Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday Preparation

I have been wanting to set up some post to go out on Saturday nights, in preparation for the Lord's Day.  I've never actually scheduled a post, so we'll see if this actually works.  Oh how I LOVE Sundays!  The Lord calls us to rest on this day, though many of us rush around and act like it is a day like any other.  What a blessing it is to take the time to stop all work and to rest in Him.  I know I need the rest, do you?? 

What does Sunday mean to you?  For me it is a time of fellowship with my covenant family.  I cannot wait to see their smiling faces every Sunday morning.  We worship together, sing together, learn together, and then WE EAT TOGETHER!  Yep, we eat together every Sunday!  Everyone brings something to share and we sit and eat and laugh and have such a sweet time!  Do you have sweet fellowship on Sundays?

A friend shared this song on facebook the other day.  I thought this would be a good place to start for my 1st "Sunday Preparation" Post.

I hope you like it!

Blessings,
~Gina

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Easy Ways to Handprint Your Own Fabric








I had the opportunity to spend about three hours in Barnes and Noble last week just looking at sewing and fabric books.  I was in heaven!  I had 5 books that I was looking over and a theme was building...fabric design.  I seem to be drawn to fabric design, if you haven't noticed.  I know absolutely nothing about it, but I believe you are never too old to learn something new.  The whole purpose of this blog is to record this journey I am on in learning to sew and whatever goes along with that.  If you are interested in learning something new and having fun along the way, then keep reading!!


GOALS FOR THIS PROJECT
1. Find interesting objects around the house that could be stamped onto fabric.
2. Determine which stamps would be best to design a larger piece of fabric for sewing a bag.

SUPPLIES/MATERIALS:


You will need the supplies above in order to do some of the stamping in this project.  Gather all of your supplies before you begin.  The fabric paint dries quickly, so it's best to have everything set up before you begin.  You should also have a wash bucket ready with soap and water to throw your stamps or brushes in to wash as soon as you are finished with them.  The paint dries quickly, but if you wash the stamps soon enough you'll be able to reuse them.

Fabric Paint:  I purchased this fabric paint from Wal-Mart.  They have many colors to choose from.  One bottle of red was all I was willing to splurge for.  Now that I know how much fun this is, I plan on buying some additional colors.

X-Acto Knife:  You will need the X-Acto knife if you decide to make a stamp with foam craft sheets.  I also use it for cutting the end off of a swimming noodle.

Q-Tips: These will be used for the Monotype Printing w/ Plexiglas.  It is used to draw your design on the painted Plexiglas.

Paint Brushes:  I used the brushes to spread the the paint over the stamping objects.  The sponge brush seemed to work the best for me.  The roller was used for the Monotype Printing w/ Plexiglas (although you are supposed to use a Brayer- a rubber roller used to spread ink, this is all I had).

Fabric: Some good fabric choices for hand printing that I have used, and that are widely available, are Broadcloth, Linen and Muslin.


I found ten items around my house that I thought would be perfect for this project.   


Below, you can see how each item performed on the fabric.

Handprinted Fabric


Handprinted Fabric

Which one is your favorite?  I'm really liking #1, the swimming noodle stamp and #2, the mesh scrubber.  At first I thought #1 looked like a doughnut, then lifesavers, and now all I can see are red blood cells.  The scientist in my...I guess?? :) 

The 3rd stamp was from a sponge cut into a diamond shape.  This was actually the one stamp I had tried before on a 'Love Pillow' I posted about recently.  You could cut the sponge into any shape you like to create different effects.

For #'s 4, 5, 6 and 9, I simply brushed the paint onto the material with a small paint brush.  Be sure to wipe the edges where the paint might be thick, so you get a nice crisp edge.

For #'s 1, 3, 5 and 10, I had a plate with a very small amount of paint and tapped these items into the paint, removed excess by dabbing onto another piece of cloth, if desired, and then stamped onto fabric.

#9 was a stamp made from a very thin craft foam sheet.  I used a pen to draw my design and then used the small paintbrush to cover the the stamp.  I liked that you could see the paint strokes over the heart.  I also did a row of hearts and a butterfly that you can see below.



You could also use your x-acto knife to cut out your shape so that you would have a nice clean print of your heart or butterfly.  This would be easy for kids.  They could easily cut out the foam sheet into any shape they want, paint it and stamp.  To make it easier for them, just glue their cut-out design onto a stiff piece of cardboard or onto a wood block for easier handling. 

