Saturday, 1 December 2012

Fairs over & a Mini Tutorial

Made a few things in the week to top up my table

Had a looksee for any half made cards in the studio but the moon ones always go so these are new

Was going to sit at the fair & stitch a few dangling beads on these quirky tree decorations but it was so busy it didn't happen, busy all over but I didn't reach my target so I won't do a school fair again.  I don't expect a fabulous fair each time (well, deep down I do!) This one is 40 mins drive each way of petrol, & I was in between the Lifeboats - how would I not support them with a child in the merchant navy? - & a school kids project to fundraise to go help kids in Peru - the Eldest had been on a World Challenge trip to Peru, a worthy cause of course. But it makes my table look so expensive! You live & learn.

Given that I found the switch to turn off the flash on our little camera, chuffed me!, I kind of forgot to turn it back on when there was hardly any light about. Oops, if I had you could see some color in the cuffs & all the moons would look like the 2 at the top - that was the New moon I saw on the way to the studio 2 weeks ago.

I thought to celebrate 3 years blogging - sometime in November but I deleted some early posts to try to make more storage - I'd give a mini tutorial.

Star Cards.

 I had some bits & pieces on my desk - I tipped the white/lace bag over to face the tipped jar with some delicious color in it for the close up pic.  I'm looking forward to clearing all this away now, but it does invite you in there to explore some exciting possibilities, doesn't it?

 So, if you can find some space, lay out 2 strips of cream cotton, about 1 inch wide, 8 or so inches long. I thought I could fit 6 little piles of snippets on each strip. I used my ironing square so I could carry it back & forth from the iron to the messy desk. Fuse thin strips of Bondaweb onto each piece & remove release paper. Go over to the desk & lay out your snippets. I made the top row pinks & purples & found enough blue velvet, cutting as I went,  to add to 3 or 4 piles, the pink silk went further & I'd go back & forth adding a bit here & there to the piles. It's not an exact science, use what you have.

You don't have to make so many, but if you need them this is a time efficient way. I added some threads before placing a small piece of lace cut from a long recycled strip so it didn't seem so bad to snip bits off. Take it all over to the iron & give it a minute or 2 on medium heat. Of course the lace at the top is no where near the bondaweb so after fusing you could pin each pile for sewing, or invest in one of those tables that has the machine sunk into it so nothing falls off over the edge - on my Christmas list.......2020! Using the lace at the top is so you can see color peeping thru the little holes & the stitched star shape is better defined.

Using gold metallic or light thread I stitched 2 tram lines up one side, leaving a loop & turning round to go back again. I had an idea to 'pull' the thread between each individual piece so I'd have more dangling thread but it got complicated when cutting & didn't help my tension....Iz, where are you! The pic I took of that was a blurry mess so use your imagination!

Having trapped all your little bits with stitches you can now cut the strip into the 6 pieces. Fray the edges of the base fabric a little, choosing the orientation of each tiny card to be - I turn it round & round & just choose the 'side' I like best.  This is where the production line stops & you give each little card your undivided attention ;) Make a pile of them & then find some darker base fabric, for a little contrast & to make another stablising layer. Cut a strip a little wider than the top piece , fray the edge & place each piece onto it cutting it to size & making another pile by the sewing machine.

I know we can all draw a star but above is how I do it! I find it helps to have a little drawing by the machine. Thread your machine with black or dark thread. I start at the bottom right & continue following the arrows. (is this how everyone draws their stars?!) So the first line is reverse stitch, the next forward stitch etc; with the first reverse stitch look at your drawing & aim for where you think the top should be & the rest sort of follows. (If it doesn't follow then draw it out on the back, stitch, turn over  & then your second pass can follow the shape made by the bobbin thread.) Then I go over the whole star again - if you're good at free motion stitching go right ahead!

I leave my threads hanging, you may have noticed! For a rustic look I used some brown paper for the last layer - this happens to be the paper that comes between layers of apples at work, lovely texture - cut roughly to size keeping everything together in yet another pile, ready to glue. Use the glue stick on the paper, it doesn't like fabric & press each piece firmly, then go thru the pie again glueing the back of the piece before placing on the card.

 Voila, a lovely pile of cards - they did well, I'm glad to say. Choose your favorite & scan it if you want to make an 'e card' as well for long distance friends & family. There's nothing like a handmade card.

The card bottom right went a little 'wrong' in the position of the star but instead of binning it I went over it with gold visually ooching it towards the 'right' direction. I try not to use those word very often in my studio!

Hope you've enjoyed this little tut. I'll leave you with a pic of moonrise from my bedroom window

& moonset on the way out this morning.


Nellie said...

You have certainly been a "busy little bee," Emma. More lovely work!

Beverley Baird said...

I love all of the beautiful pieces you've created. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I hope to give it a try over the Xmas holidays - not too far away.

Anonymous said...

Marevelous stars, sweet twinkles! xox

ju-north said...

Beautiful work and beautiful scenery!

Julie said...

Lots of lovliness and what an amazing view from your window. Curiously I draw my stars the reverse way to you starting in the same place.

Iz said...

These are cute little cards - thank you for the inspiration! (And the tension looks fine to me?!) I think I start my stars at the top, and I would free machine them - I'm too lazy to press a button to stitch backwards!

Robin Mac said...

Lots of lovely photos as usual, I agree school fairs can be difficult and probably not the place for your pieces. I start my stars at the top and go back to front from you - we are all different aren't we! Cheers

Anonymous said...

Lovely work as usual and such a helpful tutorial - just in time for Christmas cards! Pity about the school fair. I only ever did one and that wasn't very successful either.

Jill said...

Lovely twinklies - my stars - same way round as you, but starting on the left - at least this year.
Love your tutorial including instructions on doing some ooching

Heloise said...

It is always interesting to see how people work. I start drawing stars from the top point down towards the left. I wonder what it says about us all.

School fairs are not a good place to sell. They are there for those involved and one can see why, just a shame they encourage others who are then disappointed.

Love your moon photograph. I tried over the lake but when it was there it was too cloudy.

jackie said...

Three years and two years since you talked about your print class ending. I do have mixed views about Pin. Interest ,but there is no doubt that it can be time consuming!
I like your circled pebbles,and know how you feel with your son leaving.

Laura said...

beautiful work Emma... and wow the moon photos... love the reflection!

suziqu's thread works said...

Hi Emma
Waste not - want not is what I say.
Thanks for sharing that little star tutorial!
Your photos too are just gorgeous!
Thanks also for popping over to see me - that's always nice too!

Sue M said...

Love those star cards Emma. Greta idea must get my machine out and all those scraps too.