Archive for the 'machine' Category

Nursery projects part 3

{part 1 here} {part 2 here}

Baby due date is just a week away now. I don’t think he or she is going to arrive for a while yet though so there’s still a bit of time to finish up some crafting.

This will be a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all the latest projects as some are so simple they don’t need much explanation.

First up: burp cloths and blanket.

Yes that's my 39-week belly

The blanket is simply one layer of flannel hemmed all the way around (it’s approximately 40″x40″).

The three burp cloths are made from two smaller fabric squares. I sewed the two layers, right sides together, leaving a gap to turn it through. Then I top-stitched all the way round.

I have a matching quilt in the works but I’ve run out of thread so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it and show it to you soon.

Next: owl bookends

These are simply two rectangles of linen with an owl applique made from vintage fabric applied to one of them. I used freeehand machine embroidery and a couple of buttons to pretty them up. Then I stitched the two rectangles together (right sides together) leaving a gap to turn and fill them. They were then filled with cheap rice and the gaps sewn closed.

Not forgetting: teeny tiny baby hats

I used a tutorial by Alisa Burke to get the basic idea. They’re simply made from an old jersey t-shirt, decorated with some pretty fabric paint and stitched together (or you could use fabric glue like Alisa). I didn’t leave the end long enough so instead of tying a knot I sewed it down so it kinda looks like one instead.

Last but totally not least: freehand machine embroidered owl picture

I sketched this owl a little while ago so I decided to play with my favourite craft technique and make a little framed picture.

I backed brown fabric with some heavy interfacing and cut it to fit my frame. I decided to use freezer paper to transfer the basic outline to the fabric. I just ironed it to the fabric and sewed over the top of it. You could use a fabric pen instead. Once I had the outline I tore off the paper and then filled in the details. I’d quite like to make some more of these as they’re so easy.

I’ve got a couple more projects to finish so hopefully I’ll have time to get them done and I’ll be able to show you soon. In the meantime I’ll keep crafting to distract me from the wait until we meet our little boy or girl!


Recycled Valentine’s place mats

Wow, long time no blog hey? Hopefully you’ve been checking in with Letters Home and you’ve seen I’m settling in to life in California. And can you believe our baby is due in 7 weeks? I have some baby related projects to share soon.

But today is Valentine’s Day so here’s a very quick project I whipped up.

Our belongings from the UK arrived last week which included our gorgeous dining table and chairs. But idiot that I am I didn’t pack our placemats. However we do have a mountain of bubble wrap and paper left over from the unpacking so I stitched these quickly on trusty Nina (the Bernina) who seems to have survived the Atlantic crossing unscathed (oh I missed her!).

All I did was cut the bubble wrap and paper to size, sandwiched them together (like a quilt) and used Nina to freehand embroider a heart and a border through the layers.

I’m going to make some proper mats soon (well time allowing, we’re on a bit of a countdown now!) but these will protect our table for now, and look pretty for our romantic dinner for two tonight.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

{week 2} freehand machine embroidery

I’ve always been too scared to have a go at freehand (or freestyle) machine embroidery as I thought you needed fancy threads and a large degree of accuracy and precision that I just don’t possess. But ever since I got my lovely Bernina (Nina) I’ve been thinking about giving it a try and this thread sketching tutorial was enough to give me the kick I needed.

Before I show you what I did, I thought I’d share some inspiration I found on flickr:

1. End of Season Poppies cushion, detail, 2. 3 flower side, 3. ‘Eastbourne Promenade’ (Detail), 4. Bunting Cushion (C365: day 64), 5. fabric, print and stitch, 6. Roach, 7. Yellow Spinebill Blanket Cushion- detail 2009, 8. Leaves – stitched monoprint

If I can achieve an ounce of the gorgeousness demonstrated by these artists I’ll be happy!

I wanted to do something fairly simple for my first attempt so here’s my sketch:


I then drew the design on to some gorgeous screenprinted fabric by Lu Summers and got ready to sew.

Ready to sew

As I’ve got a darning foot and can drop the feed dogs I decided to be brave and use both facilities. According to the tutorial I used, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have them and you can just use your normal foot (sewing foot, not actual foot, it goes without saying that it’s best to use your normal, actual, attached-to-your-leg-foot when sewing).

Wibbly wonky lines
It’s a good job I’m aiming for a sketched effect!

And here’s the finished stichery!
Finished flower

Let me know what you think in the comments and share any of your own freehand machine embroidery. See you next week!


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