Lastly, I want to talk about #7, the Monotype Printing with Plexiglas.  I first saw this technique in a book titled Sew Wild: Creating with Stitch and Mixed Media by Alisa Burke.  I have talked about this book a lot, and have tried many of her techniques discussed in her book.  If you love working with mixed media or have an interest in designing your own fabric, you should definitely check it out.

Monotype Printing is where you draw or paint on a smooth nonabsorbant surface with ink or paint.  I simply found a piece of clear plastic that used to be a lid to a crayon container, coated it with my fabric paint using my little roller paint brush, and then began using a Q-tip to draw a design onto the plastic plate.  As I'm drawing with the Q-tip I am removing the paint and a pattern if forming.  You then take that plate and press it onto your fabric and voila!  You have your unique design printed onto your fabric.  Pretty cool!  I would like to get a BIG piece of Plexiglas and a brayer and try this again on a larger piece of fabric.  My plastic piece was really small, and it also had a tiny lip on one end so that when I pressed it down on my fabric, it was not pressing completely flat.  You can see that in the picture above (#7).

CONCLUSION
This was a lot of fun!  I am excited to pick a couple of these to do on a larger piece of fabric!  I liked them all, but I just really love those perfect circles made by the swimming noodle and the star shape made by the scrubber.  I think you'll be seeing both of those very soon in a new sewing project. :)

WANT TO SEE WHAT I MADE WITH ALL OF THIS HAND PRINTED FABRIC???


FUTURE POST
I have some more stamping experiments to try.  In a future post I will show you how to carve your own stamps using items like a potato (very common and easy method most people have tried or at least heard of) designing your own lino blocks and how to create your very own rubber eraser stamps. It should be fun!  I hope you will join me!!

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COMMENT UPDATE!!
I recently realized that Blogger only allows Google+ people to comment on my account.  If you would like to comment, but are not a Google+ gal or guy, then I have good news!  You can now scroll past the google comment box and you should find a FACEBOOK comment section.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Blessings,
~Gina

This project was featured at these great blogs....
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Someday I'll Learn
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Framed Wedding Invitation with Pressed Flowers

I have a wedding to go to in a couple of weeks.  My husband's oldest nephew is getting married!  It's so hard to believe our little nieces and nephews are old enough to even get married!  Where does the time go??

I decided to frame their invitation and add some pressed flowers.  These make really nice wedding gifts and are so quick and easy to put together.


The flowers are called Ixora.  A sweet lady sent them to me years ago from Florida.  I'm pretty sure we do not have these in the mid-west.  I could be wrong about that. 

When doing a project like this you can choose anything for the background.  I usually use scrapbook paper, but I had this really pretty white fabric with flowers that I thought would look so much nicer than paper.

Do any of you out there work with pressed flowers?  I used to make a lot of pressed flower jewelry and cards.  You can check out some of my creations on my Pressed Flower Jewelry page.  I hope to do a tutorial on how to make your own pressed flower jewelry very soon.

Thanks for stopping by!  If you would like to follow me just click on any of the purple buttons on my sidebar, or better yet, subscribe via e-mail to never miss a post!  :)

Blessings,
~Gina

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Appliqued Crossover Bag for Kids

Appliqued  Butterfly Crossover Bag
 Over the weekend I took on another project from a book I've mentioned before.  It's called, We Love to Sew by Annabel Wrigley.  All the projects in the book are meant for 'kids' to do.  Well, I thought they would be perfect for me!

For these bags I was able to learn how to applique using felt.  Applique is one of those things I've always wanted to try, but just never had.  I'm now happy to say that I did it and I LOVED IT!!  Now I want to applique everything!   While researching some more information on how to applique, I found a great website, Homemade Gifts Made Easy.  On this website she has some cute ideas and free patterns.  The letter and the butterfly came from her site.  I feel bad, but I did not write down where I found the owl.  On Homemade Gifts Made Easy she also had a great tutorial on the applique process, which I used for this project. 

I actually combined two projects in Annabel's book to make one bag.  She had a project for a crossover bag, but it did not have a zipper.  She also had a project in the book for zip pouches.  I decided to combine the two.  These bags were for my 2 girls, and believe me, they need a zipper to keep all their goodies from falling out.

Appligued Butterfly
 Here is the close-up of the butterfly applique.  I decided to add some buttons and then some antennae using a zigzag stitch.

Appliqued Owl Crossover Bag
 My girls picked the other two fabric for themselves, but when I saw this one I just had to get it!  I could not believe neither of my girls thought it was cute enough for their bag.  I just love it!

Appliqued Owl
 Here is a close-up of the owl.  Isn't he adorable?!  When we purchased our felt sheets I noticed that some had designs already printed on them.  The pink had silver hearts, which I really did not want for the owl, but it did add a little something to his ear.  For his wings, I thought the black would look weird, but it really added a little something and I love it!

