EXTERMINATE! Dr Who Journal Cover

I made this composition notebook cover for a Dr Who loving swap partner and am quite happy with it. Not only because I like the way it turned out, but more importantly because, for the first time in a long time, I finished a sewing project with minimal cussing and without threats of throwing my machine off a bridge.

It's made with a combination of linen and quilting cottons and fits a 9.5" x 7.5" sized composition notebook. I found the Dalek image online and used the freezer paper stencil technique to paint it on. The "exterminate" is stamped in permanent ink with my trusty alphabet stamps.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mitered Corner MADNESS

I recently challenged myself to increase my sewing fundamentals by working my way through the 1-2-3 Sew book. I've made it through the first chapter with mediocre success.

I really got hung up on the napkin project that was attempting to teach me how to make mitered corners. I've actually done mitered corners on quilts but that is an entirely different process than what's being taught with this project.

I got very stuck and very frustrated. These are the not-so-shining results of hours in front of the machine.

I was reaching a point of frustration that had me swearing that the sewing machine was going in a landfill for good. That's when I decided that I don't need to know how to do mitered corners :). I'm moving on!

The next chapter is all about pillows and I've already started on one that I'm really happy with. I'm not following the projects in the book exactly but the tips and techniques are very helpful.

While I was a little disappointed with the confusing instructions for mitered corners, I still think this is a great book and a valuable challenge.

It's also been really fun watching Nancy progress through her challenge that originally inspired me. She's a great support and motivator. I'm excited that Lindy is going to start working through the book too!

Stamping on Fabric Tutorial

If you've poked around on my blog much you probably know that I'm a little obsessed with stamped fabric. I love the touch of personalization it adds to any handmade item, like this simple tissue holder. Today, I'm sharing the technique I use for stamping!

Start with your supplies; a set of alphabet stamps, permanent ink pad and the fabric you want to stamp on.

When making a sewn item, or plan to embroider or add other embellishments to stamped fabric, ALWAYS stamp first and sew later. You don't want to spend hours making something only to goof it up with a misplaced letter.

Consider the layout of the fabric and mark where you want the lettering to show up in its final state. If you're making a sewn item like this, put the pieces together loosely so you can determine where to stamp. Be sure to add space for any seams!

Before you stamp on your cut fabric, do a bit of practice. Get a feel for how the ink looks on the fabric you're working with and how much pressure you should apply.

I like to lay out the letters in advance so I can stamp a letter and move right on to the next. I think it helps to get in a rhythm.

Stamp straight down and directly onto the pad. You want the letter to be inked but not the corners of the stamp. I like to press into the pad 3 times using medium pressure.

Every alphabet stamp set will be a little different so practice how far apart you want the letters to be. I align the left side of the square stamp with the right side of the previous letter. If you want to keep things nice and tidy, use a ruler and disappearing pen to draw a line on your fabric. Use the mark to keep your letters vertically aligned. I don't usually do this because I generally like more of a wonky look.

Use medium pressure and go straight up and down when stamping.

If you press too hard, you risk picking up ink that may have wound up on the corners of the stamp. If you press too lightly, you won't see your letters and it's hard to re-stamp cleanly.

Once you're done stamping, you can go over your letters with a permanent marker to fill in any areas that are too light or unclear. I use a fine point Sharpie marker.

Sew your final piece together and enjoy!! You can wash fabric that has been stamped with permanent ink but I would not recommend using this technique on something that will be washed frequently as the letters will fade pretty quickly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Golden Grasses Embroidery

I'm organizing another round of the Embroidery Hoopla swap on Craftster. In this round, we're all using either silhouette or negative space techniques for our hoops. 

This is one of the pieces I made. Originally, I wanted to stitch the grasses and flowers in black on a background that looked like a sunset. I decided to flip the concept around and embroider with a golden floss on dark shadowy fabric. It's done with several different stitches including; back, chain, stem, split and french knots. 

I hope my partner likes it! 

This Means War

This is her, my crafty nemesis. The evil Brother Innov-is 40 that has been destroying all of my recent projects along with every ounce of my sewing confidence. But I'm no longer going to roll over and let her win, I'm going to war!

My battle plan was inspired by one of my new blog pals, Nancy from N. Fallon Design Studio. She is working her way through the book 1-2-3 Sew to learn new skills and strengthen those she already has. I decided to order the book and do the same!

A few years ago, on a total whim, I purchased my sewing machine. I had never sewn before but after a few youtube videos, and a few frustrated tears, I had the monster threaded and humming along. I was fearless and willing to try anything. I was making everything from handbags to quilts and loving every minute of it.

At some point I had a Wile E Coyote cliff falling moment where I looked down and realized I was dangling in mid air thinking, "what am I doing?? I don't know how to sew!" From then on, every project I tried intimidated me and every project I tried wound up in the garbage.

I'm fighting back by going through the fundamentals and learning the techniques I never took the time to understand before, starting with Chapter 1 - Dining and Dishes.

I'm arming myself for this battle of the sewing basics and I will not be defeated. I've got all the weapons I need; support from my blog friends, determination and of course, my trusty seam ripper.

Crafty universe, BRING IT ON!