Do you ever have projects that just pop into your head – all ready to go?
I don’t have it happen too often – half the time I start out with something in mind and then by the time it’s finished – it’s something different. :)
Or I have an idea that I’m sure will be just the most amazing thing ever and when I get about halfway through it I realize it looks like something my cat coughed up.
(Case in point – the Valentine’s Wreath FAIL that is now mocking me from the corner of my dining/craft room. Seriously. It’s hideous.)
But in the case of this little stitched art – the great rarity happened. I had the idea – all ready to go – and I like how it turned out!
I’ve been wanting to do something that combined embroidery hoop art and machine stitching and this is what I came up with:
I love that it’s Valentine-ish but not so much so that I can’t leave it up through the spring.
It’s all machine stitched – kind of a free-form/follow-the-lines thing.
Want a tutorial? Sweet! I happen to have one right here. :)
Begin by cutting out the fabric for your base. It just needs to be a few inches larger than your embroidery hoop.
(This is so not ironed.)
Print out your pattern and trace the lettering onto your fabric.
An easy way to do this is to tape the pattern on a window, then tape the fabric over it. You can easily trace your lettering with the light shining through.
I didn’t put any kind of interfacing or stabilizer on the back of this, but I think maybe you should. My fabric held up pretty well, but if you have thin fabric in might cause some puckering.
I recommend practicing this on a scrap piece of fabric to get the hang of the lettering. Also, try different speeds and stitch lengths to see what works for you and your machine.
Take your presser foot off. This will let you move your fabric as you need it and it will help you see your marks too.
Because your presser foot is off, you will be moving the fabric through. So if you pull fast, the stitches will be long, if you don’t move it much, the stitches will be very tiny.
Start at the top of the “Y” and sew down and then back up the, covering the marked lines. Repeat this 3 or 4 more times.
Once the letter looks the way you want, move onto the next letter. Don’t worry about clipping your threads, you can do that when you’ve finished the word.
Don’t worry about wonkiness in your stitches. You can cover it up if it’s crazy with the next pass of stitching, and some wonkiness adds to the fun look of the lettering.
Continue stitching in all your letters. Press the fabric to remove any wrinkles or puckering.
I wasn’t sure what the best way to do the birdcage was - I was worrying about the thin lines of the cage and trying to cut them out with a pattern.
But then I thought, “If you can print on freezer paper and fabric, can you print on heat-n-bond”?
It turns out you can!
I cut out a 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of fabric and a piece of heat-n-bond (or other iron on adhesive).
Iron the fabric onto heat-n-bond.
Run the fabric piece through your printer so that the image (use the Reversed Image of the Birdcage) prints onto the paper backing of the heat-n-bond.
Do this when the hubby isn’t paying attention so you don’t give him a heart attack about the crazy things you’re running through the printer. Again.
Cut the birdcage out with scissors or a sharp exacto knife. I used a combination of both.
Iron small pieces of heat-n-bond onto your bird fabrics and cut them out as well. Make sure you reverse them so that they face the right way on your final image.
Peel off the paper and iron the birdcage onto your base fabric.
Stitch over the birdcage the same way you did with the lettering. Go over as many times as you like – I used 2 passes on the cage bars and 3 or 4 on the wider parts of the base and top.
Iron on your birds and stitch them on as well.
Sew on little dots for eyes with your machine, or do a small french knot.
Place your fabric in your embroidery hoop and make sure it’s on tightly.
Trim about 1/2″ around the edge and glue down the fabric to the inside of the hoop with hot glue.
And you’re all done!!
I love it.
It’s kind of mushy – but considering everything that Mr. F. T. and I have been through – that’s how i feel.
Ok. Maybe really mushy.
I’d love to hear what you think!