My last bag was for my princess and I added her initial to the crown.  I like how it turned out.
This bag gave me a little trouble, as the zipper I bought was actually 7" instead of 9".  It took me a little while to figure out why this bag was not working quite like the others!  

Appliqued Crown
 For all the applique pieces I used a zigzag stitch to secure the piece.  I first tried a black stitch as an outline, but I did not like it. 

Appliqued Owl Crossover Bag
 Here we are at the park with out new bags!
Appliqued Princess Bag

Appliqued Crossover Bag
This picture gave me an idea...iPad Bags!  Do you think in 5-10 years children will no longer have book bags?  I've been thinking about this lately.  My children are not in public school, so I really do not know how many schools are requiring tablets or lap tops for the classroom, if any. 

Overall I had fun with this project, but I did struggle with how to attach the straps with the zipper right there.  I'm sure there is an easy fix.  I just need to do some research and try again.  Once I perfect it, I'll add a tutorial.  I really think this would be a great bag to have in my 'future' etsy shop, if there ever is one.  :)

Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by!  If you have time to stick around, please check out some of my most popular post on the sidebar, or some of my recent post in the archives.  I have lots of beginner sewing projects with tutorials.  

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Have a great day!! :)
~Gina

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Painting on Fabric: Pillow Embellishment How to (Post 2 of 2)

This is Post 2 of 2 in my Painting on Fabric for Pillows Series.  Yesterday I showed you how to Paint on Fabric with a stamp to make a cute little 'love' pillow.  Now I will show you how I made the pillow BELOW.

 I made this smaller pillow to go with my project titled: Custom Design a Pillow with String and Paint


 HOW TO MAKE THE FLOWER

 1. Spray paint the fabric, as in my string pillow project.  I used Krylon Spray Paint in Blue.



 2. Let dry and then cut into strips.  (Note: I did wash this fabric once it was dry.  I was just curious how it would hold up.  It was exactly the same texture and the color had not faded.)

I used a 6" width and I really do not know the length.  I leave it very long and then cut off the excess if I need to.

3. If you can see below, I zigzag the edges to prevent fraying.  You can also use pinking shears, but I do not have any.  I was bummed that I could not buy some shears for this project, so had to improvise.  I'm happy with the result!


 4.  Take your 6" fabric and fold it in 1/2 and then fold in 1/2 again.  Pick a spot on your fabric to begin stitching the long strip.  I wanted this flower in the corner so that is where I began.  Start at one end of your fabric, stitching along the inner edge to secure to your fabric.  You will be doing the outer edge of the fabric first, working your way to the center.  You can see above that I am also twisting the fabric as I'm shaping it in a circle.


As you are wrapping the flower, be sure to layer the second layer slightly on top of the layer below it in order to cover up your stitches.  When you get to the end, you can see that I just stitched the end piece down.  I saw this technique in a class I am taking at Craftsy.com.  If you are interested you can see the class details HERE.  (FYI...If you click on the link and purchase the class, I will receive a commission)

THE FOLDED STRIPE 

1. Take another piece of your spray painted fabric and cut to a width of 1" or however wide you would like your stripe.  Stitch the edges with a zigzag stitch all the way around to prevent the fraying.  Fraying won't be totally inhibited.  This pillow has a kind of frayed look and I like that.  It will fray a little up to the zigzag.

2. As you can see in the picture above, I then wrapped one end of the fabric around the edge of the outer fabric of the pillow.  You will next want to begin folding the fabric over on itself.  I wanted the folds to be about 1" apart.  Work your way all the way across, pinning as you go.  Fold the other end around to the back of the fabric you are working on.

3. It's now time to sew down your strip of fabric.  Use a straight stitch, sewing right along the edge.  Repeat with the other side of the strip.

That's it! I think this pillow and the String Art pillow would be nice on a bed.  I'll probably make another small pillow in order to have a set of 3. 


If you missed the other pillows in this series you can find them at the following links:



Monday, August 12, 2013

Painted Fabric Pillows: Stamping How to (Post 1 of 2)


 I have been having fun this summer designing my own fabric: Glue-Resist Technique, Wet-on-wet Technique, Upcycled Blue Jean Camera Case w/ a Sharpie, to name a few.  So, when I came upon this project in the book The Big-(3-letter word that I won't put on my blog) Book of Home Decor by Mark Montano, I had to try them!  I can say that I am now hooked on making pillows!  If you are looking for a very quick and easy project....this is for you!

