Saturday, January 24, 2009

No-sew Valentine Garland

I'm back in the creative groove. I am always so behind in making seasonally appropriate items, but no longer - look at this - a whole three weeks in advance of the day. I was desperate to use some of the red and white fat quarter fabric that Andrea had sent me and this idea had been in my head for a while (several years actually - I like to let my ideas mature don't you know).

I thought I might as well take a few pictures along the way so here it is - my no-sew heart tutorial.

BTW - the background is my old cutting board that I don't use for cutting fabric, it is messy and horrible but ideal for a base to cover the table while I glue.

Here's all you need:
  • cardboard from a cereal carton or the like
  • scraps of batting
  • glue gun
  • cotton fabric
  • ribbon
Step 1
Draw round a heart template on your cardboard, I used 5 hearts in my garland but you could have as many as you like.

Step 2
Cut the hearts out of the cardboard

Step 3
On the coloured side of the card, use your glue gun to put 3 dots of glue on the heart shape (one near the point and the other 2 either side of the 'V', if you see what I mean). There is no need to spread the glue all over the card, this is just to hold the batting in place so that it doesn't move around so three dots are all you need.

Step 4
Plonk the card glue side down on a scrap of batting - I used what I had around - you want it to be a fairly high loft to give the heart some shape.

Step 5
Cut the batting level with the edge of the card.
Step 6
Cut your fabric about 1/2 inch bigger than the heart template (I just drew round the template I used for the card and cut the fabric a bit bigger by eye, but you could make another template just for the fabric)

Step 7
Position the card, batting side down on the wrong side of the fabric, making sure that it is placed in the middle of the fabric.

Step 8
Holding all the layers together, turn it over and pin the fabric to the batting.

Step 9
Pull the fabric over to the back of the heart and glue it down all around the edge with the glue gun. I made sure that I stuck down the top and the bottom of the heart first, because you have to pull the fabric quite firmly and that way it doesn't shift around too much. The back of the heart should then look like this ...

... and the front of it should look like this.

Step 10
Take a piece of ribbon long enough to go through all of your hearts with excess at the ends to hang your garland from. Glue the ribbon to the hearts with a dot of glue at each side of the heart, leaving about an inch of ribbon between the hearts.

Step 11
Use your heart template again to cut more heart shapes, this time out of pelmet vilene - you need to cut a smidgeon within the line you have drawn so that you can't see it from the front of the heart. Because I am a lazy good for nothing woman, all I did then was to glue the pelmet vilene onto the back of the hearts - after all, no one's going to see them, they're against the wall. But ... you could do it in a couple of different ways, depending on your inclinations. You could either use the same fabric as the front to sew a heart shape to the back, turning in the edges as in applique, or, you could use heat'n'bond to fuse fabric to the back of the heart.

After you have done this, your garland is ready to hang and will look something like this.

Which looks okay - but we all know that more is more and I think the addition of some ribbon bows does add a little je ne sais qu'a (or even je ne sais quoi - who would believe that I've got A-Level French?)

And there you have it - a very quick and easy Valentines Garland

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ta Da!

Good grief! It's a finished quilt, and not just a cot quilt, or a single bed quilt, but a humungous double bed sized quilt.

Now, I would have tried to get a better picture, but you just can't get quality quilt hangers these days. They mumble from behind the quilt and say things like "My arms are going to fall off if you make me do this much longer" or "This is so unfair, I've just started a game on Runescape - if I don't get back I'll be locked out". No stamina, that's their trouble.

Quilting this was a bit of a marathon, though I say so myself. My machine has a tiny space under the arm and always stops with the needle up so it wasn't the easiest of things to do. Which could be why I am craving this machine - it's not available in the UK yet, and will probably be out of my price range when it is, but it is very tempting.

I finished the top for this quilt quite a while ago, you can read about it here. I loved putting it together, and followed Patti's crumb chaos instructions.

The border fabric is navy blue, not black, and I free-motion quilted it with a pattern of leaves. I quilted the centre of the quilt in wavy lines - I thought it was in keeping with the wonkiness of the quilt, but I'm still not sure that it doesn't look like I can't quilt straight. Still, as my kids would say 'Whatever', at least it's finished.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some people have all the luck

And this time it's me! Andrea and I had arranged what turned into a New Year Swap between us and just look what she sent me.

A most beautiful sewing box that she made herself (how awesome is that?) and four lovely fat quarters. I could just squeal in delight - in fact I think I will anyway because after all, you can't hear me.

Here's a close up of the exquisite workmanship. I could never, ever make anything like this myself and I can't stop looking at it. It has certainly brightened up this dull January.

And - better late than never, here is a pic of the swap I received from Sandi in Chookyblue's SSCS. Once again my luck is in - don't you think the Penny Rug looks good in my kitchen? Seems a shame to put it away until next Christmas.

I'm not very good at New Year's Resolutions but I've copied Clare, in resolving to answer all my comments this year (just so long as they're not no-reply). And, don't faint, some time very soon I may just be able to show a pic of a finished double-bed sized quilt. Wonders will never cease!