September 19, 2019

Fabric Stamps 101


If you have been following my sewing journey for a while, it's no surprise to you that I love making fabric stamps and using them in my projects. From zipper pouches to mug rugs to pillows, I often find a way to incorporate them in to the things I make.


For one thing, they are a great way to use even the smallest of scraps. For another, they add a little extra detail that gives a project a little more interest. And finally, they are super easy! Want to know how to make your own? Follow the tutorial below!!


Supplies

  • HeatnBond Fusible Interfacing
  • Pressing Paper
    • This is optional, but it protects your iron from getting the goo from the HeatnBond all over it. This stuff is my favorite!
  • Cutting Tools:
    • Small ruler (I use a 2.5" x 6")
    • Rotary Cutting Tool
    • Pinking Shears
    • Small Cutting Mat
  • An iron. This is a great project for the Oliso mini iron if you have one!
  • Fabric scraps
  • White fabric



Sewing Instructions

  • Cut your fabric scraps into squares or rectangles. You do not need to be precise at this point. Cut them a little larger than you actually want them to be. We will trim them down later.
  • Cut a piece of HeatnBond large enough for you to place your scraps on.
    • TIP: If using pressing paper (which I highly recommend), cut your HeatnBond to a size that will fit inside the paper. So, no larger than about 8x10. 
  • Arrange your fabric scraps on top of the glue side of the HeatnBond. Place them as close together as you can so there is not too much of the adhesive showing.
  • Place your HeatnBond paper with your fabric scraps on it inside of your pressing paper (the shiny side of the paper is the inside).
  • Close the pressing paper and iron according to the HeatnBond instructions.
  • Open the pressing paper and remove your stamp sheet. 
    • NOTE: Your stamp sheet might stick to the pressing paper. If it does, just peel it off.
  • Using your rotary cutter, cutting mat, and small ruler, cut each stamp down to the size you want it to be. Remove the paper from the back of each stamp. Set them aside for now.
  • Cut a piece of white fabric large enough for you to place your stamps on and leave space in between.
    • I usually leave about 1/2" between each stamp for this part.
  • Cut a piece of HeatnBond the same size as the white fabric.
  • Fuse the HeatnBond to the back of the white fabric. Do Not remove the paper from the white fabric!
  • Arrange the stamps on the white fabric and fuse in place. No need to use pressing paper for this step; none of the adhesive will be exposed.
  • Using your pinking shears, cut the white fabric close to the stamp on all sides.
  • Keep the paper on the back of the stamp until ready to use.
    • TIP: make a bunch at once and place them in a box. That way you will have some when you need them!
I hope this tutorial helps! These stamps look great on my Lovely Letters Pillow pattern. I am hosting a Sew Along from now until October 5, 2019. There is still plenty of time to join!

Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-


September 15, 2019

Dew and Moss: A Project Evolution


If you would have asked me a year ago what I thought my sewing style was like, I would have quickly said traditional and vintage. Now, I'm not so sure I could answer that question. I have felt an evolution of sorts this year, one that leaves me feeling a bit like a kid going off to college. Part of me wants to stay "home" where it's comfortable, and part of me wants to break free and embrace the new. Sometimes I look at my stash and my unfinished projects and I feel bad for them, wanting to go back to the friends I left behind, but when I turn my head and see all the new things I have, I can't wait to get started creating something new and seeing where new fabrics and ideas might take me.

Part of this (r)evolution has been the direct result of being exposed to so many new opportunities this year. My ambassadorship with Michael Miller Fabrics and becoming a designer for ThermOWeb have both opened so many doors and pushed me creatively. Just by using different fabrics and products, I have been inspired to create projects that I never would have dreamed about before. I am extremely grateful for both of those opportunities that have helped boost my creativity, and my confidence, this year.

Recently I saw another opportunity that really spoke to me. A wonderful new designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, Alexandra Bordallo, posted on Instagram that she was looking for designers to be part of a sewing party for her new fabric line, Dew and Moss. I had been seeing sneak peaks of this fabric before then, and I just loved it. The newly evolving modern designer in me was drawn to the colors and designs, and the traditionalist loved the whimsical illustrations and nod to nature. So, I applied and was accepted to join a team of other wonderful designers to help promote this sweet new fabric. When she asked what I planned to make, I confidently said a cathedral window pillow, just like my Trixie one.
By the time my package arrived from Art Gallery Fabrics, I really didn't have much time to complete my project. And on top of that, my son joined three clubs at school, and I was asked to work 8 days in a row to help cover some empty shifts at two different hospitals. So, by the time I was able to sit down and sew, I was exhausted and feeling a little overwhelmed. I cut out my fabrics one night, and got to sewing the next day.

I followed the Missouri Start Cathedral Window shortcut instructions, sort of. I remembered the process from when I made my Trixie pillow, so I didn't go back and look at the instructions again. I sat down and got to work and sewed two rows of my pillow together in one sitting. I was so proud of myself and feeling pretty good about meeting my deadline. I stood back and admired my work...

 ...and that's when I noticed my mistake.
I forgot to sew my white "windows" to part of my blocks. Where you see a circle above, there should be another fussy cut window. I couldn't fix this mistake without completely undoing everything I had done, because one row is dependent on the other. What I had completed so far was too small to be a pillow cover. I didn't know what I was going to do. I just wanted to cry. I did not want to disappoint Alexandra, or myself. So, I slept on it. And I woke up with an idea.
The next morning I got to work painting some buttons to put on a...bag! Now, I am no bag maker. Bags are hard. Really  hard. But I love this fabric and I thought of how proud I would be to wear a bag full of it. So, I turned my cathedral window panel into a front pocket complete with a zipper, and made a bag out of it. I stitched on my mushroom buttons, added a "handmade" tag to the front, and inserted a magnetic snap on the inside to keep everything nice and contained. I plan to use it to carry my design books and pencils in. These fabrics are inspiring, And so is the story of how this project came to be. It's a nice reminder to not get hung up on perfection but to instead go with the flow.


And there she is! I won't lie, she wasn't easy. I got reacquainted with my seam ripper. More than once. Ok, more than about 5 times. But I stuck with it, and I'm so glad I did!

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