In this post I will detail how to:
1. Use a kitchen sponge and fabric paint to make a pillow
2. Use embellishments to jazz up a pillow

If you are interested in the pillow, on the left in the above picture, I describe how I made it in the post titled, Custom Design a Pillow with String and Paint.  In the post I'm writing today, I will focus on the 'love' pillow in the middle and the 'embellished pillow' on the right.


 #1)  HOW TO USE A KITCHEN SPONGE AND FABRIC PAINT TO MAKE A PILLOW

Painted Fabri cPillows wiht Stamping

 Materials: 
  • Two 16" x 24"  pieces of cotton fabric (choose your color)
  • Cellulose Sponge (kitchen sponge)
  • 'love' stencil (or word of choice)
  • Fabric Paint 
  • Sponge Paint brush for wording
  • Sharpie
  • Matching or Contrasting Thread
  • Sewing Machine
Procedure:
1. Cut sponge to desired shape.  I like using this type of sponge with the rough backing b/c it gives you something to hold on to.  If your sponge does not have this, you can attach a piece of wood or cardboard to your piece.  



 2.  On your computer you can design the type of wording you would like on your pillow.  I guess this would now be the 'old school' way of doing this since a lot of people have fancy machines that will cut words out for you. :)

I then took my new handy dandy precision knife set (thanks Dad!) and cut around the lettering.  This was time consuming and not fun, but I survived.  Make sure you cut on a self-healing cutting mat or some other surface (thick cardboard/ cutting board).

 3. Once your lettering is cut out, tape it onto your fabric.  Make sure you have your wording centered.  I eyeballed mine and I was a little off.  I was too excited to start painting!!

 4.  I used a sponge brush to paint my wording.  Be careful not to get the paint under the paper.  My 'L' was a little sloppy because of this.


NOTE:  I also tried another method on a smaller piece of fabric.  I placed my fabric up to the computer screen and traced over the lettering.  

 I used a red sharpie to outline the word and then filled in with red fabric paint using a paint brush.

 This was my test sample and I think this 'love' looks just as good.  It was also a lot easier!

5.  Dip your sponge stamp in the paint and start stamping.  I used my sample fabric (above) to practice a little.  I still got a little too much paint on my sponge in the beginning.  I started to dip and then I would dab on a cloth to remove the excess and then stamp on my fabric.  This seemed to work well.


 You can see how the paint was heavier at the top and then a little more even as I went on.  I like the 3rd row the best.  I soon realized that less paint was better.

 Do you see how I hardly had any paint in my dish?  This amount is actually all you need. I rubbed the sponge around a little and then stamped.

6. Allow your paint to dry (my bottle said that I could wash the fabric after 72 hours).  I did not wash my fabric.  Once it was dry I moved on to the next step.

7.  If you want you can then add some decorative stitching to your pillow.  I chose to add some lines though the diamonds in one direction and then again in the opposite direction.

  Once you have your first line, it is pretty easy to keep your lines spaced evenly and straight if you use the quilting guide that comes with most machines.  Just slide it in behind your needle and tighten the screw to secure it.  (See picture above)Then, be sure the guide is lined up on your previously stitched line before you begin stitching the next one. 

 When I began to go back in the opposite direction, I was nervous about my first line being crooked.  I decided to use a strip of painter's tape to  guide me along my first line.  I stitched right up against it and my line came out pretty straight.  That line is then the line I place the guide on and then stitch again until I reach the end of my fabric.

 I decided to go around the lettering with a red sharpie for more definition.  (Do you notice how I'm not mentioning the OBVIOUS blob on the 'L'!)  

8.  The final step is to sew up the pillow.  I'm sorry I did not take pictures of this step.  Sewing a pillow is very easy.  Place the front and back of your fabric right sides together.  Next, sew a 1" seam allowance along the sides and the top.  When you get to the bottom of the fabric be sure to leave a 5" opening.  You will turn you fabric through this opening right side out.  Stuff your pillow and then hand sew up the 5" opening.  I am getting better at closing pillows with each one I do.  It's tricky!  Especially, since I hate hand sewing.  Is it just me, or does me hating hand sewing come up in every post!  :)


Painted Fabric Pillows
This post is pretty long, so I think I will write about the 3rd pillow (above right) on my next post.  Click below to be taken directly to the tutorial:  Embellishments for Pillows (If this link is not live yet it is because I'm typing it up right now!)  Please come back to see it soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love it if you would leave a comment so I can get to know you better.  If you would like to follow Gina's Craft Corner you can find the purple linking buttons up by my picture! :)

Many blessings to you!!
~Gina


 If you like to design your own fabric, you might also like these post...





 




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