot for the doorknob and then embroider the flowers on the rear of the house using mini hearts as flowers and adding beads if desired.
The stems of the flowers are a backstitch and detached lazy daisy stitch.
Once you’ve got the front and back of the house embroidered and finished sew up the house around the MiO container. You can add some stuffing front and back so that the house becomes slightly rounded rather than the exact shape of the MiO container, if desired.
Sew the pieces for the roof together. The roof is four pieces with a twisted top shape. Then sew up the piece for the underside of the roof. I made mine from multiple small pieces of felt sewed together with blanket stitch to give a ribbed effect but you can do it any way you like. I’ve given you the pattern for the basic shape for the underneath of the roof – how you prep the fabric before cutting is up to you.
Sew the underneath of the roof to the top of the roof and then stuff the roof and make sure to stuff in under the area that’s going to be attached to the house. At this point I suggest that you pin the roof to the house to make sure that you’ve got enough stuffing so it sits above the house and so you to see as much of the underneath of the roof as you want to.
Then finish off with a small neat stitches to stitch the roof to the house.
I was really pleased with this house and the stability that a MiO container filled with sand gives to it. It’s also a cool way to recycle MiO containers because they’re just such a cute shape – just crying out for some mini felt house goodness!
Labels: beads, blanket stitch, container, embroidered, embroidery, fairy, felt, felt house, french knot, gnome, heart, lazy daisy, min house, mio, recycle, recycle mio container, small flowers, straight stitch, woodland, wool felt
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Monday, December 10th, 2012
Turn felt into a cute house and recycle MiO containers at the same time!
This step-by-step tutorial with a downloadable pattern shows you how to make a felt house complete with chimney and chimney stack and embroidered flowers.
I have been playing with felt houses a lot lately and this mini house was designed initially to be based on a MiO container.
Unfortunately I learned a lesson about sizing patterns with this project and my pattern was too small so this is a standalone project. It’s weighted down with a small sealed bag of sand and stuffed with fiberfill.
The basics of the project that you’ll need are a pattern which I’ve created that you can download here free of charge. You’ll need some white or light colored felt, some dark gray, red felt, blue and crimson. You’ll also need some embroidery thread.
At this point I was using regular six strand embroidery thread although I now prefer to use DMC size five embroidery thread if you can get it.
Either way basically anything will do for the project. Start by cutting out the pieces. I recommend that you use wool felt as it holds up just so much better than the other kind.
Cut a front and back in your basic house color felt and cut one wrap piece and the base.
Cut a front door, heart and chimney pot from the crimson felt, some mini hearts from red felt and four windows from the blue felt.
Then go ahead and cut the dark gray felt for the roof.
Sew the door and two windows onto one of the pieces of house felt and add a doorknob with a French knot.
On the second piece which will be the back of the house sew on two windows and then embroider some small plants using the hearts as flowers. I added a couple of small beads to each of my flowers and the embroidery was done in backstitch with lazy daisy leaves.
When you’ve got the house shape done sew up the sides and base, add a bit of weight to the base of the house and then begin to stuff it with fiberfill.
Now get to work on the roof. The roof is four pieces of gray felt sewed together with the chimney attached last of all. Add the heart to the front of the roof before you attach the roof to the house.
Before attaching the roof to the house make sure that you finish stuffing the house and the roof because that’s the last time that you’ll get to add stuffing to the project.
Sew the two pieces of the chimney together, stuffing them as you go and add a small semi-circle chimney stack in crimson. This is the first of a series of houses.
You can make more using this pattern or branch out and use your own.
You can also look out for an upcoming blog when I finally get to make a pattern large enough to make a MiO container house.
Labels: beads, blanket stitch, embroidered, embroidery, fairy, felt, felt house, french knot, gnome, heart, lazy daisy, min house, mio, recycle mio container, small flowers, straight stitch, woodland, wool felt
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